COVID-19 and BACK TO SCHOOL
The first day of school for students is Monday, August 30. Please note that the school year begins the week before Labor Day this year.
Nearly all students will return to school five days a week this school year. If a student has documented health conditions or medical needs, they may be eligible for the district’s fully remote Virtual Academy. Applications for the Virtual Academy are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Throughout the summer, the district is hosting 10 Back-to-School Bashes at various community sites across Chicago. These bashes are an opportunity to receive free backpacks and other school supplies, and some of them offer vaccinations against COVID-19.
More information about these bashes can be found at the Back to School Bashes page. Additionally, many schools are hosting their own back-to-school events. Reach out to your school’s principal to learn more about what your school has planned.
The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. The vaccines teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and they have been proven to be effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.
As of August 11, 2021, students ages 12 and up are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is a two-dose vaccine that requires shots to be administered three weeks apart. Students 18 and older are also eligible for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine.
Yes. The district has multiple ways for students (ages 12 and up) and families to get vaccinated before the school year begins. The vaccine is free for all and no proof of insurance nor citizenship is required.
First, the district has three school-based vaccination sites that provide vaccinations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Families can walk in or sign up for an appointment at the COVID-19 Vaccination page.
Second, the following Back-to-School Bashes will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations. Appointments are not required:
You can also visit www.vaccines.gov for more information, text your zip code to 438829, or call 312-746-4835 to find other COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.
Yes. Students, teachers, staff, and visitors to CPS school buildings will need to wear masks at all times when indoors, except when eating or drinking.
Students and staff should be allowed to remove their face covering when they are outside and at least one of the following conditions are met:
If your child has a medical exemption, please contact your school principal.
Yes. CPS is following the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recommends that everyone wear masks indoors at all times regardless of their vaccination status.
Students and staff will be provided with masks at school, and they may also use masks they bring from home. All masks should follow CDC guidelines.
Yes, social distancing of three feet will be enforced wherever possible. In addition, schools will use additional health and safety strategies, such as air purifiers, hand sanitizer, and masks to help keep everyone safe.
To keep students as safe as possible, schools will decide whether students eat breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria or their classrooms to maintain social distancing as much as possible.
Yes. The district is offering testing to 100 percent of CPS students and staff weekly at our current level of community transmission to measure and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 in our schools. If Chicago moves to a low level of community transmission, in alignment with CDC guidance, general student screening is not needed but testing will continue with staff and student-athletes. The consenting process will be forthcoming.
CPS will maintain consistent procedures and community notification protocols to respond to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in CPS schools. Also, to ensure public awareness, the district is continuing to track confirmed COVID-19 cases at on the COVID-19 & Readiness Data page.
Students will be required to wear masks while on school buses and inside all CPS facilities.
Schools will ensure that students are not congregating around the school during arrival and dismissal, and will help students move through the building in an organized fashion that adheres to social distancing guidelines as much as possible. Passing others in the hallway while wearing a mask is not considered being in close contact.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your child against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Additionally, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends washing your hands often with soap water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and wearing a mask when in public and around others.
If you have a question or concern specific to your child’s school, please contact your school’s principal. More general questions or concerns can be shared by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 773-553-KIDS (5437).