CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools will dock pay for staff with unexcused absences starting Tuesday.
Thousands of pre-kindergarten and special needs CPS students returned to classrooms Monday for the first time since coronavirus pandemic began. Several visible precautions were in place to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.
Students filled out a health form before returning to school, masks were worn, plastic dividers were at desks and social distancing guidelines were followed. The district has spent millions upgrading ventalization systems and adding air purifiers as well.
Some parents say they welcome a return to the classroom after the non-stop strain of remote learning.
But the Chicago Teachers Union still opposes it. The union along with a majority of the City Council are not convinced CPS’ plan will keep kids and staff safe.
The district said it would not pay teachers who do not show up for school, and will lock them out of their Google classrooms so they won’t be able to teach.
CPS says about 70% of those required to come back did.
The union says it’ll have members who don’t feel safe check-in at schools, but continue to teach outside.
CTU also accused the Mayor Lori Lightfoot of sending mixed messages, extending the stay at home advisory Sunday through Jan. 22, but still opening schools back up.
CPS has not released the actual number of students who went back to school Monday. The union says many who opted-in then backed out. Kindergarten through eighth grade students who opted for in-person learning are scheduled to return on Feb. 1.
CPS and CTU are expected to provide an update Tuesday as the second day of in-person learning gets underway.