City officials open John Hancock College Prep High School ahead of school year

Call it a bright spot at a challenging time as many kids will return to classes for the first time in a year and a half.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Interim School CEO Jose Torres and other Chicago Public Schools leaders cut the ribbon on the new John Hancock College Preparatory High School Friday.

They also toured the state-of-the-art building and $90 million investment on the city’s Southwest Side.

It was an opportunity to remind CPS families that classes start Monday with COVID-19 protocols like masking and social distancing still in place. 

But other prevention measures, such as temperature checks and daily health screenings, are over and that has the teachers union fuming.


Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey called yesterday’s bargaining session with CPS "ignorant and offensive."

He said Lightfoot is "stripping away health and safety protocols," a charge the mayor disputes.

"We are constantly monitoring all of our COVID-19 metrics and will not hesitate to do what's necessary to keep our students and staff safe and healthy but we know that that happens in a school system," Lightfoot said. "Let me remind you, CPS invested over $100 million last year to make sure every classroom, every space in schools that was being utilized across the system was safe. We've demonstrated that those mitigation efforts were absolutely the right ones because we were able to open safely just like we will be able to Monday."

The union says it’s not signing off on less Social distance and wants daily health screenings to remain.

Classes start Monday.