Giving Compass’ Take:
• Cassie Walker Burke and Sneha De voice parental concerns over Chicago Public Schools’ looming, hybrid reopening plans.
• How do hybrid reopening plans affect students in marginalized communities differently? What can we do to ensure an equitable approach to schools’ reopening during the pandemic?
Chicago Public Schools families have until Friday to decide: Will their children attend school this fall under a part-time “hybrid” plan or learn fully remotely?
One thing is for sure: Any scenario brings with it an unprecedented set of complications, conundrums, and questions. Here are seven weighing on the minds of families.
1. Is it safe to return to in-person learning?
In the polls conducted during a series of town hall meetings last week, more than half of respondents were either somewhat or very uncomfortable with the hybrid plan.
2. How will the remote option work for families who opt out?
Parents want to know: How much support will the district provide if they choose the full-time remote option the district is offering?
3. Will teachers come back?
Illinois’ two big statewide teachers unions and the Chicago teachers union have already flexed their muscle on this issue, threatening strikes and other actions if they feel reopening plans don’t protect educators.
4. Will individual schools have flexibility?
District-run schools will not adopt different learning models, even if different areas in the city see different COVID-19 conditions.
5. Will broadband access improve?
A group of researchers said one in five Chicago students lacked broadband access at home.
6. Will the city step up with supplemental child care options?
School district officials this week said that they are looking into partnerships with the park district and with libraries to support students on the shift schedule .
7. How much could change between now and the start of school?
“As conditions evolve, our plans may change. It could be the case that we get to a level where we’d have to pivot to all remote learning,” said Kenneth Fox, the school district’s chief health officer.
Read the full article about Chicago Public Schools’ hybrid reopening by Cassie Walker Burke and Sneha Dey at Chalkbeat Chicago.
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