This Week in Ed 6.18.20: 🌞 Happy Last Day, CPS Families! (sigh of relief) 🌻 Grow With Us! 🌻

RYH Family, 

Tomorrow will mark my first full year at Raise Your Hand. When I stop to catch my breath, still my mind, and reflect on this past year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Every day I get to serve, co-design a future that works for all families, and paint it into existence. I get to be part of the beautiful moments when parents realize their own agency, witness our collective power, and organize to create change. As we close out this academic year, I promise to continue working hard to earn the gift that is this job. 

I am asking you to donate to our Grow With Us fundraising campaign so we can continue to bridge our current reality with a future that serves all of our children. During this past year, we grew by almost 40% because of generous advocates like yourself. This allowed us to triple our programming and reach parents from all across the city. We also turned 10 this year, which has prompted me to imagine where RYH could be in 10 more years. 

Imagine if RYH had parent organizers in every part of the city cultivating deep relationships, building parent power, and improving public education in their local communities. 

Imagine if RYH could mobilize every Local School Council across the city, lift up parent voices, and work together to address systemic inequities in our district. 

Imagine an education system that centers our Black and Brown families, where the word equity is built into the fabric of how we make decisions and how we are measured. 

Help us build towards that future our children deserve

- Jianan, Executive Director

During our Grow With Us campaign, we are also sharing issue and personal narratives. Please follow all of our social media channels to learn more about RYH!

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Juneteenth: In Defense of Black Lives

Tomorrow, June 19, 1PM, 63rd & Halsted- we will be joining Action Now at their Juneteenth event. You can find the Facebook event page here. Please join us if you can!


CPS Summer Meals Program starts Mon, June 22

On Wednesday, an email was sent to parents about the summer meals. You can find that communication here: English | Spanish. NOTE: Meal Sites are not open tomorrow, Fri, June 19. You should check the CPS Meal Sites webpage for summer meal locations. You can also call 773 553 KIDS for questions, assistance, or meal delivery.


School Resource Officers (SROs) News & Resources to Learn More

The #PoliceFreeSchools coalition is offering all of the following so you can learn more and hear directly from the youth leading the movement to remove police officers from schools:


We have a webpage with all the resources from our webinar, Reimagining Public Safety in Schools, where you can find video of the full webinar (with both English & Spanish captions), a Webinar Companion Guide with links to read more and find research cited, and Resources for LSCs (and everyone) on CPS-CPD SROs to learn more.

Recent press coverage on the fight to remove SROs from CPS from the Sun-Times

Lightfoot reaffirms opposition to removing police officers from Chicago Public Schools

As CPS hosts star-studded graduation ceremony, hundreds march to demand removal of cops from schools


Wed, June 24: CPS Board of Ed meets AND Black Lives Matter: Education Equity or Else 

Join us and many other organizations downtown on Wed, June 24, for Black Lives Matter: Education Equity or Else to demand that equity and safety take center stage when schools reopen. This will be a car caravan and march/rally kicking off at 12PM. Save the date and time- details are still in development. The Facebook event page is here. This is one of several events happening across the country on June 24.


The monthly meeting of the CPS Board of Ed will be virtual on Wed, June 24, and starts at 10:30am. It will be live streamed on the CPS YouTube channel (they are usually a few minutes late so keep refreshing until it starts.) Sign up to speak (only 15 speaking spots available) begins Mon, June 22, at 10:30AM sharp. Find more details on this meeting here.


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 


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Local School Council News

Weekly LSC-Community Solidarity Call Zoom

Join us Tonight, Th, 6/18, 6pm- RSVP here on Zoom. 

Topics of discussion: End of school year COVID-19 check-ins, LSC Organizational Meetings, LSC Elections and Campaigns and School Resources Officers. For the first 30-minutes of the call; we will be joined by several district leaders including Chief Equity Officer, Maurice Swinney EdD to answer your questions.

Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Police Department School Resource Officers & LSCs

LSC members asked for resources and reading to learn more about the decade long push for police free schools. We pulled together some of the most relevant reading, videos and articles for your use: LSC Resource-Share on CPS-CPD School Resource Officers, June 2020. Feel free to share widely within your LSCs, parents and school stakeholders.

LSC Meeting Updates

On Tuesday, LSCs were emailed some guidance from CPS Office of Local School Relations. You can find this guidance here: English | Spanish.

LSC Elections Update 

CPS provided this update to some LSC members and LSC candidates on May 27. Here is a Power Point from the LSCs.4.All coalition which explains a bit more.

Upcoming Event

The Gathering: Organizing to Win II, hosted by the LSCs.4.All Coalition

Tues, June 23, 4:30-6PM, via Zoom. Register here

The Gathering will provide updates on upcoming LSC organizational meetings, Local School Council (LSC) Elections, work with LSC candidates to identify supporters and create a virtual campaign plan for their race. 


Special Education News

ESY (Extended School Year) for CPS students will be delivered remotely this summer.  Some ESY notification letters have been delayed in going out, so Laura Boedeker (the ISBE Monitor) asked us to share that parents can accept ESY services up to the first day of ESY Classes (June 29, 2020), rather than adhering to the “must respond by” date on your letter.  Also, don’t be concerned if the school listed for ESY is different from your child’s regular school, as it is simply a CPS designation of the school that is administering ESY services for your child for the 2020 ESY session.  

Thank you to everyone who participated in our RYH Special Education Community Zoom calls over the past 13 weeks.  Our next scheduled call is July 14, 2020, NOON to 1:30 PM. You can register here. In the meantime, please email any questions to Mary at and we’ll do our best to get you answers or connect you with people who can help.



WBEZ: This Valedictorian Started Off Speaking Little English Walsh ES

Sun-Times: New CPS grad Yonas Gebregziabher aims to be ‘the doctor that many Ethiopians wish they had’ Amundsen HS

Chalkbeat Chicago: Meet 18 Chicago valedictorians who are ‘beacons of hope’ for the city

Sun-Times: New DeVry University Advantage Academy grad doubles up with associate’s degree at the same time 


In other news

Chalkbeat Chicago: Two members of the Illinois Board of Education push for action to address racism

WBEZ: Some South And West Side Preschools Might Close June 30. Here’s Why.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Pandemic High: How one Chicago school rebuilt itself for cyberspace

Sun-Times: CPS to require face masks, temperature checks when school resumes next fall NOTE: This is in reference to a DRAFT of CPS guidelines to reopening schools. 

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago schools are watching this metric closely. Here’s why.


Worth a read

The Triibe: Food drives around Chicago continue a tradition of revolutionaries feeding the community • The TRiiBE

Sun-Times: Why cops in Chicago’s schools are never the right answer

Forbes: Teachers Face A Summer Of Soul Searching. What Do They Do In The Fall?

CNN: Reopen schools with a 'golden age of play'