The R.I.T.E. Plan to Reopen Schools

The Chicago Principals & Administrators Association has released a plan -- Return to an In-Person Teaching Environment (RITE) -- to guide school reopening in Chicago. The pragmatic plan seeks to bridge the divide between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools officials and get students and staff back to in-person teaching and learning safely.

RITE was drafted by CPAA leadership based on input from 377 school leaders. Later it was fine-tuned by more than 30 CPS principals and assistant principals, and it can be read PDF icon HERE.

RITE is a phase-in pilot that gives the district the time needed to address preparedness issues at some schools, start in-person learning at schools that are ready, and expand in-person learning over time. It is a fair compromise between the positions of the district and CTU. Click this link to read the entire plan. Benefits of the plan include:

  • It respects the district’s push to give students more access to in-person learning, and it respects teachers’ safety and instructional concerns. 

  • It acknowledges that some schools are ready to open, while others are not.

  • It would give the district time to address issues with in-person cluster and Pre-K programs before attempting a districtwide reopening.

  • It enables the district to focus resources on getting it right in a small group of schools before expanding in-person learning to the entire district.

  • It will allow the necessary stress test for the district to assess individual school needs versus the “one size fits all” approach of the current plan.

  • It is a strong compromise that will avoid a strike

  • The pilot will create a group of peer experts and in-person ambassadors who can be a resource for administrators and staff in subsequent expansions of in-person learning.

  • Priority COVID-19 vaccinations focused on staff who teach in the pilot schools will increase the number of staff who want to participate in the pilot program.

  • The pilot would allow the district to find concrete answers to questions they have thus far not responded to adequately. 

Troy LaRaviere, President
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