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Monday, January 30, 2023

Chicago Public Schools Breaking News

Chicago Public Schools Welcomes Back Students For First Day Of School Monday August 22

Dunbar Vocational Career Academy Principal Gerald Morrow removed

22 August 2022

The District to focus on students academic progress and well-being, expanded college and career preparation opportunities, and operational efficiencies and improvements during the school year

  • Nearly 91,000 students participate in Summer 2022 Academic, Athletic and Enrichment Programming and Job Opportunities

  • Gov Jb Pritzker Made The Request To Help Resolve The Latest Dispute Between Chicago Public Schools And Its Teachers Union

    Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has asked the Biden administration for Covid-19 tests to help resolve the latest dispute between Chicago Public Schools and its teachers union, a disagreement thats led to the cancellation of classes for three straight days.

    I spoke in the last couple of days with the White House to ask them for help for Chicago Public Schools, Pritzker said in an interview Thursday. There is a challenge all over the nation in need of testing but I think there is an urgent need in Chicago because we want to get those kids back in school.


    The Chicago Teachers Union on Tuesday voted to shift back to remote learning starting the following day amid demands that the citys schools boost measures to mitigate a Covid-19 surge driven by the omicron variant. Its requests include an expansion of testing amid a citywide positivity rate that has climbed to 23%. The union is asking Chicago Public Schools to expand testing because of low vaccination rates and the number of students who are signed up for weekly surveillance testing.

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has objected to suggestions for an opt-out proposal, saying it erodes parents choice and could open the school system to liabilities. The two sides continue to negotiate after classes were canceled Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    Chicago Public Schools Cancels Classes For Fourth Consecutive Day

    Classes in Chicago will be canceled again Monday, making it the fourth consecutive day students have been out of school as the standoff between the Chicago Teachers Union and City officials drags on amid a Covid-19 surge.

    Out of fairness and consideration for families who need to prepare, we are writing to inform you that, at this time, classes will remain canceled for all CPS students on Monday, January 10, a CTU letter to parents read Sunday.

    Although we have been negotiating hard throughout the day, there has not been sufficient progress for us to predict a return to class tomorrow. We will continue to negotiate through the night and will provide an update if we have made substantial progress.

    The decision comes as CPS, the third largest school district in the country, canceled classes for more than 340,000 students Wednesday through Friday last week after the CTU voted Tuesday night to refuse to show up for in-person work, citing concerns over Covid-19 safety.

    The CTU presented a new proposal to Mayor Lori Lightfoot Saturday that the union said would provide clarity on a return to the classroom, create increased safety and testing protocols and restart the education process for students who have been out of class since Wednesday.

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    We have to move the narrative away from this cant be done. It can be done, Davidson said.

    In addition to the restraining order on masking requirements, the ruling also deemed several other COVID-19 mitigation efforts put in place by Gov. J.B. Pritzker null and void including an emergency order issued in September mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for school personnel.

    Grischows controversial order issued in response to a lawsuit by a group of parents and teachers in the county that includes Springfield was immediately slammed by Pritzkers office as misguided.

    The grave consequence of this misguided decision is that schools in these districts no longer have sufficient tools to keep students and staff safe while COVID-19 continues to threaten our communities and this may force schools to go remote, Pritzker said in a statement.

    Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raouls office has already filed an emergency stay aiming to pause the temporary restraining order.

    We remain committed to defending Gov. Pritzkers actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and will appeal this decision in the Illinois Appellate Court for the 4th District in Springfield, Raoul wrote in a statement Friday. This decision sends the message that all students do not have the same right to safely access schools and classrooms in Illinois, particularly if they have disabilities or other health concerns.

    DeVore did not immediately respond to requests for further comment Saturday.

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    Chicago closes more schools in Black neighborhood  Liberation News

    Doctors told ABC News it’s not surprising more cases of the virus are cropping up compared to last school year for a couple of reasons.

    One reason is because the BA.5 variant, an offshoot of the original omicron variant, is continuing to spread — making up 90% of cases in the Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “Obviously COVID is still circulating in the community and the variant of COVID that is circulating, BA.5, is extremely transmissible, so that one person that’s infected can infect a lot more individuals,” Dr. Tina Tan, a professor of pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University and a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, told ABC News.

    The second reason is because mitigation measures have been loosened.

    During a media briefing earlier this month, the CDC said it was no longer recommending unvaccinated people quarantine after exposure, instead suggesting they mask up for 10 days and get tested five days after they were being exposed.

    Following the news, CPS announced there would no longer be a requirement for students exposed to the virus to quarantine unless they test positive.

    Additionally, masks continue to be optional for students and staff in school buildings and on school buses after CPS dropped its mask mandate in March.

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    Sign Up By Nov 30 Punch 9 Film Screening And Curriculum For Teachers

    Nov 22, 2022 | News

    Harold Washingtons 1983 campaign for mayor galvanized the Citys progressive community, and inspired Black and Brown Chicagoans across the city despite fierce opposition from the citys power brokers and political elites. On December 5, see Punch 9 for Harold Washington, an epic story of American politics, race, and triumph against all odds, that chronicles the captivating rise, surprising reign, and enduring legacy of Chicagos first Black Mayor, Harold Washington.

    Does My Child Need To Wear A Mask

    According to Martinez, masks are strongly encouraged but are not required at school, outside on school property or on school buses — unless there are certain circumstances:

    • Students and staff who are returning from isolation after a positive COVID test will be required to wear a mask until they have passed 10 days since the onset of their symptoms
    • Individuals who are identified as close contacts of COVID patients will have to mask for 10 days following their exposure, regardless of their vaccination status
    • If there are three or more cases of COVID within a single classroom, students and faculty will be required to wear a mask for at least 10 days after the last positive result is reported

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    Other High School Options

    In addition to the selective enrollment high schools, a number of other possibilities exist for high school students. These include military academies, career academies, and charter schools. Lincoln Park High School and Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center are neighborhood “magnet” high schools, which also offer various honors programs to students citywide. More specialized options, such as the Chicago High School for the Arts and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences are also available.

    Chicago Public Schools Application Deadline Is This Week Heres What You Need To Know

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    • Becky Vevea, Chalkbeat Chicago

    Half of elementary school students and 70% of high school students in Chicago Public Schools attend a school different from their zoned one. Choices are due through the CPS application portal GoCPS Friday, Dec. 2 at 5p.m.

    The deadline to apply for a public school in Chicago for next fall is fast approaching.

    Chicago Public Schools has tried to simplify the process for going to a school thats different from your assigned neighborhood school. Since 2017, theres been a single online application known as GoCPS.

    Still, the task of researching options, preparing required documents, and finalizing school choices dominates the minds of many parents and students every fall.

    Its really confusing before you understand it, said Grace Lee Sawin, founder of Chicago School GPS, which helps families navigate the public and private school application process in Chicago.

    Whether youve been working on reviewing and fine-tuning your application since September 21 , or youre just getting started, heres what you need to know before hitting submit next Friday, Dec. 2 by 5 p.m.

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    Chicago Teachers Union Pushes Back Against Cps Going Mask

    CHICAGO The Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back against the districts plan to go mask-optional next week. The union is vowing to fight the decision.

    Chicago Public Schools announced Monday masks will be optional for students and staff.

    This means that while we will continue to encourage the use of masks, families and employees will now have a choice about whether or not to wear a mask at school, outside on school property, and on school buses, the statement said.

    CPS also posted the update on its

    CPS officials said the sharp decline in Covid-19 cases in schools and the city plus the increase in Covid testing and vaccination rates, led to the decision.

    This is not about telling anyone they shouldnt wear a mask. In fact, CPS will continue to encourage this practice in schools, especially in schools with lower vaccination rates and among those students and staff who feel most comfortable with a face covering. We will also support those members of our school communities who choose not to wear a mask, and will work with our schools to develop tools that teachers and parents can use to guide conversations with students about the importance of respecting everyones personal choice, the statement said.

    The districts announcement drew immediate pushback Monday from the Chicago Teachers Union, whose members refused to teach in-person in January, prompting five days of canceled classes during negotiations over COVID-19 protocols.

    Covid Cases Among Students During The 1st Week At Chicago Schools Are Triple Compared To Last Year

    This year, 449 students tested positive in the 1st week compared to 135.

    COVID-19 cases during the first week of the 2022-23 school year in Chicago Public Schools are much higher compared to the same time last year.

    According to CPS data, 449 students have tested positive for the virus during the first week of the new school year — 3.3 times higher than the 135 students who tested positive during the first week of the 2021-22 school year.

    Additionally, 315 adults — including people such as faculty and administrators — have contracted COVID-19, CPS data shows. That’s 4.8 times higher than the 65 adults who had COVID during the same period last year.

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    Are Covid Vaccinations Required

    Under this years protocols, students aren’t required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, although the district still strongly encourages eligible individuals to do so.

    A vaccination requirement remains in place for CPS staff.

    According to officials, CPS will offer four permanent vaccination clinics at Clark, Roosevelt, CVCA and Richards.

    Chicago Public Schools To Continue Universal Masking Despite Judges Ruling Against Mandate

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    A downstate judge temporarily halted school mask mandates, saying the governor had exceeded his authority. CPS says masks should be worn.

    The states largest school district on Saturday said it would continue a mask mandate in its schools, along with staff vaccination and testing requirements, despite a ruling Friday by a downstate judge that Gov. JB Pritzker had exceeded his authority in imposing COVID-19 mandates in schools.

    Masking and vaccination have been key parts of keeping the virus transmission low in our classrooms this school year and successfully allowed our faculty and students to safely teach and learn in person, Chicago Public Schools said in a statement. We will stay the course.

    The Chicago Teachers Union said immediately after the ruling that its agreement with the school district guarantees masking.

    Meanwhile, other local school districts affected by Fridays ruling are changing policies starting on Monday.

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    Chicago Public Schools Parents Rally For Covid

    Chicago Public Schools parents rally for Covid-19 safety mitigations

    A group of Chicago Public Schools parents have demanded a meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and district CEO Pedro Martinez.

    CHICAGO – A group of Chicago Public Schools parents have demanded a meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and district CEO Pedro Martinez.

    The parents want to discuss Covid-19 safety mitigations. They said they are not seeing enough Covid precautions at their children’s schools.

    The group rallied outside city hall late Friday morning, calling for Lightfoot to personally take a letter outlining their Covid safety plan. The letter was ultimately given to a police officer to deliver.

    Parents said they are upset with how the pandemic has been handled within the city’s public schools and most importantly the lack of parental inclusion in discussions.

    “This is how we curb the violence. This is how we bring up the graduation rate by including parents’ voices by including our plan and by allowing parents to say this is what my child needs,” said Rosemary Vega, an organizer with Raise Your Hand.

    The parents also want a detailed report of how federal funds from the American Rescue Plan were used, including a breakdown of how much funding each school within the district received.

    FOX 32 Chicago has reached out to the mayor’s office and CPS for comment, but no response has yet been received.

    Chicago Board Of Education

    The school board, known as the Chicago Board of Education, is currently appointed by the mayor of Chicago. Between 2024 and 2027, the board is slated to transition to consist entirely of elected members.

    The board traces its roots back to the Board of School Inspectors, created in 1837, which was renamed Chicago Board of Education in 1857.

    The Chicago Board of Education is led by a president. The current president of the Chicago Board of Education is Miguel del Valle.

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    Cps Kicks Off Annual Back

    14 July 2022

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  • 12 July 2022

    OSHW Healthy CPS program recognized by American School Health Association for advancing student health and wellness

  • A fourth SOAR Center now open in Kennedy-King College to help re-engage students to graduate

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  • What Are The Test

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    If an unvaccinated individual is deemed a “close contact” of a positive COVID case, that person may choose to participate in test-to-stay protocols, which consist of:

    • Obtaining two rapid tests from their school
    • Testing negative on the Monday and Thursday after exposure, and submitting those results to CPS
    • Remaining symptom-free throughout the following days
    • Wearing a mask and refraining from participating in sports and extracurricular activities for 10 days after exposure

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    Teachers Are Quitting Where Are They Going Next

    In two large Arlington Heights-based districts serving 17,000 students in the northwest suburbs, officials say masks will be optional but encouraged. Close contacts of a COVID-19 case will no longer be excluded from school unless directed by a local health department. Contact tracing at the elementary schools also will stop and unvaccinated staff no longer have to do weekly testing while the temporary restraining order imposed by the judge is in place.

    CPS announcement came as the Illinois attorney general moved to prevent a potentially devastating setback to the governors efforts to slow the spread of the virus in schools. The attorney general filed a motion to stop Fridays ruling, which put a halt to masking and other COVID-19 mandates in nearly 170 school districts, and is seeking an immediate appeal.

    In Fridays ruling, Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow temporarily blocked some students and staff in nearly 170 school districts from requiring masks and regular COVID testing for staff who are unvaccinated. Also, students and staff who are deemed close contact of someone infected with COVID-19 will no longer be told to stay home without due process. Several school districts in the suburbs are affected, including the Arlington Heights districts, High School District 214 and School District 25, Barrington District 220 and Mount Prospect 57.

    Attorney General Kwame Raouls office is defending the school districts.

    What Cleaning Measures Are Being Taken For Schools And Classrooms

    According to the district, the following steps have been taken to help keep schools clean:

    • Air filters: According to the CPS website, “every classroom and front office is receiving its own HEPA purifier, which filters over 99.99% of airborne viruses, bacteria, and mold,” and multi-stage ventilation and quality assessments have been conducted
    • Disinfection: Additional custodians have been hired, and all schools have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Schools are equipped with EPA-approved disinfectant wipes for classrooms and high-touch areas, and every CPS school has a “hospital-grade mister spray unit that will evenly apply EPA-approved disinfectant for maximum disinfection.”
    • Hand Sanitizer: CPS says it has secured hand sanitizer dispensers in “all high traffic areas”

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