Thank you so much to our Raise A Glass 2020 sponsors for making our work possible!!!
We are within 15% of achieving our fundraising goal!
Consider a gift if you can! For any donation $20 and over, we will send you a RYH koozie (while supplies last.) For any donation $5 and over, we will send you a RYH button.
Why support RYH? From one of our newest RYH board members and a CPS parent, Cassandra Kaczocha:
What do you do when your childrens’ school is not safe? What do you do when all of the official channels for fixing the problem are dead ends? When I found myself in that situation, I turned to Raise Your Hand. The dedicated staff and volunteers at RYH helped us navigate a web of CPS meetings and processes so we could advocate for our school. The amazing online community that RYH facilitates introduced me to families from across Chicago who were experiencing the same issues and media to help bring attention to the problem. RYH board members introduced me to parent organizers who had successfully launched other campaigns. And with all of these tools RYH provided, we were able to get focus and fixes not just for the safety concerns at my childrens’ school, but at schools across Chicago. Please consider a donation today to support the crucial work of RYH!
Our online silent auction is live and very active! View our awesome items & place your bid today! Here are a few highlights we’ve featured on social media: Art (new art added yesterday)! Autographed books by Dr. David Stovall + gift cards to local bookstores! Outdoor family activity! So’Black’s clothing gift basket! All auction items are here. Good luck.
If you missed our '63 Boycott documentary screening yesterday, check out our program from the summer where we showed the film and had a Q&A with Ms. Simpson and Bret Harte students! Please consider a gift to RYH if you haven’t given already. THANK YOU.
Quarter 2 "Phased Reopening" & CPS Enrollment Drop Announcements
Quick summary: CPS PreK and cluster program students will be phased into in-person schooling during Quarter 2 which begins November 9. All other students will continue with remote learning and, in January, they will be phased into in-person schooling.
On Thursday evening, news started leaking out. Early Friday morning, CPS dropped two big news stories: the announcement above and the most recent enrollment numbers- based on 20th Day Enrollment data, CPS is down 14,500 students. Here’s some press coverage: :
Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago releases more details about 'phased-in' school reopening plan
Friday afternoon, CPS and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) hosted a press conference. Monday morning, Mayor Lightfoot and CDPH hosted a press conference about the increased COVID-19 infection rates across Chicago- it’s happening across ages, and across race-ethnicity. They explained that the nature of the increases across demographics makes the virus hard to control as it’s harder to target. Chalkbeat Chicago: Lightfoot warns of second COVID-19 surge in Chicago, but says ‘phased-in’ school reopening a go for now
So, what else do parents need to know?
- CPS has updated their Reopening webpage. There’s some information about the “Phased Reopening” and a “Tracking COVID” section with CPS COVID-19 data.
- If your child is in one of the Quarter 2 phase-in populations, you should be getting a survey from CPS via email (we hear this should happen today, Oct 21.) We believe this email will ask about your intent to return to in-person schooling. You can opt to continue with Remote Learning.
- Suburban schools (and some private schools) are all over the place: some are reopening to hybrid, some are going back to remote from hybrid, some continue remote learning, and some continue with a hybrid plan. If CPS achieves their phase-in goal, we should all be prepared for some instability. Chicago Tribune: Just as schools begin to reopen, many are closing again as COVID-19 surges: ‘It’s almost an impossible situation’
- Do you have a question (you probably have several) for CPS on anything regarding pandemic schooling? Please reply to this email & share. Also include generic info about yourself- are you a parent? teacher? how old are your kids? are you a PreK, cluster, or SpEd parent? We are planning a little something & are trying to gather ALL the unanswered questions. Thanks.
Letter: Centering Equity in A Safe and Responsible Return to School
As members of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), RYH hosted a Remote Learning Town Hall. (We also hosted an event with LSNA in August.) Several other GEM organizations hosted discussions like this as well. Using the input gathered from parents, caregivers, students, educators, and community members, GEM wrote a letter.
GEM sent this letter to Mayor Lightfoot, CEO Jackson, and the members of the mayor appointed CPS Board of Ed. In it, we demand that the Black and Brown families and communities most at risk from the virus be consulted in any planning and decision making for a return to in-person learning. And, until those conditions are deemed safe, we want CPS to collaborate with teachers, parents and students to improve the currently unworkable state of remote learning. Here's some press coverage:
The Board of Education Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
Speaking of the huge enrollment loss in CPS, this is an important meeting. Student based budgeting (SBB) and it's inequitable implications in COVID and non-COVID times need discussion. Meeting announcement here.
Th, Oct 22 | 6-7:30PM | Virtual | RSVP is required here
To register to speak during Public Participation, complete this form. Public Participation will conclude after twenty (20) minutes or until the last speaker has presented, whichever occurs first. Written Comments will be accepted until 5PM, Oct 23. Submit your written comments here.
Local School Council (LSC) News: A Letter & An Event
- RYH is part of the LSCs.4.All coalition. We sent this letter to the CPS BOE, OLSCR Director, and CEO Jackson. In it, we stress the need for public information on how LSC elections will be conducted so elections can be fair and accessible.
- The Gathering: LSC Elections | Hosted by the LSCs.4.All | Tues, Oct 27 | 4:30-6PM | Register here
Special Education News, Upcoming Events & RYH Webpage
Save the date! Nov 2, Noon: Access Living’s presentation on their youth transition programs (ages 12 - 21)
Super Family Saturday | Hosted by Star Net | Sat, Nov 7 | 8:30AM - 4PM | Various workshops | Virtual | Flyer with details & registration
- ICYMI… we have a newish RYH webpage: RYH Special Education Parent Resources for Remote Learning and More. Thanks to support from an amazing summer intern, we have some great Transition Resources on this newish page, including RYH Mock Transition Plan, RYH Mock Summary of Performance, RYH Modified Resume Template, and RYH One Page Profile. We also have a link to this video RYH Special Ed Community Call: Equip for Equality Transition Webinar 9.29.20 and more!
GoCPS High School Application Process
Here is the Link to the GoCPS Eligibility Criteria and Selection Procedures: 2021-2022 School Year (HS Supplemental Guide 2021-2022), where you can find both the criteria for being able to apply for and the criteria used in Acceptance/Selection of students in each of the 318 General Education and Specialty Programs and 68 Cluster Programs. RYH has had repeated discussions with CPS over the last 3 years about how this system discriminates against students with disabilities. A minor change in process is that students in cluster programs can now apply for their preferred schools online rather than paper, though placement still requires final review and approval by ODLSS for eligibility and proximity.
Teach-in on CPS’ Comprehensive Sex Ed Policy
From our friends at Healing to Action: SexEdWorks is a coalition of caregivers, educators, and youth who want to ensure that all CPS youth have access to comprehensive sexual education. Currently, over 70% of CPS students are not receiving comprehensive sex ed as promised by CPS' policy. CPS recently released a proposed policy on comprehensive sexual education for public comment. Join SexEd Works' teach-in on Tues, Oct 27 (caregivers and educators) to make sure your voice is heard. Let's ensure that community members have a voice to hold CPS accountable for the implementation of the policy, funding to ensure schools have the proper resources, and that caregivers have the support they need to promote healthy relationships in their communities.
Wed, Oct 28 | 10:30AM | Online registration to speak here
- Online sign up to speak starts Mon, Oct 26, 10:30AM. The agenda will post at 10am. Sign up + meeting details here. You can try to register via the phone (312) 989-7313- check the links here to make sure this is the correct number on registration day.
- You can submit comments to the BOE via a Google form which will be linked toward the top of the homepage of the CPS BOE webpage here (this link will probably go live on Mon, Oct 26, and you have until the day after the board meeting, 5PM, to submit comments) OR send them via US Mail at 1 N. Dearborn, Suite 950, Chicago IL 60602. The meeting will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube channel.
- There are proposed board policies and/or rule changes that are open to public comment.
- Please contact Jennie if you have any questions about the BOE meetings: [email protected]
➡️ SAVE THE DATE! CTU Standardized Testing Webinar for Parents
Tues, Oct 27 | 6-7PM