Algonquin school district makes mask wearing optional for students, staff

Another suburban school district is letting staff and students decide whether to wear masks.

The move comes after a somewhat contentious meeting Sunday night.

District 300 in Algonquin will no longer require students and staff to mask-up in class. The decision was made during a special board meeting.

According to an update from Superintendent Susan Harkin, the district will transition to what they are calling a "mask-recommended environment."

The school board voted 5-to-2 to end mandatory mask-wearing for students and staff in schools.

The emergency meeting was called after an Illinois appellate court last week blocked Governor JB Pritzker's appeal of a downstate judge's ruling over masks in schools.


The Algonquin board president explained why he agrees with making masks optional.

"As I reviewed our district COVID numbers, I see that our overall COVID positivity rate for this past week was 0.1 percent. And the majority of our schools, 15 had no COVID cases. Overall, there were 30 positive student and staff cases in all buildings this week," said David Scarpino.

With no school Monday because of the Presidents' Day holiday, the mask change will take effect beginning Tuesday.

Masks will, however, still be required while using district transportation, due to federal guidelines.