This Week in Ed 4.2.20: Remote learning experiment begins | IL schools closed through April 30

We hope you and your family are well. Yes, this newsletter has a lot of content- again. If you read and scroll you'll find many things of value. You can find the RYH COVID-19 Resources page here- we try to update this daily. You can read more about what we are doing during this time here. Here are all the ways to stay in touch with us. Stay well, friends.

~ RYH Board & Staff


Let’s start with a happy news twofer!

RYH is 10! TEN! Can you believe it??? Like what we do? Appreciate these email newsletters? Please consider donating $10 today to support our work. Thank you.



TODAY! We are truly honored to receive the Ron Sable Award for Activism from Crossroads Fund. Their annual benefit, Seeds of Change, has gone virtual and is happening throughout this week. Tune in to the Crossroads Fund Facebook page for a Facebook Watch Party TODAY, Thursday, April 2, at 10am, as they honor us! You can watch a video about our work followed by our acceptance speech. You can read our prepared speech here


Illinois schools closed through April 30 | Remote learning experiment begins

On March 31, Governor Pritzker extended the IL Stay-At-Home order through April 30. IL schools will remain closed. IL schools switched from “Act of God” days to “Remote Learning Days” (which will count as instructional days) beginning March 31. Remote learning will extend indefinitely into this current school year. This Chalkbeat Chicago explainer for IL schools is worth a read: Five things to know about Illinois’ new rules for remote learning as school closures extend to April 30.

Here are some direct links for more details:

Remote learning is new for everyone and it is happening in the midst of a global pandemic. Be good to each other. Parents and teachers, we must be patient & kind with each other and we must assume best intentions. Parents, listen to your kids & gut - do what makes sense and do what is healthy for your family. Health and wellness are the priority right now. 

For CPS families… Please note these important remote learning dates:

Also for CPS families... Please complete this CPS Remote Learning FACE Family Survey. This will take about 3 minutes. This is from CPS. It is available in English and Spanish. Please share with other CPS families.

ProPublica Illinois / Chicago Tribune: Not All Schools Can #KeepLearning

WBEZ: In Some Communities, Less Than 60% Of Households Have Internet. CPS' New Plan Can't Change That.


Change in food distribution for CPS- Spring Break & beyond

Everything you need to know is here in the newly created CPS Meal Sites webpage. [This new page is linked on the CPS District Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.]

Please share the above with other CPS families. Helpful article from the Sun-Times: Here’s where CPS families can still get free food during spring break, beyond

Spring_Break_Food_CPS.jpg April_13_Food_CPS.jpg


Various Supportive Resources during COVID-19

We have a small list on our COVID-19 Resources page list as a pdf | list as a jpg

These two recent articles are very comprehensive:

South Side Weekly: COVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide

Block Club Chicago: Sick? Broke? Want To Help? Here’s A Massive List Of Coronavirus Resources In Chicago


Local School Council (LSC) news

LSC Solidarity Call, TONIGHT, 6-7:30pm via Zoom 

We will be joined by LSC Relations Director Dr. Montes De Oca, LSC Realtions Assistant Director Myra Winding, and FACE Deputy Director Adrian Segura. They will be there to listen and hear concerns. 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. The LSC Solidarity Call will be a standing meeting on Thursday nights, 6-7:30, via Zoom.

LSC Toolkit from CPS

CPS sent an email to LSC members on Tues, March 31. In it they included a link to a “Toolkit for LSCs During COVID19 Closures.” There are some helpful documents in this ToolkitThis Hot Topics FAQ is helpful if you’ve been fielding questions from parents.


Special Education news

RYH and more than 140 organizations signed onto a letter addressed to Governor Pritzker requesting COVID-19 treatment protocols for people with disabilities. You can read the letter here. You can read Access Living’s cover letter about this effort here. The update is this: the State is taking this very seriously and State staff is working on creating a protocol. 

Guidance... Federal, State, CPS

Please see last week’s email newsletter for more details.

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 

IL State Board of Education (ISBE, State) Special Ed Guidance can be found here

Diverse Learner Services During School Closures - linked on the CPS COVID-19 webpage

RYH Special Education Zoom Meeting

TUESDAY, April 7 (note the change in day for this coming week only): Special Education Community Circle- Parents: Zoom meeting for Sp.Ed parents to gather, provide support, share best practices and brainstorm around challenges. 

Tues, April 7, 1 - 2:30pm. 

Link to register and link to suggest agenda items.

(These are typically on Mondays but we changed it for this coming week because on Mon, April 6, CPS ODLSS will be releasing Remote Learning Guidance.)

RYH Special Ed Tip of the Week (during the Coronavirus school shutdown)

This school shutdown has disrupted the routine that so many of our children with special needs rely on to maintain their sense of well-being. Most of us are not trained special education teachers and have multiple divergent responsibilities at home. Be kind to yourselves and give you and your child[ren] the freedom to adjust to this extremely uncertain time. As a brilliant and kind CPS Special Ed teacher shared with me, “If an *enrichment* assignment makes your child miserable, is not worth it. Let them do whatever helps them feel safe and secure.”

NPR: With Schools Closed, Kids With Disabilities Are More Vulnerable Than Ever


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.


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 Yes, we’d be happy to share student perspectives with parent permission. Thank you for considering.


In other COVID-19 news

Chalkbeat Chicago

How much is your Illinois school district slated to get from the federal stimulus bill? Find out here.

SURVEY: Chicago parents and students, how is school without school going? 

Here’s a first look at Chicago’s new remote learning plan, which will include 100,000 devices for students


CPS to receive $205M in federal coronavirus relief funding, state estimates

CPS to distribute 100K laptops, iPads and Chromebooks for students to use at home

Coronavirus upends college decision process for Chicago high school students

Students feeling left behind as schools try to educate kids online — with little guidance

Chicago Tribune

Some kids rely on schools for much more than an education. So schools are trying to find ways to reach them during the shutdown.

Illinois schools are now shut until May because of coronavirus. Here’s what that means for students, parents and teachers.

Chicago Public Schools aims to deliver 100,000 computers to students as it plans shift to remote learning, won’t rule out longer school closures

Schools won’t have to make up days lost to coronavirus but are expected to start remote learning Tuesday, Illinois education agency says


Schools FAQ:Schools FAQ: How Long Will The K-12 School Shutdown Last? This article gets updated. You can submit questions. 


Worth a read (or watch)

Block Club Chicago: Governor Pritzker’s Message to Students: It’s OK To Be Sad 

You can watch Governor Pritzker’s message here on NBC 5 Chicago, start at 13:00.

Claimed blog: Take Care. That is the Curriculum.


Other COVID-19 Resources from Raise Your Hand (pdf links are good for printing; jpg links are good for texting & social media use):