The decision could avoid a possible strike by the Chicago Teachers Union. The district will implement distance learning through the first quarter, which ends Nov. 9, and will then evaluate whether it is safe to open in a hybrid learning model.
“As a district, we value parental feedback and we cannot ignore the fact that a large proportion of parents have indicated that they do not feel comfortable sending their students to school according to a hybrid model for the beginning of the school year,” said CPS CEO Janice K. Jackson in a statement.
“I understand the insecurity this pandemic has caused our parents, especially color communities that have been disproportionately affected. We make every effort to provide a high quality distance learning experience during the fall and use live, virtual instruction for every student, every day, and we are committed in continuous engagement and communication with parents. “
The announcement comes a day after a source close to the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) told CNN that the CTU planned to convene its delegation houses early next week to discuss taking a strike vote to demand distance education for Chicago Public Schools.
Reversal of previous plan
Chicago had previously hoped to start the school year with a hybrid learning model and had prepared a scenario to do so, but finally decided to do so.
“The decision to start the CPS school year 2020-2021 at a distance during the first quarter is rooted in information about public health and the invaluable feedback we have received from parents and families,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“As we build this distance learning model and try to establish a hybrid learning model in the second quarter, we will continue to support and collaborate with parents and school leaders to create safe, sustainable learning environments for our students,” said Lightfoot.
CNN’s Eric Levenson contributed to this report.