CPS back to school: Chicago Public Schools students return for first day of 2022-23 school year amid teacher, bus driver shortage

CPS back to school: Chicago Public Schools students return for first day of 2022-23 school year amid teacher, bus driver shortage

CHICAGO (TOC) — Chicago Public Colleges college students head again for the primary day of the varsity 12 months Monday.

The autumn semester is beginning sooner than regular, earlier than Labor Day weekend, and college students will see different modifications this 12 months.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Public Colleges CEO Pedro Martinez at Falconer Elementary Faculty on the Northwest Aspect to ring the bell and welcome college students again to high school.

“We’re very completely happy to have all the youngsters again this morning,” mother or father Jessica Muentes stated.

And the scholars appeared simply as completely happy to be again in school.

Because the nation’s third-largest district, which means greater than 330,000 college students returned to high school Monday.

WATCH: Mayor Lightfoot joins CPS CEO for 1st day of faculty

The sooner-than-usual begin to the varsity 12 months can be marked by relaxed COVID protocols and a instructor and bus driver scarcity.

“It was a brief summer season for positive,” mother or father Shirley Kienitz stated. “Nicely we agreed as a result of they received one other booster that they might make their very own alternative about carrying a masks. We’re nonetheless doing the weekly testing. We’ll see the way it goes. A little bit apprehensive, however physique autonomy.”

On the Chicago Trainer’s Union headquarters, President Stacy Davis Gates praised the tentative security plan agreed to with CPS that may permit academics to keep away from the contentious pandemic-related battles of the final two years.

“So long as our youngsters are superb and wholesome and everybody takes care and does the protocol, the whole lot is nice,” Muentes stated.

As college students enter a 3rd pandemic faculty 12 months, the CPS CEO stated masks will nonetheless be inspired and weekly screening assessments will nonetheless be performed at faculties.

“What I am actually enthusiastic about is that with the brand new CDC steerage, the one youngsters that should isolate, that will not have the ability to be taught from lecture rooms, will likely be youngsters which are optimistic or have signs,” Martinez stated. “All of our different youngsters will have the ability to be taught safely from their lecture rooms.”

“I’m going to belief our members to be stewards of the widespread good and look after the households that they serve and I will belief that we will lastly discover partnership with our faculty district to anchor all of our assets into giving our college students the perfect that they’ll get,” Davis Gates stated.

Belmont Cragin faculty emphasizes addressing wants of scholars exterior the classroom

Chicago Worldwide Constitution Faculty West Belden is placing extra emphasis on addressing the wants of their college students exterior the classroom this 12 months.

“Over the previous couple of years we have now realized quite a bit about what it means for us to be greater than only a faculty,” stated Principal Colleen Collins.

Diego Nunez is serving as the varsity’s first group faculty coordinator. He only recently graduated with a grasp’s diploma in group psychology from DePaul College.

“Right here at West Belden we’re a predominantly Latino group so simply being part of that tradition myself I feel is absolutely essential, I need to give again,” he stated.

Nunez plans to spend time connecting with households to see what college students are dealing with at dwelling.

“That is the right time to actually supply these wrap round companies, like healthcare, work with rental help, work with immigration rights,” Nunez stated.

“The intention is that if we’re actually aware of offering our college students and their households and the group with larger entry to helps that they want, once they come to high school daily they are going to be able to be taught,” stated Collins.

“It simply creates a safer group, more healthy and happier group,” stated mother or father Tanya Diaz.

Colleges nonetheless scuffling with bus driver scarcity as 12 months begins

This 12 months, a bus driver scarcity has led to longer routes.

CPS continues to supply dad and mom a month-to-month stipend in change for arranging their very own transportation.

CEO Martinez requested dad and mom for a few weeks grace as soon as faculty begins to get the whole lot sorted out.

The CTA is providing free rides for Chicago Public Faculty college students Monday.

The supply is nice for all college students and their dad and mom or guardians.

“We have got some carpool for aftercare — a variety of logistics, laundry and logistics. That is the reality of motherhood,” Kienitz stated.

Metra and Tempo are additionally providing free companies to college students between 5:30 a.m. and eight p.m.

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