CPS pro­poses hold­ing classes on Vet­er­ans Day in­stead of Elec­tion Day

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY NADER ISSA, ED­U­CA­TION RE­PORTER nissa@suntimes.com | @NaderDIssa

Chicago Pub­lic Schools of­fi­cials are look­ing to hold classes on Vet­er­ans Day this Novem­ber to make up for a school day lost to a new law that makes Elec­tion Day a state hol­i­day.

The swap of the two hol­i­days will be pro­posed to the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion at its monthly meet­ing Wed­nes­day for a vote to ap­prove a re­vised 2019-2020 school year sched­ule.

If the change is made, Vet­er­ans Day would still be a district hol­i­day but would be added to a list of hol­i­days the district is al­lowed to use for classes, par­ent-teacher con­fer­ences or teacher in­sti­tute days. Oth­ers on the list in­clude the re­cently re­named In­dige­nous Peo­ples Day, Casimir Pu­laski Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln’s birth­day.

CPS of­fi­cials said schools would still rec­og­nize Vet­er­ans Day us­ing in­struc­tional ma­te­ri­als dur­ing re­mote classes, as re­quired by the Illi­nois School Code for dis­tricts hold­ing classes on any of those ex­empted hol­i­days.

“The district will en­cour­age hon­or­ing vet­er­ans on both Novem­ber 3, 2020 . . . and will honor vet­er­ans on Novem­ber 11, 2020, with a mo­ment of si­lence and lessons on vet­er­ans,” the district said in its pro­posal.

The pro­posed change is prompted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker sign­ing leg­is­la­tion in June that, among other elec­tion ini­tia­tives, made Elec­tion Day a state hol­i­day pro­hibit­ing K-12 schools from open­ing other than as polling lo­ca­tions. CPS had re­leased its cal­en­dar for the new school year in Fe­bru­ary.

A pub­lic hear­ing to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial change is sched­uled for 9:30 a.m. Wed­nes­day ahead of the reg­u­lar board meet­ing.

The school sys­tem, the na­tion’s third largest, is hold­ing classes re­motely through early Novem­ber be­cause of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

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