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CPS & CTU Reach Reopening Agreement
Overnight and via a CTU tweet: "The CTU Rules & Elections Committee has unanimously certified the ballot results on the proposed framework for returning to in-person learning at CPS. The framework is now a ratified agreement between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools."
In an email sent to parents last night, CPS/Chicago says they are hosting A Safe Return to School: Virtual Parent Town Hall with Mayor Lightfoot and Drs. Jackson and Arwady. Wed, 2.10 | 6 PM | watch here.
We have more news on the past week below, plus several upcoming events & resources.
Feeling A Certain Way Right Now? ➡️ Elected Representative School Board
We have until the end of May to win an elected representative school board. We have upcoming actions and meetings ahead - please sign up here to take action! Questions? Email Jianan at [email protected]
Info Session on Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) & Universal Enrichment Remedy (UER)
TONIGHT! Wed, Feb 10 | 6-8:30PM | Register
Is your child with an IEP automatically eligible for free extra special education-related services to make up for CPS’ illegal delays and denials of certain services in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years?
CPS has identified over 10,000 students with IEPs who are automatically eligible for free extra special ed-related services. Join us and our advocacy partners at Equip for Equality for an information session about Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) and Universal Enrichment Remedy (UER). *There will be an upcoming info session in Spanish. Stay tuned.*
#TrustLearningCare: Demands For Remote Learning & Safe Schools From Parents & Youth
On Friday, RYH, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC), Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) hosted over 350 parents and youth for a discussion on how to improve remote learning and how to ensure schools are safe for in person learning. During this powerful event, as well as during other smaller events hosted by RYH and partner organizations and attended by parents and youth from across Chicago, we are collectively developing TLC Demands: Trust, Learning, Care. #TLCMakesSense Stay tuned!
We’re Hiring! (Again!)
Join our amazing RYH team! We are hiring a full time advocacy director. You can find the job description and how to apply here. We are accepting applications through Sun, Feb. 21. Thanks for sharing with possible candidates!
A Series of Reimagining School Safety Community Chats & Workshops
This past Saturday, we hosted a panel with parents, youth, educators, and community leaders organizing to develop relationships for transformative safety in Chicago’s schools. You can watch it here.
This was a fantastic discussion and it was the beginning of a series of workshops and meetups we will be hosting during Feb and March- join Chicago's Youth and Adult Allies! We will provide CPS stakeholders the opportunity to listen, be heard, debate and organize together for real safety in our schools. This is an open call for CPS parents, caregivers, neighbors and community to join us.
We welcome you to complete this form to register and to see all of the upcoming workshops & meetups. Click on the box next to the workshops you will attend and then click on the bit.ly link to register on Zoom.
Community Chat & Workshop: History of Policing In Schools & School-to-Prison Pipeline
Chat to examine the history of policing in Chicago schools. Discussion areas will include the school to prison pipeline, disruption of learning, criminalization of youth. School/prison nexus language, zero tolerance practices & school discipline policies. Register for one of the below two sessions.
Sat, Feb 13 | 10:30 - 11:45AM | Register on Zoom
Wed, Feb 17 | 6 - 7:15PM | Register on Zoom
Community Chat & Workshop: Exploring Restorative and Transformative Practices
Chat to examine the impacts and consequences around intentional child-centered restorative practices with a whole-child focus on mental health, mentorship, community supports. Register for one of the below two sessions.
Sat, Feb 20 | 10:30 - 11:45AM | Register on Zoom
Th, Feb 25 | 7 - 8:15PM | Register on Zoom
And ICYMI... From CPS: "The Whole School Comprehensive Safety Plan is a part of CPS’ effort to create a more holistic approach to school safety." CPS has a webpage which lists the 5 lead organizations who are working with CPS on engagement plus all the community engagement dates, times and registration information. Sun-Times covers this here.
LSC Connection + Letters/Resolutions + Upcoming Trainings
- 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]
- We have a Google folder where we are posting LSC letters and resolutions about the CPS reopening plan- there are 130+ in the folder so far. These letters are worth a look- they are very nuanced and many express specific concerns and questions as they relate to their individual schools and as it relates to both in person and remote learners. If we are missing your letter, please email it to: [email protected]
- Hope Center is offering several LSC Trainings during February. Details and registration here.
LSC Summit 2021
The LSCs.4.ALL coalition is hosting our annual LSC summit to Feb 27, 10AM-3PM. Please also note that we are adding additional time to the end of our Summit for an organizing plenary.
Special Education News: Workshop + ODLSS FAB Meeting + Aging Out
Free workshop from one of our SPEACC (Special Education Advocacy Coalition of Chicago) partners, Special Education Attorney, Tracy Hartlieb: Being Your Child’s Best Advocate: Special Education Rights for Students During the Pandemic.
- Th, Feb 11 | 5:30-6:30PM | Register
- ODLSS Family Advisory Board (FAB) Monthly Meeting
- 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. Please share.
Karen Lewis, Rest In Power
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Karen Lewis, a leader in Chicago's education justice movement. Karen's character, vision, and impact expanded Chicago's imagination for what public schools families deserve. We are thinking of Karen's family as well as all the lives she impacted as a CPS student, a CPS teacher, and then as president of the Chicago Teachers Union. Rest in power.
Pandemic Schooling This Week (So Far)
Here's some press which will tell the story of what’s happened since last we spoke...
- Chalkbeat Chicago’s live blog: Chicago schools reopening amid COVID: The latest
After the 48 hour “cooling off period” (which ended the evening of Wed, 2.3), negotiations continued. All students and teachers were remote on Th, 2.4. Fri, 2.5, was a scheduled day off (School Improvement Day), marking the end of the semester.
- From late Th, 2.4... WBEZ: Mayor Lightfoot Says ‘Time’s Up’ To Make A Deal On School Reopening
- Chicago Tribune: Illinois lawmakers call on Chicago mayor to compromise with teachers to avoid a CPS strike. But Lori Lightfoot says her patience has run out.
- From early Fri, 2.5.. WBEZ: CPS Threatens To Lock Out Teachers On Monday Evening As It Proposes To Push Back School Reopening
- By Sun, 2.7, there was talk of a potential agreement. Then the city & CPS hosted a press conference declaring it so. But, not so fast, said teachers and the CTU. This potential agreement needed to be viewed and voted on by the members of the Chicago Teachers Union.
- The union held a meeting with members then a House of Delegates meeting on Sunday.
- On Mon evening, 2.8, the CTU House of Delegates met again and voted to bring the tentative agreement to rank and file teachers for a vote. Also, at the meeting on Mon evening, the House of Delegates issued a vote of no confidence in Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools’ leaders. That measure passed by 90%.
- On Tues, 2.9, the 25k+ CTU members voted to accept or reject the tentative agreement.
We all woke up Wed, 2.10, to find the agreement ratified.
- Chalkbeat Chicago: It’s official: Final teacher vote seals deal to reopen Chicago schools
CPS’ “Ask The Expert” Sessions Continue
- CPS FACE YouTube Channel- Ask The Expert session videos are here.
From CPS’ Family & Community Engagement (FACE):
- Feb 11 | 4-5PM
- The Expert: Phil DiBartolo, Chief Information Officer. As the district’s chief information officer, Phillip DiBartolo is responsible for the delivery of all information technology (IT) services. These duties include maintaining computing devices, provisioning core systems, and securing accessible communications and internet services.
- Topic: Learn more about device distribution and Chicago Connected
- Click Here to RSVP (required in order to receive the invitation)
In Other News
Toward A New Agenda for Public Education: Recommendations To The Biden Administration
With Diane Ravitch
Hosted by DePaul College of Education
Eye Exams Available
The CPS Vision Program (Ageless Eye Care) will be providing eye exams and glasses at their office for a limited time, by appointment only. Services for CPS students will continue to be provided at no cost to the family (if applicable, public insurance will be billed).
Spread the word! Our free legal hotline has reopened for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year. Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) Chicago is a group of law students that provides free information and services, under attorney supervision, to K-12 students in a variety of areas. We offer support and representation to students experiencing:
- Inadequate special education services
- Bullying or harassment
- Suspension, expulsion, or other discipline
- Barriers related to COVID-19 and remote learning
Email: [email protected]
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.