Our Ethos “We are the voice of the child"

Our Work

OCCS offers wraparound supports for students at every step in their journey K-12 to keep students engaged in school and on-track for success. This includes, for example, attendance and truancy supports, social and emotional skill building, after school programs, school counseling and postsecondary advising, and specialized academic programs such as STEM, International Baccalaureate, Advance Placement, Career & Technical Education, and Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment. Chief Officer – Alan Mather 773-553-2108.

Our Offices

Academic Competition Programs prepare students of all achievement levels for college and the workforce by building and enhancing students' critical academic and interpersonal skills in a fun, competitive, safe and supportive environment. There are 6 citywide competitions: Academic Decathlon, The Chicago Debate League (middle and high school), Science Fair, Math League (middle and high school), Spelling Bee and Chess.
Contact - Sylvia Nelson 773-553-3593
The Attendance and Truancy Department's work is grounded in the fact that students cannot succeed if they are not present and engaged in school - on time and every day. We support Networks, schools, and families in addressing both systemic and individual needs, at multiple levels, to holistically take on the root causes of absence and truancy.
Contact - Zakieh Mohammed 773-553-1903
Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a collection of career-focused high school programs that prepare students for life-long info. Students receive a college-prep education as well as technical skills that allow them to graduate from high school with more than just a high school diploma! CTE offers students 46 different programs organized within 12 different industries including:
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Business
  • Construction & Architecture
  • Culinary & Hospitality
  • Education & Training
  • Health Science
  • Information Technology
  • Law & Public Safety
  • Manufacturing & Engineering
  • Media & Communication Arts
  • Personal Care Services
  • Transportation

Contact - Veenu Verma 773-553-3539

The Chicago Public Schools administers the largest community schools program in the country. CSI envisions schools as central, neighborhood locations where students receive an education and schools work with community groups to connect children and families to a range of services that foster individual and economic well-being. The CSI also extends the hours that schools are open so buildings may stay in use up to seven days a week and during the summer, creating a vibrant community meeting place.
Contact - Adeline Ray 773-553-1766
Computer Science for All is an initiative that makes computer science a priority in our schools for grades K-12. Computer science develops students' computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies.
Contact Brenda Wilkerson 773-553-2482
Early College STEM Schools are high schools that provide students with technology training, the opportunity to earn a free Associates Degree, and a well-rounded high school education to prepare them for the technology jobs of the future.
Joe Halli 773-553-3212
Dual Credit
Through a partnership with City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), high school students can take college courses in their high school for FREE. Courses are taught at the student's high school by a CPS teacher who is a qualified City Colleges adjunct faculty. Participating high schools can offer courses such as math, biology, English, chemistry, foreign languages, humanities, social sciences and more.

Dual Enrollment
The Dual Enrollment program allows CPS high school students to enroll in college courses at one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) campuses. Students may enroll in one course per semester. Students earn both college and high school credit. The credits earned are transferable to many four-year colleges and universities. Each City College campus offers 100 free seats to high school students each semester.
Contact Joe Halli 773-553-3212
The Office of Magnet, Gifted, and International Baccalaureate programs provides program support and professional development for schools currently implementing Magnet, Magnet Cluster, Selective Enrollment, Neighborhood Gifted, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate programs. Recent initiatives include the expansion of International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Selective Enrollment programs aimed at deepening the CPS commitment to ensuring that all students have access to rigorous options for college and career info.
Contact – Kyle Westbrook 773-553-3537
The goal of the CPS Out-of-School Time (OST) programs team is to provide schools with the tools and resources to offer before school, after school, and weekend programs designed to meet the needs and interests of students. We accomplish this goal by managing programs that provide direct funding for OST staff and supports (including After-School All-Stars, Science Olympiad, and You Be The Chemist), and supporting partnerships with external agencies who work with our schools.
Contact - Allie Parker 773-553-5152
The SMART (Saturday Morning Alternative Reach out and Teach) Program provides an alternative to expulsion for students in grades 6th - 12th grades. The program is designed to help students improve their decision making through prevention education and social and emotional skill building. Parents also participate in the program by attending two parent workshops.
Contact - Kishasha Williams-Ford 773-553-2245
School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising supports the identification of scholarships available to students. We have developed a student centered CPS College Scholarship Guide. The Scholarship Guide includes the various CPS-affiliated providers' resources and many of the scholarships that past CPS students have been awarded. For more information please visit our website.
Contact - Marcia Boyd 773-553-2087
School Counseling ensures that school counseling teams are equipped with the resources necessary to implement comprehensive school counseling program that advances the academic, personal/social and career development of all. Post-secondary Advising, through the work of College and Career Specialists is responsible for implementing targeted strategies that prepare all students for postsecondary opportunities including college readiness, access and info.
Contact – Barbara Karpouzian 773-553-2347
Social and Emotional Learning works with schools to establish multi-tiered systems of support for students' social, emotional and behavioral development. We support training and implementation of evidence-based strategies for positive school and classroom climates, social and emotional skills development, and targeted social and emotional interventions. OSEL ensures school-based staff use the most effective strategies to foster a safe learning climate and maximize student engagement and achievement.
Contact – Karen Van Ausdal 773-553-5446
The Office of STEM & Strategic Initiatives is leading the development of the district's K-12 STEM strategy, the incubation of STEM-inclusive elementary schools and ongoing support for the Early College STEM high schools. Our work includes working with STEM school leaders to drive whole school change, planning STEM curriculum and programming, building community engagement and awareness, fostering external partnerships, and supporting model implementation. We are developing tomorrow's innovators!
Contact – Rukiya Curvey-Johnson  773-553-3549
The Department of Student Adjudication co-manages with the Law Department the student expulsion hearing process. Specifically, department supervises seven attorney hearing officers that preside over hearings. Additionally, the department facilitates the emergency placement of students and reviews the placement of expelled students from charter schools and outside the school district.
Contact - Kishasha Williams-Ford 773-553-2245
Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) services Pre-K to 12 grade youths enrolled in a CPS school and are experiencing homelessness. STLS addresses barriers to enrollment, transportation, attendance, retention and info for students in temporary living situations. If you are in need of STLS assistance, please call (773) 553-2242 or fax at (773) 553-2182.
Contact Molly Burke 773-553-2937 or stlsinformation@cps.edu
The Office of Student Support and Engagement (OSSE) works with schools and networks to establish systems of support to keep all students on-track and engaged in school.  This includes attendance improvement and truancy reduction efforts, the reengagement of out-of-school youth or significantly off-track youth via the Student Outreach and Reengagement (SOAR) Centers, supports to Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS), enrichment activities through city-wide academic competitions and out-of-school time programming, and Chicago's Community Schools Initiative.
Contact - Will Hobart 773-553-4773
The goal of Student Outreach and Re-Engagement (SOAR) is to link youth and families with the supports needed to address the fundamental issues driving the youth's lack of engagement in school. Youth visiting the center will receive a social assessment, linkages to community services, support developing a graduation plan and support re-enrolling in a school meeting the students needs.

You can also call or visit one of the centers. The SOAR Centers are located in community based organizations in the following neighborhoods:

  • Garfield Park: JLM Center, 2622 West Jackson Boulevard - (773) 265-0560
  • Little Village: Central States SER, 3948 W. 26th Street - (773) 542-9030
  • Roseland: Phalanx Family Services, 1201 W. 115th Street - (773) 291-1086

Contact - Sean Smith 773-553-2039 or soar@cps.edu

Page Last Modified on Tuesday, October 20, 2015