Chicago Public Schools suspend In Person Learning

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Scott Olson

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Julianne Tan and Mustang Staff

Schools in the Chicago Public School District cancelled in person learning on January 5, but plan on resuming in person learning on January 12. Seventy-three percent of the teachers in the Chicago Teachers Union voted for remote learning due to concerns about the Omicron surge impacting over 300,000 students. This decision was made after 8,000 students and 2,000 adults were sent to quarantine after returning from the Christmas holiday reports USA Today.

The CTU initially drafted a proposal to return to in person learning on January 18, but agreed to return on the twelfth.

In the proposal: random tests for at least 10% of students and staff every week, pause in-person school for 14 days and move to remote instruction if the Covid positivity rate increases for seven consecutive days, schools with 25% of staff out due to Covid exposure for two consecutive days will result in remote instruction (20% for larger schools)

Schools with 30% of students in quarantine will result in remote learning (25% for high schools), KN95 masks for all students and staff, contact tracing teams at each school site.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot rejected the CTU’s first proposals, stating, “The best, safest place for kids to be is in school. Students need to be back in person as soon as possible. That’s what parents want. That’s what the science supports. We will not relent.” (ABC7 Chicago)

Locally, Cal State Fullerton and Northridge have joined CSU Long Beach and Los Angeles in switching to remote instruction. Fullerton plans to return to in person learning on February 6 while Northridge will return on February 14. UCLA and UC Irvine are currently on remote learning now and USC will also hold classes remotely until Covid cases decline.