Chicago Public Schools students return to school for 'recovery year'

Falconer Elementary on Chicago's Northwest Side, was spruced up for the first day of school on Monday.

In addition to the very important students, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and head of schools paid a visit to start off the school year while officials rang the ceremonial bells and welcomed children.

Lightfoot chatted with students and admired their fresh haircuts and new supplies.


Friends greeted each other before classes. Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez spoke to some children in Spanish.

The principal of Falconer, James Cosme arrived at 6 a.m., to put up welcoming banners to surprise families, and he told the mayor his staff worked on the facility all summer. Cosme said the school just received a new playground.

Parents were eager to drop off their children, but the very first day for the youngest, can be emotional.

One kindergarten mom lingered after dropping off her 5-year-old son, admitting that this step was harder for her than him.

CPS officials are calling this school year one of recovery, with the goal of getting kids back to their pre-pandemic routines, achievements and social interaction.