Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: August 20 – August 26, 2022

CPS students head back to class after a short summer as district aims for ‘recovery year’

By Tracy Swartz, Adriana Pérez and Laura Rodríguez Presa for The Chicago Tribune

“Chicago Public Schools students are returning to classrooms Monday after a shorter-than-usual summer. The start date is one of the earliest in modern memory as the nation’s third-largest school district embarks on a “recovery year” following several COVID-19 disruptions. The pandemic is still top of mind for many employees, parents and students. Around 100 adults and a dozen students have reported testing positive for COVID-19 since Thursday, according to CPS’ online data tracker. Those who test positive for the virus are directed to stay home for five days, no matter their vaccination status.”


CPS still looking to fill about 900 vacancies as new school year kicks off

By Sally Schulze for FOX 32 Chicago

“City and school leaders held ceremonial bells to ring in the start of the new school year Monday morning. “We’ve been preparing since the last day of last year,” said the school principal while talking with Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “I expect this to be one of CPS’s strongest year ever,” said CEO Pedro Martinez, speaking at Excel Academy in South Shore. Martinez calls this is a recovery year, where the district will focus on equity, quality teachers plus supporting students both academically and socially-emotionally. Plus, they believe COVID-19 won’t be so disruptive.”


CPS still wants mandatory COVID-19 shots for kids but can’t require them unless state OKs that

By  Nader Issa  for The Sun-Times

“Chicago Public Schools officials still support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students but say that first action needs to be taken at the state level, which hasn’t been done. Pedro Martinez, the CPS chief executive officer, backed mandatory coronavirus shots last year, pushing federal and state officials on the issue. Martinez and Chicago Board of Education members have said they don’t believe CPS has the authority to establish a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Illinois now requires K-12 students to provide proof of vaccination against a dozen diseases, including diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella and mumps. Exemptions are allowed only for medical or religious reasons. Federal law doesn’t require students who are homelesss to submit proof of shots.”


Despite promise of universal pre-K for CPS, enrollment lags in city’s neediest areas

By Nereida Moreno for WBEZ

“It’s 85 degrees on a recent morning on Chicago’s West Side. Gabriela Tenorio and her team of parent ambassadors gather on the corner of Madison and Central Park in the Garfield Park neighborhood with a mission: They’re looking for 3- and 4-year-olds to recruit for preschool. The moms are doing street outreach on behalf of the parent advocacy group COFI, or Community Organizing and Family Issues. Armed with pamphlets and clipboards, they plan to knock on every door in sight to spread the word about universal preschool at Chicago Public Schools.”


Chicago Public Schools students head back to school as CPS faces teacher, bus driver shortage

By Stephanie Wade for WLS

“Chicago Public Schools students head back for the first day of the school year Monday. The fall semester is starting earlier than usual, before Labor Day weekend, and students will see other changes this year. Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez at Falconer Elementary School on the Northwest Side to ring the bell and welcome students back to school.”