Mid-Summer Update School Year 2021-2022 From Superintendent Ryan-Toye

Dear Parents and Guardians

I hope you are enjoying these beautiful and relaxed weeks of summer. We wanted to take a few minutes and share the current plans for our full return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. The Illinois State Board of Education passed a resolution requiring all Illinois school children to return to school for the 2021-2022 school year. The Board of Education reviewed our plan for the 2021-2022 school year at our July 21. An overview of the presentation can be found below.

As always, the safety of our students and our staff is our number one priority. We acknowledge that national, state and local guidelines continue to evolve regarding health and safety mitigations for schools. 

The determination as to who will be required to wear masks is currently at the center of conversations in many communities. We anticipate our recommendation will require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks or allowing only vaccinated individuals to have the option of wearing a mask. Please know that we are not considering mask-wearing to be optional for all. We greatly appreciate the community input we have received on this important issue. It is always our goal to return every parent’s email. We appreciate your patience as we respond to you. 

Please note the additional protocols for a safe return to school. 

  • Social distancing requirements will continue at 3 feet.
  • Social distancing at lunch will be 3-6 feet. Our pre-pandemic lunch period schedules will resume. Parents do not need to take their children home for lunch, although this is always an allowable option.
  • At this time, we do not anticipate requiring the use of the self-certification system known as Raptor Screening. The District will discontinue this program for daily use. All children must stay at home with any sign of illness. Parents will likely be asked to sign a beginning of the year agreement acknowledging your understanding and agreement.
  • We anticipate continuing with saliva screening for all unvaccinated individuals. We will share more information in the coming weeks.
  • Our custodial staff will clean all of our schools regularly. Students will be encouraged to practice good hand washing hygiene throughout the day. We have added HEPA air filters throughout each of the schools. 

If your child has specific medical needs that indicate your child cannot attend school in person, please contact Pam Shaw, Director of Student Services, via email at [email protected]. You can discuss consideration for home/hospital services and/or the possibility of a regional remote school opportunity with West 40, our regional office of education. 


We are excited to welcome all children back to Riverside District 96. We look forward to a wonderful school year ahead. 


Stay safe, stay healthy and stay connected,



Important Dates

August 25

First Day of School