Chicago School Board unveils CPS COVID safety plan days ahead of school start

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just days before the start of the new school year the Chicago School Board presented its COVID-19 safety plan for the return to full in-person learning.

Meanwhile some parents are calling for a remote option, especially for unvaccinated students.

With an August 30 start day, Chicago Public Schools announced some COVID protocol changes.

"Students and staff will not need to submit to an online health screener each day before school," said Jose Torres, interim CPS CEO.

CPS said it will rely on the honest of parents to screen their own children before sending them to school. For students who must quarantine, CPS will offer simultaneous instruction. But for the Chicago Teachers Union and several parents, that is not enough. They are calling for a remote learning option.

"We need to demand remote learning for families that are not ready," said Leona Savinon, CPS parent. "Not everybody is vaccinated, these children need to be protected, we need to protect our future, we need to protect Chicago."

But Torres reminded parents that school districts' hands are tied because they must follow the state requirement for five day a week in-person learning.

"If the metrics are at such a point where CDPH tells us that it is unsafe for us to be physically together, I will be the first to go to governor and state superintendent," he said.

Meantime, all CPS teachers must be fully vaccinated by October 15. CPS is also offering weekly COVID testing to staff and students, but the district and CTU have yet to reach an agreement on other protocols such as when COVID cases are reported in a classroom and a guarantee of 3 feet social distancing

"It is vitally important in a pandemic with the Delta variant that we have layered mitigation in every single school community," said CTU Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates.

The union said it has no plans to block school from opening next Monday. But it has not ruled out future action if an agreement with CPS cannot be reached.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.