District 95 schools will reopen for in-person learning in the autumn, but everyone will be required to wear masks due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.
"All the individuals in the school will have to wear a mask all day long," said Daniel Booth, superintendent of Carbondale Elementary School District 95, at the board meeting June 25.
Social distancing will also be required.
And, everyone entering the schools will have their temperatures checked, or they will have to present certification that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms, Booth said.
Cleaning of surfaces and entryways is also required to be stepped up, he said.
"The state of Illinois would like to have students return to learning in person, but in the safest manner possible," Booth said.
There are three options: return to school in person, remote learning or a "blended model" of attending classes in person on some days and remote-learning other days.
The option proposed by Booth splits the children into "A" and "B" groups, with each attending in-person classes two days a week, doing remote-learning the other two days and then remote learning for all on the fifth day.
District 95 is preparing for these new ways of teaching by purchasing around $500,000 worth of Chromebook laptop computers to send home with the students.
Surveys were taken of both parents and faculty, Booth said, and around half of them favored a mix of in-person classes and remote learning. The other half didn't.
There will still be options for all-remote learning.
Board members were concerned about how parents felt about child care, as well as getting COVID-19 tests for faculty and staff.
"This thing should be a big deal," said board member Carlton Smith, who questioned the feasibility of faculty, staff and students wearing masks all day.
No decision was taken by the board, as administrators still wrestle with Illinois' mandates on the handling of COVID-19.
"We will know more when it comes close to the opening of the school year," said board member Angela Watters.
Booth said he was on the phone with State Rep. Terry Bryant, R-Murphysboro. As far as folks testing positive for the virus, Booth added that "it is not a matter of if but when."will