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Education

Rock Island Schools Open

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The new school year starts Monday in the Rock Island School District, and students will be expected to be in school, all day, five days a week.

Superintendent Reginald Lawrence says COVID precautions will continue, including temperature checks for anyone entering a building, three foot social distancing where possible, hand washing stations, and additional cleaning of the buildings.

"But in our elementary buildings this year, starting out, it'll be full mask required for elementary schools where the majority of our students are under the age of 12 and they don't have access to vaccine at this time. And in our junior high and schools, grades 7 through 12, it'll be masks recommended but again they'll be strongly recommended."

Doctor Lawrence says there are parents on both sides of the issue - whether masks should be worn.

"We have a number of families that feel that wearing masks is a personal choice and they'd love to be able to do that whether their kid is in elementary or high school. And then I have a number of families - that when you look at information that's come down from CDC, and recently from IDPH, about everyone should wear masks whether they're vaccinated or not."

The only students excused from returning to five-day-a-week in-person learning will be those under quarantine, and those with special medical requirements.

He says the district will monitor local, state, and federal information on the pandemic daily, and he asks students, parents, and staff to be flexible as government directives change.