The new remote learning plan will start on April 13.
Chicago Public Schools closed its doors earlier this month after Gov J.B. Pritzker’s executive order. While many students switched quickly to online learning, others were not able to because they don’t have access to the internet at home. In order to bridge the digital divide in the city, CPS will be distributing 100,000 Chromebooks, laptops, and iPads to students as part of a new remote learning plan.
Remote learning plan
Following guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) that requires schools to pick one of two remote learning options, CPS will convert future canceled school days into “remote learning days.” March 31-April 3 will be used as planning days and schools will begin remote learning when students return from spring break April 13.
The new plan has specific recommendations for how much learning time students should expect to engage in. Each grade has a minimum of time students should meet, although students themselves will not be asked to log their hours or attendance. Schools will instead be asked to prepare online educational content to meet the “estimated minimum thresholds for activity duration.”
Pre-K: 60 minutes
Grades K-2: 90 minutes
Grades 3-5: 120 minutes
Grades 6-8: 180 minutes
Grades 9-12: 270 minutes
These minimum time requirements aren’t how long students will engage directly with teachers or with specific online programs. Instead, students should engage in a balance of teacher instruction and other engagement activities.
Students and parents should also know that while grades will be given during the remote learning plan, student’s final grades won’t be negatively impacted during this time. In other words, students’ homework grades can only positively affect their final grades; incompleted work or low scores during remote learning won’t be counted toward overall grading. You can read the full learning plan here.
Resources for students without access to technology/internet
For students who do not have consistent access to technology or the internet, CPS has plans to make sure learning remains accessible. If a student can’t get online, parents can pick up printed remote learning materials at their school or any CPS food distribution site. Students without internet will also still be able to work with their teachers via teleconferences or over the phone.
Students that have internet but not needed technology will also receive assistance. School principles are working to distribute 65,000 Chromebooks, laptops and iPads already owned by CPS as well as 37,000 recently purchased devices. Additional devices will come from philanthropic donations.
School will communicate specific plans to students and parents by April 6. For more information, visit the CPS website.