PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools (PPS) will be extending winter break until Monday, Jan. 10.

To prepare for the new variant of COVID-19, Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat sent an email stretching PPS winter break through the week of Jan. 3-Jan. 7.

All students will return to school as normal on Monday, Jan. 10, and the extra week of winter break will be made up at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

For the week of Jan. 3-Jan. 7, 12-month staff will continue to work similar to the previous two weeks of break, however, 10-month and 11-month staff will continue their winter breakthrough Thursday, Jan. 6, reporting back to work on Friday, Jan. 7 for an institute day.

PPS is offering COVID-19 testing to staff members from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 4, and Thursday, Jan. 6 at the three high schools.

Here are a few additional announcements PPS leaders made for the change to the upcoming week:

  • To-go meals will be available for families to pick up this week. Further details on the times and locations of those pick-up sites on Monday, Jan. 3 will be announced.
  • Free COVID-19 testing at the Peoria Civic Center has been expanded and will now be offered 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 
  • All scheduled high school athletics events will continue to be held this week. Restricted spectator guidelines will be communicated by each high school.
  • Middle school athletics and activities will not be held this week.
  • PPS leaders encourage all students and staff, as well as their families, to consider using this week to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Peoria County Health Department is administering the vaccine from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointments are necessary.