HEYWORTH, Ill. (WMBD) — Some school districts in McLean County are opting for optional mask policies as they look to return in-person classes.
In Heyworth, students will be in-person five days a week.
Heyworth Community Unit School District #4 superintendent Dr. Lisa Taylor said the board is looking at an optional masking policy at all its schools after looking through last year’s data.
Taylor said the district of around 1000 students was not a hotbed for the spread of COVID-19 and buildings are large enough to distance students from one another.
Taylor said the district has polled families and students, with an overwhelming majority saying they want to choose what they feel is best for their kids.
“This has been a long conversation, and it’s a tense conversation, and unfortunately it’s a divisive issue for many, but we have just tried to keep our kids at the forefront, saying parents choose what’s best for their kids, at the end of the day that’s what it is, and we’re going to let them choose,” Taylor said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC are recommending masks for schools, especially at the elementary level, but ultimately it’s up to each district.
Taylor said anyone unvaccinated is recommended to wear a mask or face coverings, but the district and staff won’t enforce it.
“We all are constantly learning and modifying our plans. It’s just constantly balancing and weighing those risks and also respecting people’s choices and preferences to do what they see is best for their families,” Taylor said.
Per CDC guidelines masks are still required on school buses.
Taylor said if things worsen, the district can reinforce a required mask policy, but for now, it’s up to their families.