With Chicago teachers on strike, nearly 150 schools will be open to students with limited hours.
Beginning Thursday, if the strike should go that long, the 147 "Children First" sites will be open six hours -- from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. -- instead of the four hours they've been available.
The aim, said Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, is to keep students safe and engaged, and to feed those students who depend upon school meals.
"Putting our students first is the No. 1 priority. Since the CTU chose to strike on Sunday, parents are seeking greater support, and we have responded by increasing hours to more closely mirror a traditional school day," he said in a written statement.
The district has put lists on its website of those schools and Safe Haven sites that will be open throughout the strike:
Non-CPS Children First Sites:
Parents can sign up their child for one of the locations using their student ID number at www.cps.edu/childrenfirst. Parents without Internet access can call 311.
"The choice by the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union to strike is an incredible burden on our families and children, and I want to thank Chicago’s community and faith leaders for coming together to support our students in what will be a difficult time," said Brizard.
In addition to the 144 Children First sites, examples of alternative programming include:
- 59 faith-based organizations will continue programming through the Safe Haven program to provide CPS students in their communities with structured activities and a safe environments while out of school;
- More than 90 community-based organizations will provide engaging activities and a safe environment;
- 78 Chicago Public Libraries locations will maintain their operating hours and offer a safe environment for students where they can access books, magazines and online learning opportunities;
- 78 Chicago Park District sites will provide programming.