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District Response To Coronavirus (COVID19)

District Response to Coronavirus (COVID19)

District Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 13, 2020 –

Dear CPS Parents, Families, and Staff,

The past several weeks have been difficult as we’ve watched the COVID-19 health crisis impact countries around the world, and now our home. Today, Governor Pritzker announced that all Illinois schools, including Chicago Public Schools, will close beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Classes are currently scheduled to resume on Tuesday, March 31. School-sponsored activities, events, field trips, and athletic events are also canceled during this time.

I recognize the impact this closure will have on our community, and I know it will greatly burden our students, staff, and working families who rely on our schools. I want to assure you that COVID-19 will not stop our work on behalf of children. We are one family with one goal, and we are here to support you.

Important Information for Families and Staff

All school buildings will be closed for deep cleaning. Schools will be closed to all students and staff beginning Tuesday, March 17 through Monday, March 30. Only environmental cleaning experts will be allowed in school buildings along with essential staff. Families should not send their children to schools.

Healthy meals will be available to our students. We recognize that our schools provide healthy meals to many of our students, and we will be providing free food boxes that will contain three days of breakfast and lunches for every student in the household. All families will be able to pick up meals at their nearest CPS school beginning Tuesday, March 17, between 9 a.m and 1 p.m. daily. Lunchroom staff will prep, bag, and provide meals outside of the school building.

Schools will be sending enrichment resources and materials home with students. On Monday, March 16, school-based staff will send resources home in hard copy and online format. School-based staff members will also help students remember to take supplies, personal belongings, medications, and other materials home with them.

All full-time and regularly scheduled staff will be paid throughout this time.School staff will not have access to school buildings during the closure.

Central and network offices will be open only for emergency personnel.Emergency personnel are considered to be those who perform essential district functions. All other central and network office staff will be asked to telework or will be excused with pay. More information for staff will be forthcoming over the weekend.

Polling sites will remain at CPS locations. Deep cleaning at those schools will not begin until after the primary election.

If you have questions, email or call CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437) until 7 p.m. tonight. We are working to update our Frequently Asked Questions, and encourage you to check herefor updates later tonight. Specific guidance to principals and staff will be forthcoming.

If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at or by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).

  • If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider.
  • If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at or call 312-746-4835.

For the most reliable information about COVID-19, please visit:


Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools

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