Ten years, seven superintendents, three mayors and one recession ago, parents facing a billion-dollar budget cut to Chicago Public Schools came together.
They stopped the cut, and started a movement of parents organizing for fairer, better schools. Since then, Raise Your Hand has become a megaphone for the voices of parents and caregivers and guaranteed us a seat at the table when Chicago makes decisions about public education.
The pandemic and police violence have put an exclamation point on systemic inequities in our schools and communities and the harm done to so many families over the years. We’ve responded since March with 50 programs for more than 2,000 participants.
Parents and caregivers have had a helluva year this year. We invite you to celebrate our work together during our virtual Raise A Glass fundraiser from Tuesday, October 13 to Friday, October 23.
Raise Your Hand is on the cusp of hiring a full-time parent organizer to expand our reach in the fight for fully-funded schools, stronger Local School Councils, an elected representative school board--and whatever other inequities continue to impact our students.
Our goal this year is to raise $50,000. As an organization that was born out of the Great Recession, we know the fight to protect education will be even more critical as we enter another recession. We must continue to train the next generation of parent leaders to fight and win. As a bonus, each virtual Raise a Glass ticket or sponsorship comes with custom RYH swag! Can you continue to support RYH and education justice by buying a ticket, sponsorship, and/or ad?
Fighting to strengthen public education for all,
Jianan Shi, Executive Director
Brenda Delgado, Board President
Happy New School Year!
Thank you, educators, parents & students for all your hard work prepping and moving forward in this very new territory of remote learning! Let's all be gracious & patient with one another. We hope things are going well and that your children are having a great experience so far! Find press coverage on this historic start to the school year here.
We’ve published some new RYH webpages and updated some others to provide some resources for parents. Please share with other parents!
- CPS Grab & Go Meal Sites Fall 2020: The Basics | COVID-19
- Back to School 2020-21: COVID-19 Resources The latest ISBE & CPS webpages, guidelines, FAQ docs, and other relevant links for parents.
- What Should I Do If My Child Is Being Bullied? - A Toolkit from Raise Your Hand, 2020-21 | ¿Qué debo hacer si mi hijo/a es objetivo de bullying? Un kit de herramientas de Raise Your Hand, Año Escolar 2020-21 Updated, Spanish translation provided, and a Remote Learning Supplement.
- Statements at the August 2020 CPS Board of Ed Meeting- RYH & Allies Statements, submitted written comments, and press coverage.
Here are a few CPS webpages that might be helpful for parents:
- Chicago Connected webpage | Chicago Connected Slides from OLSCR Bi-weekly Chat
- CPS School Reopening 2020-21 Many links here, phone numbers & emails for assistance.
- CPS Parents
- CPS Student Code of Conduct 2020-21
- CPS Academic Calendar (download it here) The calendar was amended. There is no school on Nov 3. There is school on Nov 11. Read more here.
LSC Events & News
RYH LSC Workshops
Raise Your Hand is hosting a series of virtual workshops providing Local School Councils (LSC) basics, candidate and election support. These sessions are intended to connect and empower parents and caregivers, community members, advocates and alum to engage schools through LSCs.
LSC 101: LSC Basics
Tuesday, September 15th 4:30pm | Register*
Thursday, September 17th 6:00pm | Register
(*September 15th will be simultaneously interpreted in Spanish)
LSC 201: LSC Campaign Support
Saturday, September 19th 10:30am | Register
Saturday, September 26th 10:30am | Register
Wednesday, September 30th 7:30pm | Register
LSC 301: LSC Elections Support
Tuesday, October 6th 6:00pm | Register
Wednesday, October 14th 7:00pm | Register
LSC Elections In November | Candidate Nomination Period Reopened
Chalkbeat Chicago: Want to serve on a Local School Council? District offers a second chance
The LSC Candidate Nomination period REOPENED on Mon, Aug 31. Please see this letter from CPS. This is the CPS webpage to watch and visit for candidate materials.
Special Education Event & Video of Panel Discussion
How are things going for remote Special Ed so far this year? Our first RYH Special Ed Community Zoom call of the 2020-21 School Year is set for Tuesday, September 15, 2020, Noon - 1:30 p.m. and you can register for it here. Spanish translation will be available.
Loyola School of Law Civitas ChildLaw Center, Equip for Equality and RYH held a panel discussion about remote special education on September 2, 2020. You can find the video here.
CAN TV Interviews RYH
The week before school started, our Communications and Outreach Director, Jennie Biggs, was interviewed about the coming school year. You can watch the interview here.
Supporting Families and School Communities
Parents and teachers are stepping in to support families and school communities. Chalkbeat Chicago gives some examples here: For many Chicago communities, there is no COVID safety net. So teachers are stepping in. Here are 2 ways to learn more and, possibly, get inspired!
Los Padres Mentores Ambulantes | The Mobile Parent Mentor Program
In the spirit of inspiration, we are sharing Logan Square Neighborhood Association’s Parent Mentor model for this year. Perhaps a group of parents at your school might adapt some of this to support families and/or teachers at your school. English Flyers p.1, p.2 | Spanish Flyers p.1, p.2 | Presentation on Program
Hosted by Avondale Mutual Aid | Th, Sept 17 | 6:30PM | Virtual Panel | Register Here
Trauma in Schools: A Toolkit
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, alongside the Transforming School Discipline Collaborative (TSDC), have released a Trauma Toolkit. You can read a blog post and download it here: It’s Time to Talk About Trauma: How COVID-19, Racial Unrest, and Chronic Stress Show Up in the Classroom.
We’d Like to Introduce You to Diversify Our Narrative CPS!
"Diversify Our Narratives is a student-led initiative that is demanding CPS to expand the curriculum to include diverse and anti-racist texts. We as students are no longer accepting the whitewashed history nor the whitewashed narratives. We are asking that our curriculum include books by and about Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)." Please consider:
- signing their petition. CPS educators, students, alumni, and parents are eligible to sign.
- following them on Instagram- there's some great content there!
- sharing these slides with your CPS student if you think they’d like to get involved.
Parents! The Press Wants To Hear From You!
WBEZ's Curious City is looking for parents, students, and educators in the Chicagoland area to share a voice memo (no more than 1 minute) expressing your thoughts, concerns, and feelings about the coming school year. You can find some prompts, instructions, and guidelines here if you'd like to participate.
In Other News
Another CPS scandal… Sun-Times: Key CPS official charged with lying to the FBI | WBEZ: Top Chicago Public Schools Official Charged With Lying To The FBI | Sun-Times: Latest CPS contracting scandal doesn’t shake mayor’s confidence in Janice Jackson
Chicago Reader: Ode to a Chicago Public School | Community
Chalkbeat Chicago: A summer school ride in Chicago, but no data on who benefited
Hosted by Illinois Families for Public Schools
Virtual Info Session + Phone Banking | Various Dates, 6-8PM
Sun, Sept 27