CHAMPAIGN – Kenwood Elementary School are one of the many schools in Champaign Unit 4 District to return to in-person classes this year.
It’s been quite an experience for students and staff to return to an environment that has changed a lot since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the beginning of September, Illinois has issued an indoor mask mandate. This caused for Champaign Unit 4 School District to change their mask guidelines, making mask required when indoors regardless of the individual’s vaccination status.
That hasn’t bothered students one bit.
“Our students have adjusted very well to our guidelines” said Stacey Moore, Kenwood’s Chief Communications Officer.
In the guidelines handbook found on Champaign Unit 4’s website, the handbook states that the district is committed to keeping their environment safe:
“The District is committed to continuing to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD), and Executive Orders issued by the Governor of the State of Illinois.
“It’s very important for us to keep our students and staff safe which is why we follow the guidelines very strictly.” Moore said.
According to the CUPHD, 66% of Champaign County’s population has received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 55% of the population are fully vaccinated.
Recently the CDC has announced their plan to allow children of the age 12 and below to be able to receive the vaccine.
This news has raised concerns within parents/guardians of Kenwood students.
“How do I know if it’s safe for my child?” said Geoff Hamilton, guardian of a student at Kenwood. “I understand that it’s safe for older individuals, but we heard stories of it going wrong for them, I can’t trust it for my kids”
Despite these concerns, some parents are encouraging other parents to get their children vaccinated.
“How can you go against science?” Daniel Martinez said. “I lost my wife to COVID when she refused to receive the vaccine, I’m not going to let my children do the same thing.”
Champaign Unit 4 School District has worked closely with the CUPHD to provide resources for parents such as vaccine appointments. It’s believed that they will continue to help parents to have their students vaccinated.
The CDC plans to give further information in the next few weeks on parents can sign up their children for the vaccine.
Booster shots are now available for fully vaccinated individuals in Champaign County. Visit the CUPHD’s website for more information.