Pair of suburban school districts drop mask mandate for students

Two suburban school districts announced they are dropping their mask mandates for students.

Both Naperville District 203 and Indian Prairie District 204 are making masks optional.

Naperville's rule takes effect Tuesday, with masks now optional except when riding school buses, per federal law.


District 204's rule change takes place Feb. 22.

IPSD 204 Superintendent Adrian B. Talley addressed the change in a letter to families over the weekend, saying masks are "highly recommended" but will not be required.

"With this shift, it is important for all students and staff to know we are allowing people to make their choice and there should not be any questioning why such choices were made or bullying or harassing of people for their choices," Talley wrote in a statement. "We are a community of learners who celebrate our differences. We need to rebuild relationships as a school community and treat each other with the civility and kindness that we did prior to the pandemic."

Districts have been in limbo since a downstate judge ruled school mandates were illegal more than a week ago.

The state is appealing the ruling.

Gov. JB Pritzker said last week he plans to lift the mask mandate on Feb. 28 but would keep the requirement in place for schools and healthcare facilities.