August 5, 2021
Hoopeston Area Families,
As a school district, we have done our best to fight for local control and provide our families with personal choice regarding the matter of facemasks. Over the summer, Hoopeston Area administration sent letters to communicate to state legislators that we want and are requesting local control. We were pleased when we were provided that local control, however, today the Governor of Illinois removed that local control from schools.
Earlier this summer, the Illinois State Board of Education released information stating they would remove school recognition status if school districts do not follow state guidelines on face masking. This occurred when Red Hill School District Board of Education passed a resolution stating they were going to go mask optional for their students. The Illinois State Board of Education sent them a letter requiring them to wear masks or lose their recognition status. Losing recognition status means students would not be able to earn high school diploma, schools would lose funding, and many other supports for our students.
These times have been challenging. We have tried our best as a school district to provide choice to our families. While we recognize many will not like the decision to wear masks, our top priority is to keep students in school, learning, and healthy. If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Governor, we encourage you to reach out to your state legislators. Our area legislators are Senator Jason Barickman and Representative Tom Bennett. Please do not believe the individuals on social media that claim to have legal knowledge and pretend to be experts in the law. School districts do not have an option in this matter without taking on repercussions that will directly impact our students.
As long as the state of Illinois mandate face masks in school, Hoopeston Area CUSD #11 will comply. Our faculty will do our best to be understanding, provide breaks to students, and assist them in having a comfortable and enjoyable educational experience. While we are disappointed with the decision of the Governor to not provide local control, we also are eager to get our students back in school and learning.
Thank you for your support and patience over the past year.
Superintendent of Schools