Chicago Public Schools (CPS) suspends in-person classes thru June 18

Date: 
04/17/2020
LightfootJackson

In front of Wicker Park's Jose De Diego Community Academy last September are Mayor Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson (r), with now former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Jackson

Governor J.B. Pritzker's announcement mid afternoon has prompted Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to suspend in-person instruction through the end of this school year, June 18, 2020, to protect the health and well-being of students, staff and Chicagoans due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Instruction will continue via the remote learning plans that schools began implementing this week and families will continue to have access to free meals at locations throughout the city. 

Recognizing that this has been a tough year for all students, they have particular concern for their graduating seniors. They are working on appropriate ways to close out the school year and celebrate and support those who are graduating.   

“This is difficult news and we are all feeling a sense of loss. From the students who love learning, the teachers who love teaching, not to mention the pain of missing the many special milestones, which our families and young people count on and look forward to every year,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. 

“Despite the incredible challenges we’ve faced, we have been able to forge ahead and ensure our students continue to achieve thanks to the selfless work and dedication across our CPS leadership, teachers, principals and staff, along with the patience and commitment of our CPS parents. 

"To all our students, I want you to know how proud of you I am for sticking to your schoolwork and making the best out of a bad situation. As we have done throughout this crisis, we will closely work with the State to ensure our students meet their academic requirements, and that learning will continue and the instruction is rigorous. We will also work with CPS administrators, families and public health experts to ensure our students and teachers maintain their close academic engagement through the remainder of the year.” 

Echoing the Mayor's feelings, CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson said, “This is a difficult but necessary decision to protect the health and safety of Chicagoans, and we thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership and continued support during this unprecedented crisis.” 

“As the leader of this district, a CPS parent and CPS alumna, I want families to know that I share their disappointment. From our youngest learners to our high school seniors, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you won’t be taking part in the competitions, performances and milestones you deserve. But while it will not be the same, we will do our best to celebrate, support and lift you up during this difficult time. We will continue to prioritize the well-being of our families and staff as we move forward with remote learning through the remainder of the school year, and we will emerge as a school district and a city stronger than before.” 

According to CPS, their families and staff are being alerted to this suspension via e-mail and robocall. They are scheduled to continue working with citywide leadership to coordinate resources for students across schools. 

Information for families on remote learning, free meals, health services and more is available online. Families with questions may call the CPS command center at 773.553.5437 or email them

Free meals for CPS families
Since the first day of the closure, CPS schools throughout the city have been providing grab-and-go meals for students. More than six million meals have been provided since Mar. 17. CPS states that they remain committed to offering families free meal packages for every child in a household throughout the closure. School staff makes it possible for CPS schools to offer food picked up between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. every weekday during the closure. A list of meal sites is available online

Remote learning and device distribution
This week, the district continued to provide devices to students in need as part of its plan to distribute more than 100,000 devices and distribution will continue in the following weeks. Families will hear directly from schools regarding their device distribution plans. Additionally, all students in temporary living situations (STLS) will receive internet access devices, in addition to computing devices to ensure our most vulnerable youth have access to the learning resources needed to connect with their school communities. The district has also made hard-copy enrichment resources and materials available at schools and online

“As we move forward with remote learning for the remainder of the school year, the district will continue to support schools, families and students through this unprecedented change in learning,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “We thank our hardworking parents who have been balancing work and school, and our principals and teachers who have stepped up to the challenge to go above and beyond for their students.” 

Moving forward, the district remains committed to addressing and communicating outstanding decisions regarding the end of the school year, including fourth quarter grading, grade advancement and graduation requirements.  

More COVID information
More information and updates on COVID-19 can be found on the IDPH website, the CDPH website and the CDC website. Residents can find more information and updates on COVID-19 by visiting Chicago's corona virus site and by tuning into Lightfoot’s Facebook or Twitter for “The Doctor Is In” livestream at 11 a.m. Mobile updates are available via email or text COVID19 to 78015. 

Supporting Chicago Public Schools Families
For more information on how to support Chicago Public Schools’ students and families during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit the Children First Fund website.

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