Some CPS students, parents upset over staffing and confusion on return to classes

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Some CPS students complained of clusters of peers amid confusion on the return to school Wednesday after the district and CTU reached an agreement earlier this week.

Taft High School junior Emma Pakieser was stunned to see masses of students clustered together Wednesday.

“Why are there so many people just standing in the hallway with nowhere to go?” Pakieser said. “It was ridiculous.”

Pakieser said there was not enough staff to direct the students, which angered her mother.

“There was no learning happening,” her mother said. “The kids are being herded into a large multi-purpose room where they continue to spread the virus to each other.”

Over at Lane Tech, student Nick Vargas noticed the same thing.

“I don’t think there is enough social distancing because they group the classes together,” he said. “And a lot of teachers are sick and we don’t have enough subs, so everyone goes to the auditorium.”

In a response for comment, Chicago Public Schools released the following statement.

“CPS and our schools are responding to the national substitute shortage through a number of strategies, from substitute recruitment and retention campaigns to adjusting staff schedules or classroom locations as needed on a daily basis.”

On Wednesday night, union rank-and-file members voted to approve the tentative deal between the district and CTU to officially get students back in the classroom. Their remote action order was suspended Monday night, paving the way for the return of classes on Wednesday.

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