Some schools to close for summit, CPS to stay open

May 15, 2012 3:33:51 PM PDT
Some parochial schools in Chicago will close because of the NATO summit which will take place May 20-21. However, Chicago Public School officials plan to hold classes at schools near McCormick Place.

Students at St. Ignatius College Prep won't escape assignments Friday and Monday. They will not come to school but they will have what they are calling "off campus school". Teachers came up with lesson plans that use online tools.

"It's great because not only can you use it on your computer but the website is available on your iPhone or smartphone," said Liz Nyden, St. Ignacious teacher.

St. Ignatius' principal Catherine Karl decided last week the school would close campus Friday and Monday due to anticipated travel problems with their students coming from seven counties and Indiana. The lesson plans shifted to the off campus plan.

"They can do good learning at home or at their library or wherever they want to be and not have to come to the commute," said Karl.

While some parochial schools around downtown will close around the summit weekend, Chicago Public Schools will be open.

CPS reports eight schools are near the area impacted by the summit and planned protests. That includes 4,500 students. Those schools will have extra security on Monday and have safety plans in case of unexpected threats.

"If there is a situation outside, all of the schools have emergency lockdown plans that would involve making sure the kids are safe and secure and all that the exterior entrance and exit points all sealed," said Jadine Chou, CPS Chief of Safety & Security.

Jones College Prep is just two blocks from the protest route. Parents and students have been getting updates on public transportation changes and street closures in order to navigate Monday morning's commute to school.

"We're advising people to start early, allow enough time, that type of time. Pretty much what we would do if there is a lot of snow on the ground or any other delay like that," said Joe Powers, Jones College Prep principal.

CPS's chief safety and security officer says if there is a change to a school's schedule, they have a notification system to inform parents and guardians.

ABC7 has heard of some other parochial schools going online during the summit. Old St. Mary's in South Loop and both campuses of Francis Xavier Warde schools will be closed Friday and Monday.


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