Educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate, amid an anticipated surge in the country’s dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic.
As schools reopen, Black students have been less likely than white students to enroll in in-person learning — a trend attributed to factors including concerns about the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on communities of color. But many Black parents are finding another benefit to remote learning.
More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures around the city, Chicago Public Schools says it is planning to resume in-person learning full time for students this fall.
The fourth quarter of the school year has begun for Chicago Public Schools. And on Monday, nearly 26,000 high school students were expected to return to their classrooms to resume in-person learning for the first time in more than a year.
Chicago Public Schools high school students will return to the classroom on Monday if teachers agree to the framework announced Thursday by the district and the Chicago Teachers Union.
Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey said “adequate progress” hasn’t been made at the bargaining table with CPS after union delegates voted over the weekend to approve Wednesday’s remote-only work action.
The Chicago Teachers Union’s House of Delegates on Sunday evening voted to keep high school staffers out of schools beginning Wednesday as the union continues negotiating with CPS over how to safely reopen those schools.
The Chicago Teachers Union is asking Chicago Public Schools to delay its target reopening date for high schools by one week in order to allow more time to learn about coronavirus variants and current transmission rates.
Defying Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Friday restoring the ability of the Chicago Teachers Union to bargain with the city over a wide range of issues, including class size, layoffs and the duration of the school year.
The first day of school in the next academic year will be Aug. 30, marking a shift away from the normal start date of the Tuesday after Labor Day. Aside from the new start date, the 2021-22 calendar does not change any other traditional components of the academic year.
In total, fewer than 50,000 students have returned to the classroom, below the 77,000 initially estimated by Chicago Public Schools, according to new attendance data released by the school district Friday.
Chicago Public Schools officials say they've offered COVID-19 vaccine opportunities to all employees and hope to get everyone vaccinated by the end of the month, as the district hits the one-year mark since the pandemic forced the suspension of in-person learning across Illinois.
In a letter to parents and families Tuesday, Chicago Public Schools officials said their target goal is to bring back high school students on April 19, the first day of the fourth quarter of this academic year. But the teachers union says no agreement has been made for that date or any other.
In Chicago, philanthropy paid for nearly half the $50 million, four-year Chicago Connected program, which pays for kids’ home internet if they qualify for reduced-price lunches. Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third-largest district, is on the hook for $25 million.
After a year of online or hybrid learning, educators continue to juggle a variety of roles — including providing tech support to some students — all while trying to keep safe from coronavirus. Meanwhile, on the other side of the screen, some students and their families have struggled to keep up.
“We’re super excited about the fact that at this point, all elementary grade students that want an option for in-person (learning) now have an option for in-person instruction, which is really good,” CPS CEO Janice Jackson said.