CPS parents frustrated with remote learning 1 week into year, schools work to track down absent students

Sarah Schulte Image
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
One week into school year: CPS works to track down absent students, parents frustrated with remote learning
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"I feel like I'm an overworked non-paid CPS employee at this point."

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Nearly one week after classes began for the year, some parents of Chicago Public School students said they are frustrated with remote learning.

The school district has begun to track down students who are not signing in to their remote sessions.

With a list in hand, Daley Academy's Principal, Assistant Principal and a school security guard made home visits Monday to look for students who have yet to show up for school remotely.

"The first week of school was really rough, the biggest issue was getting students on computers and online," said Kamilah Hampton, Richard J. Daley Academy Principal.

Attendance at the Back of the Yards Chicago Public School on the first day was only 55%, but through outreach efforts in person and on the phone, Hampton said attendance is now up to 73%.

The school's student population is almost all low income, many Spanish speaking, and getting students devices and online is on going.

"I think the challenge is keeping our students engaged," Hampton said. "We know they have to be on a computer for a certain amount of time."

It's only been a week, and Sarah Sachen said keeping her kids engaged has been tough.

"I feel like I'm an overworked non-paid CPS employee at this point," Sachen said.

Sachen has four kids, two are diverse learners.

While she works with her 10-year-son one-on-one, Sachen's 7-year-old-daughter has had enough of screen time for the moment. Meanwhile, the oldest is upstairs logging into her high school classes.

"It's not going very well for my family at all, I've heard from other families, it's a challenge," she said.

Sachen feels like CPS or her individual school in the Clearing Neighborhood need to come up with a plan that is more innovative to keeps kids engaged.

Principals have asked families to be patient, but parents are asking schools for a seat at the table when it comes to figuring out the best way for their kids to learn remotely.