As strike goes on, students worry about falling behind

September 12, 2012

Tricia Bobeda

Tricia Bobeda/WBEZ
Cross country runners from Jones College Prep grab free milkshakes from Ed Debevic's in River North on Wednesday afternoon. The restaurant offered CPS students free milkshakes during the strike.

A group of teenage boys swarmed Ed Debevic’s in River North at lunchtime on Wednesday.

The restaurant advertised a spelling bee and free shakes for Chicago Public School students. There was no spelling going on. But the milkshakes were a hit.

The boys were from the Jones College Prep cross country team. Some picketed with their striking teachers this morning before going for a long run.

Senior Kerby Lawson said the team has had to get creative to keep in good condition this week.

“Since we can’t practice at any of the schools, because of the strike, we actually just go and practice at each other’s houses,” Lawson said. “We run in the park.”

Lawson said unofficial practices mean the cross country team hasn’t missed a beat. But academics are another story.

“It’s kind of bad for me because I’m actually behind on homework,” Lawson said.

That’s right. Strike homework. Some Jones Prep teachers expect students to keep up during the strike. They’ve posted assignments online.

“So although they can’t talk to us, they still assign us homework,” Lawson said.

That’s fine with sophomore Ross Floyd - although he admits he’s a little behind too. Floyd is worried about keeping pace with the curriculum in his AP History class.

Students will have to make up for lost time when they get back into the classroom.

AP exam schedules aren’t set by Chicago Public Schools - they follow a national calendar.

So no matter how long the strike lasts, the dates for AP exams won’t change.

Floyd is counting on good test scores for his college applications.

“So if you don’t do good on the [AP] test, it’s not like the college is going to be like ‘Oh, Chicago had a strike, so we’re going to accept more of them,’” Floyd said. “No, they’re going to be like ‘Oh, nope, these people didn’t prepare.’”