How has Chicago Public Schools’ reopening gone so far? What Chicagoans say.

Among the responses: ‘My son was so happy to be in school he can’t wait for tomorrow.’ ‘My daughter ... LOVED being back in person.’ ‘Nope, my kid will not go back and take that risk.’

SHARE How has Chicago Public Schools’ reopening gone so far? What Chicagoans say.
Students play outside at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.

Students play outside at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy.

Anthony Vazquez / Sun-Times

With Chicago Public Schools’ phased reopening having just welcomed back more than 30,000 students to classrooms this past week, we asked Chicagoans whether they’ve sent their kids back to school yet — and if so, how has it gone? Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

“My daughter went, and she LOVED being back in person! She was so excited to be back in the building with her teachers and friends! She is in fourth grade at Edison Park Elementary. Everything was safe, clean, and they followed strict distancing protocols.” — Susie Walsh

“Nope, my kid will not go back and take that risk. Teachers may have gotten the vaccine but not the kids that are in class, and they can still get sick.” — Ray Corleone

“My second-grader went back today after almost a year. It went great! He was so happy, everyone was! You could feel the good vibes in general. Principal, teachers, staff — they all did such an amazing job. They are taking it seriously, and so are the kids. Everything seemed to be organized and carefully planned.” — Andrea Flores

“No. I opted for continued remote learning. Not willing to jeopardize or risk my son’s health just to be in a building.” — Rosie McCallister

It was so great to see kids out on the playgrounds today. The schoolyard was so depressing all year. We pulled my daughter out of CPS in January because she was struggling with remote learning, but [it was] great to see her former classmates are getting to socialize and learn in person, which is so critical for our youngest learners.” — Janna Conant

“My daughter did great! She had an awesome day and was so happy to be back! She’s in fourth grade.” — Esther Cardenas Castano

“We’ll know how it went in a week or so when people start reporting positive COVID tests.” — Nick Hussong

“It went well! The school was so organized, with excellent PPE in place, good preventative controls. Positive engagement and culture! Most importantly, the students were glad to be back.” — Mel Smith

“My son was so happy to be in school he can’t wait for tomorrow.” — Kristal Jarrett

“First day back, only two students from class were there. They added one kindergartener to their class. Three total. She’s happy to be back and wants to continue going back. Two teacher assistants in class while they learned remotely. I think it’s a good start.” — Ka Valdz

Nope! My children will continue to e-learn/remote ... in the safety of our own home!” — Jackie Noturusual

“Went great! My son was so happy to be in ‘real school.’ He’s in kindergarten and was completely over learning through an iPad. He can’t wait to go back tomorrow!” — Cheryl Marie

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