What we've learned from back-to-class chaos

Students walk to A. N. Pritzker elementary school on January 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Students in Chicago public schools are returning to school today after classes were canceled for the past six days as the city sparred with the teacher's union over COVID-19 safety measures. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Students walk to A. N. Pritzker elementary school on January 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Students in Chicago public schools are returning to school today after classes were canceled for the past six days as the city sparred with the teacher's union over COVID-19 safety measures. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) Photo credit Getty Images

It's already difficult to return to school after winter break – but this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown even more wrenches in the works.

Listen to the latest episode of "Connect the Dots" below.

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Connect the Dots
What we've learned from back-to-class chaos
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The winter omicron variant surge in the U.S. made the return to classrooms chaotic and contentious from coast to coast.

For Chicago Public Schools, omicron concerns erupted in an impasse that kept kids out of class for days and the city in national headlines.

"Kids are not the biggest transmitter of this disease, but they have suffered the most," said Dr. Anna Bershteyn, an assistant professor of population health at NYU. "Kids have paid a terrible toll. We are using our knowledge to reverse that."

This week on "Connect the Dots" with host Lynda Lopez, we looked for the lessons amid the back-to-class chaos.

In this episode, we spoke to reporter Rachel Pierson of WBBM Newsradio, who has been closely following the situation in Chicago; a suburban mother who has also served as a substitute teacher during the pandemic and Dr. Anna Bershteyn of New York University's Department of Population Health.

Listen in to find out what the rest of us can learn from these schools' struggles as we make our way through the pandemic.