COVID-19 Resources | In-person instruction suspended for the rest of the school year in IL

This is our original COVID-19 Resources page created for the initial school facility closures. Our Summer 2020 COVID-19 Resources page is here. Our Back to School 2020-21 COVID-19 Resources page is here

UPDATE 6.17.20: This webpage will no longer be updated since the end of the school year is upon us. We will create something simpler for the Summer. 

Thank you for visiting our COVID-19 Resources webpage.



Below you will find: Chicago updates & links | Illinois updates & links | CDC | Special Education updates & links | Various Supportive Resources | Food and Childcare | Timeline | Quick Links


Chicago Public Schools (CPS):

If you have questions, email or call CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).

If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at or by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).

If you or your child has a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and did not have direct contact with a COVID-19 positive person, please contact your primary care provider.

If you are concerned that you or your child have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the CDPH at or call 312-746-4835.

Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Non CPS Districts & Private Schools

  • Check your school’s website as well as your district’s website. Look for a link to their own resources for COVID-19 response & information. 
  • Check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for accounts for your school and/or your district. Sometimes your district’s Superintendent may have an account (especially on Twitter) and/or your principal may have an account (especially on Twitter.) Follow and like all of these accounts. Social media may be a quicker way for school staff and district staff to provide updates and relevant information. 
  • On Saturday, April 18, Governor Pritzker suspended in-person instruction for the rest of the school year for all IL public and private schools.


IL State Board of Education (ISBE):

Another question we received frequently today was about grading student work during the closure. We
wish to clarify that:
Student work completed during the mandated statewide school closure must not negatively
impact a student’s grades or otherwise impact a student’s academic standing. As we do not yet
know the full extent of the closure and want to minimize any negative effects on students, schools
may allow student work to count during the closure only to increase a student’s academic
Our students may be experiencing varying mental and physical health challenges at this time and may
have very different access to supports and technology at home. Our goal is that no student is negatively
impacted by the closure and that no school district’s policies or procedures should widen the equity gap.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Special education

In the news  

These are the webpages we have bookmarked and check often: 

WBEZ Education | Chalkbeat Chicago | Chalkbeat | Sun-Times Education | Chicago Tribune Coronavirus | WTTW Education 


Various Supportive Resources

UPDATED INFO HERE: Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) application from the Illinois Department of Human Services. ALL students are eligible for the emergency Food benefits (P-EBT) from the close of school in March through the end of the school year regardless of income or national origin.  The March/April payments amount to $182.40 per child.  The benefit is $5.70 per school day per eligible child (school aged child).  Basically, this benefit is open to ALL CPS students and is retroactive to when school closed. Families can participate in both P-EBT and any meal distribution program that is currently available at their school. They do not have to choose one or the other, as these programs operate independent of each other. Please share this information widely to ensure families in need are receiving all available support during this difficult time. Flyers in English & Spanish here.

City Bureau's Chicago COVID Resource Finder | Text "covid" to 312-436-2280 to access via phone.

Do you know a family experiencing hardship? Are you a family experiencing hardship? Do you have means to donate to a family experiencing hardship? Please check out this page: Chicago COVID-19 Hardship & Help.

Comprehensive spreadsheet: Chicago Covid Resources. It includes tabs for financial assistance, direct goods/services, job links, health & harm reduction, and mutual aid.

South Side WeeklyCOVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide  | Vocalo: [COMUNIDAD]: GUIA DE RECURSOS COVID19 EN ILLINOIS

Block Club ChicagoSick? Broke? Want To Help? Here’s A Massive List Of Coronavirus Resources In Chicago

Shared by Wiley J., LSC Chair, King College Prep: COVID19 Food Pantries & Student Support.

CTU List of Resources and Aid Amid COVID19.

Covid-19 Resource Sheet - 25th Ward Office 38 pages; many links; comprehensive

50th Ward COVID-19 Response Well organized webpage with many links.

Access Living's COVID-19 Resources for the Disability CommunityEquip for Equality's Your Special Education Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Communities

IL Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Resources for Immigrants During the COVID-19 Crisis | Recursos para Inmigrantes Durante la Crisis de COVID- 19

JCFS has set up a warm-line for people in emotional distress to have a professional to talk to- 855.275.5237. Read this post for more information.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 and if you are unable to speak, text LOVEIS to 22522; 24/7, free, and confidential 

COVID-19 Resources from Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law


On everyone’s mind… food and childcare for families


What am I supposed to do with my children? Remote Learning and more....

We have lots of information and links on remote learning above.

Social media is very full of ideas right now. Our closed Facebook group has a thread of parents sharing resources & ideas. If you find something that you think parents will appreciate, tweet a link to us (in your tweet use @ILRaiseYourHand). Visit our Twitter feed regularly for these shared ideas. Check out this Unofficial Coronavirus Resource List for Families & Schools created by CPS parent Edna Navarro-Vidaurre. Thanks, Edna, for allowing us to share it!

Schools will be sharing assignments for students via packets, email, Google classroom, and probably other electronic platforms. Look out for emails from schools and teachers. This school work will help give kids some structured time and will help keep them up academically. However, you as the parent know best and should decide if the work issued makes sense given the virus and all of its consequences for all of us. Also, consider taking it easier than normal and spend time with your family playing board games, doing puzzles, reading, journaling, and finding a way to move around a bit. 

At RYH we are doing our best to keep parents informed weekly via an email newsletter and daily via social media. Here are all the ways you can stay in touch with us

Please be good to each other out there! If you collected other parent contact info before and during the strike, reactivate it now and check in with each other to see how others are doing. Are there families who will need some assistance when schools close? Is there a way to set up a support structure now for those families? Share relevant and well sourced information with each other. If you found this information helpful, share the link to this webpage. Take care of yourself and your family. 

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP): Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

Chalkbeat ChicagoHow to talk to children about coronavirus and school closures: Teachers offer some advice to families

Sun-TimesTips from Chicago teachers for parents thrust into home schooling by coronavirus

Hope is a Discipline | Community Buildings and Resources during COVID-19 A Letter from our Executive Director. Links to resources. Upcoming virtual events for parents hosted by RYH.


QUICK LINKS... COVID-19 Resources from Raise Your Hand (pdf files have working links & are good for printing; jpg files are good for texting & social media use):

QUICK LINKS... CPS webpages & docs:


Timeline : Notable events with links

On April 18, Governor Pritzker suspended in-person instruction for the rest of the school year in IL. 

On April 2: We confirmed with CPS that they will still be offering food delivery during Spring Break. Fill out this form for food delivery if you need it. NOTE: The maximum number of deliveries per household per week is two. Additionally, due to the high volume of requests, please be aware that meals may take up to 2-4  business days to be delivered. UPDATE 4.15: This delivery form now says to allow for 4 days for delivery. 

On April 1: CPS food distribution has been updated. The rest of this week (April 2 & 3) is the same. CPS Meal Sites webpage (check this for changes before you head out). During Spring Break (April 6 - 10), there are less sites available (136 schools) and no food distributed on April 10. Then starting Mon, April 13, there will be less sites distributing food: consolidated sites to 276 schools. We tried to put this all together in a RYH webpage: CPS Grab & Go Meal Site changes for Spring Break & beyond Created 4.3.20

On March 31: Governor Pritzker extends the IL Stay-At-Home order through April 30; IL schools closed through April 30

On March 30: CPS Remote Learning Guidance for Parents | We've created a one pager here: RYH CPS Remote Learning Guidance (Synopsis) (jpg here) Created 4.1.20 | You can find the CPS Remote Learning Guidance for Parents in multiple languages at this webpage (scroll down): (discovered April 2)

On March 27: State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala declared that Remote Learning Days will begin for schools statewide on March 31 and continue until in-person instruction can resume. See full Facebook postRemote Learning Days letterIL State Board of Education (ISBE) Notice of Emergency RuleRemote Learning Recommendations | Comprehensive ISBE GuidanceISBE Remote Learning Recommendations in Spanish (discovered April 2)

On March 20: Governor Pritzker issued a "Stay-At-Home" order for all of IL through April 7. IL school closures are extended to April 8, though CPS will still be closed through April 20. Link to IL Executive Stay-At-Home Order here. City of Chicago FAQs on the Stay-At-Home order here

On March 19: CPS and Chicago announced that CPS will extend their closure from March 30 until April 20.

On March 13: Pritzker announced that Illinois K-12 schools (both public & private) will be closed for 2 weeks starting Tuesday, March 17 due to COVID-19.