20220125 COVID Mask Update

Covid mask update as of 1/25/22
Posted on 01/25/2022

Dear Woodland Community Members,
Since March of 2020, Woodland CUSD #5 has been competing with ever changing, ongoing state guidance, mandates, and executive orders revolving around the pandemic. In between these changes we have successfully kept our goal of maintaining a safe environment for our students and our staff where students academically, socially, and developmentally succeed. This communication is to inform you of another event that could potentially impact Woodland in the coming days.
There is a current court case regarding the mandate for wearing face covering in schools. It is expected that a judgement will be made on the legality of this in the coming week. The outcome of the judge’s decision could have an impact on Woodland as well as Illinois school districts. It is anticipated that the Judge will make one of the following decisions:
1. Nothing changes – keeping the Mask Mandate for All Students, Staff, and Community Members Inside a School building (Woodland WOULD be part of this).
2. Make facemasks optional for the students that were involved in the lawsuit (Woodland is NOT part of the lawsuit).
3. Make facemasks optional for the school districts that were involved in the lawsuit (Woodland is NOT part of the lawsuit).
4. Make facemasks optional statewide regardless of who was involved in the lawsuit (Woodland WOULD be part of this).
5. Allow school districts to locally determine if facemasks are required (Woodland WOULD be part of this). 
BUT – just because there is a judge’s decision does not mean it would be immediate. After the judgement it is anticipated that it will be appealed to an Appellate Court decision that will come out ten days later that could keep and potentially reverse the lower court’s decision.
As one can see, there is no clear answer as to what direction the Judge will be, and all media coverage, including social media, is purely speculative much of the time based upon who you ask and where the person lives in the State of Illinois.
When the judgement comes out, I anticipate there will be mixed feelings. There are community members, students, and staff that feel strongly about making masks optional, and other community members, students, and staff that feel strongly about enforcing facemasks, especially while the Omicron variant spikes, and Woodland’s positive cases remain high.
Woodland is and will continue to be committed to our students, faculty, and Woodland community. We will do our best to inform you as the rules and regulations change as well as remain the same. Your support and understanding through these difficult times have been well received and we appreciate your patience and understanding through the continual twists and turns that have put our schools in the middle.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this topic or the impact it can have on schools, you are welcome to contact me directly.
Stay well,
Dr. Ryan McGuckin ~ Superintendent ~ Woodland CUSD #5


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