Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday said a decision regarding Chicago Public Schools' learning plan for the second quarter would be coming "relatively soon," but declined to comment on the direction the district might lean in November.
"I don't think there's any doubt whatsoever that children learn best, particularly our youngest children with in person instruction," Lightfoot said. "Again, I will defer to CPS, but we've never stopped looking towards the future and what the possibilities would be, and we continue to follow the public health guidance. And I believe the CPS will have an announcement on that issue relatively soon."
When asked about whether the decision could come this week, Lightfoot declined to specify and again reiterated "relatively soon."
Late last month, Lightfoot acknowledged that while remote learning is a "real challenge for everyone involved," she said "we're not there yet" when it comes to resuming in-person learning at Chicago Public Schools.
CPS began its new school year with remote instruction Sept. 8 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In early August, Lightfoot said the decision to start the school year remotely was "rooted in public health," but at the time said the district sought to establish a hybrid learning model in the second quarter.
The second quarter is set to start Nov. 9.
The mayor said she knows "there's a lot of anxiety on the part of the parent," but it's important for the city to consider the health of principals, teachers and staff members.
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"What does it mean for members of that school community? Who are over 60? Who have underlying medical conditions? Are we going to have enough of a robust workforce to be able to come back in person?," the mayor said at a news conference Monday.
This summer Lightfoot first proposed a hybrid learning model, with students in small pods in the classroom a few days a week.The Chicago Teachers Union put on pressure to continue remote learning, citing concerns for teacher and student safety amid the pandemic.