University of Chicago Lab School parents, students hold rally for in-person learning

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A rally by University of Chicago Lab School parents took place Thursday.

Parents held the rally after learning their children will only be back in the building for learning a handful of days over the next three months.

Most students have not been back to their classrooms for months, and some parents are finding themselves frustrated with remote learning.

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"Private and public schools in Chicago have gone back," said Lilah Orlov, student. "What's taking you so long?"

"So all teachers are vaccinated, so there's no reason none of us not to be back in school," said Sarah Hoehn, parent.

"They need to start us, all of us, the whole school, back in person now," said Nausheen Zaidi, parent.

While some students and teachers delivered a petition requesting in-person learning to resume immediately, the university chancellor's office and other parents want to remain remote.

CPS parent Silvana Casas-Perez said the plan for her third-grader to go into a classroom to do her work on a computer is not the best option for her.

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"You need to care about what parents have to say, what their concerns and questions are, and you need to keep us highly informed, which has not been the case," Casas-Perez said.

Dr. Daniel Johnson, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital and co-lead for the Illinois Return to School Task for with the American Academy of Pediatrics, said data from schools show it is safe for children to return to in-person learning.

"We now have enough data both from schools inside Illinois and outside Illinois to be able to show it's safe for children, it's safe for teachers to be in school," Dr. Johnson said.

Lab plans to have lower school return to in-person learning Mar. 29 while middle and high school students will have a hybrid schedule.
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