CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Public Schools announced late Wednesday that students would be in remote learning again on Thursday – with no deal yet with the Chicago Teachers Union on issues revolving around in-person learning and COVID-19 concerns.
A 48-hour “cooling-off period” during the negotiations will be extended another day, and further negotiations will be allowed for on Thursday night, CPS said in a family communication.READ MORE: Over 74,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Friday is already a non-attendance day for students.
Parents have been on edge as the situation has been in limbo.
“It’s the day-by-day update that we as parents get at night, to know what’s happening the next day, that’s been very exhausting,” said Keisha Kidan.
Kidan, and tens of thousands of Chicago Public School parents like her, have been playing the waiting game. Kidan wants to send her 8-year-old daughter Kailyn back to an in-person classroom. But the daily uncertainty about what will happen, or if CPS teachers will end up hitting the picket line, is frustrating.
“Whatever determining factors that CPS came to, to decide that it’s safe enough for students to go back, I really don’t get how we could have some complex issues come down to the wire,” Kidan said.READ MORE: Career Coach: When To Ask For Flexible Work Arrangements
On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson announced progress, calling for a 48-hour cooling off period as both sides continued to hash out agreements on the remaining safety issues dividing them.
On Tuesday, Lightfoot said there were a small number of issues remaining. They included a vaccination plan for teachers, a detailed remote work plan and policy for those instructors with accommodations to stay home and establishing COVID metrics for future school closures.
The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that vaccinations are not required to return to in-person learning.
“I also want to be clear: There’s increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and, that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely,” said Doctor Rochelle Walensky.
Barring a safety agreement, the CTU has directed all of its teachers to remain remote, even after this cooling off period, they are supposed to return to work Thursday.MORE NEWS: 2 Officers Among 3 Injured In Loop Crash On State Street
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