Password Guidelines 

  1. Password Maintenance

    To gain access to Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Instructional (INSTR) and Administrative (ADMIN) domains, which provide access to CPS network resources, all users must adhere to the password requirements and policies as outlined in this document.
    1. Password Security
      As part of a networked community, it is recommended that passwords are changed on a regular basis to protect individuals and the network against outside security threats.

      Providing personal passwords, user names, or network access to unauthorized individuals is strictly prohibited! In addition, users should never reveal or distribute their unique user names and passwords in order for other individuals to gain access to CPS’ network. Security in a networked environment is only as strong as its weakest member.

      Because password security is essential for maintaining safe networking practices, each member of the CPS community will need to make both involuntary and voluntary password changes.
    2. Password Procedures
      Users, at any time, will be able to make voluntary password changes. Users can change their passwords from CPS workstations or from their CPSMail accounts. In addition, users will be prompted to make involuntary password changes—when using CPSMail for the first time and every 180 days, prior to password expiration.

      Prior to password expiration, users will be notified several days before a change is required and are recommended to change their passwords during the notification period. If a password is not changed prior to expiration, users will not be able to access network resources .

      Users will be allowed three (3) attempts to enter a password correctly before an account is locked. If a password becomes locked, a member of the Help Desk at 553-4357, Option 1, Option 3 can reset and enable passwords. Once a password is changed, users cannot change the password again for five (5) days. However, the Help Desk can assist users if a change is required during this five (5) day period. Four (4) distinct passwords must be used before a password can be repeated. The Password Policy is stringent, and each of the requirements outline in the next section must be met in order to gain access to the CPS INSTR and ADMIN domains.
    3. Password Requirements
      When creating a new password, abide by the following guidelines:
      1. The minimum password length must be at least six (6) characters.
      2. No three (3) character sequences can be the same as your first name, last name, or User ID (e.g., John Doe cannot use JDoe or JohnD as part of his password).
      3. Passwords may not contain spaces.
        Three (3) of the following four (4) requirements must be met:
      • Passwords must contain an upper case letter (A-Z)
      • Passwords must contain a lower case letter (a-z)
      • Passwords must contain a numeric character (0-9)
      • Passwords must contain a special character (!#@;...

      Some suggestions for ease in establishing a password include starting with a capital letter, ending with a symbol, replacing an “a” with an “@,” using the numeral “1” for an “L,” and so forth.

  2. Involuntary Password Changes
    As mentioned in the previous sections, users will be prompted to make password changes in two sets of circumstances—when using CPSMail for the first and when passwords expire every 180 days.
    1. Changing Password in CPSMail for the First Time
      If using CPSMail for the first time, users must use their initial password1 and, upon entering CPSMail, will be prompted to create a unique password. Changing your password for the first time is a two-part process:
      1. Connect to http://cpsmail.cps.k12.il.us to receive the latest CPSMail news and for a direct link to your CPSMail account.
      2. Click on the Logon button to enter CPSMail.
      3. In the User Name field, enter your domain name\User ID, without spaces (e.g., INSTR\jdoe).
      4. In the Password field, enter your initial password.
      5. Click OK.

        When prompted to change your password:
      6. In the Account field, enter your domain\User ID, without spaces (e.g., INSTR\jdoe).
      7. In the Old password field, enter your initial password.
      8. In the New password field, enter in a new password of your creation.2
      9. In the Confirm new password prompt, re-enter your new password.
      10. Click OK

        Upon completion, a Password successfully changed pop-up window will appear.
      11. Close the pop-up window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner.

        1 Initial passwords are comprised of the first letter (capitalized) of your last name , the first letter (capitalized) of your first name , the word "password" (lower case), and an exclamation point (!), without any spaces (e.g., John Doe’s initial password would be DJpassword!).

        2 See Section I, C for detailed password requirements.
    2. Changing Password Prior to Expiration
      As mentioned above, users will be asked to reset passwords every 180 days. When this happens, users will receive a message at login that states Your current password is about to expire in “14” days. To change your password when this message is received:
      • From CPSMail, select Options.
      • Scroll down to the Password section and click Change Password.
      • In the Domain field, enter your domain (e.g., INSTR).
      • In the Account field, enter your User ID (e.g., jdoe).
      • In the Old password field, enter your initial password.
      • In the New password field, enter in a new password of your creation.3
      • In the Confirm new password prompt, re-enter your new password.
      • Click OK.

      • Upon completion, a Password successfully changed pop-up window will appear.
      • Close the pop-up window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner.

        3 See Section I, C for detailed password requirements.

  3. Voluntary Password Changes
    1. Changing Password from CPS Workstation

      To voluntarily make a password change from a CPS workstation:
      • Press Ctrl+Alt+Del. A screen similar to the following will appear:



      • Select Change Password.

      A screen similar to the following will appear. User name and Domain fields should be completed automatically:

      • Enter current password at the Old Password prompt.
      • Enter a new password at the New Password prompt.4
      • Repeat the new password at the Confirm New Password prompt.
      • Select OK.

      Note, this change will impact the password used to access CPSMail.

      4 See Section I, C for detailed password requirements.

    2. Changing Password from CPSMail
      To voluntarily make a password change from your CPSMail account:
      • Select Options.
      • Scroll down to the Password section and click Change
        Password.


      • In the Domain field, enter your domain (e.g., INSTR).
      • In the Account field, enter your UserID (e.g., jdoe).
      • In the Old password field, enter your initial password.
      • In the New password field, enter in a new password of your creation.5
      • In the Confirm new password prompt, re-enter your new password.
      • Click OK.
      • Upon completion, a Password successfully changed pop-up window will appear.
      • Close the pop-up window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner.

      5 See Section I, C for detailed password requirements.

Page Last Modified on Thursday, November 12, 2009