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Here's everything you need to know about school closures, meals in Southern Illinois
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Here's everything you need to know about school closures, meals in Southern Illinois

Editor's Note: Parts of this story ran in Saturday's edition of The Southern. It has been updated with other schools.

Please see our latest update about grab-and-go meals here:

Here's where kids, families can get free meals in Southern Illinois while schools are closed

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday that all schools around the state will be closed Tuesday, March 17, until March 30. Here is how local districts are responding.

Carbondale District 95, Carbondale High School Unity Point School District and Murphysboro School District have all made plans to close Monday, a day ahead of the state mandate.

Murphysboro schools said in a Friday phone call to parents that school would not be in session Monday.

Frankfort Community Unit School District 168 Superintendent Matt Donkin said in a statement that West Frankfort schools will close Monday and remain closed through March 30. Extracurricular activities will be canceled beginning 11:59 p.m. Friday through March 30.

Vienna High School Superintendent Joshua Stafford said his school will be in session Monday to make arrangements for continued instruction.

According to Facebook posts, schools in Johnston City, Marion, Goreville, Carterville, Herrin and Harrisburg will also be out on Monday. However, in Johnston City, Carterville, Herrin and Harrisburg teachers will come in Monday to continue working on distance learning plans.

Also, according to Facebook posts, schools in Chester and Cobden as well as Christopher School District, Shawnee School District, Trico School District and schools in Massac County will be in session Monday. Parent-teacher conferences at Trico have been canceled as is eighth grade scheduling.

Schools in Du Quoin and Elverado as well as Herrin High School posted about the governor’s announcement, but did not provide specific plans.

A letter from District 95 to families said while school will not be in session it will have grab-and-go meals available between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Thomas Elementary School and Carbondale Middle School. It also noted that parent-teacher conferences scheduled for March 18 and 19 have been postponed.

Similarly, Murphysboro District 186 will also be providing meals, according to a Facebook post Thursday.

“We expect to be able to start feeding people again on Tuesday. Meals will be provided in a bag and they will be ‘grab and go’. There will be no eating at the schools. We are going to have a few locations in town as well as having vans drive the bus routes and stop at designated locations to hand out meals. Specific locations and times will be posted on Monday,” the post said.

Administrative teams from Buncombe, Cypress, New Simpson Hill, Vienna Grade, and Vienna High School sent an email Saturday with a school closure FAQ. In it, details were announced regarding school meals.

The email said grab-and-go lunches will be available weekdays between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at:

  • Buncombe Grade School
  • West Vienna Senior Center
  • Vienna Grade School
  • Vienna High School
  • Reeseville Community Church in Grantsburg
  • Gransburg Post Office
  • Cypress Village Hall
  • Bellknap Post Office
  • New Simpson Hill Grade School
  • Simpson Post Office
  • Ozark Pentecostal Church in Ozark
  • New Burnside Park in Burnside

Included in the bags will be both breakfast and lunch. Those in need but unable to reach one of the pick up locations are asked to call 618-658-4461, extension 217 or to email at: In the message leave a drop-off location.

McCalister's Deli in Carbondale announced through social media Saturday that it would be giving free lunches to children between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The lunch will be a brownbag, to go meal with a turkey and cheese sandwich, chips, applesauce and a cookie. There is no purchase necessary. Participating locations include: Carbondale, Mount Vernon, Scott Air Force Base, Shiloh, Fairview Heights, Edwardsville, Forsyth, Effingham, Bloomington, Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, Macomb, Galesburg and Moline.

In response to these closure announcements, The Carbondale Boys and Girls Club will be open between 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. for all youth kindergarten through high school. A meal and snack will be provided. Membership is required and applications can be still be filled out. The news release from the Boys and Girls Club said K-8 memberships are $20 and high school memberships are $10.

There have not been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Southern Illinois.


On Twitter: @ismithreports

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