Quarantines, positive cases, sickness surface at schools that include McClutchen, Hanson Park, Beard Specialty, serving pre-K and acute medical needs special education students.

  • 6:30 a.m. TODAY: Press conference with locked out educators, via Zoom. Reporters, register at this link.
  • 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m: Sadlowski Elementary teach-out, 3930 E 105th St. Educators will swipe in, then teach outside the building. News outlets, this is a b-roll opportunity only, as educators are working.
  • 3:30 p.m.: Uplift High School mutual aid action, 900 W. Wilson, Chicago
  • 4:00 p.m., Uplift High School: Press availability with CTU President Jesse Sharkey

CHICAGO, Jan. 12, 2020—Teachers across the city who are teaching remotely received notices from CPS Monday evening threatening to declare them “absent without leave” — and without pay — for exercising their right to refuse to work in-person under unsafe conditions.

Educators are speaking out against this illegal assault on common sense and decency, which will deprive thousands of Black and Brown children of access to their teachers for remote learning, at a press conference at 6:30 a.m. today via Zoom. Reporters can register for the press conference at this link.

School communities across the city are mobilizing today against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s increasingly dangerous and irresponsible reopening plan, as a growing number of schools are reporting COVID cases, quarantines and sickness.

CPS routinely denies that COVID cases can be linked to schools.

But new exposures and outbreaks at schools across the city are believed to be tied to the Mayor’s reckless move to try to force thousands of teachers back into buildings beginning on January 4. On Monday alone, CTU officials learned that at Hanson Park, three people now have tested positive for COVID. At McCutcheon, multiple staff are quarantining and at least two have reported symptoms. As of Monday, three CTU members also tested positive for COVID at Beard Elementary, which hosts both pre-K and special needs programs for children with autism and acute medical needs. At least 10 workers are in quarantine. Some of the District’s most vulnerable students began returning to classrooms Monday at Beard.

Teachers at Sadlowski Elementary on the South Side will swipe into their school, then spend the day teaching students from outside the building at a ‘teach-out’ from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Reporters, note that educators are working during these hours, so this is a B-roll opportunity only.

Tuesday is also a national day of action for education equity, with CTU teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals building solidarity with communities suffering the effects of the pandemic. At Uplift Community High School in Uptown, CTU members will bring and distribute aid in food, PPE and school supplies, starting at 3:30 p.m. at 900 W. Wilson. Uplift is one of Chicago’s five mutual aid sites participating in the National Day of Action.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey will join the effort at Uplift at 4:00 p.m., where he’ll be available for press interviews.

Reporters, please register for the 6:30 a.m. Zoom press conference at this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pUBUb22ZTaSQ8DBWp2oWLA

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.