Thank you to our volunteer parents who planned our wonderful forum and who prepared these excellent handouts and advocacy tools!
Thanks, too, to all of the parents, teachers, and principals who joined us tonight.
We will post a link to this page in our Special Education Toolkit for Parents which you can find here.
We were live tweeting as were a few others. See the Storify of the event here.
***In preparing for our November 16, 2017 Special Education in CPS Public Forum (more info on that here) we noticed that 2 links below are broken. You can find File D here and File E here. These documents as well as the ones below will be updated and distributed at our upcoming forum. We will post them on our website when they are ready.Read more
In 2013, the Chicago Board of Education voted to close 49 elementary schools and reassign their students to receiving schools. Despite reported capital investment in receiving schools, enrollment dropped at a much steeper rate at these schools than other elementary schools.Read more
Chris Ball, CPS Parent and Raise Your Hand board member, and Cassie Creswell, Raise Your Hand Action Co-Director and board member, collaborated and submitted these comments on the Draft Illinois ESSA Plan. We are very grateful for their work.
The comments are below. To view the statement with references, please go here.Read more
The citywide parent group, Raise Your Hand, has worked for an entire year on a research project studying what education experts say is important for schools and school systems to be successful. The findings are summarized in a handy parent guide.
Parents/Guardians want their children to become life-long learners, problem-solvers, self-confident individuals and active participants in our democracy. Learn how to ask the right questions about your school and how to talk about high quality education with our guide on "What do all kids need for strong schools."
Getting a proper individual education plan (IEP) in CPS and making sure it's implemented properly can be difficult.
Below is a list of resources if you're having problems including a tracking worksheet, a link to sample forms you can use, a list of advocates, who may be able to attend IEP meetings with you, and attorneys who may be able to help if you are unable to resolve the issue via going up the chain of command at CPS.
IEP tracking form
This worksheet is an attempt to make tracking of lost minutes easy and specific. You should ask your child's teacher to confirm where and when your child's IEP minutes are being met, specific names of the staff members who are providing the service and the number of students for which the special education teacher or paraprofessional is responsible at any time they are assigned to meet the minutes set out in your child's IEP. A review of the IEP on your part can help bring clarity to the question of whether or not your child’s IEP minutes are being met.
Resources & Sample Forms from our Special Education Forum, November 16
Below are 2017-18 special education advocacy tips, sample forms for evaluation requests, document requests, confirmation of communication, request for IEP compliance and more.
UPDATE 12.1.18: The ISBE Inquiry Letter: Deciphered for Parents
Want to spread the word about this Toolkit to other parents of children with IEPs or 504s? Please use the below:
We also have two fact sheets on assessment, including standardized testing, of special education students created as part of our ongoing work on assessment with FairTest and the Chicago Teachers Union:
Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (must be referred by medical source)
180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 2110 Chicago, IL 60601, Phone: 312.605.1974
Equip for Equality (must meet eligibility requirements)
20 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60602, Phone: 312-341-0022
JCFS Legal Advocacy Center
216 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 800 Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: 312.673.2740
Legal Assistance Foundation (must meet eligibility requirements unless student is a foster child through DCFS)
120 S. LaSalle, Suite 900 Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: 312.341.1070
Access Living: Rod Estvan
115 W. Chicago, Chicago IL 60654, Phone: 312-640-2100
Educational Advocacy and Consulting
50 S. Main Street, Suite 200 Naperville, IL 60540, Phone: 630 624-3784
Family Resource Center on Disabilities
20 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 300 Chicago, IL 60604, Phone: 312.939.3513
102 Willow Dr. Waukegan, IL 60087, Phone: 224.730.0303, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- MFTD Waiver Families
North Shore Pediatric Therapy
950 Lee Street Des Plaines, IL 60017, Phone: 877.486.4140
Pam Labellarte from Advocacy to Action
231 Bingham Circle Mundelein, IL 60060, Phone: 847.401.5053, email@example.com
Attorneys (some do low bono and sliding scale)
Law Offices of Charles P. Fox
355 West Dundee, Suite 209 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, Phone: 847.205.9897
Children’s Law Group
142 E Ontario St, Ste 525 Chicago, IL 60611, Phone: 312-265-1055, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine K. Wee, Esq.
1155 W Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL 60614, Phone: 617.869.2983, Email: email@example.com
Matt Cohen & Associates
155 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 715 Chicago, IL 60601, Phone: 866.787.9270
Mauk & O’Connor
1427 W. Howard Chicago, IL 60626, Phone: 773.262.2377
Law Office of Maureen Graves
Phone: 714.378.5100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabrina Shafer, Esq., Breaking Autism, Inc.
Phone: 847.849.7917 Email: email@example.com
Law Office of Sandra E. Strassman Alperstein
113 N. McHenry Rd. #134 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089, Phone: 847.293.9311
Whitted, Whitted,Takiff & Hansen
3000 Dundee Rd. Northbrook, IL 60062, Phone: 847.564.8662
For additional help in resource connection, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Budget hearings were sparsely attended this year, with the operating budget hearings held downtown during daytime hours instead of in the community in the evening, as done in past years.Read more
Despite CPS claiming that they have made no cuts to the classroom, district schools have been cut by $179 million. The FY2017 budget adds to the pain that chronic underfunding of Chicago’s school system has inflicted. The need for long-term sustainable revenue to fund Chicago and all public schools in Illinois equitably and adequately is more acute than ever.Read more
CPS has a serious deficit but there are solutions. There should be no talk of bankruptcy or a School Finance Authority, which would likely make severe cuts and raise class sizes, as one did in the 1980s.Read more
Parents are learning of potential disastrous budget cuts coming for the 2016-17 school year. Below are links to resources that we've developed over the past year to help you understand how we got into this situation and to give you advocacy tools and ideas.Read more