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Giving Compass' Take:
• Mila Koumpilova discusses parents' growing concerns over a lack of confirmation on the reopening of Chicago schools this fall.
• How has remote schooling impacted parents during COVID-19? Why might a less-than-concrete plan add stress for parents? Why might Chicago schools be so hesitant to reopen? How can you support research on the viability of reopening school buildings?
Allison Gorsuch, the mother of a Chicago kindergartner, made an impassioned appeal in front of the city’s school board this week: Spell out soon how the district will decide whether to bring students back to school buildings and when.
The decision on whether to bring students back into school buildings on Nov. 9 is looming for Chicago, the country’s third-largest district. During its Wednesday meeting, the district’s governing board largely focused on how remote learning has gone two and a half weeks in, offering positive reviews about what leaders feel was a strong start to the year. Board members did not broach the issue of how and when the district will make a call about the next quarter.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Jianan Shi, head of the parent advocacy group Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education, urged district leaders to include families in their decision making, noting seven weeks remain until the end of the current quarter. He said that remote learning is an imperfect scenario for many students and their parents but urged the district to proceed cautiously as it weighs shifting course.
“Let’s not rush into hybrid learning the same way we rushed into remote learning,” he said.
A district spokeswoman said after Wednesday’s meeting that the district will have more information about second quarter decision making at a later date. At an education townhall Thursday sponsored by the media outlet Politico, schools chief Janice Jackson praised teachers’ efforts to make the most out of remote learning. But she said plainly that children need to be in school buildings and the district still aspires to return them there.
Read the full article about Chicago schools by Mila Koumpilova at Chalkbeat Chicago.