A fourth day of classes has already been canceled for Monday at many Chicago schools, including some of the city’s largest high schools.

Whitney Young Magnet High School Principal Joyce Kenner sent an email to families Friday announcing school would be out again.

“Based on extremely limited staffing we are unable to open our school for instruction or activities on Monday, January 10. We are hopeful this impasse will be resolved in the near future,” she wrote.

Steinmetz College Prep and Lincoln Park High Schools sent similar notices to families of students, who have been home since Wednesday after members of the Chicago Teachers Union voted not to report to schools out of concerns over safety protocols during the COVID-10 pandemic.

Some schools said the situation could change if there was a major breakthrough in talks between the district and the CTU. But Friday, it was unclear if any progress had been made.

At press conference Friday evening, Tennille Evans, an organizer with the CTU, wouldn’t say if the union’s leaders and CPS were close to making a deal and wasn’t sure if school will reopen to in-person learning next week.

“We are ready, again, our offices are at the bargaining table. Bargaining as we speak,” Evans told reporters. “[We’re] ready to set an agreement on a safety measure.”

At least one school, Bronzeville Classical Elementary, sent notice that schools would be closed until next Friday, Jan. 14, although Principal Nicole Spicer said she would “update BCS families if this date changes.”

During that time, she said staff would only provide “independent work projects” and “would not distribute devices during this 8-day work stoppage.”

However, that timing was not confirmed by the district or even other principals. Lake View’s Hawthorne Scholastic Academy Principal Trish Davlantes wrote to families that “there is currently no timetable for when all school in-person learning will resume. We are hoping that an agreement can be reached soon.”

CPS officials did not respond to requests for an update on the status of negotiations Friday or for comment on whether in-person learning would be canceled at all the district’s schools next week.

The district and union remain at odds over pandemic safety measures, including whether all students should have to submit a negative COVID test before returning and how many staff absences would require a school to shut down. The union has said it wants to return to remote work while until the current wave subsides.

But CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a meeting with principals Friday that the district will not offer online classes next week, a source said. The district is holding firm that classes only resume when the union agrees to return to in-person work, the source said.

Meanwhile, Mount Greenwood Elementary on the Far South Side has told families it has enough staff to resume full in-person classes Monday. Those who have COVID or have been exposed have to stay quarantined, but the rest can come in, Principal Mary Reidy has said.

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)



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