Thousands of Chicago students are heading to new schools today as the academic year begins there. It’s sure to be a tense day, coming in the wake of this summer’s closure of nearly 50 elementary schools.
Education Week‘s Jackie Zubrzycki will be on the ground in Chicago reporting from neighborhoods and schools most affected by the controversial closures and reassignments. Much of the day’s focus will be on the “safe passages” program that district and city officials set up over the summer to allay concerns that reassigned students would have to walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods and gang turf to get to school.
UPDATE: Read Jackie’s take from the opening hours of the school day on the city’s South Side.
A few excerpts from the Twitter traffic offer a sense of what’s in the air as school begins:
Okay, Safe.Passage by my house is apparently staffed by three armed cops. Yikes. #cps #safepassage
— Waldo. (@SmallWaldo) August 26, 2013
Here’s what the current crime situation looks like on 53 new #CPS Safe Passage routes: //t.co/78yT1XdHE1 #cpsclosings @akeefe
— WBEZeducation (@WBEZeducation) August 26, 2013
Pray for safety & learning for #Chicago Public School students, faculty, & staff as the 2013-14 school year begins! #CPS #BackToSchool
— Eric Rivera (@hiphomiletics) August 26, 2013
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.