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Is your Chicago class in quarantine? Tell us about it.

Students wearing face masks sit at desks behind plastic shields in a Chicago classroom with a yellow, cream, and black checkerboard floor and a blue wall. They are working on laptop computers as a teacher wearing a white top watches.

A fourth grade teacher at Miles Davis Magnet Academy in Chicago teaches some children math from the classroom while communicating with others who are learning from home in the spring of 2021.

Cassie Walker Burke / Chalkbeat

The omicron peak may have passed in Chicago, but COVID continues to disrupt education in the nation’s third largest school district and in districts across Illinois. 

Chicago Public Schools as of Wednesday reported the highest daily total yet of children in quarantine: 15,413, bringing the total to 16,545 once staff quarantines were factored in. Schools chief Pedro Martinez said the district was looking to reduce its quarantine period from 10 days to five in line with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state school board.

The state does not keep a public tally of the number of school children in quarantine. 

Just 40% of eligible children are fully vaccinated in Illinois; under state guidelines, vaccinated children may return to classrooms after exposure but unvaccinated children must learn from home. 

Quarantine orders have forced schools to re-introduce remote learning, juggle classroom assignments, and scramble on substitutes.

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