While the spread of COVID-19 is still a major concern for Chicago Public Schools, assistant principal of Lane Tech College Preparatory High School, Kerri Thompson sees no future in moving to online instruction.
The new year has run smoothly for Lane Tech. Administration has been able to provide in-person education with regulations and precautions in place to ensure that this success continues.
Along with Thompson’s assistant principal duties, she is also responsible for a portion of the COVID-19 testing at Lane Tech. CPS provides free weekly COVID-19 testing to any student or staff member. Members of the Lane Tech community are taking advantage of this gift, and in turn protecting their community by preventing the further spread of the virus.
CPS guidelines require staff and faculty at Lane Tech to be vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 weekly. With wide availability of the vaccine booster, the next step in preventing the spread of the virus would be to implement a booster requirement. While there is no talk of moving classes online, Thompson has “seen some talk of requiring a booster.”
While COVID-19 has impacted CPS schools tremendously, education must continue. Thompson’s overall message was that “everyone is interested in staying healthy,” so in-person instruction can remain and people can go to work.
Spartan Newsroom Reporter Audrey Richardson spoke with Kerri Thompson about Lane Tech College Prep High School and how Chicago Public Schools are combatting COVID-19.
For the interview, go here.
How has Lane Tech approached combatting COVID-19 in 2022?
So as a school, we follow all of the protocols that Chicago Public Schools sets up. What I will say, just as a result of what’s demanded of us as a district, we have weekly COVIDcovid testing, it’s volunteer. It’s open to students and staff and faculty to test as, you know, every week, every other week, however often they want to test. There’s a company that comes through and does that testing. Of course, everyone’s in masks. Classes are socially distanced. There’s signage up everywhere to sort of remind students of their masks and how to behave in this environment. And finally, we have a safety committee that’s comprised of teachers who help us sort of trouble shoot areas where we need to be more vigilant about masks and safety precautions.
Was there any talk of moving back online for the 2022 semester?
No. We do have, and again this is district policy, online options if the student has been quarantined and needs to stay home, but needs to go to school, we have virtual options available through each of their classrooms. Teachers are responsible for having a Google Meet and being on or available for those students while they are in class during that period. But as far as the school going remote, or CPS going remote, that has not been discussed.
Are there ways you believe Lane Tech could do a better job of mitigating the impact or spread of COVID-19?
I think that there’s a lot of rules in place and a lot of guidelines in place and our students at Lane are incredibly responsive and compliant to the rules that are in place district wide for what a student should be doing if they’re in school going to class. So I would say that beyond what protocols are in place with the district, Lane has followed those and we remain vigilant through those protocols and through that lens for our students and faculty and staff.