June 14, 2013
Today, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and City departments involved in the city-wide effort to implement a safe and smooth transition for students attending Welcoming Schools next fall reported on their progress to date. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called on all City departments and agencies to work in tandem with CPS to support the city’s children, families and communities as students transition to welcoming schools this fall that will provide them with the high-quality, modern education they need to be on a path to success.
"We are working to ensure that every child in this city has access to the education they need to succeed in college, career and life, and we are working side-by-side with all City departments and agencies to ensure our Welcoming Schools are ready for our students on day one next fall," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. "We all share the responsibility in preparing our children to succeed in college, career and life."
Status updates were reported today by CPS and some of the 16 departments that are part of the Safe Passage Working Group, which meets on a weekly basis to maintain coordination: CPD, the Department of Buildings (DOB), Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Public Building Commission (PBC).
"When our students walk to school, they should be focused on their studies, not their safety," said CPD Deputy Chief Steve Georgas, who is leading the city-wide, coordinated Safe Passage effort. "In just a few weeks, over 11,000 service requests have been addressed by City departments in areas around proposed Safe Passage routes and we remain committed to working with the community throughout the summer so that these routes are ready for our students on the first day of school."
Summaries of the reports are included below.
- Over 40 parent meetings on proposed Safe Passage routes have been held;
- CPS issued a request for proposal (RFP) for community-based vendors that can provide Safe Passage for every Welcoming School and is currently evaluating the responses. The RFP ensures that each adult stationed along Safe Passage routes comes from the Welcoming School community.
- Purchased 2,400 air conditioner units
- Completed over 50 percent of window assemblies for air conditioning units have been field measured, with fabrication in process
- Issued on April 9, 2013 to request submittals for 17 discrete projects that bundle the design and renovation of school buildings
- Awarded the 17 projects after reviewing proposals from nearly 40 design build teams
- Hosted six Minority and Women-Owned Business Outreach Sessions attended by more than 1000 participants
- Held four job fairs for these projects, resulting in over 500 applicants. Completed 100 percent of: facility assessments, required site surveys, coordination of electrical service and utility requirements, environmental surveys, geotechnical surveys for elevator installations and ADA ramps.
- Area Deputy Chiefs, District Commanders, Gang Enforcement and the Deployment Operations Center have completed their initial surveys and site assessments to inform the development of proposed Safe Passage routes;
- All enforcement units know the proposed routes and are prepared to take appropriate enforcement action when needed;
- CAPS has identified 93 block clubs along the proposed Safe Passage routes and is working to engage community members to develop additional ones where needed;
- Area Deputy Chiefs, District Commanders and District Executive Officers have been attended parent meetings hosted by CPS on the proposed Safe Passage routes to obtain feedback and fine-tune the plans.
- Addressed more than 8,000 service requests along the proposed Safe Passage routes, including:
- Towed more than 200 abandoned vehicles;
- Removed more than 1,100 instances of graffiti;
- Trimmed 1,300 trees;
- Mowed 1,400 lots; and
- Completed more than 2,100 rodent abatements.
- Identified 478 vacant buildings along the proposed Safe Passage routes
- Addressed 272 of these vacant buildings, which includes: boarding up and securing the building, compelling the owner to board up and secure the building, recommending the property be demolished, beginning legal proceedings against a negligent owner.
- Repaired 101 broken alley lights;
- Fixed 722 street lights that were not working;
- Updated 205 street paint markings.