After recent debate, the City of Chicago has decided to reopen schools with all-remote learning.
Despite previous statements in favor of reopening schools for alternating in-person learning, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that the school year will begin with exclusively remote classes.
In mid July, CPS announced its intention to reopen schools on a hybrid model that would combine in-person learning with at-home lessons. That model would also give parents the decision to choose against sending their children to schools and instead and opt for an entirely remote curriculum.
When schools reopen in September, all students will have to abide by that model. Due to the recent rise in coronavirus cases in Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson, announced an entirely remote learning method to begin the fall semester for CPS schools.
“Today, after carefully considering advice from public health experts and feedback from many of you, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will begin the year learning at home through the end of the first quarter,” Jackson wrote in a press release.
The press release states CPS’ intention to re-evaluate the circumstances of the virus before the second quarter of the school year, and whether or not the circumstances allow for students to safely return to school on the previously proposed hybrid model. Their decision, the press released, will depend on the latest data and statistics:
“Our decision to reopen schools would prioritize the health and wellness of our school communities and be driven by science and the guidance of our public health officials…we all want students to be in school, but at this time, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) believes that current COVID-19 transmission trends would not allow us to reopen schools in a safe and responsible manner given the sheer number of people we serve every day.”
According to the press release, the online lessons will be more engaging compared to the material that students were provided in the spring. The classes would occupy students the same amount of time as would in-person learning, and involve as assortment of different lessons and activities that will combine “live real-time instruction with classmates and teachers, small group activities, and independent learning.”
Acknowledging the technological disparity in students and student families, CPS has announced its plan to distribute an additional 36,000 computing devices to children, along with the 128,000 it distributed in spring. Their Chicago Connected initiative also seeks to provide families with limited income with functioning internet access for students to complete their lessons.
CPS plans to release more details on their reopening on Friday.
[Featured image: @ivalex via Unsplash]