Chicago’s largest charter school network serving more than 12,000 students says it’s preparing for remote learning as its primary form of instruction this fall.

“While we are eager to resume in-person instruction, we will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, families and staff,” David Brown, spokesman for the Noble Network of Charter Schools, said in a statement Thursday. “Our plan for reopening will allow for learning to continue seamlessly, especially if we must provide full remote learning as we did in March”.

Noble’s 18 campuses aren’t unionized, but this move comes amid an ongoing push by the Chicago Teachers Union for the school district to open in the fall with remote learning only. The union wants a uniform plan for all schools, including all 125 charter school campuses in Chicago.

“I think it is very dangerous in the city to have a Wild West approach in which lots of publicly funded schools are doing lots of different things,” said CTU President Jesse Sharkey. Noble is also pushing the first day of school back to Sept. 8. Noble schools usually start the school year several weeks before Labor Day.

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