Chicago Public Schools

Watch Live: Lightfoot, Chicago Public Schools to Discuss School Year, Expected to Announce Remote Learning

Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are scheduled to "make an announcement" about the upcoming school year Wednesday morning, according to Lightfoot's office.

That announcement is likely to be that the district will use a remote learning only plan for the fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues, sources told NBC 5 Tuesday evening.

Lightfoot, CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson and Chicago Department of Public Health Commission Dr. Allison Arwady were scheduled to make the announcement during a news conference at 9 a.m. from City Hall, according to Lightfoot's public schedule.

The decision comes as CPS officials and the Chicago Teachers Union clashed over the district's previously announced hybrid approach that called for most students to receive two days of in-person instruction per week, in smaller pods of about 15 students to reduce exposure and support more efficient contact tracing should a member of the pod contract COVID-19.

Under that plan, both half and full day pre-K programs would have learned at school, while students in kindergarten through 10th grade would have operate under a hybrid model. High school juniors and seniors would have been fully remote.

CPS said the framework was a draft, not a final plan, soliciting input through an online survey and multiple virtual community meetings before making any final decisions on the plan this month.

On Tuesday afternoon, sources said the Chicago Teachers Union - which vehemently opposed the hybrid approach over safety concerns - was moving toward a potential strike vote, with a House of Delegates meeting scheduled for next week.

"A win for teachers, students and parents," CTU President Jesse Sharkey tweeted of the news that CPS would begin fully remote. "It's sad that we have to strike or threaten to strike to be heard, but when we fight, we win!"

CPS' first day of school is scheduled for Sept. 8.

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