classroom education learning lecture 356090CHAMPAIGN – Schools may resume in-person learning for K-12, community colleges, and higher education institutions for the upcoming academic year, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) relayed Wednesday.

“The safety of students, faculty and staff has been the first consideration when planning for the safe reopening of schools,” Bennett said. “These new guidelines are a necessary measure to allow students to resume their education back in the classroom this fall.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health requirements for schools to reopen in Phase 4 are:

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing whenever possible;
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and
  • Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.

To help schools meet these guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks, allowing K-12 schools to provide a cloth face mask to all students and staff.

School districts will determine how to implement the guidance based on their unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity. Students in higher education institutions and community colleges should expect to see changes as well.

Educational institutions reopen as part of Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan that starts on Friday, June 26.

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CHAMPAIGN – A virtual town hall to share information about Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan, hosted by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and a panel of experts, will take place Thursday, June 25.

Bennett and the panel of experts want to hear people’s concerns related to the reopening plan. The panelists will provide information and answer constituent questions on Bennett’s Facebook page at 6 p.m.

“A lot has been learned since the pandemic first started,” Bennett said. “All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26. This town hall is a great opportunity to learn what’s new in this stage of our state’s recovery and get your questions answered.”

Community members can submit their questions during the live broadcast in the comments of the livestream or prior to the event at www.senatorbennett.com/VTH.

Panelists include, Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Dr. Janet Jokola of University of Illinois College of Medicine Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Robert Healy of Carle Adult Medicine and University of Illinois Clinical Associate Professor, and Mike DeLorenzo, the University of Illinois’ Senior Associate Chancellor for Administration and Operations.

For questions or additional information, Bennett urges residents to contact his office at 217-355-5252 or visit SenatorBennett.com.

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DANVILLE – To help address the dire need for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) delivered 200 face shields and 1,400 face masks to Vermilion County medical professionals and nursing homes Thursday.

“I am more than grateful to be able to provide masks to frontline workers with the help of some tremendous community partners,” Bennett said. “Especially now, it’s important we come together to support those working to keep us safe and healthy during these trying times.”

Personal protective equipment prices are volatile due to the current shortage, and some providers have struggled to acquire adequate supplies.

To support front-line health workers leading the fight against COVID-19, Bennett partnered with John Deere and the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) to donate face shields to Aunt Martha’s Health Center in Danville. Bennett was also able to donate face masks to the Vermilion County Health Department, thanks to a generous donation from Director General Eric Huang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.

Huang contacted Bennett earlier this month to offer support to east-central Illinoisans battling the coronavirus pandemic. Bennett established a relationship with Huang and the Taiwanese delegation last fall when he hosted them at his family farm to celebrate their commitment to purchase Illinois crops between 2020 and 2021.

“This is another great reminder that we are all in this together,” Bennett said. “I want to thank, John Deere, Illinois Manufacturers Association and Director Huang for their generous donations to support healthcare workers in Vermilion County. With their help, we can protect front-line workers and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Seducation knowledge learn read 315154PRINGFIELD — State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) lent his support to a comprehensive education package that was signed into law Thursday. It addresses the unique challenges facing the state’s education system due to COVID-19.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools shifted to remote learning, leaving teachers, students and families to face unfamiliar challenges for the remainder of the spring semester,” Bennett said. “This package offers them support during an unprecedented time and ensures students will get the best education possible – whether it be online or in-person.”

The education package does a number of things to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending educator license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely.

Additionally, for public college and university students, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses.

The legislation – Senate Bill 1569 – was signed into law Thursday and takes effect immediately.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507