As spring break ends and the time for students to continue receiving education begins, our children are facing a new normal. The information below contains answers to some of the most common parent questions from the Illinois State Board of Education.

How will days count on and after March 31?

ISBE filed emergency rules to create Remote Learning Days and Remote Learning Planning Days, which began March 31 and are considered “pupil attendance days.” They count as days toward the length of the school year.

ISBE continues to count the days that schools utilized during the period of March 17 through March 30th as Act of God days. These days do not need to be made up at the end of the school year.

What are the timelines for return to school?

At this time, there is no timeline. Future decisions regarding return to in-person instruction will be determined with public health officials.

Given the stay at home order included in Executive Order 2020-10, can school personnel still distribute meals to students?

Yes. School districts should continue to distribute meals to students.

Should extracurricular activities still be taking place?

Extracurricular activities must not take place in person during the mandatory suspension of in-person instruction. Further, Executive Orders 2020-10 and 2020-18 require all Illinoisans to stay home except for essential functions.

 Will coursework and graduation requirements be amended or waived?

ISBE highly recommends districts strategize and prepare for how they can meet the needs of graduating seniors, including ensuring transcripts are accessible and students have the continued ability to request recommendations from teachers and the district. ISBE is also investigating opportunities to provide flexibility for graduation requirements for seniors, such as coursework requirements.

 How should student work be graded during Remote Learning Days?

Student work completed during the suspension of in-person instruction must not negatively impact a student’s grades or otherwise impact a student’s academic standing. As ISBE does not yet know the full extent of the closure and wants to minimize any negative effects on students, schools may allow student work to count during the closure only to increase a student’s academic standing.

ISBE's full remote learning recommendations in response to COVID-19 can be found here.


 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) 

These loans are provided by the Small Business Administration and were designed to provide small businesses with up to $2 million in working capital loans to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. They may be used only to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or to pay for expansion. Funds cannot be used to paydown long-term debt. They also cannot be used to consolidate debt.

$10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant
The CARES Act provides additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Funds are said to be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. On the last page of your EIDL application, you will be asked to check a box stating you want to be considered for the $10,000 advance. Even if your loan is denied, you will not be required to pay back this advance, if approved for it. If your loan is approved, this amount still does not become part of the loan, and will not need to be repaid.

IMPORTANT: If you submitted your EIDL prior to 3/27/20, when the CARES Act was signed into law, and you now want to apply for the $10,000 advance, you must reapply and submit a new application, and be sure to check the box at the end of the application stating you want to be considered for this advance.

How to apply for the EIDL or EIDL Advance Grant:
Visit to begin your application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan, including the option to request the $10,000 Advance or
Reapply for your EIDL.

Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program was enacted as part of the CARES Act as a loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

The program will be available through June 30, 2020.

How to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program:
Contact your local lender to ask if they are participating in the program. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. You can also apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. To find a federally qualified lender, visit


To address the uncertainty and instability many Americans are facing during this outbreak, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides assistance to hospitals, nonprofits, individuals, and businesses.

 If you are wondering about what the CARES Act means for you and your community, here’s some information that may help you navigate the legislation:

 How will the CARES Act help individuals and families?

  • Individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually will receive a direct payment of $1,200, plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under. Married couples who file a joint return and earn less than $150,000 are eligible for up to $2,400 plus an additional $500 for every qualifying child age 16 or under. However, no one must claim you as a dependent on their income tax returns in order to qualify.
  • Eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week on top of state unemployment benefits to cover lost wages. Part-time, self-employed, and gig-economy workers are newly eligible for benefits.
  • States will receive $3.5 billion in Child Care Development Block Grants to help provide child care to health care workers, first responders, and other essential employees.
  • Federal student loan payments will be suspended until Sept. 30.

Will businesses get relief?

  • Small businesses and non-profits will have access to $350 billion in forgivable loans to help them retain employees and pay for expenses like rent, mortgages, and utilities.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering $10 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Advance grants of up $10,000 to provide immediate relief to local business owners. This is in addition to its ordinary Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which provides loans of up to $2 million for working capital. SBA has also established the Debt Relief Program to cover six months of interest payments for small businesses with existing loans.
  • The new Paycheck Protection Program will provide loans as an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.

What about protections for health care workers and first responders?

  • Over $120 billion in assistance will go to hospitals and health agencies to help them cover COVID-19 expenses, replenish life-saving supplies, and purchase tests.
    Will the CARES Act support local and state governments?
  • State and local governments will receive $150 billion to pay for new expenses related to COVID-19. The CARES Act also doubles the amount of FEMA funding available to state governments, local governments, and nonprofits.

What kind of benefits will schools receive?

  • Schools across the country—including colleges and universities—will receive over $30 billion in emergency support.

What delivery services are there for nutritional meals for elderly 1SPRINGFIELD - State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Steve McClure (R-Springfield) are issuing an urgent call to action for Central Illinois residents to fill the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland’s (AgeLinc) volunteer shortage.

AgeLinc needs volunteers to assist with meal preparation and delivery for seniors in multiple cities, as well as help to package meals for delivery at the Senior Services of Central Illinois meal preparation site.

There is currently a waitlist of 244 seniors who need meals delivered to their homes and not enough volunteers to make the deliveries. The service area most in need encompasses Springfield, Lincoln, Jacksonville, Taylorville and Litchfield and all areas in between.

Healthy individuals who want to help should email Jennifer Hopper, the Volunteer Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.​ or call her at 217-787-9234, ext. 115​.

COVID19 Updates


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