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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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Teachers in Chicago call for remote learning this fall, suburban plans range

Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) says remote learning is the way to go this upcoming school year.  A call out for remote learning is being lead by the Union due to concerns in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We must revert to remote learning until the spread of this virus is contained,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. CTU President Jesse Sharkey says there’s no way to control safe learning in school during an out of control pandemic.

A recently released Union report “Same Storm, Different Boats: The Safe and Equitable Conditions for Reopening CPS in 2020-21,” says in-person learning is “impossible under the terms of strict social distancing.”

Chicago’s Mayor has already said no decision will be made on fall schooling until a later date.

“We are speaking regularly with union leadership as we work to develop the strongest possible plans for the fall,” A CPS spokesperson said in a statement.

Meanwhile schools across Chicagoland have already introduced a variety of reopening plans that differ from district-to-district.

This week Morris High School announced in a fall plan school would resume in person with a shortened day running from 7:40 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. with seven periods running 35 minutes each. 

At Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202, the school will hold a vote next Monday that could result in fully remote learning in the fall for children pre-k through 12th grade.

In Kankakee County, the Bourbonnais Elementary School Board approved a plan that brings students back for standard school day hours beginning August 19th.  At BBCHS, kids will adopt a blending learning plan rotating students on altering days incorporating remote learning ‘if needed’. 

This after it was announced 36 students tested positive for COVID-19, allegedly football players, at Lake Zurich High School this past week.  The announcement resulted in the need to test over 400 students at the campus.

Kankakee County, like so many across Illinois, has seen firsthand the dangers of the contagion among hundreds of residents.   Kankakee alone has already seen outbreaks at 11 different long-term care facilities throughout the pandemic, including Shaprio Developmental Center, which ultimately lead to the National Guard being called in to assist in the pandemic. 

Even so, lessons from the recent past seem irrelevant to suburban school boards as they continue to press forward with children returning to the classrooms this fall.

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