Urbana schools closed week of Thanksgiving for a ‘wellness week’

Urbana City School District will be closed the week of Thanksgiving for a ‘wellness week’. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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Urbana City School District will be closed the week of Thanksgiving for a ‘wellness week’. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

District also ends mask mandate.

The Urbana City School District will be closed the week of Thanksgiving for a “wellness week” and has ended its mask requirement.

The school board approved the “wellness week” from Nov. 22-26 for the mental health and wellbeing of students, families and staff.

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“The members of the board recognize that the entire Urbana City School District community has undergone a tremendous amount of stress throughout the pandemic,” Superintendent Charles Thiel said. “The intention of this week is for students, families and staff to have the opportunity to rest and renew.”

Thiel said “wellness week” means school will be closed the entire Thanksgiving week. He said staff will also be provided with two paid days off during that week or, based on their employment contract, granted two additional vacation or equivalent days.

“These days are not considered as calamity days and will not be made up later,” he said.

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The school board also approved to end the mask requirement that started on Sept. 21 due to recent changes in quarantine guidance, decreasing positive cases and lack of transmission within the school.

Thiel said masks are now optional with a couple exceptions: Masks are still required on school buses and students considered to be a close contact to someone who tested positive must wear a mask as required by the Mask to Stay, Test to Play guidance.

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