This Week in Ed 3.6.20: 🗳️ LSC Resources; Coronavirus & Schools; Plus, this week's news.

UPDATE: On March 5, around 1:45PM, CPS announced that they are extending the LSC nomination deadline to Friday, March 13, 3PM. Everything you need to to apply for your school's LSC can be found at this CPS LSC Elections webpage.

LSC nominations are officially closed! We have created a LSC webpage where folks can learn about LSC 101, LSC Campaign Basics, LSC Voting and Effective LSC Practices. Please take our LSC survey, which will help us continue to grow our resources and LSC support!

The CPS LSC Elections webpage has a timeline of what to expect between now and LSC elections which are Wed, April 22 (elementary schools) & Th, April 23 (high schools).

COVID-19 (coronavirus) and schools


RYH Table Talk: What Makes A Great School?

Saturday, March 21, 6-8PM | Helix Cafe, 6237 N Clark | Register here | Dinner and childcare provided

Table Talk is a new conversation series from RYH that connects parent narratives from across the city to systemic issues in education. We believe by being a parent, you deserve a space to be able to learn and share with other parents. Our first Table Talk will be on the CPS school ratings system (SQRP). 

Attendance metrics are a big part of the SQRP calculation. This is problematic and in the news right now. Come join us to discuss how SQRP impacts you & your school and what really makes a school great. Share your SQRP stories and connect with other parents to change the narrative. This is a free event. Please register in advance here

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What Should I Do If My Child Is Being Bullied - A RYH Toolkit

We’ve updated the Toolkit we published last year. You can find it hereThe purpose of this Toolkit is to help families navigate the CPS Anti-Bullying Policy that is found in the CPS Student Rights & Responsibilities 2019-20 (SRR) booklet and the CPS Policy Manual. The Student Code of Conduct (SCC) is found within the SRR.


Testing season is here! Opt out.

Thanks to our friends at Illinois Families for Public Schools for publishing “Opt Out: Refusing State Tests.” There is a Guide to refusing the IL state test, IAR (Illinois Assessment for Readiness), as well as a sample opt out letter. If you have questions, you can call or text 413-3OPTOUT or email


Last week’s CPS Board of Ed meeting is still in the news

There were so many hot topics at the meeting that the news stories just kept coming! We’ve published most of them here- scroll down. Here are a few:

Chalkbeat Chicago: 9 things to know as Chicago reconsiders its high-stakes test, the NWEA

Chicago Tribune: Lincoln Park High School students are ‘the real victims,’ says CPS chief Janice Jackson, as district sends cease-and-desist letter to local school council

WBEZ: Alderman Says ‘Army of Italians’ To Protest Switch From Columbus To Indigenous Peoples' Day

Sun-Times: CPS board accused of breaking law by dumping Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Support the change to Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Here’s a petition.)


Special education news

RYH Special Ed Tip of the Week: Bring snacks for the IEP Team to munch on during your child’s IEP meeting -- candy, cookies, doughnuts, etc. Often teachers and clinicians have to attend multiple IEP meetings in one day because, for many schools, the full Team is only there one day out of the week and IEP meetings are scheduled back-to-back. Of course, bringing snacks is completely voluntary, but it can go a long way toward breaking tension and giving your Team a pleasant energy boost for the meeting. Mostly, the benefit of bringing snacks is to open your child’s IEP Meeting with a tone of generosity and kindness.  

Your To Do List

  1. Be sure to sign up for the CPS “Diverse Learner” Mailing List here. CPS wants to improve communication and engagement with families who have children with special needs. 
  2. Join the CPS Diverse Learners Parent Advisory Council. The next meeting is March 12. This is a great way to grow your knowledge about your special education rights and talk with other parents, CPS Central Office Special Ed Administrators, Parent Support Specialists and the ISBE Monitors about any concerns you may have. 
  3. Have you done this yet? 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: English | Spanish

CPS Announces Universal Enrichment Remedies (UER) a/k/a “compensatory education” plan for students with disabilities who were harmed by its illegal special education practices in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. You should have received an email dated 2/12/2020 (which you can find here in English and Spanish). CPS will be sending a second letter to the parents of approximately 10,000 students who have been identified by CPS to be automatically eligible for extra services like outside tutoring, social/emotional programs, physical education programs, chrome books, extended school year, reimbursement for wrongly denied bus service, etc. WBEZ has the story: Chicago Public Schools To Compensate Special Ed Students Illegally Denied Services. IMPORTANT: Even if you don’t receive a second letter from CPS, it does not mean your child is ineligible for UER. You can ask for a special meeting (an “SSCA meeting”) with CPS to discuss how you think your child was harmed and what CPS can do to make up for it. We will post further information about the special meeting process as soon as we get it from CPS so check back with us. 

CPS Community Connections Diverse Learner Expo 

Sat, March 21, 10:00am - 2:00pm | CPS Garfield Park Office, 2651 W. Washington | Register here

This event is hosted by ODLSS in collaboration with The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Starnet Illinois, and the CPS FACE Office.

Flyers for this event to share on social media, via text, or email can be found here in English and Spanish.

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Diane Ravitch was in Chicago to discuss her latest book, Slaying Goliath

Diane Ravitch’s blog: A Visit with the Mother of the Resistance, Karen Lewis

Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers 2-2-20: Diane Ravitch (podcast)

WGN Radio: Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch: “What you are basically measuring with standardized tests is family income and family education”

WGN: Midday Fix: Diane Ravitch – author of Slaying Goliath


Racial Equity petition has over 200 signers- let’s get it to 350 by the weekend! 

Read the letter here | Sign a petition in support of the letter here | RYH webpage here

In a letter sent to the Mayor’s Office and the CPS Board of Ed, 25 organizations, including RYH, called on the Mayor to expand the responsibilities of the CPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to incorporate independent public accountability to racial equity. Please consider signing this petition and sharing.


What’s your plan to make sure you vote on Tues, March 17?

Here’s the League of Women Voters of Chicago’s March 17 Illinois Primary webpage with lots of helpful links. NOTE: "A note on the minimum voting age: Any citizen who will turn 18 years old by or on the General Election on November 3, 2020 is entitled to vote in the Primary Election on March 17, 2020, even if the voter is only 17 years old at the time of the Primary. You must be 17 years old to register to vote." VOTE! 

Chalkbeat: 2020 Cheat Sheet What the Democratic presidential candidates have said about education



Sun-Times: CPS students get living history lesson from one of the Little Rock Nine

Chalkbeat Chicago: I’ve been asking ‘why’ since I was a CPS student. As a state education reporter I will continue to do so 

Sun-Times: CPS educator’s short film sheds new light on the art of old-fashioned cursive writing

Chalkbeat Chicago: We asked Chicago teachers to tell us about their most powerful lesson. Here are five answers.


In other news

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chalkbeat Chicago reporter Mila Koumpilova on learning English in Bulgaria and covering schools in the Midwest

WBEZ: Native American Panel Could Decide School Mascot Fate In Illinois

Sun-Times: Nearly half of Chicago households struggle to afford basic necessities: report

Block Club Chicago: Have A Favorite Crossing Guard? Here’s Your Chance To Nominate Them

Block Club Chicago: Shuttered Peabody School To Become Luxury Housing With ‘One Apartment Per Classroom’

WBEZ:  Public Schools Try Ditching A-to-F Letter Grades

WTTW: Fired Leaders of Lincoln Park High School Speak Out

Sun-Times: Oak Park - River Forest HS students walk out to protest police violence


Upcoming events

➡️ Network for Public Education / Network for Public Education Action 2020 Conference 

Neighborhood Public Schools: The Heart of Our Communities

Saturday, March 28 & Sunday, March 29

Double Tree by Hilton Philadelphia - Center City

237 S. Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

➡️ Building Community Through SB 100

Free & hosted by Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law

Register here.

Tuesday, April 21, 9:00 AM  1:30 PM

CTU, 1901 West Carroll Avenue

The Transforming School Discipline Collaborative (TSDC) invites educators, administrators, students, and community members to our SB 100 Conference. The conference will discuss the intent and possibilities of SB 100, and how schools can work alongside youth and communities to create more equitable schools and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Lunch will be provided.


CPS Stuff