This Week in Ed 4.23.20: In-person instruction suspended in IL schools for the rest of the school year 😢

On Saturday, Governor Pritzker suspended in-person instruction for the rest of the school year in IL. We recognize that there are so many questions about public education in IL. We are trying to find the answers and share them out. We are also consistently pressing for parents to be at the table, virtually of course, so that we have input in the plans and solutions moving forward. Please consider following us on all of our social media channels: Ways to stay in touch!

A few things we want to highlight...

  • We’ve been sharing a RYH Parent Mantra for Remote Learning via social media every day this week and last. You can find those Mantras here
  • City Bureau has published a comprehensive Chicago COVID Resource Finder. Please check it out and share with families. Text "covid" to 312-436-2280 to access via phone.
  • CPS consolidated meal sites last week. We have a webpage with the basics, info on site locations, and a link for the food delivery form: CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites: Basics + Changes.
  • Raise Your Hand has joined the Right to Recovery (R2R) Coalition, which is made up of progressive grassroots organizations and elected officials who believe that our path to recovery must center those most at risk. We are looking for parents who want to be part of the fight and join RYH's Right to Recovery parent leaders. We believe this is a great learning opportunity to deepen our understanding of the political and organizing landscape as well as work in a large coalition on complex and challenging problems. If interested, read more here & fill out this form.

Our newsletter today- found below the Mantras- includes Remote Learning (RL) news, CPS Board of Ed meeting topics, LSC and Special Education news & Zooms, PreK and GoCPS updates, and more. Stay well, Friends.

~ RYH Board & Staff

RYHParentMantra5.jpg RYHParentMantra6.jpg
RYHParentMantra7.jpg RYHParentMantra8.jpg


Remote Learning in the news

As this experiment continues and evolves, the media has coverage of how Remote Learning (RL) is actually playing out on the ground. The articles below highlight real live examples of RL in action- the good and the incredibly difficult- and/or impossible- for many families.

WBEZ Education has several stories featuring teachers and students participating in Remote Learning and they also have stories about impacts on college students.

Sun-Times: Night classes, scavenger hunts and virtual coaching: Highlights from CPS’ first week of remote learning

Chalkbeat Chicago: Remote learning in Chicago: Here’s what’s working so far and what needs improvement

And for some reality on the inequities and real struggles faced by many students…

Chalkbeat Chicago: For Chicago homeless students, school provided more than an education. Here’s how they are coping.

Teen Vogue: Distance Learning During Coronavirus Worsens Race, Class Inequality in Education

Chalkbeat Chicago: Pandemic diary: How one Chicago Latina is regaining her high school momentum

And read this from a CPS high school teacher & CPS parent…

The White Rhino blog: Stop telling Chicago Public Schools students they're falling behind during the COVID-19 pandemic


CPS Board of Ed meeting: devices, internet access, grading policy, etc.

Yesterday the Lightfoot appointed CPS Board of Ed hosted their monthly meeting remotely. 


Local School Council (LSC) news 

LSC elections have been officially postponed. CPS is working on securing a new date- the IL School Code will have to be changed. Besides elections, LSCs are facing other difficulties: setting up virtual meetings, communicating those to families, wondering how to fill vacancies, performing their usual duties... all of this in the midst of a pandemic and while receiving conflicting information from CPS. The below WBEZ story covers all of the above with LSC member voices. The story also highlights RYH's work leading up to the LSC election season.

WBEZ: Fate Of Chicago Local School Council Elections Up In The Air Because Of The Coronavirus

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, RYH LSC work continues. We are hosting weekly LSC Member Solidarity Calls on Thursdays, 6-7:30pm. We've learned so much listening to LSC members from across the city and our participants have been able to share resources & other info and ideas with each other. We are also discussing possible collective actions. Join us TONIGHT, Th, 4/23, 6pm. 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

The IL State Board of Education and CPS both posted updated Special Education FAQs during Remote Learning on April 20. There are still a lot of unanswered questions.

  • If you are in a non CPS district in IL use the ISBE FAQs and look out for some FAQs or communications via your district's website, your school's website, district/school social media, and via teachers & staff.

RYH is hosting weekly Special Ed Parents & Supporter Zoom calls: Tuesdays, 1-2:30pm. Register here. The next call is Tues, April 28, 1PM. Dr. Jones, ODLSS Chief Officer, and Ms. Parker, ODLSS Deputy Chief, are joining the call for the first 30 minutes.


CPS applications: PreK + GoCPS (elementary schools) - DELAYED

PreK… If you want to stay up to date on when applications will be available, you should subscribe to this email list: According to CPS: "You can visit or call the Chicago Early Learning Hotline at (312) 229-1690 to find out more information about programs that best meet your family's needs." Applications were originally set to be ready on April 21. Here’s a flyer that was shared with us: English & Spanish.

GoCPS… High school notifications were sent on time. Please check GoCPS for the timeline for that ongoing process. Elementary school notifications (and magnet PreK) have been delayed until May 8. 

Chalkbeat Chicago has all of the above covered here: Chicago to delay preschool applications, kindergarten admissions


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.


Action Alert from the Right to Recovery Coalition

Mayor Lightfoot is attempting to seize complete control over federal aid coming to the City via her Emergency Powers Ordinance. Her ordinance fails to name a pathway for bringing relief to our most vulnerable and at-need to communities. We say VOTE NO to an ordinance that gives the Mayor more power and gives our communities nothing! Call your alderman and say, “Vote no on the Emergency Powers Ordinance.” You can find your alderman and their contact info here. There could be a vote on this Friday at a 1:00 meeting so please call today.


Worth a read

In the Public Interest: How to spot privatization schemes in the middle of a crisis

Revive, Rally, and Recover Public Schools, a blog by Nancy Bailey: Public School “Reimagine” and “Revolution” Hypocrisy: Put Them Out to Pasture!

Teachers and parents on the frontlines of this pandemic should be given control of how their schools are reimagined in the future. When this crisis ends, they should be given the voice on how to bring back democratic public schools and make them their own. Any revolution surrounding schools is theirs.

Mercedes Schneider’s blog: States Need to Plan Now to Forego Standardized Testing in 2020-21


Upcoming event

Ally is a Verb Series: Anti-Racism during COVID-19

Sun, April 26, 2:30 - 4PM via Zoom

Hosted by SURJ Chicago


Register here


Remote Learning Quick Links