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CPS students left outside building after after-school program canceled during CPS makeup days

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CHICAGO — Chicago students who attended a makeup day Thursday due to the Chicago Public Schools teachers strike were dropped off at an after-school program that wasn't open and left there. One mother spoke with WGN about the incident that has her outraged.

This week there were two makeup days for students because of the strike. One mother, Angela Rathers, said she took her 10-year-old daughter to work Friday because on Thursday she was dropped off at an after-school program that wasn’t open.

Her daughter, Aerial, was locked out of the Sheridan Park District building not knowing there wasn't an after-school program during makeup days for CPS students. Aerial called her mom, and after about 10 minutes, a coach who was in the building let Aerial and about seven other kids who were waiting outside in the building.

The coach then called Rathers to tell her the kids were safe inside the building.

Rathers rushed to the park district from her office in the Loop. Her mind was racing. She was hoping no one tried to lure her daughter or the other children away.

A bus had picked up Aerial from STEM Magnet School. Rathers talked to a school assistant Friday who said they had gotten a lot of calls from parents. She said she was told the park district should have notified parents.

"...But I left my child in CPS' hands yesterday," Rathers said. "You guys put her on a school bus and drove her to a closed after-school program."

A spokesperson for the park district said it was noted on the district’s registration website that the after-school program would be closed during makeup days.

Rathers said she did not see that notification on the website. She said all she got was an email from STEM's principal saying only that the after-school programs at the school would be closed during makeup days.

As for Aerial, who has a medical condition, she luckily wasn’t too shaken up.

WGN contacted Chicago Public Schools and a spokesperson said she was looking into it. No further information was provided.

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