This Week in Ed 5.28.20: 👋 Bye Aramark! CPS Remote Learning data released. And more!

We hope that you & your family are well. A few things we want to highlight at the top of our weekly newsletter:

NEW! Unemployment Assistance

The State of Illinois has expanded its eligibility criteria for its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program to include parents and guardians who have been unable to work due to child care needs. More information can be found here.

Food Assistance 

NEW! Yesterday CPS said that details will be coming soon on their expanded summer meals program to address hunger in the midst of the pandemic. The Sun-Times covers it hereIn the meantime, CPS Meal Sites are still open, Mon - Fri, 9AM - 1PM. We tried to put all the current CPS Meals info together in one RYH webpage: CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites: Basics + Sites + Delivery Form

If you need additional food assistance, consider expanded SNAP benefits (Pandemic EBT or P-EBT) - applications available here. Families can participate in both P-EBT & any meal distribution program currently available at their school. Flyers for IL P-EBT in English & Spanish here. The New York Times has an article here explaining P-EBT, a federal program, and the difficulties in getting it up & rolling state by state. 

From City Bureau: Search by zip code for Cash Assistance, Food, Housing, Health, Mental Health, Utilities, Legal Help  

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

Things change day to day & we can not get everything into this newsletter. Here are all the ways you can stay in touch with RYH! In the newsletter below: upcoming RYH LSC and SpEd Zooms, CPS Board of Ed report (#ByeAramark!), SpEd resources, 2 opportunities for youth this summer, news, CPS surveys (facilities; SROs aka school police; Student Code of Conduct); and upcoming CPS meetings.

Stay well, Friends.

~ RYH Board & Staff


Get involved with RYH!

Grow With Us | #RYHGrow2020

RYH will 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, you can donate 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

Join us TONIGHT, Th, 5/28, 6pm, on our weekly LSC Solidarity Zoom. Register here. Upon registering, you’ll receive an email containing the login information. Calls are open to LSC, parents/caregivers, students' voices, educators and school stakeholders.

Weekly Special Ed Parents & Supporters Zoom

Note the new time for our weekly Special Ed Parents & Supporters Zoom: 12 - 1:30PM, Tuesdays. Please join us for our next Zoom, Tues, June 2, 12 Noon. Register here


CPS Board of Ed Meeting News

On Friday, CPS announced that they will be cancelling the facilities management contracts with both Aramark & SodexoMagic as of June 2021. Finally! We guarantee there were a lot of us (here at RYH, LSC members, various organizations) spending lots of time, energy, and tears on this one. Great big thanks to anyone (and there were many!) who spoke out about ALL the filthy issues! And a special thanks to the reporters who LISTENED, reported, and investigated. We recognize that this is not perfect- we will still have these private companies in charge of cleaning our schools for another year- but this is something to celebrate!

Sun-Times: CPS ditching Aramark, Sodexo for facilities management after one more contract renewal

The CPS Board of Ed hosted their monthly meeting Wednesday. We have a thread of live tweets here and a thread of press coverage of the meeting’s issues here. Right before the meeting, CPS released data on student engagement during remote learning. This was a big topic of discussion during the meeting itself which also led to a discussion on summer school for students who receive an “incomplete” for reading and/or math- “But can those students log on?”

CPS high school students spoke about their remote learning grading policy concerns. Please read this OpEd published by the Chicago Teachers Union and written by two students: Students demand a fair grading policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


CPS Surveys


Special Education Resources

RYH Remote Learning SpEd Resources from CPS Parents, Teachers & Clinicians (Also find notes from recent Zoom calls + 2 videos from recent Zoom calls at this link.)

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

From CPS ODLSS' Parent Involvement Specialist Team:

ODLSS_Parent_Helpline_2.jpg ODLSS_Parent_Helpline_Spanish.jpg


Summer Opportunities for YOUTH


Calling all rising 8-12th graders!


Apply for the 2020 Youth Organizing Institute this summer & learn how YOU can be an organizer in your community using your own ideas.


This program is open to rising 8th-12 graders.


Participants can be from any Chicago ward. Apply here by June 2.


More here in Block Club Chicago:

Students Can Learn Community Organizing At Free Summer Youth Program.



Pilsen Alliance Virtual Youth Organizing Institute

Priority application deadline:

Friday, 5/29/20

English | Spanish

5 weeks. Paid. Ages 14 - 19.

Please apply even if you do not currently have a computer, tablet, or smartphone, as they will ensure that everyone has the technology needed to participate.



Remote Learning in the news

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

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

Chalkbeat Chicago: Nearly 4 out of 5 Chicago students are logging on to do schoolwork, but not all participate equally

Sun-Times: Four in 10 CPS students take part in online learning 2 days a week or fewer, new data shows


In other news

WBEZ: When The ‘Most Crucial’ Year Is Interrupted, High School Juniors Are Left In Limbo

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago sets a date and recruits more stars for its citywide virtual graduation

WBEZ: The Plans For A New High School For Chinatown Get A $50 Million Boost

Chalkbeat Chicago: By the numbers: How Illinois plans to spend federal emergency money for schools

Sun-Times: CPS to allow drive-thru and home-visit graduation ceremonies


Worth a read

Chicago Tribune: Teen essential workers juggle labor, fear, stress — and remote learning — to help support their families amid coronavirus job losses

Sun-Times: Why your child’s best bet is a neighborhood public school

In the Public Interest: Research overwhelmingly shows that a computer can’t replace a real live K-12 public school

The New York Times: ‘I’m Teaching Into a Vacuum’: 14 Educators on Quarantine Learning


Upcoming CPS Capital Plan Meeting: Tonight & Friday

CPS is hosting several Spring 2020 Capital Plan Community Meetings:

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

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

***CPS Capital Planning survey for CPS stakeholders.***

There were two meetings this past Tuesday. Here are some live tweets of those meetings via Chi Documenters: 3:00 (South) | 5:30 (Southwest)

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.