It is finally March and it looks like high schoolers will finally have a chance to return to school. Chicago Public first brought preschoolers back to school in January. In February, Chicago Public Schools was easily able to convince teachers, students, and parents that having K-8 students return to school would be completely safe. When bringing K-8 back to school, there were almost no debates and everything went according to plan. Now, the plan to return high school students will be exceptional.
To begin, CPS is using an opt-in form to determine what students are interested in returning to classrooms across the city. As of right now, their plan is to have students return sometime in the 4th quarter. Surely, every high schooler who is currently able to sleep till 8 am instead of 6 am is absolutely desperate to opt-in. Joe Lose ’24, a Whitney Young freshman from Hyde Park, said, “I literally can’t wait to wake up two hours earlier in the least important quarter of the school year.” Seniors, whose high school careers practically ended with the first semester, also probably opted in instantly. Juniors, with the highest AP course load, probably want to return so that they can review for two weeks and then do nothing for the last couple of weeks of school. Certainly, extending the deadline to opt-in will also draw in significantly more students than the quarter of the current CPS high school population. Abraham Barack, a parent of three high school students, said, “Oh, I already opted them out, it’s not like they are going to learn any more than before if half of the class is still online.” Additionally, students who have opted in also have the opportunity to opt out later on. Which definitely did not inflate the number of students who opted in because everyone who opted in will definitely not opt out. Andy Drew ’21, a senior and avid sleeper, commented, “My mom opted me in, but none of my friends are going so I’ll probably opt out later.” We can already begin to visualize the classroom of eight students collaborating six feet apart on projects with the other twenty-four students in the Google Meet. We can see the science experiments of the four students in AP Physics as their classmates doze off on the other side of their screen. High school students can expect an exciting and fruitful return to the classroom next quarter.