New Kind of Back-to-School for Chicago Kids

About 50 school closures means new routines for children

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Chicago children are walking unfamiliar paths, and in some cases across gang lines, for their first day back to school on Monday, after the city shuttered about 50 elementary schools amid restructuring.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel led the initiative to close schools to help pay down the city’s $1 billion budget deficit, meaning many students are going to new schools. But the first day back comes just a day after one man was shot on one of the routes students will be taking, and a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed near another.

Hundreds of “Safe Passage” workers in neon vests are working to make the routes safe.