Nolberto Casas, a Chicago Public Schools parent, has two children in elementary school and has been advocating for the continuation of in-person learning for grade school students since last year.
“When my child was in kindergarten and he was doing fully remote [learning], he was failing,” Casas said. “To see your child have the look in his eyes like he’s losing hope of learning, it triggers something in you to want to make a difference, to know that he deserves a little bit better than a computer screen when he can’t even write his full name.”
CPS students will return to in-person classes on Monday. But what exactly will that return look like amid an ongoing pandemic?
To enter a CPS building, all students, staff and visitors will be required to submit to health screenings and to wear a mask, according to CPS reopening guidelines.
Michelle Bautista has two children, a first and a fifth grader in CPS. She believes in-person instruction is important, but not at the cost of their health.
“I do think though that parents feel anguish about the rising numbers, the lack of vaccination for the Latino adults in the community, it’s about 46% right now, and the lack of mitigation strategies,” Bautista said. “Not just masking and washing hands, but what are the numbers going to look like? When are we going to pull back?”
Bautista also said the lack of flexibility in the district is concerning to her and the “pressure as a parent and the emotional strain is real.”
Ana Santoyo has a child going into pre-kindergarten who will be learning in-person for the first time, but is still unsure about how testing for COVID-19 will work.
“Yesterday I went to ‘Meet the Teacher’ and asked how it [testing] would work,” Santoyo said. “Teachers are still left in the dark. I don't know how my child will be tested. Of course, I think that should be mandated. Right now, it’s only seen as a suggestion.”
Contact Acacia Hernandez: (773) 509-5518 | [email protected]