Chicago Public Schools reverse stance, will teach remotely in the fall

The school system decided to keep kids home instead of risking a coronavirus spike

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot visits with children affected by the teachers’ strike at the McCormick YMCA on October 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This week, Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school system, has announced that the coming school year will be conducted entirely via remote learning for all students.

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According to a local NBC affiliate, Wednesday morning CPS CEO Janice Jackson and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot made the announcement at a news conference, stating the district had made the decision in efforts to mitigate risk to both students and faculty in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The decision to begin the 2020-2021 CPS school year remotely during the first quarter is rooted in public health data and the invaluable feedback we’ve received from parents and families,” Lightfoot explained in a statement announcing the decision.

This came just hours after reports surfaced the night before that the district realized it would need to move away from its previously announced hybrid model.

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“As a district, we value parent feedback and we cannot overlook that a large percentage of parents have indicated they do not feel comfortable sending their students to school under a hybrid model for the start of the school year,” Jackson conceded in a message of her own.

“I understand the uncertainty this pandemic has caused our parents, especially communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted. We are making every possible effort to provide a high-quality remote learning experience in the fall, utilizing live, virtual instruction for every student, every day, and we are committed to ongoing engagement and communication with parents.”

A source close to the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) reported to CNN that the Chicago Teachers Union had planned to convene their House of Delegates early next week to discuss taking a strike vote to demand remote learning for Chicago Public Schools.

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This latest development has most likely stopped plans of a possible strike from the CTU.

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