Chicago Teachers' Strike: 2nd week wears on parents, students

September 17, 2012 7:38:29 PM PDT
''I tried home school myself. It's not the same. It's really not the same,'' Coina Noguera said Monday as the Chicago teachers strike entered its second week.

Noguera's children attend Nightingale Elementary School, which is part of the Chicago Public Schools system. Students have been out of classes since last Monday as Chicago Teachers Union members and CPS officials negotiate a contract.

One of the proposals includes a unified school calendar. Currently, some schools running on the Track E system began in August, while the rest started after Labor Day.

"It will be a lot easier I think for a lot parents, for jobs, schedule, daycare, everything," Noguera said.

Windy Pearson is volunteering at Mirror Project, a child care center, on the city's West Side. Person is a local school council member at Herzl, which is a Track E school. She thinks the unified calendar is safer.

"As we have kids out on the streets, some kids can tell us they are Track E, some kids can tell us they're not Track E-- so we don't know what kids are supposed to be in school and what kids aren't supposed to be in school," Person, LSC Herzl Elementary School, said.

Laura Shaeffer has been running an arts program during the strike in Nichols Park. She and other parents hope the students will benefit from the new contract.

"Ours starts latest, so I think that's preferable to us. We like school but summer is very enriching," Laura Shaeffer, CPS parent, said.

Until the kids are back in school, some of their art projects include showing support for their teachers.


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