Ptacek Quashes Rumors of School Closure Due to COVID-19

By Benjamin Cox on March 11, 2020 at 6:25am

The COVID-19 corona virus has many people on high alert for the illness. It has also made some susceptible to rumor, especially when it comes to school districts. District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek sent out an email last night reassuring parents that he is not shutting down the school for two weeks to force students to work from home due to corona virus concerns.

Ptacek said that he had received communication from the Illinois State Board of Education State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala about creating contingency plans should an outbreak occur, including research-based e-learning plans for students. Ptacek said that from that directive, he then met with district personnel to discuss options yesterday afternoon. Ptacek said that as soon as the meeting was over with, he began hearing rumors of the school shutting down for two weeks because of concerns of the virus.

Ptacek said that while the district is preparing for the possibility of an agency mandating the move to close, the district itself would not initiate a directive like that. In the email he said that he had no knowledge of the probability of a closure happening. He has asked the public to not jump to conclusions. Ptacek said he would inform the public should such a mandate be given by the Governor’s Office or ISBE. In a follow up post to his Facebook page, he has asked the public and students to practice good hygiene and to self-quarantine if students, staff, or any member of the public is sick to protect those at greater risk of infection.