This Week in Ed 11.7.19: Strike make up days announced; Hearings scheduled for Tues, Nov 12

CPS announced the five proposed make up days for the 11 day CTU/SEIU strikes: Wed, Nov 27; Th, Jan 2; Fri, Jan 3; Wed, June 17; and Th, June 18. 

Please note that these are proposed make up days. The CPS Board of Education (CPS BOE) must vote to approve these days. You have two opportunities to express your opinion before the CPS BOE vote: 

1️⃣ There will be a hearing on the revised calendar and budget on Tues, Nov 12, 2019: 4-6pm (in person sign up to speak: 3-4pm); 6:30-8:30pm (in person sign up to speak: 5:30-6:30pm) ; CPS, 42 W. Madison. Here are the details on these hearings. Speakers have 2 min to speak.

2️⃣ The calendar and budget revisions require approval from the mayor appointed CPS BOE. The next CPS BOE meeting is Wed, Nov 20, at 10:30am. Online sign up to speak or attend this meeting begins on Mon, Nov 18, at, 10:30am sharp.

The #CTUSEIUStrike ends

The strikes officially ended on Th, Oct 31. Students, teachers, and school staff were back in school on Fri, Nov 1. Chalkbeat Chicago has an explainer here about the three steps to finalize the deal, including a secret-ballot teacher ratification vote on Th, Nov 14, and Fri, Nov 15.

RYH spoke at the CTU/SEIU rally at Lincoln Yards on Tues, Oct 29. You can read our statements and find a link to a video here

We are with all of you here today. Yes, tired, but also energized. We are so grateful for all of you who are part of Chicago’s fight to preserve and sustain the public good that is public education. Together we will remain strong and continue to demand the basics while the City of Chicago spends money on luxuries like Lincoln Yards. 

We really are grateful to all of you- teachers, school staff, students, parents, and community- who stood strong for Chicago public education and shared your stories with press and via rally speeches and signs. The fight is not over, though, so stay with us and let’s build on this momentum! (Psssttt… Local School Council (LSC) elections are in April 2020. The LSC election timeline & candidate materials will be available in Dec 2019 or Jan 2020.)

Some press from the end of the strike:

WBEZ: Starting Offer To Agreement: Where The Teachers Contract Landed On Key Issues and The Chicago Teachers Union 2019 Contract Deal 

Sun-Times: Why the Chicago teachers strike lasted so long- and became so bitter and Here are the highlights of CPS-CTU deal


Special education news

Here’s some press coverage of reaction by special education advocates to the tentative agreement:

Chalbeat Chicago: The state oversees Chicago’s special education program. Will the new teachers union contract help?

Sun-Times: Some special ed advocates ask, was the strike worth it?

And our friends at Access Living stress: “Now it is time to ask CPS: What is your plan to provide overdue remedies to students?” Below is some important information 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!


YOU can submit public comment on proposed CPS policy or rule changes 

At the July CPS BOE meeting, a new practice was passed: “Community members have 30 calendar days to review and provide feedback on proposed policy or rule changes.” You can find the CPS policies open for public comment at this web page. Currently there are 6 policies posted with a public comment deadline of Fri, Nov 8.


#GivingTuesday2019 is December 3

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 especially your great support of the Raise a Glass benefit helped a ton! Now we are just a little 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 Giving Tuesday 2019 or end of the year donations. Thank you!  GT_2019_email_blast.png


In other news

Sun-Times: Keep 2 high schools open in Englewood, residents say

Sun-Times: New video shows CPS principal allegedly lie about forcing a student out of building into bitterly cold weather

NPR Illinois: IL School Report Card: Now With Even More Data

Chalkbeat Chicago and WBEZ teamed up to report on the release of the IL School Report Cards.


Upcoming events

CPS Budget Hearings (includes the 5 strike make up days)

Tues Nov 12, 4-6pm (Registration 3-4pm) AND 6:30 - 8:30pm (Registration 5:30 - 6:30pm)

CPS, 42 W. Madison

Same day, in person speaker and attendee registration. 


Access Living’s Fall Fundraiser: Comedy & Cocktails

Th Nov 14

6:00pm – Mingling, treats, silent auction, and networking

6:30 – 7:30pm – Program and performance

Access Living’s Chandler Gallery, 115 W. Chicago Avenue

Enjoy sweets, savories, cocktails, and the chance to learn about Access Living’s mission and core programs. All proceeds go towards operating support for Access Living’s programs and services.


Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed Nov 20, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

Registration to speak or attend begins on Mon Nov 18 at 10:30am.Online registration to speak or attend is here. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance: Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at at 10am on Mon Nov 18.