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Will CPS Kids Head Back To School In November? Decision Coming ‘Soon,’ Lightfoot Says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city leaders have said one of their major goals is getting children back in class.

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CHICAGO — Public school officials will make an announcement about if kids will be back in class this November “relatively soon,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday.

Chicago Public Schools students have been out of class since March, when the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to move classes online. CPS officials and Lightfoot had hoped to bring kids back to school starting in September, originally floating a hybrid plan that would have seen kids do a mixture of online and in-person learning.

But the ongoing pandemic — combined with pushback from parents and faculty — led to officials opting to keep classes largely online. When making that announcement in early August, officials said they hoped students would be able to return to class when the second quarter begins Nov. 9.

And since then, Lightfoot and other city leaders have said one of their major goals is getting children back in class.

“We’re always working toward that,” Lightfoot said at an unrelated news conference Wednesday. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that children learn best, particularly our youngest children, with in-person instruction.”

Catholic schools in the city have returned to in-person instruction, and officials have said they’re watching how that goes to shape their own plans around public schools.

But the city’s still struggling with its COVID-19 outbreak, having seen its daily new cases grow in recent weeks. Officials haven’t yet announced whether public school students will stay online or have at least some in-person learning.

That announcement will come soon, though, Lightfoot said. She did not give a timeline but said the announcement would come from CPS officials.

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