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MCSD #404 Mission Statement
MCSD #404, in an active partnership with family and community, will empower all students to be engaged learners and decision-makers, enabling them to become respectful, productive, and responsible citizens.
Ask the Board
Community members desiring to ask the Board questions about the District can click on the link below. Questions and answers thought to be of interest to others will be posted publicly (person who asked question will not be identified).
SB 0550 was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on January 16, 2017. It requires all schools (Pre-K through 5th grade) to test for lead in water used for drinking and cooking. Schools built after January 1, 2000 are not required to test at this time. Please click here for additional information and results for Mercer County Schools.
Mercer County School District 404 Goals Update - 2021
Mercer County School District 404 is happy to present an update on our district goals for the 2021-2022 school year.
Phone Notification System
The automated phone notification calls from the district generate from the number (844) 223-9224. To ensure you are receiving the notifications, save this number to your phone.
Substitute Teachers and Paraprofessionals Needed!!
Mercer County School District is in need of Substitute Teachers. Please click the link below or call the ROE at 309-734-6822 for further information.
Mercer County School District is in need of Substitute Paraprofessionals. Please click the link below or call the ROE at 309-734-6822 for further information.
New Crime Stopper App - P3 Campus
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As part of Mercer County School District's commitment to students' safety and mental health, beginning today we are launching an anonymous reporting program, which will allow students and parents to make anonymous reports about concerns of safety or student wellness. Our program is student-focused, as opposed to crime focused, meaning it is a tool for alerting caring adults about students who need help-not snitching. This is part of our continuous effort to increase campus and student safety, and provide students with a safe, completely anonymous outlet to share concerns.
Students can use our new P3 Campus app to report: bullying, suicide concerns, depression, sexting, stealing, threats, cutting, abuse, dating and domestic violence, fights, drugs, alcohol, weapons or other types of dangerous situations that threaten their safety or the safety of others. Their reports will be addressed by a trained team of school officials and law enforcement, when necessary.
When you or your student have a concern, you can go to P3Campus.com on your computer, tablet, or laptop- or you can download the free P3 Campus mobile app-- and make a 100% anonymous report in less than five minutes.
The use of anonymous reporting apps in state programs like Safe2Tell Colorado have proven to be successful in providing the tools and information needed for school officials and to proactively address concerning behaviors, potential incidents of violence, and other harmful situations on campus before they develop. We look forward to working with you and your student to continue making the Mercer County Schools safe.
Mercer County Schools Excellence in Education Foundation
Mercer County Schools Excellence in Education Foundation is a non-profit group that was created to supplement funding to the school district in order to provide an excellent education for our students.
The mission of the Mercer County Schools Excellence in Education Foundation is to provide its students with quality education that will develop the skills necessary to think critically, communicate effectively, prepare them for lifelong learning, and advocate responsible citizenship through strong moral values, resulting in productivity and healthy contributors to our modern society.
The foundation is actively seeking new members!! If you are interested in learning more about this group and becoming an active participant, please contact Vic Johnson @ 309.582.3335. Monthly meetings are held the first Thursday of the month at MCJH, Joy.
Mercer County School District News
2021 CLASS 2A PLAYOFF APPAREL - ORDER BY OCT. 24TH
ISBE/IDPH ISSUE EMERGENCY RULES AND UPDATED GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS - 9/22/2021
September 22, 2021
Within the last several days, ISBE and IDPH separately issued emergency rules on vaccination/testing requirements for school personnel and school exclusion, implementing recent Executive Orders issued by Governor Pritzker. ISBE and IDPH also updated the Joint Guidance, the FAQ, and other guidance documents. As we continue to digest all of the recently issued rules and documents, here is a summary with links to each document.
ISBE Emergency Rules – Vaccination and Testing of School Personnel
On September 17, 2021, ISBE issued emergency rules to implement Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2021-22concerning vaccination and testing requirements for school personnel. Our article highlighting several important clarifications and new requirements in the ISBE emergency rules is available here.
Governor’s Executive Order 2021-24 – Exclusion of School Personnel and Students
On that same day, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2021-24 on school exclusion for individuals with Confirmed and Probable COVID-19 cases, as well as those who are Close Contacts. The Executive Order requires all schools (public, non-public, and charter schools) to exclude students and school personnel who meet certain COVID-19-related criteria regardless of whether an isolation or quarantine order has been issued by a local health department. Schools must provide remote instruction to students during periods of school exclusion pursuant to the State Superintendent’s declaration. Our article discussing the Executive Order’s requirements is available here.
IDPH Emergency Rules – Exclusion of School Personnel and Students
Also on September 17, IDPH issued emergency rules implementing Executive Order 2021-24. The IDPH emergency rules reiterate the school exclusion requirements in the Executive Order and clarify that schools must conduct contact tracing to identify occurrences of COVID-19 and Close Contacts of COVID-19 cases in schools. The emergency rules also include important changes that appear to address potential gaps in rulemaking that have been the focus of recent litigation involving schools around the State. Notably, the emergency rules delete the definitions of “modified isolation” and “modified quarantine,” clarifying that exclusion from school is not considered isolation or quarantine. The emergency rules also state that “requiring vaccination, testing, or the wearing of masks, or excluding a Student or School Personnel consistent with this subsection shall not constitute isolation or quarantine under the [Department of Public Health] Act, 20 ILCS 2305/1.1 et seq., and may be done without a court order or order by a local health authority.”
IDPH Interim Guidance – Exclusion Protocols for School Personnel and Students
Additionally, IDPH issued Public Health Interim Guidance for Local Health Departments and Pre-K-12 Schools – COVID-19 Exclusion Protocols (September 21, 2021). The purpose of the document is to provide additional guidance for schools and local health departments for when students and school personnel must be excluded from school consistent with Executive Order 2021-24 and the Communicable Disease Code (77 Ill. Admin. Code 690.361 and 690.30(c)).
ISBE/IDPH Joint Guidance, FAQ, and Fact Sheet
ISBE and IDPH updated the Revised Public Health Guidance for Schools – Part 5 (September 21, 2021) (the “Joint Guidance”) and Frequently Asked Questions for Schools (September 21, 2021). Both documents contain important updates that align with Executive Orders 2021-22 and 2021-24 and the ISBE and IDPH emergency rules.
ISBE and IDPH also issued a helpful one-page fact sheet summarizing the requirements under Executive Order 2021-24 and the IDPH emergency rules on school exclusion.
We recommend schools closely review the Executive Orders, ISBE and IDPH emergency rules, and various ISBE/IDPH guidance documents and consult with legal counsel regarding implementation.
TOWN BUS ROUTES - UPDATED 10/8/2021
Attention Aledo Town Stops!
Morning pickup will be available again next week; however, seating will be limited. There will be no afternoon town stops until further notice. Please continue to make other arrangements if at all possible. Buses will be available for rural routes and junior high shuttle runs.
We hope to resume our regular bus service soon.
2021 - 2022 UPDATED HEALTH GUIDELINES
The following are the Symptoms of Covid and your child must be kept home if experiencing any of the symptoms and be tested for Covid before returning to school.
Fever (greater than 100.4)
New onset Moderate to severe headache
Shortness of breath
New loss of taste or smell
Fatigue from an unknown cause
Muscle aches from an unknown cause
Current Health guidelines for 2021 – 2022 School Year
If your child has any of the above symptoms they must be kept home and get a covid test before returning to school. (The test can be a rapid antigen test or a PCR test). They must also be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school.
Siblings are able to come to school until the ill sibling’s covid test returns and if the child has a positive covid test all siblings must be sent home.
If you choose not to have your child tested for covid they and their siblings will be out of school for at least 10 days.
If the ill child test negative the siblings can return to school
If your child tests positive all siblings are out of school for 10 days, from the date of the ill child’s test. If any of the sibling’s experience even one symptom during the 10 days their quarantine extends to 14 days. If any of the siblings are vaccinated they do not have to quarantine, unless they become symptomatic.
If your child is vaccinated and they are exposed to covid they do not have to quarantine unless they themselves are showing symptoms
If your child comes to the nurse during school and is not feeling well, parent’s will be called and asked if you want your child tested for covid using the rapid antigen nasal swab. If they test negative they may be sent home depending on their symptoms but their siblings can remain at school. If they are positive all siblings will be sent home except for those who are vaccinated. If you do not want your child tested, they will have to be out of school for 10 days.
If your child is identified as a close contact:
As long as everyone is wearing a mask, we now have, Test to Stay for close contacts at school that includes testing those students on days 1,3,5,7 from exposure. If any of the students or staff are unmasked the test to stay cannot be used. This will allow them to remain in school and sports as long as they remain testing negative. If you choose not to have your child tested they will be out of school at least 10 days.
Test to Stay does not include household members or if you are a close contact outside of the school setting, (this includes lunch).
If your child is vaccinated they will not have to quarantine unless they themselves become symptomatic, but it is recommended that they be tested one time between day 3-5 of exposure.
Close contacts are identified within 3 feet in the classroom and 6 feet on the school bus and at lunch.
KIDS ROCK THE ARTS CONTEST
Congratulations to all participants in the “Kids Rock the Arts” Contest!!!
Pictured are our 1st place winners who won $50 gift certificates to Blick Art Supplies. 2nd place winners also received gift certificates for $25. All participants received hand-written critiques from the judge. It was a great opportunity for our students. Way to go!!
A LETTER FROM THE SCHOOL COUNSELING TEAM - 9/20/2021
UPDATED RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN - AUGUST 13, 2021
August 13, 2021
Dear Mercer County School District Students, Staff, and Families,
In July we put out a plan consistent with the intention of the CDC, IDPH, and ISBE guidance where local positivity rates were taken into consideration, local capacity to mitigate was taken into consideration, and the lessons learned from a district that was in-person virtually all year in 2020-21. That plan was developed collaboratively with our association, our administration, and our Board of Education as a representative group of our community.
The most common question we received related to masking. At that time masking was recommended for unvaccinated individuals, it was not required except on school buses, as it was during the 2020-2021 school year. School districts had been given greater latitude to make decisions based on local conditions. Given those parameters and the current conditions, Mercer County Schools chose to make masks optional. However, on August 4, 2021 Executive Order 2021-18 changed all that. While there is debate about the authority of the Governor, IDPH, and ISBE to enforce the order or the consequences outlined in State Superintendent Ayala’s letter dated August 11, our Board and district have followed the advice of our legal counsel, the school board association, our insurance carrier and others to abide by the universal indoor masking requirement. I know many parents feel abandoned by this decision, but many others are relieved. Younger students and their parents have not had an opportunity to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. I sincerely hope that when that occurs, the order will be lifted and districts will once again chart their own course.
In spite of the mask mandate, other changes in guidance are much appreciated. The joint guidance no longer recommends fever and symptom screening. Students and staff who do not feel well should stay home and not return to school until they are symptom free for 24 hours. In addition, quarantine protocols have changed. With masking the distance is reduced to three feet and the Test to Stay protocol allows non-symptomatic students to remain in school as long as they test negative utilizing a rapid screen on days one, three, five and seven.
We will continue to closely monitor local conditions and the broader recommendations regarding coronavirus from the above organizations. Updates and changes are likely as we experienced last year, but our staff and students are resilient, and we are looking forward to starting the 2021-2022 school year under much more normal conditions. Thank you for your support in helping to keep our school community healthy and in-person.