We hope you and your family are well. Yes, this newsletter has a lot of content, including many articles. If you read and scroll you'll find many things of value. You can find the RYH COVID-19 resource page here- we try to update this daily. You can read more about what we are doing during this time here. Thanks for reading. Here are the ways to stay in touch with us. Stay well, friends.
Home with the kids… we all have stories
If you would like to share your story with us- your challenges; your successes; your worries; your advice; your reflections- so we can publish in these newsletters, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, we’d be happy to share student perspectives with parent permission. Thank you for considering.
The CPS Board of Ed met yesterday with a modified, remote format
With only 15 speaking spots, as opposed to the usual 60, RYH was unable to secure a spot. Here’s a link to the written statement we submitted plus all the press coverage of the meeting. Our statement reiterates what we’ve been telling several CPS Central Office staffers- we are willing to help; let’s work together.
LSC Solidarity Call, TONIGHT, 6-7:30pm
As our city, state and nation experiences an unprecedented pandemic and stay-at-home order, with most city services, parks and libraries closed or limited...this is a good opportunity to open dialogue to create solidarity across our school communities. Our goal is simple; to leverage existing leadership structures in schools to check in on how folks are doing. We know some schools are doing amazing work given access to resources and strong LSC support. On the call, we will share best practices, resources and tips to support strengthening communication amid physical distancing and remote learning.
Local School Council Solidarity Call
Thursday, March 26, 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom
Register in advance here. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining us on Zoom.
If you cannot join us, please take a few moments to complete a short survey. All individual responses will be kept confidential.
Special Education news
Guidance... Federal, State, CPS
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSEP, Federal) Supplemental Fact Sheet for COVID-19 in PK-12 Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities - they are basically saying that there has been a “serious misunderstanding” by some educators who believe that IDEA Law “presents insurmountable barriers to remote [special] education” and “This is simply not true.” They go on to say, “...[Districts] should not opt to close or decline to provide distance instruction...for students with disabilities.”
NEW from CPS: CPS ODLSS has said they are following State and Federal guidance with respect to Special Education and can hold virtual IEP meetings via videoconferencing or teleconferencing, if possible. Many of the details of how these Special Education mandates can be carried out are a work in progress and can be found at Diverse Learner Services During School Closures - this is linked on the CPS COVID-19 webpage.
Parent voices sharing real impacts of the school closures
RYH Special Education Zoom Meetings
- Special Education Community Circle- Parents: Standing Zoom meeting for Sp.Ed parents to gather, provide support, share best practices and brainstorm around challenges. Mondays, 1-2:30pm. Link to register and link to suggest agenda items.
- Special Education Parents/CPS Teachers Community Meeting: Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 1-2:30pm. Link to register. This Zoom meeting provides a chance for Parents and Teachers in the CPS Special Ed Community to connect, discuss challenges, what works and what is possible during the school shut down and this time of physical distancing.
RYH Special Ed Tip of the Week (during the Coronavirus school shutdown)
For many CPS parents who have children with disabilities, it is all they can do to keep their kids fed, sheltered and safe during this school shut down -- and that is enough. Period. For those parents who want to take on the new reality of “distance learning,” do not be afraid to contact your child’s special ed teacher by email and ask for guidance and assignments via email or website link.
Language Access Volunteer Sign Up - not for RYH use only
This is a form to collect volunteers who are able to potentially provide translation and interpretation of news around services that will be offered. We want to use this to coordinate both with officials and grassroots groups. This is not just for RYH specific messaging - we see this as a broader tool that will be shared with other folks doing mutual aid or sharing critical news. Link to volunteer. Thank you for considering.
Please welcome our new RYH board member, Maggie Baran!
Maggie Baran has over twenty years of experience as a corporate learning and development professional in educational publishing, financial services, and in the non-profit sector.
She attended Chicago Public Schools and comes from a family of dedicated CPS clerks and civil servants.
Baran holds a degree in Organization Development from DePaul University.
A native of the West Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, she currently resides in Jefferson Park with her family.
We're really excited to have Maggie join the RYH board!
RYH wins award from Crossroads Fund!
We are truly honored to receive the Ron Sable Award for Activism from Crossroads Fund! Unfortunately, their annual benefit, Seeds of Change, has been canceled because of COVID-19. Crossroads plans to host a week of virtual celebration via social media starting soon. We’ll be sure to share more as information becomes available.
Chalkbeat Chicago: This video of Chicago teachers and students singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” gives us joy Senn HS
Block Club Chicago: West Side High Schoolers Launch Podcast To Stay Connected, Informed During COVID-19 CPS Shutdown Clark HS
Chicago Tribune: Column: A Lincoln Park high schooler’s beautiful idea to help hungry students, battered restaurants during coronavirus shutdown Lincoln Park HS | Note: If you would like to connect in these efforts, please email email@example.com. We can put you in touch with the organizers.
In other COVID-19 news: the press tries to answer all of our questions
Schools FAQ: Are Statewide Standardized Tests Canceled? This gets updated. You can submit questions.
Worth a read
Mercedes Schneider’s blog: La. Teacher of the Year: An Open Letter to High School Seniors During Coronavirus Crisis and Class of 2020: Redeem Your Senior Year
The New York Times: Opinion: I Refuse to Run a Coronavirus Home School
In The Public Interest blog: COVID-19 is putting the value of public schools on display
Chicago COVID-19: People who are educating all of us
NBC 5: Chicago Doctor’s Blunt Speech About COVID-19 Hits Home Across the Country; Read Her Full Speech Video & transcript of Dr. Emily Landon’s speech, published March 21
Sun-Times: These 2 women are leading Illinois’ coronavirus response Dr. Ngozi Ezike