- Chicago canceled all its public school classes as teachers union votes for remote education.
- The move, which affects the third-largest school district in the United States, was taken amid a growing battle over safety protocols to fight the pandemic in schools.
- “This decision has been made with great regret and special attention to the safety of students and the community,” the teachers’ union stated.
Chicago public schools canceled their classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to the latest wave of COVID-19, district officials announced Tuesday night.
The move, which affects the third-largest school district in the United States, was taken amid a growing battle over safety protocols to fight the pandemic in schools. Chicago has rejected a return to remote instruction across the district, saying it is disastrous for children’s learning and mental health, The Associated Press reported.
How long will the Chicago public schools be closed?
At the moment, it is unknown what will happen with the classes for the rest of the week. The union’s action, approved by 73% of its members, called for teaching to be online until “cases drop dramatically” or union leaders approve an agreement for safety protocols with the district.
“This decision has been made with great regret and special attention to the safety of students and the community,” the group said in a statement. The union maintains that safety protocols are deficient and that both teachers and students are vulnerable.
What will happen to student meals if there are no classes?
The schools’ executive director, Pedro Martinez, said the buildings would remain open for administrators, staff, and essential services but not for instruction for the district’s students, who are largely Latinos and low-income African Americans. District officials said the schools would offer food service from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
Additionally, COVID-19 testing would continue as scheduled but extracurricular activities will be canceled. The district also provided a list of city sites with available daycare. In response to the union’s concerns, the district said it has provided 200,000 KN95 masks to teachers, and would allow schools to bring back the daily health screening questions for students and building visitors that were required last academic year. Filed under: Chicago Schools Close
What is the proposal for the Chicago schools?
The most controversial issues in the district, which has about 350,000 students, are the parameters that would cause school closures. Authorities have proposed guidelines for individual closures, claiming that measures such as the mandatory use of masks, the availability of vaccines, and improved ventilation make schools one of the safest places for children.
But the group has proposed measures to shut down the entire district, citing risks to students and teachers. Classes resumed on Monday after a two-week hiatus for winter holidays. COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have reached record levels fueled by the more contagious Omicron variant. School districts across the country are facing the same problem, with most opting to function normally. Filed under: Chicago Schools Close
Remote classes until COVID-19 cases decrease
The Chicago Teachers Union action, approved by 73% of members, called for remote instruction until “cases drop substantially” or union leaders approve a safety protocol agreement with the district.
Union members were instructed to attempt to teach classes on Wednesday, although the district said there would be no classes and did not distribute devices to students ahead of the union votes. The announcement was made just before midnight, 11 p.m., Tuesday. Filed under: Chicago Schools Close
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