Priority Briefings


NEW GUIDANCE EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT COLLABORATION

New guidance issued this week by the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) provides clarity on the role local health departments play in helping schools combat the spread of COVID-19 as they return to hybrid or full in-person instruction. While school districts should maintain consistent and open communication with their local health departments, here are […]



COURT DENIES CHALLENGE TO NEW TITLE IX AMENDMENTS

You may recall that we recently reported on the amendments to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The amendments to Title IX became final on May 6, 2020 and must be followed by school districts beginning today, August 14, 2020. The amendments, among many other things, accomplished the following: Changed the timeline for […]


GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING STAFF AND STUDENTS WHO PRESENT WITH SYMPTOMS OF, OR TEST POSITIVE FOR, COVID-19

As school districts open for full time in-person instruction and/or blended-remote learning, they will undoubtedly have staff and students test positive for COVID-19 or arrive at school with related symptoms. It is therefore imperative that school districts understand current public health guidelines for how to handle these situations, including who should be sent home, when […]


MAJOR CHANGES IN SCHOOL SPORTS FOR 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR

On July 29, two major changes were announced for the sporting community due to COVID-19. Governor Pritzker announced a new set of guidance for all youth and adult recreational sports. That guidance placed different sports into specific categories based on the level of risk attributed to them (high, medium, or low). It also set type […]


FACE COVERINGS AND RETURNING TO SCHOOL

On June 23, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”), in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) issued guidance on the return to in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year. As part of that guidance, ISBE and IDPH require that all individuals over the age of two wear a face covering […]


IDES RELEASES GUIDANCE ON UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR NON-PROFESSIONAL STAFF

Last month, Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 101-633 into law. As we previously reported, this new law permits a school district employee who does not provide “instructional, research, or principal administrative services” (e.g. a 9 or 10 month custodian, paraprofessional, cafeteria worker, bus driver, or clerical worker) to receive unemployment benefits for any week of […]


IHSA DEVELOPS STAGE 2 RETURN TO PLAY GUIDELINES

The Illinois High School Association (“IHSA”) has developed Stage 2 guidelines for student-athletes to begin participating in athletics. These guidelines, developed by the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, are awaiting approval by the Illinois Department of Public Health and include the specific requirements schools need to implement moving forward. As of June 6, 2020, the […]


U.S. DOE ISSUES GUIDANCE REGARDING SPECIAL EDUCATION DISPUTE RESOLUTION DURING COVID-19

On June 22, 2020, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued Frequently Asked Questions Guidance regarding timelines and procedures for State complaints, resolution meetings, mediations, and special education due process hearings. According to OSEP, the sixty day timeline for state complaint resolution may not be categorically extended due to COVID-19, but the State Board […]