CPS extends deadline for parents to opt students for in-person learning


FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, background right, waves to students in a preschool classroom at Dawes Elementary School in Chicago. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times

Parents will have a few more days to decide if their child will return to in-person learning for the fourth quarter.

Parents of Chicago Public Schools students will now have until March 23 to decide if their child will return to in-person learning for the fourth quarter, according to a release from the district.

The deadline for parents to return opt-in forms was originally set for Friday night. Hours before the deadline, CPS announced in an email it would extended the deadline until 11:59 p.m. March 23.

CPS did not immediately comment on how many families responded to the survey and opted into in-person learning.

“As we announced earlier this week, our discussions with the Chicago Teachers Union regarding in-person learning at high schools are progressing, and we hope to welcome back students on April 19,” the letter to parents stated.

CPS wants to provide students who opt to return to school with at least two days of in-person instruction a week, according to the letter.

School officials have released few details about the reopening plans for district’s 74,000 high school students. The district has said it wants to keep students with the same teacher conducting remote instruction.

April 19 marks the first day of the fourth quarter for students. As of earlier this month, there were about 145,000 pre-kindergarten, elementary and special education clusters who are still attending school remotely who could opt to return to in-person instruction.

Parents who decide to keep the students remote won’t be able to change their minds until next fall, but those who pick in person can later opt out.

Since March 1, 2020, there have been 959 reported cases of COVID-19 involving adults in Chicago schools and 63 cases involving students, according to data from the district. As of this week, there were 14 confirmed adult cases and 18 cases involving students, according to the district.

Contributing: Nader Issa

Elvia Malagón’s reporting on social justice and income inequality is made possible by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust.

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March 19, 2021 at 08:24PM

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