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Illinois State Board of Education issues guidance on 'Act of God' days
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Illinois State Board of Education issues guidance on 'Act of God' days

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SPRINGFIELD — The days out of school through March 31 will not have to be made up, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Those days have been designated Act of God days and will not count against the required number of school days mandated for instruction, said spokeswoman Jackie Matthews. Because the governor has ordered an extra week of shutdown, so far, to extend through April 7, the state board will issue further guidance this week to cover the time beyond March 30.

"Executive Order 2020-10 means in-person instruction will continue to be suspended through at least April 7, in order to help keep our communities safe," Matthews said. "We have seen what happens in places that do not take these steps, and we have one opportunity to influence the future for Illinois."

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Personnel who are preparing and distributing meals to students are performing essential functions and are exempt from the stay-at-home mandate.

"While some parameters may shift from what has applied during the Act of God Days, two pillars absolutely will remain the same: All state funding will continue uninterrupted and no schools will experience negative consequences to the extent possible," Matthews said.

It's likely that districts will have to move to "remote instructional days," she said, and the state board is aware that there are districts that might require assistance to put that in place.

"ISBE has assembled an advisory group composed of teachers, administrators, and stakeholders to make recommendations about what Remote Instructional Days could look like," she said. "This advisory group will explore what is possible and what is reasonable under these unprecedented circumstances, always recognizing the incredible diversity and varying capacity of our 852 school districts."

Contact Valerie Wells at (217) 421-7982. Follow her on Twitter: @modgirlreporter

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