City, Chicago Public School Officials: School Year Will Begin With Full Remote Learning

CPS Will Begin School Year With Full Remote Learning
Photo credit WBBM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The city of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools officials said it was a tough decision, but they will not have students on a hybrid system when the school year begins on Sept. 8. They’ve decided to begin with a full remote learning model instead of a hybrid system that would’ve had students spending part of their week in school and part online. 

“We will begin the new school year learning at home and continue learning remotely for the first quarter, which ends on Nov. 6,” CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson said. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot added, “As we build out this remote learning model and seek to establish a hybrid learning model in the second quarter, we will continue to support and collaborate with parents and school leaders to create safe, sustainable learning environments for our students.”

The decision came after public health data and surveys indicated that a large percentage of parents are not yet comfortable sending their children to school in the midst of a pandemic. The daily rate for new coronavirus cases in Chicago is hovering around 300, an uptick that has public health officials concerned about the implications for in-person learning. 

“While Chicago remains in a better place than many other regions of the country as far as containing the virus and these recent trends are very concerning,” said Chicago  Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady. 

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Ald. Michael Scott Jr. of the 24th Ward is one of those parents who were uneasy with the idea of students returning to school in-person. Scott, who chairs the city council's education committee, expressed his relief about the decision. 

“My children were very excited about the hybrid model. As a parent, I was really scared to send my child back to school. And I know that there are a lot of parents and a lot of teachers who were kind of afraid of what was going to happen,” Scott told WBBM.

School officials said there will be a full-day of learning online each day.