August 6, 2021
Dear Hollis Staff, Students, Parents, and Community,
As I am sure you already know, the Governor announced that masks will be mandated for all K-12 schools. We realize there are mixed emotions on this, but as the administrators of this school district, it is our job to follow the legal authority issued by our state leader(s) and IDPH.
This week, five of the top educational lawyers were present to discuss issues as they relate to COVID. Masks took up quite a bit of the conversation and question/answer session. The following points were the main takeaways from this seminar:
The Governor DOES have the authority to impose this mandate. It is a legal requirement to follow and adhere to it.
IDPH also has legal authority regarding this mandate and other associated and related COVID stipulations. Failure to adhere to them is a Class A misdemeanor.
A school district failing not to adhere to these guidelines was likened to a person failing to adhere to the speed limit; a person could choose to speed. If they were observed by a police officer, they would be ticketed or worse. If the result of the speed resulted in an accident that caused personal harm to other people, they would be held accountable for those outcomes.
We know that remote learning is extremely difficult for all of us and we believe that the best way to educate our students is with in-person learning, even with having to wear a mask. Remote learning is fine, but not ideal for all.
Finally, regardless of your personal beliefs or opinions, there is some solace in the requirement of masks. It has to do with the ability to keep our students in school, learning, and making progress towards academic standards in the safest environment that we can provide. Inevitably, that is what we all want for our kids.
We are hopeful that we can all once again rise to the levels that we have become accustomed to in our district and persevere through these challenging times so that we may realize normalcy once again in the not-too-distant future. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you for all of your support of Hollis School.