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Samantha Smylie is currently the state education reporter for Chalkbeat Chicago. Before joining Chalkbeat’s team, she worked at the Hyde Park Herald covering housing, education, retail and development in the Kenwood-Hyde Park neighborhoods on the city’s south-east side. She was a reporter fellow for City Bureau and participated in Propublica’s Data Institute. She had bylines in Block Club Chicago, the Chicago Reader and South Side Weekly.

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41 Illinois school districts now under probation for violating state mask mandate

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Illinois masking debate takes center stage at state board meeting as parents and school leaders push back

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Remote learning options for Illinois students are slim as school districts enter new year

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Should COVID-19 cases force classroom closures? The debate unfolds in Chicago

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Pritzker issues universal mask mandate for Illinois schools

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Chicago fell behind on plans for students with disabilities during COVID-19. New data show the depth of the problem.

The pandemic year has uprooted support for students with disabilities in Chicago and nationwide, creating a backlog of old IEPs that could lead to widening academic gaps for students in need of special education services.

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Chicago will have the largest elected school board of any major U.S. city

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After CDC reversal, Illinois recommends universal mask requirements in schools

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Chicago’s charters enroll more students with disabilities than traditional schools, but funding unclear

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Illinois quickly adopts CDC guidance dropping mask mandates for vaccinated students and teachers