This Week in Ed 11.21.19: Strike make up days + CTU/SEIU contracts approved by CPS Board of Ed

Teachers voted to ratify the contract last week which officially ended the strike. The CPS Board of Ed approved the strike make up days and the CTU and SEIU contracts yesterday at their monthly meeting. 

Some more press coverage on the strike & contracts below: 

WBEZ: Teachers Strike Remakes 25 Years Of Bargaining in Chicago

Chalkbeat Chicago: Budgets, school ratings, charter schools: Side agreements to Chicago teachers contract reach for big changes

Revised CPS calendar is here. 

CPS hearings and meetings galore

➡️ Yesterday’s monthly meeting of the CPS Board of Education (CPS BOE) meeting:

RYH statement against the competition for CPS academic programming or #CPSHunger Games and all the press coverage here.

Video of our delivered statement. RYH Live tweets.

➡️ LSC Advisory Board (LSCAB) meeting on Monday, Nov 18:

RYH live tweets. Read this statement from an elected member of the LSCAB who spoke at the CPS BOE yesterday: “F” for transparency- LSCAB.  

➡️ CPS FY2020 amended budget hearings on Tuesday, Nov 12:

RYH live tweets. RYH statement in a tweet: “Hold schools harmless on SQRP on attendance for the strike make up days. These days should also be excused absences for any student absent.” Chalkbeat Chicago covered the hearings here.

➡️ There have been 3 “Community Outreach Events” for the CPS Academic Program Request for Proposal (RFP) which launched last week.

There are 2 more meetings: 

  • South Side Info Session, TONIGHT, 5-7pm, South Shore HS, 1955 E. 75th St
  • SW Side Info Session, Monday, Nov 25, 5 - 7pm, Gage Park HS, 5630 S. Rockwell

Chalkbeat Chicago covered Monday night’s “Community Outreach Event” at Sullivan HS and looks at the second year of this RFP “process”: Chicago schools to compete again for special program funding, with revised rules for 2020. Here’s what we said yesterday at the CPS Board meeting about this competitive “process.” 


Give CPS feedback & the next CPS Board of Ed meeting will be in the community and at 5pm

At the CPS Board of Ed website, you can find links to provide feedback on upcoming CPS policy and rule changes (direct link) and to provide feedback on the CPS School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) (direct link). To help you with that SQRP feedback, here are our resources from our "What Makes a School Great? forum hosted at Kenwood HS in 2018.

The next #cpsboard meeting has been changed: Wednesday, December 11, 5:00pm, Curie HS. On this same day, there will be a CPS BOE Workforce Committee hearing on teacher recruitment and development, and on how to hire 3,000 teachers of color. This is a new committee and board member Todd-Breland said yesterday that the hearing will be informational. Keep your eye on the CPS Board of Ed website for details.


Local School Council (LSC) related events

➡️ The Follow Up: Know Your LSC Rights: Saturday, Nov 23, 10am-12pm, at National Teachers Academy (NTA), 55 W Cermak Rd. Facebook event page.

Register here.


The Follow Up is an LSC training workshop that meets every other month. Saturday’s topic is learning about your rights as an LSC member; what you can ask for, what you are required to do and how to advocate for yourself at your school with your LSC members.

The workshop topic is determined at "The Gathering" (the last one was held on Oct 5) which alternates with The Follow Up. The Gathering is where LSC members come together to share their experiences, learn from others and work together to make LSCs more effective

 ➡️ The Gathering: LSC Meet Up: Tuesday, Dec 17, 6:30- 8:00pm, National Teachers Academy (NTA), 55 W Cermak Rd. Register here

The Gathering is for anyone interested in making local school councils (LSCs) more effective. Whether you are curious about LSCs, what it means to be an LSC member; or whether you're unsure if your school has an LSC… The Gathering is for you.

Experts will be available to help participants assess the needs of their respective schools, schedule trainings, provide technical assistance, and arrange monthly sessions to work together on improving LSCs for all.

 ➡️ Save the Date: LSC Summit: Saturday, Jan 25, 2020, 10AM – 2PM (Location TBD)

This will be an LSC conference that kicks off LSC election season. Workshops include: 1) What is an LSC 101? 2) LSC Deep Dive: Budget, CIWP & Principal Evaluation, 3) Running & Winning Your LSC Election and 4) Winning LSCs for All: Deep Dive into LSC Bill.


Reimagine Chicago event

Raise Your Hand is also part of the Reimagine Chicago coalition, which seeks to build a Chicago that works for all of its residents. One of its primary campaigns is fighting for a just budget. There will be an action on Tuesday, Nov 26, 9:15am, City Hall,1st floor. It will be a great opportunity to talk to community members from across the city and learn from each other’s experiences and advocacy. There will be many activities going on; from education around the budget to interactive activities that demonstrate the inequities in this current proposed budget which increases property taxes and has no progressive revenue. If you are interested, please reach out to


Special education news

CPS has delayed the rollout of the Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) Parent/IEP Team meetings to discuss what extra special education services your child may be entitled to as a result of its illegal delay and denial of certain special education services during the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 school years. CPS had to comply with a new law that requires that stakeholders have the chance to provide comments on any proposed SpEd policy and procedure changes, which brings us to...

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

Healthy Schools Campaign is collecting testimonials from advocates, service providers, school administrators and health staff, families, students, etc. on the importance of having quality school health services, as part of the effort to support free care, but also in terms of expanding school health services in general.  Please submit a testimonial and/or share with your networks across the state - it only takes two minutes to complete. Link here

The next CPS Diverse Learner Parent Advisory Council Meeting is Thursday, December 12, 6-8:00pm, CPS Colman Zenos Office, 4655 S. Dearborn Street, Room 406, Chicago.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD), Chicago’s Metropolitan Area Parent Training and Information Center can provide you with no cost Special Education advocacy help. All FRCD asks of parents who want an advocate to help them navigate the special education process is that you complete one of their know-your-rights trainings so you will be empowered with knowledge that will benefit your child.  


Giving Tuesday is December 3, 2019!


During the summer, a generous donor challenged us with a promise to give RYH $30,000 if we meet our ambitious individual giving goal by the end of the year. Your donations and your great support of Raise a Glass for RYH helped a ton! Now we are less than $10,000 from reaching our goal to receive this match. Your contribution of $10, $25, or more could help us get there! Please consider RYH in your #GivingTuesday2019 or end of the year donations. Thank you! 


RYH work featured in the Anarchitectural Library at the Chicago Cultural Center

We are really proud to be a part of the Anarchitectural Library exhibit which is an exhibit of the Chicago Architecture Biennial! Go visit if you can! Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 4th floor landing, Randolph Street side; open through January 5, 2020. 

The Library features work from so many wonderful Chicago organizations- many that RYH works with on various public education issues. We were invited to share our work in fighting the mass school closings in 2013. You can find the Anarchitectural Library Index here.

You can read more about RYH work featured here


Parents 4 Teachers Forum: The 2019 CTU strike: What we won, what we're still fighting for

Monday, Dec 2, 6pm, at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Facebook event page here.


CPS email to parents of Juniors & Seniors: opting out of student directory information

As far as we know, CPS has never emailed the below to parents before. Kudos to the organizations, including CHI-CAM (Chicago Committee Against Militarism). for making this happen! The email & links to the Opt Out form are below. Note: RYH has a post about Opting out of directory information here in our Tech & Data Privacy Toolkit.



Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2019, 04:53:00 PM CST

Subject: Your Right to Opt-Out from Release of Student Directory Information to Postsecondary Institutions


Dear CPS High School Juniors and Seniors: 

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) receives requests for student contact information from recruiters who represent a wide range of postsecondary institutions including colleges, universities, trade and vocational organizations, the armed services, and prospective employers. Unless the student's parent/guardian has opted out by submitting a completed opt-out form, your contact information may be shared.

Students have a right to opt-out of sharing their contact information. Attached, please find the Opt-Out Form that you will need to submit to your homeroom teacher or your school's main office should you wish to not share your contact information. The Opt-Out Form and Information Sheet is available in the following three languages:




Please ensure that your parent/guardian reviews the Information Sheet and the Opt-Out Form. Completed forms should be submitted to your homeroom teacher or the main office at your school no later than December 1, 2019. If you do not want to opt-out, please disregard this form. 


Chicago Public Schools


In other news

Sun-Times: CPS extends deadline to apply to selective enrollment high schools, other programs

Chalkbeat Chicago: ‘Hoping for a miracle’: Chicago parents express confusion, anxiety as preschools and day care centers lay off staff, threaten downsizing

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago finds more money to stave off closures, layoffs at child care centers

WBEZ: Housing For Chicago Teens During Tough Times

Chalkbeat Chicago: Aspen portal glitch puts teachers and parents on edge as report cards released 

WBEZ: Palatine School District Approves Full Bathroom Rights For Transgender Students 

Chalkbeat Chicago: Lots more Latino students, not so many Latino teachers: Data reflect Illinois’ disparate changes 

WTTW: Heating Issues Hit Kenwood Academy High School for 2nd Straight Day

Chalkbeat Chicago: Should Illinois rewrite the way it funds early learning? The case starts to build 

WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools Enrollment Drops Again 


Worth a read

From Tuesday: Very difficult to read but very important; a collaboration between the Chicago Tribune and Pro Publica Illinois: The Quiet Rooms 

UPDATE from Wednesday: Illinois to Take Emergency Action to Halt Isolated Timeouts in Schools

To tell reporters about seclusion practices at any school in Illinois, please email


Chalkbeat Indiana: Live updates: Thousands of Indiana teachers converge on the Statehouse for Red for Ed rally

City Bureau: How Open Is Your Government? One-Third of Local Agencies Get Failing Grade For Transparency

The Hechinger Report: OPINION: Why are schools that predominantly serve black and brown students consistently underfunded?