This Week in Ed 1.26.21: Zoom With RYH Tonight (Tues, 1.26) | Petitions & Events | Meet Some RYHers

We plan to send two email newsletters this week since there is way too much going on! We hope you and your family are well.

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RYH’s CPS Stakeholder Solidarity Call Amid COVID-19

Tonight! Tues, Jan 26 | 7-8:45PM | Please register here on Zoom

Invited: CPS Equity Officer; CPS FACE, Director and Deputy Director; CPS OLSCR Director and Deputy Director; President of Chicago Principals and Administrators Association

RYH has been inundated with valid questions, concerns and fears from parents, caregivers, LSCs and neighbors around COVID-19 safety, transparency, reopening, remote learning, etc. Please join us for a call. Typically, we’d give more notice, but given the current events we feel compelled to hold this space ASAP. 


Ways To Sound Off and/or Take Action

1) CPS, Don't Lock Out or Leave Behind Remote Learners!

Please read and consider signing this petition.

We demand to know how CPS will invest in remote learning, especially since that is the clear choice of most Black and Latinx families. Instead, the current CPS plan disrupts remote learning, disinvesting in hundreds of thousands of remote students. 

We reject CPS actions locking students out from their teachers.

2) CPS, give high schools the scheduling flexibility to meet students’ needs in a global pandemic!

Please read and consider signing this petition.

A flexible schedule that supports students’ mental and physical health and their academic success should not only be permitted, but encouraged at all CPS high schools as a zero-cost way to improve remote learning and support students—one that has been implemented in numerous suburban high schools this year.

3) Survey from Chalkbeat ChicagoChicago school reopening is under scrutiny. Tell us what you think.

4) Submit Written Comments to the CPS Board of Ed! In conjunction with their monthly meeting, which is Wed (you can watch the live stream on the CPS YouTube channel), you can submit written comments through Th, Jan 28, 5PM. Go to and scroll down to “Board meeting Jan 27 Form” or click here to get to the Google form.

5) Here's the Office of the Mayor's phone number: 312 744 3300.


Please Welcome RYH’s Newest Board Members!

We’re very excited to let you know that Nicole Abreu and Cassandra Kaczocha have joined the RYH Board! 

I am Nicole Abreu (Ah-breh-oo)- proud daughter of immigrants from La Republica Dominicana, wife to my favorite tech geek and mother to three amazing kiddos in Chicago Public Schools. Born in Queens and raised in Miami, I came to Chicago to study Spanish Literature and train to be a teacher. I am passionate about accessible, culturally relevant public education rooted in social justice. I had the privilege of dedicating myself to that work as an elementary school teacher in public schools for 7 years. Since the birth of my eldest, who has been showing the world there’s #HopeInOneHemisphere for 10 years and counting, I’ve funneled that passion into advocacy and activism, but still dream of finding my way back to the classroom, where I feel most at home! 

Soy Nicole Abreu, orgullosa hija de inmigrantes de La República Dominicana, esposa de mi “tech geek” favorito y madre de tres niños increíbles en las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago. Nacida en Queens y criada en Miami, vine a Chicago para estudiar literatura española y entrenar para ser maestra. Me apasiona la educación pública accesible y culturalmente relevante, fundada en la justicia social. Tuve el privilegio de dedicarme a ese trabajo como maestra de primaria en escuelas públicas durante 7 años. Desde el nacimiento de mi hija mayor, quien le ha estado mostrando al mundo que #HayEsperanzaEnUnHemisferio por 10 años y contando, he dirigido esa pasión hacia la abogacía y el activismo, pero aún sueño con regresar al salón de clases, donde me siento más a gusto.



I am Cassandra Kaczocha (Ka-cha-ha). I am passionate about racial equity and I believe that equity won’t happen unless we make sure the voices of all communities are involved in crafting policy.  Professionally I work in Information Technology, managing a team responsible for helping to achieve business goals through application development.  Personally, I am a wife who motivates and is motivated by my partner.  I am a mother of two tiny humans whom amaze me each day with their innate sense of justice. I am a daughter who hopes that I am doing justice to the legacy of faith and works instilled in me by my mother and grandmother. And I am also a community member who believes that we should leave the world a better place than we found it.



Please Welcome Our Two Interns, Jamaica Ponder and Aida Sorour!

Jamaica Ponder is a senior at Northwestern University‘s Medill School of Journalism from Princeton New Jersey. Her passions lie in community organizing, mutual aid, and civic empowerment, having previously worked with Action Now Institute and presently contributing to the Chicago Love Train. Jamaica is at heart, a journalist and believes the best way to serve her communities is by asking people good questions and actually listening to their answers. During her time with RYH, Jamaica will be working on Pandemic Schooling issues, Police Free Schools research and events, our Elected Representative School Board efforts, and our new website.

Aida Sorour is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying sociology. She has a passion for education and social justice, and has served in black student unions and a multicultural advocacy position on campus. She is eager to join the RYH team in their efforts to make education equitable for all. During her time with RYH, Aida will be working on the North Lawndale #SaveOurSchools Campaign, IL PEER School Funding Coalition, and our Elected Representative School Board efforts. 

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Want To Be Part of the RYH Fun? 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.




Special Education News

  • CPS’ “Ask The Expert” series: Dr. Jones, Chief Officer for ODLSS: Th, Jan 28, 4PM. Register.
  • NEW! If you or anyone you know has an adult child who has aged out of (or will soon age out of) CPS Transition Programs (or any IL school district transition program) at age 22 -- especially those who missed out on vital vocational training out in the Community due to Covid -- please give us your contact information via this form and we'll be in touch. Thanks.


LSC News



LSC Summit 2021! Join Us At This Virtual Event!

Sat, Jan 30 | 10AM-2PM

Hosted by the LSCs.4.All Coalition

Program of Events




Pandemic Schooling News: This Week In Review

Here are some press highlights which will hopefully tell the story of what’s happened since last we spoke...

These related articles are worth a read or listen:

WBEZ: Pandemic's Impact On One Family In Chicago's Little Village (Make sure to read/listen!)

Chalkbeat Chicago‘Not how it used to be:’ How one Chicago school is confronting the challenges of reopening

Sun-TimesCPS parents caught between district and CTU fear students are falling behind, push for stability


Parents Demand More Support For Remote Learning

ICYM a press conference we participate in last week: You can watch the press conference hereRead (or watch!) RYH board member and CPS parent, Nicole Abreu’s powerful statement on remote learning and special education with respect to CPS’ reopening plan here


National Standardized Testing Suspension: Learn More + Take Action


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