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CPS Opening 4 Vaccination Sites For School Employees Next Week

Appointments for vaccinations will be offered based on an "equity-based priority list" established by CPS.

CHICAGO — Four vaccination sites for Chicago Public Schools faculty will open next week.

The four sites, which will be at CPS schools, will be able to vaccinate 1,500 people per week and will only be open to district staff, according to a CPS news release. The district will notify employees when appointments are available to them.

Appointments will be offered based on an “equity-based priority list” established by CPS, according to the school district. If an employee misses their first opportunity to sign up, they will be given more offers in the future.

The district has already offered vaccination appointments to 7,500 school-based staff members, including 2,000 offers for “expedited vaccinations” earlier this week for preschool and cluster staff, according to CPS.

CPS did not specify what hours the sites will be open, but it said the hours will be “accommodating to the work schedules of employees.” Still, staff will be excused from work during their appointment.

Teachers can also get vaccinated at pharmacies, doctor’s offices and through other means.

CPS’ prioritization strategy:

Under the plan, cluster program teachers, pre-K teachers, paraprofessionals and others will be among the first to be vaccinated. The district classified people in Group 1 as being at high risk of exposure.

Those teachers have already had to return to class, as CPS resumed in-person instruction for cluster program and preschool students earlier this month.

A person will also be given higher priority for a vaccine dose if they are 65 or older or have a high-risk medical condition, according to the district.

The next group will prioritize elementary school teachers and high school teachers, among others, who the district classified as being at medium risk of exposure.

The third and final group will prioritize central and network office staff, who are classified as being at low risk of exposure.

Many employees who have been allowed to work from home due to a medical condition will be expected to return to in-person learning after being vaccinated, according to CPS.

The vaccination sites will require appointments. Their locations:

  • Chicago Vocational High School, 2100 E. 87th St.
  • Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St.
  • Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave.
  • Roosevelt High School, 3436 W. Wilson Ave.

More information about the district’s plan is available online.

Students started to return to school Thursday, with more expected back in coming weeks. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson are also working on bringing back high school students.

While the majority of CPS students have opted to continue with virtual learning, families once again will have a chance to opt-in to in-person learning before the fourth quarter of the school year starts in spring, Jackson said.

The deal also means 2,000 special education and preschool staffers will be offered vaccinations starting this week. There also will be CPS vaccination sites only for district staffers where the city hopes to vaccinate 1,500 people each week. Those locations will open later this month, Jackson said.

The tentative deal allows for CTU members who serve as primary caregivers for family members at increased risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 to receive permission to teach remotely, if documentation can be provided. Those who don’t receive an accommodation and are not fully vaccinated may take an unpaid leave of absence while maintaining their full benefits through the third quarter. 

The district will revert to remote learning for two weeks if the rolling, seven-day average test positivity rate increases for seven consecutive days, the rate for each of the seven days is at least 15 percent higher than the previous week and the citywide positivity rate is 10 percent or higher on the seventh day.

Students would return to in-person learning after the 14 days or when the positivity rate no longer meets those metrics, whichever occurs later.

CPS will pause in-person learning for classroom groups when there has been one confirmed COVID-19 case. Individual schools can be closed for 14 days if three or more new cases emerge in at least three classrooms and the district can’t rule out the cases were linked to in-school transmission.

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