CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools canceled classes after the teacher’s union late Tuesday night voted to teach remotely due to safety concerns regarding Covid. The two sides inability to find an agreement left parents scrambling Wednesday morning, but there are resources available for CPS families.
CPS listed about two dozen Safe Haven locations parents can drop off their children — many of them are churches and community centers and most are found on the South and West sides of Chicago.
The sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday while schools are closed. Registration is available on-site and a parent or guardian must be present with the child at the time of registration.
Schools will be open Wednesday but not for class. Administrators will be in the buildings if parents do drop off their kids. Thousands of children depend on school for meals, so breakfast and lunch will be available at schools between 9 a.m. and noon.
The other place parents can turn to is the Chicago Park District. They will have programs for kids ages 6 and up.
CPS CEO Pedro Martinez was asked about a plan for Thursday if an agreement can’t be reached. He said his team is working on a plan but there are other issues.
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“…there is not a trust level that was laid before I got here,” he said. “So much misinformation. How can I guarantee this is a pause and not some other agenda?”
On Tuesday night, CPS released a statement that read in part:
Tonight the Chicago Teachers Union voted to stop reporting to work and given that unfortunate decision, Chicago Public Schools must cancel classes tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. Despite six months of active, good-faith discussions with the CTU, despite the fact that more than 90 percent of our staff is vaccinated, despite proven and implemented COVID-19 safety measures, and despite little evidence of in-school transmission, our teachers are not willing to report to work. We are deeply concerned about this decision but even more concerned about its impact on the health, safety, and well-being of our students and families.
Martinez said he will continue to provide updates throughout the day Wednesday as they continue to negotiate with the teachers union.