This Week in Ed 7.18.19: Engage with the new CPS BOE- here’s how!

Blocks Together and RYH hosted Schools As Anchors: Communities Planning for Their Schools last weekend. We learned about best practices in planning for school facilities and programming from local experts and from national expert Mary Filardo, Executive Director of the 21st Century School Fund. You can find all of the resources from the event- and more!- here.

Check out Chalkbeat Chicago’s coverage: Are there alternatives to closing schools? Chicago parents consider options.

We are grateful to Crossroads Fund who supported this event! We also want to thank Alexios Rosario-Moore for all his work organizing the agenda, materials, and workshops!

Engaging with the new CPS Board of Education- yes, we encourage it!

There is a new CPS BOE monthly meeting format which allows public discussion between the board members before voting. Meetings will also be live streamed and translation is now available for attendees. Read more in Chalkbeat Chicago: Here are 7 big ways that Chicago school board meetings are changing. Please note that these changes add to the length of the meeting- last month’s meeting was 6 hours hours long before the BOE went into closed session.

These meeting changes are really encouraging and increase transparency but there are still many issues with the whole BOE meeting process for parents and community members. Here’s a great piece written by RYH board member, Aiko Kojima Hibino, and published in Chalkbeat Chicago: Speaking at a Chicago school board meeting is a feat of endurance for parents. It shouldn’t be. And here’s another opinion piece worth a read published in the Sun-Times: Chicago School Board still giving the public the cold shoulder

Here are several ways to engage with the new CPS BOE. We encourage you to commit to engaging them within the next 6 months. Share some concerns (with possible solutions) AND share the great things that are happening at your school!

  • Attend or speak at a monthly CPS BOE meeting. The BOE meets again Wednesday, July 24, 10:30am, at CPS, 42 W. Madison. Online registration for speakers and attendees begins on Monday, July 22, 10:30am sharp. Sign up here. If you need assistance with the process or if you have questions, please email As noted above, the public portion of the meeting is much longer now- about 6 hours. 
  • Sign up for BOE Office Hours. You will get a 15 minute face-to-face meeting with a CPS BOE member. Share concerns AND great things happening at your school. We recommend not going alone. Take a fellow parent or a friend with you- they can participate or listen and take notes. We can answer questions about this process as well:
  • Email the new CPS BOE members. Again, share some concerns (with possible solutions) AND share some great news about things happening at your school. 

Board Member


Miguel Del Valle

Sendhil Revuluri

Amy Rome

Dwayne Truss

Elizabeth Todd-Breland

Luisiana Melendez

Lucino Sotelo


TIF litigation

The Wall Street Journal has brought attention to our lawsuit with Grassroots Collaborative against the city over the misuse of the TIF program. We're grateful to our legal team at Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Read the article here: Activists Try to Stop a Huge Chicago Development Over $1.3 Billion in Tax Incentives.


Special Education news

Did you know we have a closed RYH Special Education Supporters Facebook Page that is a great resource for information and support in navigating Special Education in CPS?  There are a few screening questions for individuals asking to join the group, but we’d love to have parents who have kids with disabilities and Special Education advocates join and share.  


School Resource Officers (SROs) 

There are 3 upcoming public community meetings hosted by Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department. You can share input on the role of SROs in the schools. There’s a shareable flyer (in both English and Spanish) here.

Here’s Sun-Times coverage of a meeting Wednesday night: Will cops patrol your school? Local councils will have final say, CPS says.

Here are the upcoming meetings:

Saturday, July 20, 10am - 12pm, Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd Street

Monday, July 22, 6-8pm, Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st Street

Wednesday, July 24, 6-8pm, Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Avenue

A listen (or read) from WBEZ who attended the first SRO training session: Police Officer Or Counselor? Chicago School Police Trained To Straddle The Line.

Chalkbeat Chicago: Five questions for the man training Chicago’s school police

Sun-Times: Chicago cops getting training on working in schools for first time in 10 years


ICYMI… CTU contract expired June 30, 2019. SEIU Local 73 contract expired June 2018.

These are stories to keep an eye on and there has been and will be plenty of press. Here are just 2 recent stories:

Chalkbeat Chicago: Union representing special education aides, bus aides and custodians wins strike authorization

WBEZ: Chicago Teachers And School District On ‘Collision Course’ Over Staffing


Make sure you follow us on social media this summer!  

Find out how here!


Helpful CPS links

Summer Meal Programs

Safe Haven Sites

2019-20 School Year Calendar



CBS 2 Chicago: State Champion Roberto Clemente Little League Team Looking For A Little Help As It Prepares For Regionals

Sun-Times: 2 sets of twin black girls are CPS valedictorians this year — a ‘powerful example’ 


In other news

Chicago Tribune: ‘Staggering’ number of children exposed to violence in Chicago; new study says kid population greater in high-homicide areas

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago’s early learning chief stepping down as universal pre-K plan enters second year

WBEZ: Mom Sues Will County School District Over Racial Harassment Against Son 

Sun-Times: Governor’s new task force to study discrimination against transgender students 

WBEZ: The Chicago Teachers Union Wants More Sanctuary Schools — Here's What That Might Look Like 


Upcoming events

Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed July 24, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

You must register online to speak. That registration begins on Mon July 22 at 10:30am.

Online registration to speak or attend is here. If you plan to attend, it is best to also register online in advance and starting Mon June 24 at 10:30am at the same link.

We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance:

Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at at 10am on Mon July 22.


CPS & CPD Community Meetings, Student Resource Officers (SROs) in our schools

Sat July 20, 10am - 12pm 

Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd Street


Mon, July 22, 6-8pm 

Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st Street


Wed, July 24, 6-8pm 

Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Avenue


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