To be used by school community safety committees to help parents understand protections we continue to preserve despite the Sangamon County temporary restraining order on mask-wearing:

Dear [School Name] Families and Community,

The safety committee at [School Name] was created to ensure the safety and protection of our school community. It is composed of teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school employees who work with students on a daily basis. We enforce hard-fought safety measures in the school, and identify and problem-solve a range of student and faculty concerns on a daily basis. We do this work to mitigate risks and maintain a safe learning environment for our students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

You may have read late Friday that a downstate Illinois judge ruled to suspend mask mandates. The Illinois attorney general is working with the governor to immediately appeal this decision, which undercuts the safety of our members, students, families and communities.

As a Safety Committee, it is our responsibility to monitor and enforce the implementation of and compliance with COVID-19 safety measures with Chicago Public Schools. We are writing to share with all members of our school community that CPS policy requiring face masks in our schools is still in place today thanks to the Chicago Teachers Union agreement with Chicago Public Schools.

In the CTU agreement with CPS, it states very clearly that “All persons entering a CPS facility are required to wear a face mask properly covering their mouth and nose at all times.” Additionally, in the most recent agreement between CTU and CPS, we won the guarantee that “CPS will provide KN95 masks for staff and students use in addition to the medical grade masks and other face-covering PPE (e.g. face shields) it provides for staff and students. We were only able to win these protections after a very difficult fight after many months of negotiations. We are so grateful that these measures are protected under the law to keep us all safer as we work together at our school to give our students the education they deserve. Masking is a vital safety mitigation that helps us to decrease the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings.

In addition to wearing your mask, we also ask you to enroll your student in regular COVID-19 testing at our school if you are not already signed up to do so. Testing at our schools is safe and helps us to make sure that students who might be positive for COVID-19 can be taken care of and stop any spread to other students, their families, or staff members. Testing happens on [insert school testing day] and if you have any questions, you can contact [insert testing contact person for your school].

Sincerely,

[Insert school safety committee members]