Questions remain on in-person CPS attendance as more students come back


CHICAGO – Thousands of elementary and middle school CPS students headed back to the classroom this week.

But when it comes to attendance, it’s not clear at this time how many families followed through with in-person learning.

“I don’t have the break out of this is K-5 and this is K-8, K-5 came back this week 6-8 back next week and that’ll represent about 60,000,” CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade.

The number of 60,000 is based on preference models, which previously indicated what families were leaning toward in terms of in-person or virtual learning.

About a third of 122,000 kindergarten through fifth graders were expected back Monday, but it’s not clear if all showed up.

“We don’t have that attendance data we wont have until after k8 comes back once they come back next week we can look at the data and share with the public,” McDade said.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey added other school districts have had similar issues when it comes to numbers.

“I do know that New York took them weeks to get this data but we’ve had months to learn from that experience it should be something we have in real time,” he said.

All of this doesn’t even factor in high schoolers, who are very much still in limbo about a return date.

“We are in talks with CTU now about high school students coming back,” McDade said.

Sharkey said he has heard of some positive cases in schools this week.

Across the district since March 1, 2020 and up until this week, there have been 915 cases amongst CPS adults and 33 amongst students.

The district has offered over 20,000 vaccines to CPS staff members.


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