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:
- RYH CPS Remote Learning Guidance (Synopsis) | A RYH one pager (jpg here) | UPDATED 4.3: CPS has added Guidance in multiple languages here (scroll down)
- Chicago Public Schools Remote Learning Guidance for Parents
- IL State Board of Education (ISBE) Remote Learning Day Recommendations
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:
- April 6: By this date, your school should communicate their remote learning plan with families
- April 6 - 10: CPS Spring Break
- April 13: Remote Learning officially begins in CPS
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
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.]
- The rest of this week (April 2 & 3) is the same.
- During Spring Break (April 6 - 10), there are less sites available (136 schools) and no food will be distributed on Fri, April 10. Link here to pdf of sites | jpg here
- Starting Mon, April 13, CPS will consolidate sites to 276 schools. Link here to pdf of sites | jpg here
- We recommend checking the CPS Meal Sites webpage before you venture out in case there are any changes between now and the day you go.
- UPDATED 4.3.20: Here's a RYH one pager: CPS Grab & Go Meal Site changes for Spring Break & beyond (jpg here) & 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
Various Supportive Resources during COVID-19
These two recent articles are very comprehensive:
South Side Weekly: COVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide
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 Toolkit. This 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.
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.
(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.”
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 email@example.com. Yes, we’d be happy to share student perspectives with parent permission. Thank you for considering.
In other COVID-19 news
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):
- One pager: RYH CPS Remote Learning Guidance (Synopsis) (jpg here)
- One pager: Various Supportive Resources (jpg here)
- One pager: CPS Grab & Go Meal Site changes for Spring Break & beyond (jpg here)
- Webpage: RYH COVID-19 Resources
- Hope is a Discipline | Community Buildings and Resources during COVID-19 : A Letter from our Executive Director | Links to resources
- We are hosting weekly virtual meetings for parents of children with special needs and LSC members | Email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect