CPS, CTU have ‘tentative framework’ for high school students to return after teachers do not report to work for 2nd day

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union agreed on a tentative framework for a return to in-person instruction, according to CTU.

The CTU House of Delegates will hold a special meeting Thursday at 4:30 p.m. to review and consider the recommendation from its rank-and-file high school steering committee, CTU said.

The announcement comes after teachers held a teach out Thursday morning after refusing to report to work for a second day.

“We have pandemic fatigue too, but we are not willing to sacrifice the lives of our students and their families because we’re tired and we want to get back to normal,” said Jackson Potter, Back of the Yards College Prep teacher.

The teachers union and school officials have been locked in negotiations over a reopening plan for students ahead of Monday’s start date. However, the union is worried about a new uptick in cases, especially among young people.

High school teachers in Chicago Public Schools were back to working remotely starting Wednesday.

High school students should not notice any difference, as teachers will continue to teach, albeit from their living rooms rather than from their classrooms, where they have been already the last two days, preparing for the return to in-person learning still scheduled for Monday.

However, it is still unclear if that return will take place.

CTU officials updated their membership late Tuesday, after a long day of negotiations, saying some progress had been made at the bargaining table, but no agreement has been reached just yet.

RELATED: Group of CPS parents protest outside CTU headquarters over possible high school reopening delay

Modified work schedules that allow students in higher-density schools to attend only once a week, remote work for teachers who will continue to teach virtual students and a firm commitment to vaccinate eligible students and their families are among the details to be ironed out.

“Four areas that we think are extremely reasonable, where right now the board just hasn’t gotten to ‘yes,'” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said. “We want to be back in school.”

And while a recent survey conducted by Chicago Public Schools shows only 44% of high school parents want their children to return to in-person learning, a vocal group of them gathered outside CTU headquarters Tuesday.

RELATED: Chicago mayor slams CPS vaccine provider for misallocation of COVID-19 shots

“CTU, stop the delays and focus on education solutions for our children,” said Nancy Griffin, with the Chicago Parents Collective. “CPS, all we’re asking for is that next week, on April 19th, as planned, our high schoolers can put on their backpacks and walk into the classrooms that they’ve been missing for over a year. They need it. We need it. The community needs it. Chicago needs it.”

The district meanwhile continues to say progress is being made in all areas, and remains fully committed to reopening school buildings next week.

As of now, only one in four of Chicago’s public high school students are slated to return on Monday.

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April 15, 2021 at 01:46PM

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