By Christopher Johnson

With many protections already in place and protocols followed daily, the influence of COVID-19 remains a present factor in the day-to-day operations of District 321.

Trustees with the Pecatonica Board of Education met on Monday, Nov. 15 and among the issues made aware to the gathering body of followers was the realization that COVID-19 is still impacting how education is working.

It has been the policy of the varying school structures that if the viral invader is detected, pre-set mitigations are put into action, with isolation becoming the primary point of control required at the onset.

Since the beginning of the month, public health announcements included daily announcements of new discoveries of health concerns.

As November opened, each physical plant had reported at least one student or staff member that had tested positive for COVID-19, or has been in the immediate vicinity of someone who had contracted the virus.

On Nov. 2, one report from the elementary school was added to two reports from the middle school and a third from Pecatonica High School.

One day later, another report was released stating that one more positive result had been returned, or caused a student the situation as to how learning had been conducted.

The week beginning Monday, Nov. 8, two students at the high school had reportedly been affected. A day later, one from the grade school and middle school joined the ranks of required attention.

The issue that is impacting the Pecatonica School District is not unique to the district or the way operations are conducted, as statistics seem to support.

Masking up has been the policy of the Executive Office in the State of Illinois with a recent statement making it clear how things in the State of Illinois and within the school systems must go.

 According to published reports, on Sept. 3, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed Executive Order 21-22, which impacted almost every person who interacts with the District 321 schools system.

The measure required that all individuals over the age of two, who can medically tolerate a face covering, to wear a face covering when in indoor public places.

As the 2021-2022 school year opened, newly-selected Superintendent of Schools Carl Carlson had expressed the desire that the district, its schools, staff and administration would abide by the “rule of the land.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health, which regularly reports cases of COVID-19 that have been discovered, or the loss of life that has been caused, has said the risk of contraction has not subsided to a degree where masking up in public places isn’t required.

Within the Pecatonica School System, many of the reports of the need to isolate a student or their studying patterns has been connected to close relationship to an individual who has tested positive, and, in some situations, when the student themselves has tested “positive” for the presence of the virus.

Regular information is available on how District 321 is dealing with COVID-19 and its impact on the need to modify teaching practices on the district website,

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