By: Megha Khemka, Copy Editor/LSC Correspondent
Tuesday marked the last day of school closures in the recent dispute between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union over student and teacher safety and district-wide COVID procedures. Payton students return on Wednesday, January 12th, for a seminar day, and all freshmen take the PSAT test as previously scheduled. In a change to the original calendar, Thursday will be a blue day and Friday an orange day; however, Monday January 17th remains a day of no attendance due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In a school-wide email, Principal Shabazz stated that an up-to-date copy of the school calendar is forthcoming.
As for yesterday, all faculty and staff were expected to be in school buildings and have regained access to their CPS Google accounts. Payton offered free COVID testing for students and staff on-campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. As of yet, no official information has been provided about finals dates or grading policy shifts, and CPS has not made it clear whether the five days of missed instruction will have to be made up at a later date.
It’s also not clear if Payton will have new COVID protocols. The full text of the negotiated agreement between CPS and the CTU will be made available after it’s ratified by Union members, but officials said changes include updated thresholds for switching a classroom or school to online learning based on student and faculty absences, new contact tracing proposals, and additional funding for expanded testing, PPE, and other materials for schools. “It’s not a perfect agreement,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey of the document, “but it’s something we can hold our heads up about.”