When Chicago Public Schools fully reopen late next month for the first time since the start of the pandemic, students will be returning to schools stocked with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, masks, forehead thermometers and air purifiers.
But nearly every CPS school will also have items that experts say will keep students healthy and safe regardless of the status of the pandemic: menstruation products and condoms.
Both will be provided as the result of a new policy passed by the CPS Board of Education in December. A similar action that will require all schools in Illinois provide menstruation products generated far more attention this spring when it was passed by state lawmakers in Springfield.
Under the CPS policy, schools that teach fifth grade and up must maintain a condom availability program as part of an expanded vision of sexual health education. That means all but a dozen, which enroll only younger grades, of the more than 600 CPS schools will have condoms.
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