September 16, 2012
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is announcing it is expanding activities that are available to CPS students through the Children First Plan, while continuing to have the capacity to serve over 160,000 students at over 450 sites in neighborhoods across the city. In addition to online coursework already available for students to use for continued learning, college counseling, City Colleges of Chicago open houses and health check-ups will be available throughout the week as the Chicago Teachers Union chooses to delay ending their strike.
“As the Chicago Teachers Union has chosen to delay ending their strike, we will continue to provide resources for our students to continue learning and full-day opportunities for students to stay in safe and engaging environments,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.
All week, each Children First high school site will have trained professional college and career coaches and specialists offering daily “College and Career Sessions” to help students review college preparation checklists, explore college options, build a strong resume, review the Common Application and financial aid forms, draft personal statements and resumes, and prepare for interviews, college visits, and college fairs.
On Tuesday, the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) will host an Open House at all seven of its City College Campuses from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This is the first time that CCC is hosting open houses for CPS students in such a formally coordinated manner. CPS students will receive information on dual credit/dual enrollment opportunities, as well as a tour of the campus, information on College to Careers and opportunities to talk with advisors, faculty, and students.
Online coursework in a variety of subjects will be available for students in grades three through 12. Courses available include credit recovery, Advanced Placement (AP) and General Elective classes. Students can register online at www.cps.edu/childrenfirst.
Health screening and checkups will be available for students at a variety of locations throughout the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, health teams from the University of Chicago will be stationed at Sexton Elementary School (Tuesday) and Powell Elementary School (Wednesday) to provide services like regular and sports physicals and immunizations. Six school-based health centers are operational at the following Children First locations all week: Dunbar, Farragut, Hibbard, Marquette, Roosevelt, and Spry. And the Illinois Eye Institute (IEI) at Princeton Elementary School, which provides eye care for CPS students, is accepting walk-in visits for eye exams.
Additionally, Chicago parents who are seeking full-day opportunities for their children can access them at more than 450 locations across the city, through partnerships CPS has formed with City departments, City sister agencies and nonprofit organizations:
- 147 CPS Children First school sites;
- 84 Chicago Park District camp programs;
- 59 Safe Haven sites;
- Over 100 non-profit partners;
- 78 Chicago Public Libraries locations.
Programs and additional opportunities offered by partners to support families and children can be found at www.cps.edu/childrenfirst. In total, approximately 30,800 CPS students took part in safe and engaging programming offered through or in partnership with the Children First Plan on Friday:
- 18,000 students signed up at Children First school sites;
- 4,400 students at nonprofit organizations such as Boys & Girls Club of Chicago, YMCA and Salvation Army sites across the city;
- 1,500 children at 59 faith-based Safe Haven sites;
- 4,400 at Chicago Park District sites; and
- 2,500 students at Chicago Public Libraries.
Children First sites have capacity for 160,000 students, or nearly 40 percent of the students impacted by the CTU’s choice to strike, and CPS ensures children are participating in multiple activities to keep them safe and engaged at each site.
CPS continues to provide both breakfast and lunch for students at Children First sites. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has provided thousands of healthy snacks for students as part of this effort. CPS has also partnered with the non-profit organization Chicago Cares to coordinate volunteers to help provide support at parks and libraries to support any additional activity at those sites. And 100 City Year Corps Members on 14 teams have been redeployed from CPS sites where they are going to begin their year of service to 11 parks and three libraries to lend volunteer support for students.
People who are interested in volunteering at Children First sites can find more information and sign up at www.chicagocares.org/studentsupport.
CPS will continue communicating with parents via email, letters, calls, text messages and other communication tools to ensure all stakeholders remain updated as negotiations continue. CPS also is encouraging parents to pay close attention to the news media for timely updates.
Chicago Public Schools serves 402,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.