Hundreds of students at one Chicago elementary school reportedly called out sick on Thursday, one of the make-up days following October's Chicago Teachers Union Strike, according to a parent.
Jennifer Schaefer, the parent of a daughter who attends Lincoln Elementary in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood, said she called the school Thursday and learned 400 students had called out sick. According to the Chicago Public Schools website, approximately 1,000 students are enrolled at the school.
Schaefer said she kept her daughter home that day due to a family emergency.
“It sounds like it was a struggle for a lot of families to make up for strike day,” she said.
As part of their agreement with the CTU, CPS officials announced five instructional days that needed to be made up after the union’s 11-day strike.
On the first make-up day, Wednesday Nov. 27, 78% of students were in attendance district-wide, which meant around 66,000 students were absent, according to CPS officials.
Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade responded in a statement, saying, “We understand that modifications to the school calendar can create real challenges for our families, and we have worked to add make-up days in a manner that prioritizes student learning and minimizes disruption to the fullest extent possible.”
Schaefer said her daughter missed out on a family trip to Lincoln Park Zoo, because make-up days were scheduled during what’s typically holiday break.
“Everybody’s home from work, and preschool, so she was disappointed that she had to go back to school,” she said.
CPS previously extended the 2019-2020 school year by adding the two remaining make-up days on June 17 and 18.