This Week in Ed 1.13.21: Democracy Delayed (again) | Pandemic Schooling This Week | Events

Below you will find some of the latest news, upcoming events and resources. Make sure you follow us on social media! Things change on the regular and we’ll try to keep you informed. 

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We’re Hiring!

Join our amazing RYH team! We are hiring a full time parent organizer. You can find the job description and how to apply here. Please share this widely.

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UPDATE: Elected Representative School Board Bill (ERSB | HB2267)

TL; DR: Mayor Lightfoot and Senate President Harmon delay democracy to Chicago’s Black & Latinx families. You can read the full statement from the GEM Coalition here.

We are outraged that despite widespread public support, support from two thirds of the State Senate, and a Mayor that ran on a campaign promise of an elected school board, HB2267 was once again not called for a vote. Chicago will remain the only school district in Illinois without an elected school board. We will continue to fight for the passage of the Elected Representative School Board bill in the 102nd General Assembly. We will continue to hold our elected officials accountable. Democracy has been delayed in Chicago but it will not be denied. Leaders in the coalition will meet later this week to determine steps to get a new ERSB bill moving along and passed by May. 

We thank all of you who made phone calls, sent emails, and encouraged others to do the same over the past week or so. We also thank all of you who have been with us for several years fighting for this. And we thank our fierce community org partners who have been fighting for this for well over a decade! Stay tuned… the fight continues.

Sun-TimesCPS families of color call for elected school board

CBS 2: Advocates Issue Call For Elected School Board – CBS 2: News, Weather, Sports On All Platforms

Resource for Students Experiencing Homelessness in Chicago & Illinois

Today on Facebook Live, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) hosted Educational Rights & Resources for Students Experiencing Homelessness webinar. You can watch it here

 

Pandemic Schooling News

Since we last talked, of course, much more has happened. Here are some highlights:

  • We are collecting LSC letters or resolutions and posting them here. Send any that are missing to info@ilraiseyourhand.org. There are currently 58 in the folder and we’ve heard of several more.
  • Most CPS students- including all high schoolers- will continue with remote learning. Chalkbeat ChicagoChicago helped 55,000 students get free internet. Much work remains.
  • CPS sent an email to parents Friday. You can read it here. There is a big section about attendance expectations. We recommend reading it. Parents must call or send a written note to the school to report an absence (pretty standard procedure but we know some schools do it a bit differently.) We recommend doing what is asked & following up with an email too.

So what happened this week? Chalkbeat Chicago has a live CPS reopening blog. They update it a few times a day as needed. It also links to full articles (recent & older) in case you want to read or understand more. Very handy! It helped us put this summary together:

 

Upcoming: 3 CPS “Ask The Expert” Sessions- SpEd Session Added

CPS is hosting an “Ask The Expert” series. They are also posting the video afterwards on the CPS Family & Community Engagement (FACE) YouTube channel. All sessions are at 4PM. 

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Local School Council (LSC) News

Welcome to all newly seated Local School Council Members! We are looking forward to seeing your leadership and collaboration to create schools that Chicago’s children deserve.

As a reminder, full LSCs are empowered LSCs. Be sure to fill any vacancies that may exist. We created a spreadsheet depicting schools with open seats by role: parent, community, non-teaching staff and teachers: Fill Your School's Vacancy! Uncertified LSC Election Results by Type (RYH). *List current as of Dec 1, 2020...changes may have occurred due to post election challenges.

If you are a LSC member and would like to connect to a larger group of LSC members from across the city, please email us: info@ilraiseyourhand.org.

 

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As noted above, we have a Google folder where we are posting LSC letters and resolutions about the CPS reopening plan- there are 57 in the folder so far. Kudos to Clinton ES LSC who was the first (that we know of) LSC and really inspired many LSCs to take action, which includes setting up spaces for dialogue and engagement. If we are missing your letter, please email it to: info@ilraiseyourhand.org.

The completion of background checks has been deferred since LSC meetings will continue to be virtual- in other words, you do NOT have to get fingerprinted right now. You can find communication from CPS on that here.

LSC Training | Module 1: Roles and Responsibilities

Hosted by LSCs 4 All | Th, Jan 14 | 6PM | Register

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SpEd News: ODLSS FAB Meeting Tonight + Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA)

 

Was your child's Special Ed, Pre-K teacher or Clinician suddenly absent Tuesday? As many of you may already know, CPS locked out 143 teachers/clinicians because they were providing remote learning services from their homes rather than from a CPS school building, for fear of their health and the health of their school communities. If your child's special education teacher or clinician was absent today and no special ed teacher or clinician was provided, your child was denied FAPE. Please let ODLSS Leadership know that your child's teachers and clinicians were not online today and that she should end the stand-off and allow teachers to provide remote learning services from home. Contact Dr. Stephanie Jones, snjones4@cps.edu, 773-553-2557 (Chief of ODLSS) or Twitter @sjonesphd.

 

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. Please share this information with other parents. 

 

In Other News

Chalkbeat ChicagoBlack legislators championed Illinois’ ambitious education bill. Now it’s approaching the finish line.

WBEZ: Racial Equity Education Bill Headed To Illinois Governor

ChalkbeatWitnessing history: Teachers and students left looking for lessons after insurrection

WBEZ: How To Talk To Kids About The Riots At The U.S. Capitol

Sun-TimesTop Illinois schools official says districts should consider extending school year; CTU says it’s open to the idea

 

Save The Date!

Sat, Jan 30, 2021 - LSC Summit 2021 | 10AM-2PM | Virtual | FB post with flyer

Sat, Feb 6, 2021 - RYH Webinar | Reimagining Safety in Chicago Public Schools - Streamed on RYH FB & YouTube

 

Upcoming Events

Toward A New Agenda for Public Education: Recommendations To The Biden Administration

With Diane Ravitch

Hosted by DePaul College of Education

Wed, Feb 10 | 5:30-6:30PM CST | Register | Flyer

 

Legal Aid Chicago’s New Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline Project  

This project is aimed at addressing the institutional racism that obstructs pathways to success for youth. To accomplish this goal, Legal Aid Chicago is providing legal representation to prevent school push-out and expunge juvenile records. 

Legal Aid Chicago is currently accepting school discipline and juvenile records expungement cases. School discipline cases are not limited to expulsions; they also include informal school push-out, suspensions, alternative school transfers, and discipline during remote learning. It is important to note that students still have discipline rights during remote learning, and exclusions from the virtual classroom are still discipline.

In addition to representing youth in these cases, they are available to do trainings and know-your-rights presentations to community members or service providers on school discipline rights, remote learning, juvenile records expungement, or other areas of law. They hope to ensure that parents and students understand their legal rights and are encouraged to seek legal representation.

Below is their new flyer announcing the project. Please share the information with anyone who may need legal assistance. Sharing the flyer on your social media is encouraged. If you have any questions, would like additional materials, or are interested in scheduling a training or know-your-rights presentation, please do not hesitate to contact Legal Aid Chicago.

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