Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: June 18 – June 24, 2022

COVID vaccine rollout expected for children under 5 next week in Chicago

By  Eileen Pomeroy for Chalkbeat

‘Maria Paula Fitz has been waiting a long time for the COVID vaccine to be approved for children under 5. Her 2-year-old son is the last in her household to be inoculated and she sees it as a safety decision that will help her pandemic-weary family. “He hasn’t been to preschool and he stays at home with our nanny,” Fitz said, “so it’s hard for him to just have a normal childhood.” The mother, who lives in Evanston, said the vaccine will provide her family with some relief as her youngest attends preschool in the fall. Fitz and other parents of children under 5 could be able to get their youngest family members vaccinated as soon as next week after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccines by Modern and Pfizer on Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must still approve the vaccines, which could happen within days.”


Chicago public school dress codes now cannot ban head coverings tied to race, ethnicity

By Emily Hoerner for The Chicago Tribune

“Starting next school year, dress code policies at Chicago’s public schools can no longer ban head coverings tied to race, ethnicity or hair texture, a change approved without discussion Wednesday by the Chicago Board of Education. The Tribune last month found in a comprehensive review of recent school dress code policies that more than 115 public schools in the district banned protective hair-care items such as do-rags, wave caps, head-wraps, bonnets and bandannas. Some students of color who spoke with the Tribune said bans on protective head coverings made them feel like parts of their identities or their culture were not welcome at school.’


Chicago Board of Education extends the district’s authority to spend on COVID-related expenses

By  Mauricio Pena for Chalkbeat

“Chicago’s Board of Education on Wednesday extended the district’s authority to spend funds on COVID-19 safety mitigations for the upcoming school year — a sign the district will continue to take precautions amid new waves of variants that could disrupt classes. Under a resolution passed Wednesday, Chicago Public Schools will have the authority to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic for the upcoming school year without getting board approval for each expense. The district will provide testing, vaccinations, masks, as well cleaning supplies to respond to COVID-19 health emergencies. The resolution will take effect from July 1 and last until June 30, 2023. During the board meeting Wednesday, member Sendhil Revuluri, who voted against the extension, acknowledged the need for the district’s agility to respond to health and safety needs of students, but said the district needed to be more strategic on COVID-19 expenditures.  CPS officials said the authorization will allow the district to be nimble and act quickly when unexpected purchases are needed.  CEO Pedro Martinez said he was committed to making sure board members had access to timely reports.”


CPS launching Summer Meals, LunchStop Programs next week


“Chicago Public Schools announced Thursday its launch of their Summer Meals and LunchStop programs. The programs offer free, nutrition-based meals to students and families at various locations throughout the district over the summer break. “We know that hunger does not go away when school doors close,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “The summer months can be difficult for families who count on our School Nutrition Program and so we’re excited to once again offer a variety of nutritious meals to help alleviate any stress and keep our students healthy and ready to learn as they return to school in late August.”