This Week in Ed 5.21.20: CPS Meal Sites open | Progress Reports Friday | How are you doing? ☀️

We hope that you & your family are well. We are hoping for sun this upcoming long holiday weekend! ☀️ A few things we want to highlight at the top of our weekly newsletter:

Food Assistance

Chicago COVID Resource Finder | Text "covid" to 312-436-2280 to access via phone.

In CPS, progress reports are scheduled for Friday. We believe parents are expected to check Aspen and parents may (or may not) get a message from schools or CPS telling us to do just that- check Aspen. (Hopefully you've been able to overcome all the Aspen obstacles so you have access... a whole other story!) There are 4 weeks of school left. There is still confusion and concern about how the CPS grading policy might impact individual students. We'd recommend checking Aspen on Friday and, then, enjoying your weekend. (An alternate plan is to wait until Tuesday to check Aspen.) On Tuesday, if it looks like you need to figure out what is going on with missing assignments, certain entered grades, etc., sit down with your child and try to get to the bottom of it. Then, if needed and after some time to think it through, contact your child's teacher and ask if you can devise a plan together to get through the rest of the school year. To note: IL State Board of Ed guidance on grading during remote learning has consistently said that students should be held harmless (ISBE Remote Learning FAQ For Families, May 14, p.2) Here is the CPS remote learning grading webpage (Remote Learning Grading Guide is linked over on the right.) ISBE oversees CPS (and all IL school districts.) Teachers have to work within the district guidance as CPS oversees them. And all of us are in the middle of a pandemic. Be good to yourself (and your child and teacher) and keep reading this newsletter so you can learn more and find ways to connect to us and to other parents. 

Our newsletter today includes ways to get involved with RYH, an update on our survey, SpEd & LSC news and Zooms, ISBE meeting highlights, Remote Learning and other news, #cpsuccess, and several CPS virtual events.

Stay well, Friends.

~ RYH Board & Staff


Ways to get involved with Raise Your Hand right now!

Grow With Us 

RYH is going to be launching our online fundraiser, Grow With Us, June 1st. We are looking for RYH supporters to help fundraise with us. You get to set your own goal and we can create a personalized donation page with your content and a progress tracker. If you are interested or have questions, please email Jianan at (If you are able to, a donation link is here if you want to get a head start ;) )

Right To Recovery (R2R) Coalition

If you are a parent who wants to learn about broad multi-issue legislation/policy/organizing work, join our R2R parent leaders who will be joining the coalition calls and learning how they can plug in to fight for equitable recovery for all. If you are interested, please email Jianan at

Weekly LSC Solidarity Zoom 

We host this on Thursdays, 6-7:30PM. You can register here for tonight’s call, Th, May 21. This call will be a listening session for CPS leadership.

Weekly Special Ed Parents and Supporters Zoom

We host this on Tuesdays, 1-2:30PM. You can register here for Tues, May 19. The ISBE Monitors will be on this call from 1-1:30 on May 19.

Follow us on social media for daily updates and event reminders

Here are all the ways you can stay in touch with RYH!


RYH Remote Learning Survey closes Friday

Thanks to the 1400+ parents at 316 (!) schools who have already completed our RYH Remote Learning Survey. Use our map here to check your school: Does your school have respondents? Do you have parent contacts at a school with no or only one respondent? SHARE THE SURVEY! It takes 5 minutes. It’s available in English | Chinese | Spanish | Urdu | Arabic | Polish We will be sharing results at the end of May. Please fill out one per student. We are closing the survey Friday, May 22. Thanks for all your help getting this to CPS parents! 


Local School Council (LSC) news 

Join us TONIGHT, Th, 5/21, 6pm, on our weekly LSC Solidarity Zoom. Register here. Upon registering, you’ll receive an email containing the login information. This call will be a listening session for CPS district leadership. Calls are open to LSC, parents/caregivers, students' voices, educators and school stakeholders.

These weekly LSC Zooms are set up to bring LSCs to the front of governing our schools, decision-making and collaborative relationships with CPS leaders amid COVID-19. Two in process results from these calls:


Special Education news

Join us for our next Special Ed Parents & Supporters Zoom, Tues, May 26, 1PM. The two ISBE Monitors will join from 1-1:30. Register here. Videos from the last two Zooms:

Quick Links

RYH Remote Learning SpEd Resources from CPS Parents, Teachers & Clinicians

CPS SpEd remote learning in one place: Special Education Guidance for Diverse Learners


Chicago Tribune & Pro Publica: Families of students in special education fear losing school services in coronavirus shutdown

Sun-Times: Chicago Teachers Union sues Betsy DeVos, CPS over coronavirus special education requirements

From CPS ODLSS' Parent Involvement Specialist Team:

ODLSS_Parent_Helpline_2.jpg ODLSS_Parent_Helpline_Spanish.jpg

IL State Board of Education (ISBE) meets

Several CPS high school students addressed the ISBE yesterday. This article from Chalkbeat Chicago is worth a read: Students take concerns about Chicago grading policy to state school board. We were live tweeting and tried to capture each of the students who spoke. Kudos!

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights spoke on behalf of PEER-IL, a new coalition which we told you about last week. Read the PEER-IL statement to ISBE here

"Accountability to equity requires that families be part of the decision-making process for how COVID related funding is spent. "


Remote Learning in the news

CTU’s #WeStillTeach began May 11. 11AM, Mon - Fri, Channel 50. Read more here & find some content. 

CPS TV began on May 4. Find out more at the CPS TV webpage.

WTTW: Chicago Teachers Union Suing CPS, Betsy DeVos Over Special Education Plans

Chalkbeat: Schools must keep serving English learners during pandemic, federal ed officials say

Chalkbeat Chicago: Pressure mounts on Chicago to release participation data. The details will matter.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Teaching reading was hard before a pandemic. Now Chicago teachers walk a tightrope of technology and attention


In other news

RYH Facebook post of ways Chicago area grads can be honored by local media.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Pre-K for all: COVID-19 battle slows pace of Chicago preschool expansion

Sun-Times: Chicago-area students: Enter the Sun-Times’ The Imagination Project short-story contest



Chicago Tribune: Chicago teacher for deaf and hard of hearing students surprised with Golden Apple educator award

Golden Apple YouTube: Jenine Wehbeh surprised with 2020 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching

WBEZ: After The Stage Goes Dark, Teen Performers In Chicago Find Their Way Online

Sun-Times: More Sun-Times student art contest honorees: Chicago, suburban elementary kids


Upcoming CPS virtual events

➡️ Monthly meeting of the CPS Board of Ed | Wed, May 27 | 10:30am

Online sign up to speak starts FRIDAY, May 22, 10:30am. The agenda will post at 10am. Sign up + meeting details here. Unfortunately, CPS is only allowing 15 speaking spots again. Before COVID-19, 60 speaking spots were the norm. You can submit comments to the BOE via email at or via US Mail at 1 N. Dearborn, Suite 950, Chicago IL 60602. The meeting will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube channel. 

IN ADDITION: You can comment on the CPS Board of Ed’s proposed policies or rule changes. There are 8 “June Policies” available for comment and revisions to the Student Code of Conduct is under “July Policies.”


➡️ CPS is hosting several Spring 2020 Capital Plan Community Meetings:

South | Tuesday, May 26 | 3 – 4:30PM | Register

Southwest | Tuesday, May 26 | 5 – 6:30PM | Register

Central/West | Thursday, May 28 | 3 – 4:30PM | Register

North/Northwest | Thursday, May 28 | 5 – 6:30PM | Register

City-wide Spanish-Language Meeting | Friday, May 29 | 3 – 4:30PM | Register

The CPS capital budget determines school facility investments and improvements. How did they decide to fix that roof but not ours? How do we get an addition? Where is my school on the "list" for a new playground OR a playground? We've heard it all in our 10 years of existence and these questions have been around for decades. Try to attend one of these meetings. Related: We hosted a pretty awesome event last summer on school facilities. You can find all those resources here. Lots of links to keep you busy.


➡️ Dialogue with the Deputy | Th, May 28 | Register: 10AM (English), 11AM (Spanish)

Preschool families are invited to join Leslie McKinily, Deputy Chief of the Office of Early Childhood, to talk about COVID-19 supports for preschool families. Once families register, the meeting link and/or phone-in option will be sent. Flyers: Facebook & Twitter