Chicago Public Schools tells parents mask-optional coming soon

Chicago Public Schools tells parents mask-optional coming soon

Chicago Public Schools’ top administrator told parents a mask-optional model for students and staff is coming soon. A Chicago Teachers Union dictate has kept students in masks despite the statewide mandate being lifted.

Chicago Public School parents were notified by email that the district is adopting a mask-optional policy “in the near future.”

Just last week, Chicago’s Board of Education voted to keep universal masking in the district – part of a “safety plan” imposed after the Chicago Teachers Union walked out on students for five school days in January. Administrators say the change of course is triggered by declining COVID-19 cases in schools and hospitalization rates.

Tom DeVore, the attorney behind the lawsuit challenging masks in schools, filed a motion for a temporary restraining order on CPS’s masking policy. Both DeVore and CPS CEO Pedro Martinez are scheduled to be in court March 10.

The decision is ultimately up to Martinez, but CPS spokeswoman Mary Fergus said CTU will be one of many parties involved in the process.

“As always, we’ll develop our updated policies and procedures based on science and in particular, consultation with our federal, state and city health partners and in collaboration with district parents, staff, and the Chicago Teachers Union,” Fergus said.

Martinez and CPS attorneys met with CTU President Jesse Sharkey and Vice President Stacy Davis Gates to discuss COVID-19 safety measures before emails were sent to parents informing them mask-optional is only a matter of time.

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