Parents stayed up late to see if they’d have to get their kids up early.
They did, but they didn’t mind.
When a last-minute tentative deal with the Chicago Teachers Union was reached just before a midnight deadline, it meant Chicago Public Schools parents could finally get some sleep — or, perhaps, watch the rest of the Cubs game.
Parent Robert Redditt, father of twins in fifth grade, said he stayed up until about midnight to hear the result of the negotiations. By 7 a.m., he was dropping his children off at Courtenay Elementary Language Arts Center, 4420 N. Beacon St.
“I’m very excited,” Redditt said. “These children will stay on schedule and get the education they need. I’m glad the teachers will get what they need — the administrators, the city, everybody is happy.”
One teacher at Courtenay concurred.
“I’m very happy that they reached an agreement and that we’re not on strike,” said a Courtenay teacher who began teaching in 1986 but did not wish to be identified. “I’m sure we got what we wanted.”
At Lane Tech High School, two exhausted students headed into class Tuesday morning slightly disappointed.
“I wish we had a week off. They got us all excited,” said the boy, who did not want to be named.
The students, bleary-eyed from trying to keep tabs on the Cubs (they lost) and the strike into the wee hours, said they wish they’d been given more notice on the situation.
When told a strike could still take place if the union membership doesn’t ratify the deal, one of the boys said, “Yes!” noting that he could use the time off.
Still, their parents’ stance was clear.
My dad just says, ‘Every other kid in the country was going to school. So why shouldn’t you?'”
That included Lane Tech sophomore Loughlainn Ryan, 15, who locked his bike up about 8 a.m. and figured he’d be one of several hundred students late to class after staying up to keep on eye on developments both school- and Cubs-related.
“I wish there had been a strike for personal reasons,” he said. “I want to spend more time hanging out with friends.”
A few blocks to the east, Kristin Radzioch was dropping off her two daughters — Kaya, 9, and Alana, 7 — at Audubon Elementary, 3500 N. Hoyne Ave. in Roscoe Village.
“I’m really glad they’re in school today,” Radzioch said, who paints houses. “This strike stuff is stressful. The whole week has been chaotic. I didn’t know if I’d have to take the day off work and find daycare until this morning.”
But it won’t all be over until the deal is OK’d.
“I really hope a fair deal was worked out for the teachers and things go smoothly,” she said.
At McCutcheon Elementary School, 4865 N. Sheridan Rd., substitute teacher Becky Jones was delighted that the teachers appear to have received what they were fighting for.
“The teachers deserved (better) and the kids deserved better. So if we had to go on strike, I was prepared,” said Jones, who, as a substitute, isn’t part of the union but still wouldn’t have been paid had there been a strike.
Like many parents, Cassie Carroll had been feeling stressed over how she and her husband would have had to rearrange their day had there been a strike — but she considered it a relatively small price to pay to support McCutcheon teachers.
“They deserve everything they’re asking for,” said Carroll, dropping off her 4-year-old twin boys. “My kids have completely blossomed. They’re thriving. The teachers are fantastic at McCutcheon.”
Back at Courtenay, a frustrated Alicia McFadden said she didn’t learn of the tentative deal until about 2 a.m. on Facebook.
McFaddden learned there would be school Tuesday via Facebook.
“It was tough,” said McFadden, who has an 8-year-old at Courtenay. “Don’t mess with the kids’ education. I know you don’t get paid a lot, but if you’re going into the field, make sure it’s a passion.”