CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Chicago Public School students who were due back in class will remain online Tuesday and Wednesday as the district reported progress with the union Monday evening.
CPS said as a result of progress made Monday, “for now, teachers will retain access to their Google Suite.”
Previously, the district said teachers would lose their access to remote learning applications if they did not work Monday.
“We have reached another important milestone today in our efforts to provide in-person learning for our students in the Chicago Public Schools system. We have secured agreement on one other open issue and made substantial progress on a framework that we hope will address the remaining issues. We are calling for a 48-hour cooling off period that will hopefully lead to a final resolution on all open issues. As a result of the progress we have made, and as a gesture of good faith, for now, teachers will retain access to their Google Suite. Students will remain virtual Tuesday and Wednesday and we will update the CPS school community as there are further developments.”chicago public schools
CTU representatives initially said they have not seen any progress on a deal since Saturday. They have not made a comment yet after Lightfoot and the district reported progress.
Union officials said while they have reached an agreement over some aspects of returning to schools, they remained divided over issues related to vaccinating teachers and allowing those who live with family members considered high-risk for COVID-19 to opt to work remotely.
The union also wants a metric for when schools would be closed if infections in the city begin to rise. At this time, it’s unknown what additional agreement has been reached on one of the open issues.
Roughly 62,000 students and about 10,000 teachers and staff in K-8 were expected to start school Monday for the first time since last March, part of the district’s gradual reopening plans during the pandemic. After talks stalled on Friday, the district intended Monday to be a prep day for teachers, with all K-8 students coming back Tuesday.
Parents held a protest Monday, demanding to be included in negotiations.
“Parents have to have a voice,” Joseph Williams said.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers, which has over 100,000 members, issued a statement supporting CTU.
“The IFT commits its 103,000 members to fully supporting CTU in this struggle and stands ready to assist in any way to help CTU and CPS reach an agreement,” they said.
NewsNation affiliate WGN-TV and The Associated Press contributed to this report.