Crain's Chicago Business

Before the pandemic, Michelle Yarbrough says her son, Josiah, was a straight-A student at Charles H. Wacker Elementary School in the Washington Heights neighborhood. But once Chicago Public Schools went remote in spring 2020, she saw his grades begin to slip.

"I didn't think it would affect the progress report the way that it did," Yarbrough says. But when she saw that he had a D, she knew she had to do something. "He never had a D or F."