CPS students begin school year remotely as Lightfoot surprises Zoom class

Kids woke up early and ate their breakfast, but they did not head into school in Chicago on Tuesday.

It was the first day of remote learning for one of the nation's largest school districts. Parents are doing their best to make it work.

“Learning is happening at CPS this year. Everybody, everybody has to get into the game,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Taking lessons learned from an impromptu remote learning spring semester, CPS CEO Janice Jackson says 18,000 more devices – laptops and tablets – have been handed out and more than 25,000 students now have access to high-speed broadband internet.

Schools are open if teachers need to access Wi-Fi.

Mayor Lightfoot saw in person how remote teaching works and even hopped in on a Zoom call herself.

“I know this is different than what you are used to, but I wanted to make sure your teachers are here to support you,” the mayor said to students on a Zoom call.


Lightfoot says she hopes there will be in-person learning at some point this year, but that the decision is not up to her.

“We are going to be guided by public health numbers…we’re seeing some progress but we’re not there yet,” the mayor said.