CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Public Schools revealed plans to protect students, including those whose school is closed due to the coronavirus.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra has more on those plans.
The COVID-19 tests results that have come back from staff and students at the special needs school Vaughn Occupational High School have been negative so far. While the school undergoes total disinfection, CPS is finally giving some answers on tactics they’ll use to try to keep the city’s students from getting the virus.
Closing more Chicago Public Schools because of COVID-19 concerns isn’t on the agenda for now, said the CPS CEO. So far, Vaughn Occupational High School is the only one to close after a staffer tested positive less than a week ago.
“We’re thankful that as of right now, another round of students have been tested. All of them have come back negative,” said Janice Jackson, Chicago Public Schools CEO.
CBS 2 has learned that a a group of students went through a sort of “drive-thru testing” at the school on Sunday. Parents said they were able to get their children tested from their car seat, which caused less stress. And they hope, less possibility for potential spread.
Staff at Vaughn have been told they’ll be paid during their quarantine time, but the quarantine time for the special needs students has put a strain on parents.
“Because all of our students have a disability, their parents will be forced to stay home to watch their children,” said Cindy Ok, Vaughn parent. “It won’t be easy for parents to go out to get all the supplies, food, stuff that they need.”
In response, CPS announced it would be working with families regarding issues with employment, though CPS wouldn’t go into specifics. Chicago Public Schools said it will have boxes with three days’ worth of food for family and staff available for both pick-up and delivery.
But what if this scenario grows beyond Vaughn? It’s a question CBS 2 has been asking for weeks.
Jackson confirms that e-learning is on the table, but she’s aware that the diverse city will need some exceptions, because not all students learn the same way or have the same tools, like internet, at home.
“Whether that be students with IEPS, EL students, etc.,” Jackson said. “We’re looking at schools that may be limited and offering paper-based options for families.”
A CPS spokesperson said more about the guidelines will be released later this week.
Starting Wednesday March 11, CPS will be providing free food boxes for the Vaughn community. If you are not under self-quarantine, you can pick up the food from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. every day until March 18, or from 8:00 a.m.12 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 outside the CPS warehouse.
It’s located at 4720 South St. Louis.
For additional food-related assistance, food delivery, or you are experiencing economic hardship during this self-quarantine period, please email email@example.com or call 866-209-0025 for support.
To locate medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the Healthy CPS Hotline 773-553-KIDS (5437).
If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, please contact the CDPH at email@example.com or call 312-746-4835.