Strike continues

In good news, SEIU Local 73 has a tentative agreement! In not so good news, there's no agreement between CPS and CTU but negotiations continue. Emotions are high right now- and for good reason. Be good to yourself and others. We will get through this. Social media tip: Sometimes you just have to keep scrolling or get off social media for a while. At the end of this contract negotiation, we are still all parts of school communities which are part of a larger community, the Chicago Public Schools. Our children need all of us working together. 

Yesterday we spent some time updating, rearranging, and checking links in our Strike Resources for Parents + FAQs web page. You can find links to the CPS Contingency Plan, possible community center child care options, and a pdf of a compiled list of strike camps/classes; some possible activities; and FAQs with lots of links to articles so you can read and learn more. We've been updating this web page daily to include daily strike activities as well as recent articles. 

If you are looking for updates throughout the day and tonight we recommend the live press conference videos that CTU and CPS will provide separately on their own Facebook pages. We also recommend this Live Updates article from WBEZ (started Oct 14.) 

Here's what's happening today in Strike activities:

School Pickets, 6:30 - 10:30am

Students Standing with CTU, Meet 719 S. State 9am, depart 9:30am; March to City Hall, arrive at 10am for a sit in.

We encourage families to support one another during this strike- take turns with child care if possible. Do you have flexibility in your schedule and can care for another parent's children? Reach out and help each other.

Here are some activities from our Strike web page that might interest families AND THOSE WHO ARE PREPARING FOR COLLEGE:

Waveland Bowl, 3700 N Western
Waveland Bowl is offering 2 free games of bowling for CPS students affected by the strike starting 10/17 continuing every day until the strike is settled. Valid on school days only when games are completed before 5:00 PM. Shoe rental not included.
- Have a high schooler? How about a college visit? 
A CPS mom sent us a friendly reminder:
"Something to add to list of things to do is for high school students to visit local colleges. We are heading to Loyola today. Even if it is just to see what types of things you like or dislike about different schools. Also a chance to check off “demonstrated interest”."
If you go to a college's website: "Visit" is usually under "Admissions" and you can check out availability of tours & sign up online. Here's a link to Loyola:
- Have a senior? Get some help with those college essays. Read more and find details about a CPS grad connecting current CPS seniors with CPS grads who will edit your child's essay. Original Instagram post by Aleksa Sorgatz: "If you are a current CPS SENIOR and would like some incredible CPS alums from Whitney Young and Lane (and a team of students from Northwestern) to read and help you edit your college apps pls fill out this form! (Link in bio)"
ATTENTION Chicago Public Schools STUDENTS:
UChicago College Advising Corps advisers will be available on The University of Chicago campus, as well as at select Chicago Public Library locations, on Monday, October 28.

Here are some articles we've shared via social media since our last email newsletter

U.S. News & World Report: Special Needs Families Hope Chicago Strike Will Bring Change

ForbesChicago Teacher Strike: Three Things To Remember

Chalkbeat Chicago: On Strike Too, in Chicago: The desperation of schools' lowest-paid workers


Thank you!


A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who supported our annual fundraiser, Raise a Glass for RYH! Lagunitas was packed, the food was delicious, the company was outstanding, and we raised funds which will help us continue our important work. Thank you. Missed it but want to support RYH? Donate here!


Special education news

On Friday, the Advocate group, which includes RYH, testified at a House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee subject matter hearing on CPS special education practices in light of the IL State Board of Education (ISBE) oversight of CPS special education. You can read more about the hearing in Chalkbeat Chicago: Legislators grill Chicago over special education shortcomings. RYH's Parent Liaison for Special Education, Mary Fahey Hughes, testified.

From our October 11 email newsletter:

SSCA from CPS… Parents of students with IEPs, did you receive a letter dated 9/27/2019 from ODLSS about Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) resulting from the ISBE Public Inquiry into Special Ed? If you find the ODLSS General SSCA Information letter a little wordy and difficult to understand, The Advocate Group created a simplified version for your reading pleasure. Or, if you were the parent of the approximately 13,000 CPS students who received a second letter saying your child has been IDENTIFIED as possibly being eligible for Student Specific Corrective Action (a/k/a additional services), we have a simplified version for that letter, as well.

CPS Diverse Learner Manuals and Guidance Documents Open for Public Comment on its 2019-20 special education procedural manuals and guidance documents being proposed by the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services. Public comments on these documents will be accepted for 45 days through November 23, 2019. The following documents can be reviewed/commented on here:

  • IDEA Procedural Manual
  • Transportation Guidance Document
  • Service Animal Guidelines
  • Section 504 Procedural Manual
  • Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) Document

CPS Diverse Needs Resources… ODLSS (Office of Diverse Learner Supports & Services) offers several resources for parents, including monthly workshops and a Parent Involvement Specialist Team to support diverse needs families. To learn more, please see this attached 2019-20 ODLSS Parent University Booklet.

H/T and a great big thank you to the Thorp Diverse Needs Committee for sharing the above info about public comments & the ODLSS booklet!

Trainings in Spanish… Familias incluidas en Recibiendo Mejor Educación Especial (FIRME) Entrenamiento- A special education training opportunity for Spanish speaking parents from Family Resource Center for Disabilities (FRCD). Please share with Spanish speaking parents!


The next LSC event… The Follow Up

On Saturday, October 5, we co hosted The Gathering, a LSC empowerment event, which was hosted by the LSCs 4 ALL coalition. Over 35 former, current and prospective LSC members from across the city shared their collective struggles on their journey to improve the most hyperlocal democratic tool Chicago has. Come join us at our next event, “The Follow Up” on November 16th from 11-1pm. More details to come but the LSC members agreed that the topic will be an LSC Know Your Rights workshop. Be on the lookout for a sign up!

Hang in there, folks! 

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