Chicago eyes April return to class for high school students

CHICAGO — Public high school students in Chicago could return to class for limited in-person instruction starting next month under the outline of a district plan unveiled Tuesday.

It would be the first time high school students in the nation’s third-largest school district have the option to be back in classrooms since going fully remote a year ago amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, negotiations were ongoing with the Chicago Teachers Union, which fought the district’s safety plans for younger students and narrowly averted a walkout.

Chicago Public Schools started bringing younger students back last month in phases, giving grades K-8 the option of two days each week of classroom instruction combined with remote instruction on other days. The union, which said the district’s initial COVID-19 safety plans fell short, eventually agreed to a plan that included teacher vaccinations.

School leaders said they hoped to offer at least two days a week of in-person classes for high school students starting April 19, which is the first day of the fourth quarter.

“We will continue meeting regularly with CTU representatives as we strive to reach a consensus that provides the smoothest possible transition for our families and staff,” CPS leaders said in an email to families. “Negotiations are ongoing with CTU and we will continue to provide updates to families as discussions proceed.”

A union spokeswoman didn’t immediately have comment Tuesday. ___

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