Following the mandate issued by the State of Illinois, all in-person instruction in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will be suspended for the remainder of the school year to protect the health and well-being of students, staff and Chicagoans due to the COVID-19 crisis. Classes will continue for the remainder of the school year (June 18, 2020) through the remote learning plans schools began implementing this week, and families will continue to have access to free meals at locations throughout the city. The City and CPS recognize this has been a tough year for all, particularly our graduating seniors. They are working on appropriate ways to close out the school year and celebrate and support those who are matriculating.
“This is difficult news and we are all feeling a sense of loss. From the students who love learning, the teachers who love teaching, not to mention the pain of missing the many special milestones, which our families and young people count on and look forward to every year,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Despite the incredible challenges we’ve faced, we have been able to forge ahead and ensure our students continue to achieve thanks to the selfless work and dedication across our CPS leadership, teachers, principals, and staff, along with the patience and commitment of our CPS parents. To all our students, I want you to know how proud of you I am for sticking to your schoolwork and making the best out of a bad situation. As we have done throughout this crisis, we will closely work with the state to ensure our students meet their academic requirements, and that learning will continue and the instruction is rigorous. We will also work with CPS administrators, families and public health experts to ensure our students and teachers maintain their close academic engagement through the remainder of the year.”
“This is a difficult but necessary decision to protect the health and safety of Chicagoans, and we thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership and continued support during this unprecedented crisis,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “As the leader of this district, a CPS parent, and CPS alumna, I want families to know that I share their disappointment. From our youngest learners to our high school seniors, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you won’t be taking part in the competitions, performances, and milestones you deserve. But while it will not be the same, we will do our best to celebrate, support and lift you up during this difficult time. We will continue to prioritize the well-being of our families and staff as we move forward with remote learning through the remainder of the school year, and we will emerge as a school district and a city stronger than before.”
All CPS families and staff are being alerted to the suspension of in-person instruction via e-mail and robocall, and CPS will continue to work with citywide leadership to coordinate resources for students across schools. Information for families on remote learning, free meals, health services and more is available at cps.edu/coronavirus and families with questions can call the CPS command center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) or email email@example.com.
Free Meals for CPS Families
Since the first day of the closure, CPS schools throughout the city have been providing grab-and-g0 meals for students. More than 6 million meals have been provided since Tuesday, March 17, and the district remains committed to offering families free meal packages for every child in a household throughout the closure. Thanks to the incredibly dedicated staff who are supporting this effort in CPS schools, food can be picked up between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. every weekday during the closure. A list of meal sites can be found at cps.edu/mealsites.
Remote Learning and Device Distribution
This week, the district continued to provide devices to students in need as part of its plan to distribute more than 100,000 devices and distribution will continue in the following weeks. Families will hear directly from schools regarding their device distribution plans. Additionally, all students in temporary living situations (STLS) will receive internet access devices, in addition to computing devices to ensure our most vulnerable youth have access to the learning resources needed to connect with their school communities. The district has also made hard-copy enrichment resources and materials available at schools and at cps.edu/coronavirus.
“As we move forward with remote learning for the remainder of the school year, the district will continue to support schools, families and students through this unprecedented change in learning,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “We thank our hardworking parents who have been balancing work and school, and our principals and teachers who have stepped up to the challenge to go above and beyond for their students.”
Moving forward, the district remains committed to addressing and communicating outstanding decisions regarding the end of the school year, including grading in quarter four, grade advancement, and graduation requirements.
More information and updates on COVID-19 can be found on the IDPH website (dph.illinois.gov), the CDPH website (chicago.gov/cdph), and the CDC website (cdc.gov). Residents can find more information and updates on COVID-19 by visiting chicago.gov/coronavirus and by tuning into Mayor Lightfoot’s Facebook or Twitter for “The Doctor Is In” livestream at 11 a.m. For mobile updates, text COVID19 to 78015 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting Chicago Public Schools Families
For more information on how to support Chicago Public Schools’ students and families during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Children First Fund website at https://www.childrenfirstfund.org/support-cff/compassion-fund/.
Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.