This Week in Ed 1.23.20: 📢 Give SQRP a piece of your mind! Plus, this week's news

New! Whole Child Committee meets Monday. SQRP is the focus.

The first meeting of the CPS Board Of Ed Whole Child Committee will be held on Mon, Jan 27, 5:30-7:30pm, at Englewood STEM HS. You can register or sign up to receive updates here. Here is the letter that came from board member Rome: English; Spanish. And from an email:

The focus on our first meeting will be on SQRP [School Quality Rating Policy] as the CPS seeks to engage community members to create a policy that is more responsive to stakeholders.

Recommended SQRP reading before attending the Whole Child Committee meeting:

Chalkbeat Chicago June 26, 2019: Chicago school board approves new school ratings scale despite complaints and confusion and July 9, 2019 Chicago is changing its elementary school ratings. Here’s why educators are watching closely.

CPS SQRP web page | RYH resources from What Makes a School Great? Feb 12, 2018, including South Side Weekly coverage: Beyond the Levels

Yesterday at the CPS BOE

We attended both the Finance and Audit Committee meeting (live tweets) and the monthly BOE meeting (live tweets.) Public comment was very charter heavy (only 6 non charter speakers of 60 total) because there were 32 charter renewals on the agenda. RYH’s Parent Liaison for Special Education, Mary Fahey Hughes, spoke. Video of Mary here. You can find her prepared statement, plus, all the press coverage of the meeting here.

WBEZ: Charter Schools Under Microscope At Chicago Board of Education Meeting

Sun-Times: No need to fear ICE, even if you take part in school elections, CPS assures parents


CPS School Funding Working Group meetings start next week

In December, Mayor Lightfoot and CPS announced that they will “...begin a community process to identify potential opportunities to further strengthen school funding.” That process starts next week. Please plan to attend one of these meetings. School Funding Working Group public meetings:

  • Wed, Jan 29, 6–8pm,  Amundsen HS, 5110 N. Damen Ave
  • Th, Jan 30, 6–8pm, Clark HS, 5101 W. Harrison St
  • Sat, Feb 1, 11am–1pm, Corliss HS, 821 E. 103rd St
  • Wed, Feb 5, 6–8pm, Hammond ES, 2819 W. 21st Pl
  • Th, Feb 6, 6–8pm, Dyett HS, 555 E. 51st St
  • Sat, Feb 8, 11am–1pm, Clemente HS, 1147 N. Western Ave


Materials posted: CPS BOE Workforce Development & Equity Committee

At the CPS BOE website ( and under (scroll down!) “News and Announcements,” you can find a link to all the materials from this committee's inaugural meeting, including a transcript, the presentation, and the public comments. Chalbeat Chicago coverage of that meeting here. 


LSC Elections are in April! Come to the LSC Summit Saturday! ALL are welcome!

Local School Council Elections are Wed, April 22 (elementary schools) and Th, April 23 (high schools). Let’s kick off the LSC election season on the right foot!

LSC Summit: Elections 2020

Saturday, January 25; 10am - 2pm

Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll Avenue

Register here

Facebook event page here

More information and downloadable flyers here- please share!

Hosted by the LSCs.4.All coalition: 
Blocks Together, Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), Chicago United for Equity (CUE), Lugenia Burns Hope Center, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Northside Action for Justice, Pilsen Alliance, Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education (RYH)

This event is open to the public! LSC Summit: Elections 2020 is for current LSC members and those potentially interested in running for LSC. We will have a panel session and 4 workshops on how to create engaged and effective LSCs. LSC Candidate materials are available now: CPS LSC Elections web page


Special education news

We need your Special Education questions!  RYH is working on creating an online resource to help families navigate Special Ed in CPS and would love for you to fill out this survey in English and Spanish. Please share this survey with your contacts!

Mary spoke at the CPS BOE meeting yesterday! Watch video of her statement here.

RYH Special Ed Tip of the Week: 

As much as possible, avoid discussing your child's special education services or placement on the telephone or in person outside of an official meeting. Communicate everything surrounding your child’s special education services via e-mail. A written record of your correspondence with school personnel provides you with irrefutable proof of what was said. If you are pulled into a face to face or phone conversation regarding your child’s special education services, follow up with a friendly e-mail documenting the nature of the conversation.  See Conversation Follow-up Email Template.

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

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.   


SUFEO: Great, free resource for parents & students!

Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) Chicago, is an initiative led by Loyola law students to disrupt the school to prison pipeline and address a gap in legal services in Chicago. SUFEO’s goal is to reduce the use of suspensions and exclusionary practices and to keep young people engaged and safe in school. SUFEO advocates on behalf of PreK-12 students in suspension appeals. We have also recently expanded our representation to students in need of safety protections in school as a result of bullying. SUFEO’s services are completely free.

SUFEO website | hotline: 773.800.0338 | email:

SUFEO flyer for parents | SUFEO flyer for orgs & advocates



Sun-Times: Dixon Elementary student wins Chicago’s first MLK Jr. oratory competition (Don’t miss the beautiful pictures at the end!)

WBEZ: Students Testing Political Waters In Iowa (Read & listen!)


In other news

WBEZ: Crece El Número De Trabajadores Sociales En Las Escuelas Públicas De Chicago

KFVS: New Illinois law allows eligible students to vote during school day

Sun-Times: CPS layoffs didn’t discriminate against black teachers, judge says in dismissing CTU’s class-action lawsuit

Chalkbeat: This Supreme Court case could deliver a win for school choice advocates. What might happen next?

Chicago Defender: Black Students at the University of Chicago Lab High School pen an open letter to school to address diversity and racism on campus. (Worth a read.)

Chalkbeat Chicago: In Illinois state board’s $9.64 billion budget ask: more money for teacher recruitment, testing

Sun-Times: More than 100,000 students missed the latest CPS strike makeup days


Give CPS feedback

Upcoming CPS policy and rule changes (direct link

CPS School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) (direct link); You can also give SQRP feedback at the CPS BOE Whole Child Committee on Mon, Jan 25, 5:30pm, Englewood STEM HS.


See you at LSC Summit: Elections 2020!

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