This Week in Ed 4.16.20: How's Remote Learning Treating You? 🤔

CPS started Remote Learning on Monday. Thank you for sharing your concerns, your successes, and your stresses with us. You are not alone. We’ve been sharing a RYH Parent Mantra for Remote Learning via social media every day this week and will continue to do so next week. You can find those Mantras here. We created this one pager, RYH CPS Remote Learning Guidance (Synopsis), to give you the basics on CPS Remote Learning Guidance. Here's a helpful resource from SEL Chicago: Supporting Children in Remote Learning.

Below you will find some Quick Links, information on the consolidation of CPS Meal Sites, and .... did you know report cards will be sent by CPS next week? Please see below on some confusion on grading policy during this time and confusion on the CPS school calendar.

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Remote Learning in the news

Chalkbeat Chicago: ‘I need you to be patient with me’: For this Chicago teacher, working remotely is a balancing act

Chicago Tribune: As remote learning officially begins in Chicago schools, one lesson will be the pandemic itself

ABC 7: Coronavirus Chicago: CPS students begin first official day of e-learning

Sun-Times: 1 in 3 Chicago Public Schools students start remote learning without computers

Sun-Times: Inside the life of a homeless Chicago student in the age of the coronavirus: Fear of failing — or not surviving

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago starts a new remote learning plan Monday. Here are 10 parent questions, answered.

WBEZ: CPS Remote Learning Begins Monday. What That Looks Like Depends On Where You Live. and interview with Sarah Karp on WBEZ’s Reset here


Remote Learning Quick Links


CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites 

CPS consolidated sites on Monday. We have a webpage here with the basics, the info on the sites, and a link for the form for food delivery: CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites: Basics + Changes.


Confusion on school calendar & grading policy: clearer communications from the district to parents needed

Friday, April 17 is a School Improvement Day in CPS. There is to be no Remote Learning that day per an email sent to CPS parents on April 15. Teachers will be working and meeting with each other virtually. This day counts as a school day (it does not have to be “made up.") We are hearing that some teachers are planning meetings with their students on this day. Please use your own discretion on student participation and please pay attention to communications coming from your individual school for this day. 

Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23, are Parent Teacher Conference Days- now completely remote. No report card pick up- report cards will be mailed home next week. “Conferences” will look different at every school and with every teacher so please pay attention for communications from your school (check email, school social media accounts, school website, ask your child if they received information; check voicemail & texts.) According to the email sent to CPS parents on April 15: “On April 22 and 23, your child’s teacher will hold remote office hours so you have an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and third quarter grades. Please be on the lookout for more information from your child’s school on scheduling a time.” These days, too, count as school days and will not have to be “made up” or added to the calendar.

3rd Quarter Grades… The third quarter ends today in CPS. CPS has not released detailed information on grading policy during Remote Learning to parents yet so there is some confusion and concern. Per Guidance from the IL State Board of Education, grades during this Remote Learning time (and during the “Act of God” time, March 17 -30) can only improve. According to the email sent to CPS parents on April 15:  “As a reminder, work submitted after March 17 can improve, not lower, the third quarter grades your child had when schools closed.” A couple of teachers shared some concerns on grading and on issuing 3rd Quarter grades:here and here. These threads are worth a read as are the responses. Honestly, we are trying to make sense of it all and process it. We are definitely wondering why there has not been clear communication to parents yet from the district on grading policy and what to expect moving forward, especially given that the 3rd Quarter ends today and we’ll be receiving report cards in the mail next week. And to be clear: this communication and explanation needs to come from CPS, the district.


Local School Council (LSC) news 

LSC elections have been officially postponed. CPS Office of LSC Relations (OLSCR) will keep everyone posted on when elections will occur. 

Our next COVID-19 LSC Community Solidarity Call is TONIGHT, Th, April 16, at 6:00pm on Zoom. Register here. Upon registering, you’ll receive an email containing the login information.  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

RYH is hosting weekly Special Ed Parents & Supporter Zoom calls: Tuesdays, 1-2:30pm. Register here. The next call is Tues, April 21, 1PM. 

During this past Tuesday’s call Dr. Jones, ODLSS Chief Officer, and Ms. Parker, ODLSS Deputy Chief, joined the call for about 40 minutes. We expect Dr. Jones to be on upcoming calls for the first 30 minutes. On the call, Dr. Jones mentioned several times that the ODLSS FAQs doc will be updated very soon. At the sending of this email, the doc still stated “Updated March 22.” You can find that FAQ doc here.

From the Zoom calls so far:

From Access Living: Remote Learning for Students with Disabilities


RYH joined the Right to Recovery (R2R) Coalition

R2R is hosting a virtual press conference this morning, 9am (yes, that’s a time change compared to the flyer below) to discuss the demolition by Hilco of the coal plant in Little Village. Join us on the United Working Families Facebook page

You can find the R2R platform here. You can sign up for updates or to get involved here.

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CPS Board of Ed is meeting next week

The monthly meeting of the BOE will be conducted virtually on Wed, April 22, 10:30am. Online sign up to speak begins Mon, April 20, 10:30am, at this link. [The agenda will post at 10am.]

Unfortunately, CPS is only allowing 15 speaking spots again. Before COVID-19, 60 speaking spots were the norm. Please note that you can NOT speak 2 months in a row. If you intend to speak, we recommend being online at 10:30am sharp- speaking spots go fast. The meeting will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube channel. We have recommended that the Board of Education increase the spots, posting the written comments or read out loud submitted comments. 


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.


Worth a read

Chicago Tribune: Column: Is your kids’ e-learning driving you to day drink? Don’t stress, parents, says one expert: ‘Let’s just keep it real.’

Chicago Tribune: With Chicago’s agricultural high school closed due to COVID-19, a former student is keeping the farm running: ‘He cares for the animals and they respond in kind.’

Chalkbeat Chicago: Students: Chicago needs a mental health hotline — and fast — for youth displaced by coronavirus closures

Sun-Times: A Chicago principal asks: ‘What is school without a school?’

The New York Times: ‘I Can’t Believe I Am Going to Say This, but I Would Rather Be at School’


Stay well, Friends.

~ RYH Board & Staff