Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: July 25 – July 31, 2020

‘We have to learn how to live with COVID,’ Chicago schools chief says, but parents remain leery about fall reopening plan

By Claire Hao for The Chicago Tribune

“Hundreds of messages from parents and educators flooded in as soon as the Chicago Public Schools’ first fall reopening feedback meeting Monday opened up to the audience for questions — many doubting the district’s safety protocols and wanting more detail for what happens when someone in school tests positive for COVID-19. In response to many of the concerns, CPS officials repeatedly highlighted the district’s proposal to split students into “pods” of 15 to minimize contact with other classmates.”

Chicago Public Schools Launching Survey, Hosting Community Meetings On Reopening Guidelines


“Chicago Public Schools launched an online survey and will host five community meetings to gather feedback on reopening schools this fall. CPS said families, students and staff have until July 31 to submit their survey. In addition, CPS will host five community stakeholders meetings, three in English and two in Spanish, to gather feedback. Anyone interested in attending the meetings must register for any of the five meetings online.”

Chicago offers more details on how qualifying families can sign up for free internet plan

By Cassie Walker Burke for Chalkbeat

“Chicago Public Schools released more details Wednesday about its plan to connect 100,000 low-income families to free internet, saying it will lean on more than 30 community organizations to assist with outreach. The district said it will track those efforts closely with a new data dashboard, but it wasn’t able to provide numbers yet on how many families so far have signed up. The $50 million plan, called Chicago Connected, was released in late June. Adrian Segura, the deputy chief of the district’s community engagement department, said Wednesday that families can call the district’s IT department at 773-417-1060 if they have questions or to see if they qualify.”

Gov. Pritzker Announces New Restrictions for Recreational Sports, Including at Schools

NBC Chicago

“Fall sports in schools will be forced to face added restrictions under new guidance from Illinois’ health department, the state’s governor announced Wednesday. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state will be “restricting youth and adult recreational organized sports,” including school-based sports, beginning Aug. 15. The restrictions do not include professional or collegiate sports. Pritzker said each sport will be categorized under three “risk levels” – high, medium and low – determined by “the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during play.” Still, certain sports may be able to move forward with their seasons in the fall under the new restrictions.”

CPS Agreed To Pay School Police Officers’ Full Salary And Pensions — Up To $150,000 Per Year

By Yana Kunichoff, Sarah Karp for WBEZ & Chalkbeat

“This story is a reporting partnership between WBEZ and Chalkbeat Chicago, a nonprofit news outlet covering public education. In the midst of a heated debate last year about whether police officers should work in Chicago’s public schools, district leaders agreed to pay up to the full salary and benefits of staff assigned to the $33 million program, even though they are police department employees. Chalkbeat Chicago and WBEZ have learned that the school district agreed to pay $152,000 per police officer and $172,000 per sergeant on a 12-month contract. School is in session for 10 months, and officers have other police department duties during the summer months and other times they are not in schools.”