Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: January 23 – January 29, 2021

Chicago Public Schools Moving Ahead With Monday Reopening

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“Chicago Public Schools Chief Janice Jackson is insisting that in-person classes will resume on Monday for tens of thousands of students, even as teachers and other staff refuse to work in person and there’s little pressure for them to change course. “We expect students and staff to be in school on Monday,” Jackson said Thursday on WBEZ’s Reset. “That’s what we expect to happen.” But some 85 percent of teachers required to report in person did not come on Wednesday — the first day of a Chicago Teachers Union’s action to resist working in buildings until there is a deal over reopening with the school district. This disrupted in-person classes already underway for about 3,200 preschool and special education students. Teachers continued to instruct remotely.”


CPS to administer coronavirus vaccine beginning in mid-February

By Nader Issa for The Sun-Times

“Chicago Public Schools will begin vaccinating its teachers in mid-February, officials announced Friday as they head into a weekend of uncertainty with thousands of teachers preparing to defy orders to return to classrooms next week. Educators in Illinois will become eligible for their COVID-19 shots on Monday, according to the state’s vaccination plan and could receive one at any point going forward from their private health care provider or a local pharmacy. CPS expects to receive its own supply of vaccine next month and will start offering inoculations to its teachers at four sites across the city. “There is nothing we want more than to get the shots in the arms of our dedicated staff,” schools chief Janice Jackson said at a morning news conference at Ellington Elementary in Austin. “If we could vaccinate everyone today, we would do it. But with supplies being limited, our plan to distribute vaccines will need to take into account several factors.”


Survey: As Chicago’s reopening plan teeters, what’s on the minds of students and families?

By Cassie Walker Burke & Caroline Bauman for Chalkbeat Chicago

“A reopening standoff between teachers and the school district has cast Chicago students and families into a period of uncertainty. We want to know: What decisions are you weighing right now? And what does your student need in this moment? Chalkbeat Chicago wants to hear from families and students. Our short survey will be used to gain insight into what families are experiencing and what questions they may have. We plan to use the results of the survey to inform our coverage. If you are uncomfortable with your name being used, please let us know at the bottom of the survey.”


10,000 CPS students who chose in-person option change their minds; racial disparities seen in attendance rates

By Hannah Leone for The Chicago Tribune 

“Not only did white students choose in-person learning at the highest rates, those who did were more likely than their Black, Latino and Asian peers to show up to schools the first week Chicago Public Schools reopened, according to figures provided Wednesday by the district. Overall, fewer than 1 in 5 eligible students have returned to in-person learning. Nearly 17,000 students were eligible in the first wave, and 191,000 more become eligible starting Monday — though that plan has been called into question by the Chicago Teachers Union’s refusal to return to schools. Since intent-to-return forms were due in December for prekindergarten through eighth grade and some special education programs, the total number of students opting in has diminished from roughly 77,000 to 67,000, reflecting families who changed their minds after the deadline, CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade said during Wednesday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting.”