September 20, 2020

Afternoon Edition: Sept. 8, 2020

An empty classroom at Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Academy of Social Justice in Englewood on the first day back to school this morning. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

With Labor Day behind us, it’s already starting to feel like fall: This afternoon will continue to be rainy, with a high near 64 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 60. Tomorrow will be cloudy, with more rain in the forecast, and a high near 65 degrees.

Top story
Students and teachers bring energy to CPS’ new school year despite remote learning challenges

Technology issues and remote learning anxieties aside, many Chicago Public Schools students and teachers were excited to get the new school year started today.

There were still questions to be answered, such as how many children still lack quality internet, and important topics to address amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a summer of racial justice protests.

Nonetheless, Nina Hike, a chemistry teacher at Westinghouse College Prep, said she’s energized for the start of the year despite her nerves about her internet connection potentially cutting out during a class.

Holding up a laboratory flask, Hike said she’s looking forward to the unique dynamic of teaching students in their homes: “In the classroom, it’s easy to kind of gauge the student energy,” Hike said. “But I feel like my energy is going to come through the computer screen. I even bought little beakers and flasks so that I can do demos … to engage students.”

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As far as potential technology challenges, Hike said she and other teachers will gauge the year’s starting point today and outreach will continue until all kids have the tools they need.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office and CPS officials have said access to computers is not expected to be the barrier it proved to be earlier this year, after 128,000 devices were distributed in the spring and another 17,000 were handed out ahead of this school year.

Officials also announced the “Chicago Connected” program in June, pledging to provide free, high-speed internet to the homes of 100,000 CPS students who lacked reliable broadband access. A little over two months later, the families of 24,000 kids have signed up for the program; the rest may still lack quality internet access at the start of the school year.

“We are not leaving anybody behind this year,” the mayor said today at King Elementary. “We want to make sure that every single student in CPS has the same opportunity to have a fulfilling and nurturing learning experience as they would if they were physically in the classroom.”

Lauren Kullman, a drama teacher at Nightingale Elementary in Gage Park, said one of her chief concerns is checking how students are doing overall during the pandemic. Gage Park is among the hardest-hit communities in the state by COVID-19, and in May …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times


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