Chicago schools to reopen online only
Public school students in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest district, will begin the academic year remotely in September, leaving New York City as the only major school system in the country that will try to offer in-person classes when schools start this autumn.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Dr Janice Jackson, the chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, made the announcement on Wednesday morning, as the Chicago Teachers Union was in the midst of tentative preparations for a strike over school safety.
“We have to be guided by the science, period,” Lightfoot said. “When we announced the potential for a hybrid model some weeks ago, we were in a very different place in the arc of the pandemic.” She added, “This was not an easy decision to make.”
The school district had originally planned to open using a hybrid model, with students divided into pods of 15 children each and attending in-person classes two days a week.
But many parents and teachers were opposed to that plan, arguing that it would spread coronavirus in schools and neighbourhoods. In Chicago, the number of new coronavirus cases has steadily increased in recent weeks.