CHICAGO (CBS) — While the city of Chicago and the rest of the state is under a COVID-19 stay at home order, starting next month, CPS schools will start e-learning on April 13 and will provide 100,000 computer devices for students who need them.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, along with Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago said the district is setting up  “remote learning plans” to make sure students are getting their classwork, even if they’re not in schools.

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“We will not allow this crisis to be an obstacle to our students’ futures and their dreams,” Lightfoot said. “While our schools remain closed, thanks to our city’s countless faculty and staff, education in Chicago remains open.”

In a letter to parents, CPS said the plan is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has closed schools across the state, but will not replace a student’s regular learning environment.

For this, CPS will be distributing 100,000 devices, including Chromebooks, iPads, and laptops. The letter said parents will be notified of their school’s plans by next Monday, April 6 “in alignment with new guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education. The plans will begin April 13, following our scheduled spring break,” CPS said.

According to CPS, enrichment resources are available online on the district’s remote learning site and the information will be updated every two weeks.

“Nothing can take the place of classroom time with our dedicated educators, but now more than ever, we need to come together as a CPS community to support our students and help them stay engaged during this unprecedented time,” said CPS CEO Doctor Janice K. Jackson. “Schools know their communities best, which is why our guidance is centered on flexibility, with an emphasis on family and student engagement.”

When asked if schools were going to be shut down for the rest of the year, Lightfoot said that’s not the plan.

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“We have no reason to believe that’s the case. What happens with the schools being physically open is determined at state level, not local. We have not received guidance one way or the other,” she said.

Jackson added “I hope we don’t have to use the plan longer than we anticipate, but we are prepared should that occur.”

She added that the Chicago Teachers Union was in support of the remote learning plan.

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