Chicago Public Schools will be closed on November 12 for “Vaccine Awareness Day.”
The goal of the school closure is to give younger students the chance to get vaccinated, now that they are approved for kids as young as five-years-old.
Local station CBS 12 reports that the day off was announced on Thursday, giving families just eight days notice to find child care. The station reports that some parents have expressed discontent with the surprise.
“The district is encouraging families and guardians to reach out to their doctors, health care providers, and pharmacies to try to schedule an appointment,” CBS reports. “CPS’ school-based clinics will be open – but only for existing appointments. But the key is to reach out to see if appointments are even available.”
The Chicago Teachers Union has issued a statement praising the decision to give students the day off and promote vaccines.
“We welcome the district acknowledging the urgent need for parents and families to vaccinate their children, and providing time and opportunity to do so,” the Chicago Teacher’s Union wrote in a lengthy series of tweets. “We’re all exhausted by daily challenges to safety and security confronted in this pandemic. CPS’ decision to close schools and give all school staff paid time off is welcome relief from the stress of trying to protect and educate students without resources to address their needs.”
We’re all exhausted by daily challenges to safety and security confronted in this pandemic. CPS’ decision to close schools and give all school staff paid time off is welcome relief from the stress of trying to protect and educate students without resources to address their needs.
— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@CTULocal1) November 5, 2021
The union’s thread continued on to say, “we cannot stop here. Students are crying out for support in every way possible. Nothing during a pandemic is normal, but let’s be clear: Nothing before the pandemic was normal.”
Chicago Public Schools have 340,000 students.