SPRINGFIELD, Ill — More than 200 superintendents from schools across Illinois sent a letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker asking for a mitigation plan to allow student athletes to compete this winter.
The superintendents began the letter by thanking the governor for everything he’s doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
They then went on to say the purpose of the letter is to share their perspectives as educators "tasked with the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, families and communities.”
They said the pandemic has impacted the social interactions of students.
“Some of the negative effects that we are seeing as a result of these experiences being limited are depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, and loss of self,” the superintendents said in the letter.
They said educators have worked to reinvent how they educate students and provide social interactions throughout the pandemic. But they said extracurricular experiences can’t be replicated unless students are given the opportunity to participate.
The educators asked Pritzker to consider three factors before delaying or canceling any future extracurricular activities at the high school or junior high levels.
The three factors include:
- School districts have shown that when given the opportunity, they can find the balance between health and safety of school communities while providing for continuity of learning.
- School districts are creative and continue to find ways to connect with students.
- In most instances, positive cases found in schools come from outside of the school.
"The physical, mental and academic well-being of our students are depending on us. Our students are depending on you," the superintendents went on to say in the letter.
Read the full letter below.