This Week in Ed 8.5.20: CPS to go fully remote to start school year

The announcement is expected today (9AM per this tweet), according to multiple news reports last night.

WBEZ: Chicago Public Schools Will Start The Year With Remote Learning Only

Sun-Times: Chicago Public Schools will go fully remote to start the fall

“There was a lot of negative feedback and parents who were saying they weren’t going to send their kids to school. If parents aren’t going to send their kids, you can’t do it,” a source said.

The devil is always in the details so stay tuned and vigilant. Look out for communications from both CPS and your school(s) via email and social media in the coming days and weeks.

The emergency remote learning conducted in the spring needs improvement- we heard this loud and clear from both parents & teachers. RYH released this report on July 16 based on a parent survey: Parent Perspectives on Remote Learning and Back to School. In it, we include recommendations for remote learning in general as well as for students with special needs and English learners. We also include recommendations to repair harm from COVID, for long term recovery, and for getting back to in person instruction. RYH will continue to fight to get parents a seat at the table, especially now when we parents are the on the ground experts on spring’s remote learning. We parents have a lot to say about it and many ideas for making it better.

We hope that CPS has learned that parents need to be included from the beginning. Let’s talk a little bit about the last few days of stress, see the Sun-Times here: CPS asks parents to decide in next week whether to send kids to school for in-person classes. Parents should not have been put in this position, especially with such a lack of details & with only a preliminary plan. There were so many unanswered questions asked by parents at each of the 5 meetings hosted by CPS. We felt your anger, frustration, and fear. Let’s channel this into imagining, then building, the schools that all children need! Continue reading these email newsletters and follow us on social media (Facebook: Public Page & Closed Group | Twitter | Instagram) to find ways to get involved in our work. 

Bottom line: There is no good answer to schooling in the fall all across America and certainly not here in Chicago and IL. Make sure you're registered to vote, consider doing so by mail, and make a plan to participate on Election Day, November 3, 2020. None of this is ok. [Live outside of Chicago but in Illinois: IL State Board of Elections.]


CPD SRO Teach-in for Parents & Community

TONIGHT, Wed, Aug 5th, 6-7:30PM

Note: Spanish interpretation will be available.

Join us for a teach-in on the struggle to remove SROs from CPS. Our objective is to: (1) bring awareness to the research, (2) hear youth-led voices and perspectives, (3) hear teachers’ perspectives and their current efforts to organize and (4) to energize parents, LSCs and adult allies to organize and strategize around police free schools. Register here.  



Interrogating Whiteness 

Tues, Aug 11, 6-9:15PM & Sat, Aug 15, 9AM-12:15PM

RYH is hosting a 2 part workshop run by Speak Up for white parents who want to become accomplices in dismantling white supremacy in the context of education. We believe that in order to fight for educational justice, we must have a deep understanding of racial justice. We will be doing more workshops around racial justice throughout the year. Find out more about the objectives/facilitators and how to register here- limited spots available.


#PoliceFreeSchools Resources & News

RYH resources worth checking out:

WBEZ and Chalkbeat Chicago teamed up for this investigation that is worth a read: Chicago schools agreed to pay school police officers full salary and pensions. That's now under review.

RYH filed a FOIA to obtain a record of last year’s SRO votes by LSCs. You might recall that CPS claimed repeatedly that the vote was unanimous- all schools with SROs wanted to keep them. We knew this could not be true because we were hearing stories from LSC members, many LSCs do not have quorum, and ALSCs have limited powers. Chicago Tribune reports on our findings here.


LSC News

CPS OLSCR (Office of Local School Council Relations) Bi-weekly Chat:

Session III LSC Bi-weekly Chat with Assistant Director Myra Winding Registration Form

Th, Aug 6, 4-5PM

Agenda here 


Special Education News & Resources

The next RYH Special Ed Community Zoom Call is scheduled for Tues, Aug 18, from Noon - 1:30PM.  Register here.

Read the SPEACC (Special Education Advocacy Coalition of Chicago) Letter to Dr. Janice Jackson related to remote learning safety, equity, efficacy and access here.  

Communication is everything. “Get to Know my Child” letter template can be found here.  Make a copy and customize it to share with their new teacher what worked and did not work during your child’s remote learning experience in the Spring.   


In Other News

Sun-Times: Teachers, activists rally to keep CPS schools closed during COVID-19 pandemic

USA Today: COVID back to school online: Pandemic pods? Tutors? Kids' options vary

WBEZ: Pritzker Restricts Youth Sports Amid COVID-19 Increase

Chalkbeat Chicago: Can Chicago find its missing students in time for fall?

Sun-Times: Chicago suburban schools vary in hybrid, fully remote learning for fall

Chicago Tribune: Agassiz parents urge CPS to remove school's racist name

Chalkbeat: Testing was canceled last school year; that might not happen again.


Upcoming Events

Black Students Matter: Educational Equity -1963, 2020, and Beyond

Th, Aug 13, 6-8PM

Register here | Facebook event page here

Join Friends of Bret Harte Elementary, Kartemquin Films, and RYH for a free virtual screening and discussion of the documentary '63 Boycott. The film will be followed by a student panel discussion with 1963 boycott parent organizer Rosie Simpson and information about a brand-new curriculum that teachers can use to teach this history in their classrooms.



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[Social media image credit: @itsmonicatrinidad]