This Week in Ed 11.25.20: 🦃 CPS Reopening Guide | LSC Elections aren’t over yet! | SSCA & SpEd

Well, we were hoping to keep this weekly newsletter brief but CPS released a Parent Reopening Guide last night, LSC Elections are not over yet, and remember when CPS violated special education law in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years? CPS is finally getting around to providing families with “Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA)". We explain it all below (and more!) so please scroll & read! If you feel you need to walk away from public education news for a few days- go do that & come back when you are ready... we get it!

Thanks for reading & for supporting our work! Please consider RYH when planning your #GivingTuesday donations. 


CPS' Reopening Guide for Parents

CPS sent an email last night. You can read the email sent to parents here. A link to the "Reopening Guide for Parents" is shared in the email. NOTE: Teachers & principals received a different document entitled "Reopening Plan." Please remember this as we all try to talk together about this.
Our take? For K-8, it's a numbers game. And it's a "local decision"- by the school and by the numbers schoolwide as well as at the grade level. Be extra nice to your principal in the next couple of months. This sounds like a nightmare to plan plus the numbers can change right before the "reopening" since you can switch from in person to remote up until Feb 1 (or late January, we assume?)
What should you do now? Walk away from this for a few days. Make sure you follow your school on social media & receive emails from them. Schools might host a meeting & you want to get that information. Please remember that principals & teachers received this info last night, too, before a school day off and a long weekend. This is a lot to figure out & they won't have numbers until mid December to even start to plot this out within a school and, possibly, grade by grade. So, be patient with your school. They weren't at the table on this "plan" just like parents weren't at the table. Other CPS links:

CPS’ Reopening Letter is here. (There’s a timeline chart.)

CPS’ Reopening 2020 webpage is here.

Follow RYH on social media. We share news & upcoming events daily. 

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LSC Elections Are Not Over Yet! 

  • Polls were open on Nov 18 (elementary schools) and Nov 19 (high schools.) 
  • You can still report an election issue to Chicago Lawyer’s Committee (CLC) at
  • Mail in ballots postmarked by the school’s election day will be part of the final vote tally if the ballot arrives to school on or by Nov 30. 

For your reference & FYI: Letters, Letter, Letters!

What happens after all the votes are counted? Timeline highlights, CPS LSC Elections 2020 FAQ doc:

  • Dec 1: Deadline for LSC election judges to review, verify, & certify all mail-in and in-person ballots. Principals must post the election results for their school by 5PM. 
  • Dec 2–3: Post-election challenge period. Post-election challenges must be emailed to or filed in person in the lobby at 42 W. Madison St. Chicago, IL by 5 PM CST. 
    • LSCs must convene a meeting by 8 p.m. to certify the election results. The LSC will conduct a tiebreaking lottery in the parent and community member election if needed. (See the FAQ doc for more.)

This RYH slideshow is an excellent resource & it includes (on slide 29) a link to the Post-Election Challenge Forms: Slideshow from RYH’s LSC Candidate Meet & Greet

For your reference: CPS' published materials on LSC Elections 2020

Press coverage of #LSCElections2020:

WTTW: Voting Begins for CPS Local School Councils | Chicago News | WTTW

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago school council elections draw slow turnout at some polls


Special Education News: Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA)

Remember when CPS violated special education law in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years? CPS is finally getting around to providing families with “Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA),” which is $$ for denied busing services and actual additional outside services for students who qualify. For parents who would like to talk to an attorney for free to get more information about SSCA and if their student qualifies, you can call Equip for Equality's SSCA Hotline at 312-895-7231. English and Spanish speaking attorneys are available. The CPS website about SSCA can be found here.

RYH Special Education Parent Resources for Remote Learning and More


CPS Board of Ed 

You can find our statement here from last week’s meeting. Scroll down for all the meeting’s press coverage.


Protecting Students’ Privacy & Access to Education 

RYH signed onto this list of policy recommendations for tech use in remote learning. The full doc is here and the summary is here.


Send An Email To President-elect Biden

Over sixty pro-public education groups, including RYH, have signed on to Network for Public Education’s five priorities for K-12 webpage. Please visit the webpage and read the five priorities. Scroll down to send your own email to President-elect Biden to tell him to keep his promises to support public education and that we need pro-public education leadership in the Department of Education.


Indigenous Peoples’ Day Coalition- Illinois

Here is a Google form you can fill out in support of the change to Indigenous Peoples' Day at the state, county, and city levels. You can also like & follow Indigenous Peoples' Day Coalition - Illinois to stay in touch with the coalition working on this effort.


CPS Enrollment + Citywide LSC Letter

Chalkbeat Chicago analyzes CPS’ enrollment decreases in this article: Chicago's steep enrollment losses hit high-poverty schools hardest

Our LSC Connection Google group has 600+ LSC members from across the city. The Group has written a Citywide LSC Letter that any LSC can sign. LSC members are asking CPS to freeze enrollment counts from SY20 for schools that experienced an enrollment drop in SY21 as not doing so would negatively impact SY22 school level budgets. So far 25 LSCs have signed. Please share these links with your LSC: LETTER English, Spanish | Form to sign on


Brighton Park Neighborhood Council’s (BPNC) Remote Learning Survey

Our friends at BPNC are conducting a community survey on CPS Remote Learning. Please consider taking it & sharing! Survey here.


Journey for Justice Alliance National Survey

What is your vision for equity in Public Education? Click here to take the National Grassroots Education Survey in English or Spanish. Journey for Justice is committed to getting feedback from Grassroots voices on their vision for America's public schools. We invite you to encourage, Black, Brown Indigenous parents and youth to take their National Education Survey! 



Chalkbeat Chicago: ‘A story on dark days’: How one Chicago student’s anime club is creating community during a pandemic

Sun-Times: Obama, in surprise appearance, gives 105,000 CPS students free digital copies of ‘A Promised Land’


In Other News

WBEZ: A Chicago Family And Teacher Cope With Remote Learning

Chalkbeat Chicago: Restore state testing in schools? Illinois leaders, advocates split

Chicago Tribune: CPS selective enrollment high schools plan in-person entrance exams despite COVID-19 risks

Sun-Times: What I learned about choosing the best kindergarten for my daughter | Natalie Moore

Sun-Times: Catholic schools can transition to remote learning after Thanksgiving, archdiocese says


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