CPS Should Open ONLY Remotely for 2020

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CPS Should Open ONLY Remotely for 2020

This petition made change with 270 supporters!
Melanie Hoekstra started this petition to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and

During the Covid-19 pandemic, CPS has proposed two options for reopening schools in Fall 2020. The first is a hybrid option, where students attend in-person two days each week and learn remotely the remaining three days. The second is all-remote learning. CPS sent out a text & email to all parents on Friday, July 31, asking them to commit to one option or the other by Friday, August 7 with very little information on what each option meant. Families that choose the hybrid option can still move to all-remote learning at any time, but not the reverse. This has pushed many families to hedge and choose hybrid learning until they know more answers to their questions.

And the questions are myriad. Just over one month away from school reopening, parents have very little information about how the basic logistics of in-person learning will work.

  • What happens if a number of families who chose the hybrid plan because it offers the most options for choice in the future suddenly move to all-remote learning? Can schools opt out of the hybrid plan?
  • Who will teach students when many teachers with existing health and/or family concerns may be unable or unwilling to return? Will teachers have access to PPE and free, rapid tests?
  • Who will work as a substitute teacher when a teacher gets sick with non-Covid-19 illnesses? Will substitutes be allowed to go to different schools in a two-week period?
  • How will specials teachers & classrooms (art, phys. ed., music, etc.) be kept safe when 75+ students will be in contact with those teachers each day?
  • Who will enforce the daily cleaning that requires all surfaces to be disinfected--a far heavier cleaning burden than current support staff can likely cover? What kind of guarantees can be made that all schools will have sufficient air circulation, hand sanitizer, extra masks, working windows, etc.?

Cases and the positivity rate (number of positive tests per day) have been climbing since mid-July. BIPOC communities have suffered from Covid-19 at higher rates than the city as a whole. In-person learning puts these students and families at even greater risk. The risks and incredible complexities of this situation far outweigh the benefits of in-person learning two days per week. We cannot, we will not risk putting our children, teachers, and staff into close contact with one another, which will only cause more illness and death. 

We demand that Mayor Lightfoot and CPS follow the lead of numerous state and local officials across the country and move to all-remote learning, with in-person care for children of essential workers and those with special needs, and the continued distribution of meals at schools. We call on you to put our students, families, teachers, and staff's lives first.

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This petition made change with 270 supporters!

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