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
Chicago: CPS sent an updated letter to parents dated March 3, 2020. You can find it here in 3 languages. If you have further concerns/questions, reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health & Wellness (OSHW) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The webpage that seems to house the current CPS communication to parents is “Health Memos” within the CPS OSHW webpage.
- UPDATE March 6, 9:20PM: CPS is now using this webpage for coronavirus information & letters to parents: https://cps.edu/oshw/Pages/HealthyCPS.aspx. There is a new letter at this webpage which was emailed to parents on March 6 at 7:55PM.
- UPDATE March 8, 7:15pm: Here's the latest email to parents.
- Chicago Department of Public Health materials
- Illinois: In its Weekly Message, the IL State Board of Education (ISBE) shared many resources. You can read the message here.
- Some press coverage of the issue:
- Sun-Times: Sick CPS students ‘will be sent home immediately,’ district says, as coronavirus fears spread
- Chalkbeat Chicago: Amid mounting COVID-19 concerns, Chicago to deliver more cleaning supplies to schools (Survey at the end of the article worth considering.)
- Ed Week: How to Respond to Coronavirus: 6 Steps for 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.
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 here. The 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 email@example.com.
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
Racial Equity petition has over 200 signers- let’s get it to 350 by the weekend!
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!
In other news
Block Club Chicago: Have A Favorite Crossing Guard? Here’s Your Chance To Nominate Them
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
Free & hosted by Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law
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.
- ICYMI… First day of school is Sept 8, 2020. Last day of school is June 22, 2021.
- Give CPS feedback
- CPS BOE Committee Materials
- You can find all the materials from the Jan 27 meeting of the Whole Child Committee here.
- You can find all the materials from the Jan 14 meeting of the Early Childhood Committee here.
- You can find all the materials from the Education Workforce & Development Committee here.
- The School Funding meetings are over for now. Slides from the presentation: English | Spanish