Rockton School Board will discuss changing mask plans on Monday night
The news cameras and the crowds had already gone when the Rockton School District Board of Education meeting reconvened. So they didn't hear it when most of the school board members expressed support for a change to a mask-optional policy, during the Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 9 . Several board members said they had voted to require masks in August when the COVID threat was more serious, before the milder but more infectious Omicron variant became dominant and before Gov. Pritziker issued his mask mandate.
Asked about a special meeting to reconsider their mask policies, Glenn Terry, Superintendent of the school district, told Rockton-Roscoe News today that "we are scheduling one for Monday night " though he said the district hadn't posted it yet. (The posted time is 7:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14, the same time as Kinnikinnick School District is holding a similar meeting.) Mr. Terry was unsure if the Board would vote or not (he can't vote), but said, "We will definitely continue the discussion with an opportunity for the Board to make any changes to our Opening Plan that they see fit."
Two board members who are also attorneys, Scott Robinson and Stephen Harkess, said that now that a judge has invalidated the rule changes that had applied to schools, they believe Rockton School District can legally drop its mask rules if they want. However, they couldn't make any decisions at Wednesday's Committee of the Whole meeting, since the Open Records Act doesn't allow public bodies to change their policy without 48 hours notice. A Committee of the Whole meeting, held in the first part of the month, allows for open discussion but no final votes until the regular board meeting, held in the latter part of the month.
Earlier in Wednesday's meeting, about 100 community members had demanded that the school board "do the right thing" by making masks optional, but all but six of them were gone when the school board began its discussion.
This article will be updated, based on the meeting recording (below).
Discussion by the School Board: