CHICAGO (CBS) —It’s the first day of classes for Chicago Public Schools students.
But this start won’t be like last year.READ MORE: 'An Important Time For Us': Chicagoans Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
On Monday, nearly all CPS students will be learning in-person, despite COVID-19 cases on the rise again.
CBS 2’s Mugo Odigwe reports from the Uptown neighborhood with parents’ concerns.
Unlike the last school year, there are very few exceptions for remote learning. That’s because the state board of education is requiring full in-person learning.
“Give us options. Options never provided this year and then makes it seem like COVID just went away. The dangers just went away,” said CPS parent Alexis Smith.READ MORE: Downtown Chicago Roadblocks Quell Mexican Independence Day Street Celebrations
Smith has a daughter going into the fourth grade this year. She said she would have preferred a hybrid or remote learning option for her child. The district is only offering that option to a few families who can prove it’s needed for medical reasons.
Meanwhile, another CPS parent said she has two kids going into the seventh and eight grade. She said they are nervous but excited about going back to school.
Her oldest who’s 12 years old is vaccinated. The youngest, who’s 11, is not. But she still believes the school and staff are ready for the school year.
“I think every parent is a little nervous to send their kid back, vaccinated or not, if I’m really being honest with you,” said CPS parent Jennie Dede. “But I think our kids are smart, meaning they know they have to wear the mask. I think the teachers are prepped to make sure that they are spaced as best as they can. I mean they’re not even mixing classes at all, even at lunchtime.”MORE NEWS: 'We're Back': Store Owner Reopens Chicago Sports On Michigan Avenue After 2020 Unrest
School sports also returns to normal schedules. But athletes from fifth to 12th grade will need to show proof of vaccination. Or be tested once a week to participate.