Return to Learn Fall '21

In an effort to provide information specific to what MHS students might expect at school this year, we are providing some information below in the form of a Q & A. Please note, all information below is subject to change. Schools receive new guidance and directives from the Governor's office, IDPH, and ISBE often. New guidance sometimes causes districts to change or retract information previously communicated. We will update and add to this page as needed and when appropriate.

Published 8/5/21

Are masks required at the start of the 21-22 school year?


Masks are required, does this help with contact tracing & quarantining? 

Absolutely. The most recent guidance clearly states that schools should administer a layered use of safeguards. When masks are used, schools can use a 3 feet radius when contact tracing. Schools where students are not masking will be required to use a 6 feet radius, which is the same as last school year. The ability to safely space students at 3 or more feet without the stress of possible quarantine is a tremendous plus for both students and staff.

What will the learning model look like? Will students attend in-person, 5 days a week? 

We are working hard to provide instruction as close to the traditional model as possible. Students will attend, in-person, for full days Monday through Friday.

Will there be a "remote only" option for students?

No, there will not be a "remote only" option for students. In-person attendance is required on a daily basis. Remote instruction will not be provided for non-covid typical absences. Remote instruction will be given and is required for students that are placed into isolation or quarantine as a part of the health department's Covid protocols. In these instances, remote instruction will be not be ongoing but rather only for the duration of the isolation/quarantine. 

Will students have access to hallway lockers this year?

We are piloting the use of lockers on a limited basis. Students will be allowed to use a hallway locker to store those items that are not practical to carry in a backpack throughout the day. Examples include items for afterschool practice, winter clothing, etc.  Students should not stop at their locker between each period of the day. Before school, at lunch, and after school are the times a student may use the hallway locker.  Most students will find the use of a backpack is preferable to a hallway locker. 

In PE classes, will masks be required? In PE, will locker rooms be used? 

Masks are required in all classes, including PE.  After Labor Day, students will dress for PE on a trial basis. The PE teachers will implement strategies so that we can safely use the locker rooms for this purpose, such as strategically assigning lockers for social distancing and, if necessary, send students to change in shifts of smaller groups.

Will we continue to have WACS & other outside courses as scheduled? 

Yes, we have students attending Cosmetology, Welding, Building Trades, and CEO this year.

Will lunch in the Commons be different to start the year?  Will MHS still use an "open campus" concept at lunch?

Like last school year, we will continue to operate two lunch periods. To do this, we will combine the clock times for 5th and 6th periods, then split the courses originally scheduled during 6th into two groups. See the schedule below.

Regular Bell Schedule with 2 lunches

5 Class11:4712:36
B Lunch12:4113:16
6 Class12:251:16
A Lunch11:4512:20

*Please note, we are still working with Skyward to adjust our bell schedules. Students' classes will remain the same, just keep in mind the period numbers might be adjusted as we add our two lunches and the homeroom schedule to the system.

For seating, students will use designated spots at tables in the Commons for meals so that proper social distancing of six feet can be maintained.  

The "open campus" policy at lunches is still available for grades 10, 11, and 12. We are continuing to monitor guidelines and reserve the right to change this policy at any time.

Are lunches still free to all students this year?

Yes, the USDA has indicated that all student lunches will be subsidized this year. Parents would only need to put money on their student's account if they intend to purchase additional items above the regular meal.

From the District's Community Letter:

FOOD SERVICE: The USDA has extended free lunches through 2021-2022. If students purchase additional meals or milk, they will be charged the following prices:

  • Breakfast (including milk) preschool/prekindergarten through grade 12 $1.75, and adults $2.15.
  • Lunch (including milk) preschool/prekindergarten $2.35, K - 3rd $2.70, grades 4-6 $2.70, grades 7-12 $2.95 and adults $3.45.
  • Milk $0.55 · The Breakfast/Lunch Menus can be found on the district website.
  • Any questions should be directed to Aramark at (309) 837-2335.

Will the school issue a laptop to each student?

Yes, we are again issuing laptops to each student. Students should bring the device to school with them everyday and take them home after school for use with their studies. It is good practice to charge the device overnight so that the battery is fully charged in the morning upon returning to school. Students should use their bag to protect the device as they travel from period to period.  

Will we continue to use Microsoft Teams, Clever, Daily Tasks, etc?

Yes, we intend to use the same technology platforms as we have in the past. Students will have access to many of these services by first logging into Clever. A link to Clever can be found on the home page. In addition, students and parents can see a daily calendar of assigned items in a "Daily Tasks" document. 

Which entrance should students use to enter the school?  What times should students arrive? 

Student Drivers should arrive between 7:45 and 8:00. The east doors will open at 7:50. Student drivers will park in the east lot (tennis courts) and use Entrance A. Upon entering the building, students will go directly to class. If circumstances arise where it is needed, the auditorium lobby is reserved for use as a staging area where students can wait (socially distanced) until 7:50. 

Buses will drop riders at the Main Entrance (H, by the stop sign). High School bus riders will go to the auditorium lobby to wait until 7:50 at which time they will go straight to class. The auditorium lobby has designated spaces for socially distanced waiting. In addition, high school bus riders eating breakfast will pickup their food at the Commons and then take it with to use tables on the boys deck. High School students will not remain or congregate in the Commons nor in the hallways in the morning. 

Students dropped off by parents should use the Commons (J) door nearest the circle drive. Like the bus students, breakfast can be picked up in the Commons as the student passes through on the way to the staging area on the boys deck in the gymnasium. 

Other than bus riders, students should not arrive prior to 7:45. Once in the building, students are not to gather or congregate before class begins.

Are students and teachers required to take their temperature before entering the building? 

No, we will not be screening temperatures. We discontinued this practice late winter of last year after new guidance from IDPH indicated it was not necessary.

Is the district providing supplies to disinfect our tables, chairs, manipulatives and toys? 

We have the same types of cleaning protocols in place again this year.

Are teachers and students responsible for disinfecting the classrooms or will custodians help with that?
During the day, teachers will direct students on a routine to clean their workspace as they enter the classroom.  After school hours, the custodians will thoroughly clean and disinfect each room used during the day.

What about drinking fountains and restrooms? Will the fountains be turned off and will there be a limit to the number of students allowed in the public restrooms?

The hand operated water fountains will be temporarily turned off. There are two water fountains with foot pedals; these will remain on so that students may fill a water bottle. Students will not be allowed to drink directly from the fountain.

Will there be final exams this year?

Yes. With instruction returning to a consistent in-person model, we plan to administer final exams.  We do reserve the right to change this later in the year if we determine it is not in the best interest of the students.

Will there be an "Attendance Incentive" this school year?

No, we not use the "attendance incentive" (as described in the student handbook) for the coming school year. We feel it is not in the best interest of our community health to do so during a pandemic. We do reserve the right to create a separate incentive for semester 2 finals.  We did something similar last year based on grades.

Will students wear masks for outdoor sports?

Questions related to extracurricular participation will be answered at a later time.