(Possible) Strike(s) starts Thursday + RYH Fundraiser in 11 days + important sped updates!

Our new(ish) Executive Director, Jianan Shi, is celebrating his birthday! Wish him a happy, relaxing birthday weekend by BUYING YOUR Raise a Glass for RYH TICKETS TODAY! 🥳

We are super grateful to our current Raise a Glass 2019 Sponsors- listed below! There is still time to be a sponsor (details on the ticket page) and there is still time to buy an ad (deadline is Saturday, Oct 12.) Thank you, thank you, Sponsors! And thanks, again, to The Host Committee! (You can still join!)

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Strike(s) Update: Possible strike may begin this coming Thursday

Please see our 2019 Possible CTU/SEIU Strike: Resources for Parents + FAQs web page where we link to the CPS Contingency Plan, list Strike Camps that we know of, answer FAQs, share ideas on how you can support teachers and school staff, and provide links to upcoming events and articles to help understand what is happening. Are we missing something from this page? Send an email to jennie@ilraiseyourhand.org and let us know!

Last week, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) set this coming Thursday, October 17, as the start date of a possible teachers’ strike. This is the same day that SEIU Local 73 (school district staff) and Chicago Park District workers could start strikes. As we noted in our past 3  emails: This does not mean there will definitely be a strike. We urge both sides to take every measure possible to avoid a strike.

Where are contract talks now?

The CTU and CPS are in active negotiation. Negotiations will continue up to the strike date. There is a lot of information being distributed around these talks. 

  • CPS and CTU are scheduled to be at the bargaining table everyday. We have a list of recent press below.
  • On October 2, CEO Janice Jackson sent an email to all staff and families sharing the CPS Contingency Plan which states that all schools will be open during the event of a strike. Please note that you need to register your child. FAQs.
  • The CTU has a Facebook page and YouTube channel where they post updates after each negotiation. 
  • CPS has published a blog post with their take on the contract. 

Chalkbeat Chicago: Parents asked and we answered: Six questions about the growing teacher strike threat NOTE: A few questions about students with IEPs and 504 are answered; Chris Yun of Access Living provides context.

Great explainers on class size and the CTU contract from WBEZ and Chalkbeat Chicago.

Sun-Times: As strike looms, CTU still pushing affordable housing instead of focusing on key contract issues, Lightfoot says

Chicago Tribune: Dreams of championships could be put on hold for high school athletes if CPS teachers go on strike

What are ways to show support for our teachers and support staff?

  • In the coming days, CTU and SEIU members may be outside schools available to talk to parents. Go have a conversation with them.
  • On Monday, October 14, there will be an Indoor "Stand Up for Education Justice" Rally, 2:00pm, Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington. March follows. Facebook event here. Flyer below.
  • Every Tuesday, Parents 4 Teachers does a call in to the mayor. Information can be found here in this Facebook event.


Again, we direct you to our Possible 2019 Strike Resources web page, we urge you to make a contingency plan now for your family, and we encourage you to read the news. A strike is still not definite but you should be prepared.

WBEZ: What’s The Public Appetite For A Chicago Teachers Strike?

From a CPS Mom Re: if you need to send your child to a CPS school during the possible strike:

If you need to send your child to school during the *possible* strike next week, remember to register your child ahead of time with the link below. You will need your child’s student ID number, which can be found on the progress report that went home last week.

Si usted necesita mandar su hijo/a a escuela durante la (posible) huelga la semana que viene, recuerda registrarles de antemano con el enlace abajo. Necesitará el número de identificación estudiantil, lo cual se puede encontrar en el reporte de progreso que llegó a casa la semana pasada.



Special education news- lots here!

SSCA from CPS… Parents of students with IEPs, did you receive a letter dated 9/27/2019 from ODLSS about Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) resulting from the ISBE Public Inquiry into Special Ed? If you find the ODLSS General SSCA Information letter a little wordy and difficult to understand, The Advocate Group created a simplified version for your reading pleasure. Or, if you were the parent of the approximately 13,000 CPS students who received a second letter saying your child has been IDENTIFIED as possibly being eligible for Student Specific Corrective Action (a/k/a additional services), we have a simplified version for that letter, as well.

A New Law (PA 101-0515)- actively supported by the Advocates- regarding any proposed special ed rule changes authorized by the CPS BOE requires a 30 day Public Comment period before they can implement those changes. The CPS BOE is proposing changes to its (a) ADA Policy and (b) Education of Students with Disabilities Policy. Please use this link to submit any comments you may have regarding the above policy change proposals by Oct 27, 2019.

CPS Diverse Learner Manuals and Guidance Documents Open for Public Comment on its 2019-20 special education procedural manuals and guidance documents being proposed by the Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services. Public comments on these documents will be accepted for 45 days through November 23, 2019. The following documents can be reviewed/commented on here:

  • IDEA Procedural Manual
  • Transportation Guidance Document
  • Service Animal Guidelines
  • Section 504 Procedural Manual
  • Student Specific Corrective Action (SSCA) Document

CPS Diverse Needs Resources… ODLSS (Office of Diverse Learner Supports & Services) offers several resources for parents, including monthly workshops and a Parent Involvement Specialist Team to support diverse needs families. To learn more, please see this attached 2019-20 ODLSS Parent University Booklet.

H/T and a great big thank you to the Thorp Diverse Needs Committee for sharing the above info about public comments & the ODLSS booklet!

Special Education Workshops.... The Advocate Group is hosting a series of free special education parent workshops. Upcoming:

Thursday, October 17, 5:30-7:30PM, Workshop in Spanish, El Valor, 1924 W. 21st St

Saturday, October 19, 10AM-12PM, Austin Childcare Providers Network, 5417 W. Division St 

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More Trainings in Spanish… Familias incluidas en Recibiendo Mejor Educación Especial (FIRME) Entrenamiento- A special education training opportunity for Spanish speaking parents from Family Resource Center for Disabilities (FRCD). Please share with Spanish speaking parents!


The next LSC event… The Follow Up

On Saturday, October 5, we co hosted The Gathering, a LSC empowerment event, which was hosted by the LSCs 4 ALL coalition. Over 35 former, current and prospective LSC members from across the city shared their collective struggles on their journey to improve the most hyperlocal democratic tool Chicago has. Come join us at our next event, “The Follow Up” on November 16th from 11-1pm. More details to come but the LSC members agreed that the topic will be an LSC Know Your Rights workshop. Be on the lookout for a sign up!



Both articles below are from Block Club Chicago.

Always-Smiling Crossing Guard Pete Not Leaving His Logan Square Post, To The Relief Of Neighbors: ‘He Throws His Whole Heart Into It’

Chicago Vocational High School, An Overlooked Art Deco And Art Moderne Hybrid


In other news

Sun-Times: Another strike in Chicago? Teachers at Passages charter school set walkout deadline

Chicago Tribune: Chicago Public Schools apprenticeship program designed to offer students path to careers signs up first business partners

WBEZ: Changing Classrooms: As Schools Become More Diverse, Boards Are Slow to Change


Worth a read

Chicago Tribune: Commentary: 3 reasons to support CTU’s contract demands

Chicago Now: A Bad Law Must Be Broken- Why The Possible Chicago Teachers Strike Is Over So Much More Than Pay and Benefits

Chalkbeat Chicago: Chicago, where the teachers union’s demands extend far past salary, is the latest front for ‘common good’ bargaining


Upcoming events

Southside Rent Control and Elected Representative School Board (ERSB) Town Hall

Hosted by Lift The Ban Coalition and South Side Chicago DSA

Saturday, Oct 12, 11am

The Quarry, 2423 E 75th St. 

Facebook event page here.


⟹ Indoor “Stand Up for Education Justice” Rally (Downtown march follows.)

Hosted by CTU and SEIU Local 73

Mon, Oct 14, 2pm

Chicago Temple, 77 W Washington

Downtown march follows. 


Young Women Run Chicago 2019

Hosted by Ignite National

Sat, Oct 19, 9am - 2pm

Convene, 16 W. Adams

More information and registration here


Raise a Glass for RYH 2019

Tues Oct 22, 5:30 - 8:30pm

Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th Street

Buy tickets to our annual fundraiser today! See you there!


Unelected CPS Board Of Education Meeting

Wed Oct 23, 10:30am

CPS, 42 W Madison

Registration to speak or attend begins on Mon Oct 21 at 10:30am.Online registration to speak or attend is here. We will be there so please contact us if you need assistance: jennie@ilraiseyourhand.org. Note: The agenda for the meeting is available at www.cpsboe.org at 10am on Mon Oct 21.


⟹ Living Proof Advocacy strategic storytelling - panel discussion

Wed Oct 23, 5 - 6:30pm

The Hatchery Chicago, 135 N. Kedzie

More details and registration here.


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