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.
Parents Demand More Support For Remote Learning
No one at CPS has been discussing the vast majority of students who will continue with remote learning (including every CPS non cluster program high school student.) At a press conference yesterday, parents and youth discussed why they were staying remote, how CPS could support, and how remote learning quality is in danger because of the CPS reopening plan. You can watch the press conference here.
Read RYH board member and CPS parent, Nicole Abreu’s powerful statement on remote learning and special education with respect to CPS’ reopening plan here.
This press conference was hosted by Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Raise Your Hand, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Journey 4 Justice, and Logan Square Neighborhood Association.
Open Letter From Chicago Moms & Other Caregivers To Mayor Lightfoot
Please read this letter written by a few CPS moms calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to create a safer reopening plan. If you want to sign on, there is a Google form linked at the top of the letter. Here’s a direct link to the sign on form.
LSC Summit 2021! Join Us At This Virtual Event!
Sat, Jan 30 | 10AM-2PM
Hosted by the LSCs.4.All Coalition
Pandemic Schooling News
Since we last talked 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 [email protected] There are currently 80 in the folder.
We know of a few events on Th, Jan 21:
- Teach-Out Wards 48-49-50
- Bring Back Our Teachers! Community Meeting for CPS Parents, 6PM, School Communities of Volta, Palmer, and Peterson but all are welcome.
- Chicago Documenters has a documentation from last week’s Committee on Education and Child Development subject matter hearing on the CPS reopening plan: detailed notes, link to live tweets, and audio.
So what happened this past 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. Again, it helped us remember all of the news:
- At the end of last week, there were several press conferences, some letter deliveries to the mayor, and COVID cases.
- Friday included a car caravan of teachers, a CPS press conference, and a CPS Board of Ed meeting (board self evaluation!) with 5 speaking spots- the public comments on the reopening plan were mixed.
- A couple of news stories shared some reactions to the first week back for PreK and cluster program students and teachers.
- CPS and CTU… well, here’s the general message that was being reported in the press early in the week. Sun-Times: CPS, CTU ‘having better conversations’ about reopening but need an agreement ASAP, union says
- Marches and teach outs have been hosted in various neighborhoods and at various schools. This Sun-Times article is worth a read to the end where Alderman Sawyer mentions calling a hearing on vaccinating school employees. Chicago teachers continues plea to Chicago Public Schools for safe school reopening plan
- CPS clinicians held a press conference about the letter they wrote about the reopening plan and how it impacts their unique working conditions. You can read it here.
- Chalkbeat Chicago: In Chicago, teachers with children less likely to get permission to work from home
- CEO Jackson hosted a roundtable discussion with parents. And this article sums it up… Block Club Chicago: CPS Boss Says Parents Who Want Schools Open Are Being 'Drowned Out' By Teachers Union.
- Later Tuesday (please read beyond the headline):
Make sure you follow us on social media!
Things change on the regular and we’ll try to keep you informed.
Upcoming: 2 CPS “Ask The Expert” Sessions
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.
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: [email protected]
As noted above, we have a Google folder where we are posting LSC letters and resolutions about the CPS reopening plan- there are 80 in the folder so far. If we are missing your letter, please email it to: [email protected]
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.
Reimagining Safety in Chicago Public Schools
Sat, Feb 6 | 11-12:30PM
SpEd News: Ask The Expert SpEd Session + Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA)
CPS added a SpEd session to their “Ask an Expert” series (see flyer above): Th, Jan 28, 4PM. Register here.
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: What Inauguration Day looks like in schools
Toward A New Agenda for Public Education: Recommendations To The Biden Administration
With Diane Ravitch
Hosted by DePaul College of Education
Students Experiencing Homelessness in Chicago & Illinois
SUFEO's Education Advocacy Helpline Is Now OPEN!
SUFEO provides FREE legal info and advocacy services to families and K-12 students with education-related problems. Call us at 773-800-0338 to get help.
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.