Update August 5, 2020: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that schools will eschew the city’s original hybrid learning plan in favor of 100% remote learning. The original plan was for students to attend in-person classes for two days a week and engage in distance learning for the rest of the week.
More than 400,000 students will be returning to school in Chicago, with a tentative start date of September 8, 2020. In addition to the increased chances of car and pedestrian accidents, students, parents, and teachers must contend with the Chicago COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented viral outbreak has introduced fear and uncertainty throughout the country. To help you understand issues of returning to school while the coronavirus continues to spread, Lerner and Rowe has put together a Chicago COVID-19 back to school safety guide.
Getting ready to go back to school? Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys is providing FREE backpacks and school supplies to Chicago students as a part of its Drive-Thru Backpack Giveaway on August 15, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m at Richard J. Daley Elementary Academy ( 5024 S Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60609).
Prepare for Hybrid Learning
Governor JB Pritzker ordered all public and private schools to shut down in April 2020. Recently, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has allowed schools to reopen with approved safety guidance. While many students and parents are eager for kids to return to school for their mental health and social development, teachers are reluctant to physically return to schools so quickly. The Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers issued a statement voicing concerns about school openings and Chicago COVID-19 safety.
While there are concerns and divides abound, most agree that remote learning will play a significant role in Chicago school openings. Some districts wish to start with 100% distance learning, while others are aiming for hybrid learning, with online classes on some days and physical classes on others.
Although remote learning will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are additional safety issues to consider, such as sharing sensitive information with Internet scammers and cyberbullying. If your children are distance learning, it’s important that they be supervised, use trusted programs, and only use secure websites.
It’s also important to keep them engaged, as they won’t have the abundant social opportunities that are allowed in school. It sounds simple, but talking to your children or having them video chat with friends and family is vital to their mental wellbeing and social development.
If your children are hybrid learning, it’s vital to make sure that your household has extra personal protective equipment (PPE). While school districts will be providing for students, the supply chain has been unstable. To help prepare for a shortage, you should buy extra masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer for the students in your family.
Chicago COVID-19 School Opening Information
Under normal circumstances, the best policy information comes directly from your children’s individual school and school district. However, there are some general guidelines issued for the state by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Since children that attend school will be interacting with other students and teachers, they run the risk of bringing COVID-19 back to your household. This is a particularly big concern for any students that traveled over the summer. For those situations, the IDPH recommends the following:
- Any student returning from a location with sustained widespread transmission should not attend school for 14 days after the return date.
- Absences for quarantine should be excused.
- Family and household members of these students should not attend work if they also traveled to one of the locations with a Level 3 travel warning.
It’s important to remember that the ISBE’s recommendations are fluid. They will change as new information and studies are released. Since schools closed at a relatively early stage of the Chicago COVID-19 pandemic, there is little information on the effect that school openings will have on transmission. Some experts are using case studies from Denmark, Israel, and South Korea school openings to make U.S. projections, but those communities have significant differences.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys hopes that the students in your family have a safe and happy return to school. Should the scholars in your family suffer a personal injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, please contact us immediately. Our team is available 24/7 to help you in the event of an accident.
You can contact Lerner and Rowe any hour and any day of the week at 708-222-2222. Our staff is also available through the Internet via LiveChat and you can also submit your case details online. Consultations are free and we do not collect any fees unless your case is won.