Chicago (CBS) – Thursday marked the second day of canceled classes for Chicago public schools with limited status – after the Chicago Teachers Association voted to move to distance learning and the city said they had no way of doing so. does not have the right.
Late Thursday, CPS announced that classes would be canceled for all students again on Friday – but some schools may still be able to offer individual activities.
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“Please do not plan to send your child to school unless you hear otherwise from your child’s principal,” the CPS said.
UPDATE: Classes for all CPS students have been canceled tomorrow, Friday, January 7. However, some schools may be able to offer individual activities for students. Please do not plan to send your child to school unless you hear otherwise from your child’s principal. pic.twitter.com/3hMnMuMS4b
— CPS – Chicago Public Schools (@ChiPubSchools) 6 January 2022
Late Thursday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS chief executive Pedro Martinez said in a statement: “The deal session began this afternoon and lasted until the evening. The sessions were productive from our perspective.”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson was also seen leaving City Hall after meeting with Mayor Lightfoot late Thursday.
“On the one hand, parents should really work to get their kids vaccinated. On the other hand, the teacher – if the teacher tests positive, the whole class is out,” Jackson said. “I think if we talk it out, we can figure it out.”
It was unclear whether there was anyone representing the CTU at that meeting with Rev. Jackson and Meyer.
But questions about what’s in store next week continued through late Thursday.
As Chris Tye of CBS 2 pointed out, 10 percent of teachers showed up to school on Wednesday. On Thursday, this figure increased to 12 percent.
This is not enough for the district to take any meaningful steps to get the kids back to class on Friday.
Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools has filed an injunction against CTU with the Illinois Labor Relations Board.
The injunction stated that “the CTU has illegally instructed its members not to report to work as directed but instead to work remotely.” It said the union had “violated a collective bargaining agreement.”
The Board of Education said in the injunction that it “requests a cease and desist order.”
Action on the legal front will not take place for at least 10 days. Meanwhile, the future for CPS parents is in doubt.
“And now, we are in this very volatile situation,” said parent Joan Tong.
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Last year’s volatile COVID-19 situation prompted Tong to pull his third-grader from CPS.
This year, she said, “I plan to boycott distance learning if it goes to that.”
So what is getting in the way of in-person learning? Sources told CBS2 that a major sticking point is the extent to which distance learning will be acceptable to both parties.
CTU is proposed when 20 per cent employees are out for two consecutive days, while CPS is proposed when 40 per cent employees are out for three consecutive days.
Before the cancellation was announced, some schools were trying to determine if they could personally save some on Friday
A message to Lane Tech College Prep parents read: “Please click on the form below if you are interested in potentially coming to the building for a short time tomorrow for an activity. District Guidance, Staff Availability And depending on the level of interest, we’ll let you know what’s possible.”
To the families of Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, a message read: “Based on extremely limited staffing we are unable to open our school for instruction or activities. We hope this impasse will be resolved in the near future. “
Steinmetz College Prep also canceled classes for Friday ahead of time.
“Based on expected staffing levels at our school tomorrow, Friday, January 7, classes for our students will be canceled,” Steinmetz officials wrote. “We hope to be able to welcome our students to our school as soon as possible and will soon provide an update on our school’s plans for next week.”
But while the situation is in doubt for Friday, there was already a problem on Thursday. CPS surpasses its record number of COVID cases.
A total of 271 positive cases among adults came to the CPS since Tuesday – more than double the last peak number since the middle of last month. On December 18, there were 117 cases.
There was also a doubling for student cases from Tuesday with 422 positive cases, although this doubling came from test results from Monday. A total of 167 student positive cases were reported on 18 December.
The union also said late Thursday that great progress had been made at the bargaining table late Wednesday, and that both sides were back on Thursday.
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Major sticking points remain – the metric for when schools will close and go to distance learning, how to deal with the outbreak, and issues around testing and masking.