UPDATED 11:28 AM PT – Thursday, January 13, 2022
Parents in Chicago are breathing a sigh of relief as their children are returning to school after an entire week of not having classes. The Chicago Teacher’s Union narrowly voted to reinstate in-person learning by making a deal with the city’s government.
“I’m pleased to report that the Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted to end their work stoppage, ” announced Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Their agreement will focus on having COVID safety measures to protect the health of both teachers and students. These measures include providing masks to schools for distribution as well as testing asymptomatic students and staff on a weekly basis. Both parties also agreed to let schools decide if a class needs to be remote, which is dependent on teacher and student attendance.
“This agreement is the only modicum of safety that is available for anyone who that steps foot in a Chicago public school, especially in the places in the city where testing is low and where vaccination rates are low,” said Stacey Davis Gates, member of the Chicago Teachers Union.
In-person classes are expected to return this week with the new guidelines in place with parents being relieved after seeing their children struggle during with virtual learning.
UPDATE: CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union have reached an agreement. All staff will be reporting to schools tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11, and in-person classes will resume for all CPS students on Wednesday, January 12. Please review this letter for more information. pic.twitter.com/kF7Cq4681k
— CPS – Chicago Public Schools (@ChiPubSchools) January 11, 2022
According to union officials, the new agreement is only the beginning of their efforts to ensure the safety of both students and staff amidst the spread of the Omicron variant.