The organization of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been refined during the past year to reflect the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) approach to reform. The core principles of the organizational design remain with each organizational unit reporting up through a clear hierarchy to a chief officer that reports to the CEO. In this way, accountability and responsibility are clear, communication is direct and the organization reinforces the goals of reform.
The Board of Education remains the overarching entity, with the Inspector General, Office of Law and the CEO reporting directly to the Board. All other offices report to the CEO.
Board of Education
The Chicago Board of Education is responsible for the governance of CPS and provides organizational and financial oversight. It establishes policies, standards, goals and initiatives to ensure accountability and to provide students in every community with a world-class education that prepares them for success in college and career. The Office of Law and the Inspector General are autonomous units that report directly to the Board.
The mission of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is to ensure integrity in the operations of Chicago Public Schools by conducting meaningful, accurate and thorough investigations into allegations of waste, fraud, financial mismanagement and employee misconduct. The OIG also reviews CPS systems, practices and procedures to determine their efficacy in preventing waste, fraud and financial mismanagement. OIG is an independent unit that reports directly to the Board of Education.
Office of Law
The Law Department has charge and control of all litigation, legal questions and other legal matters related to the district’s affairs. The Law Department supports the district’s goal of providing a quality education to Chicago Public Schools students that adequately prepares them for college and/or a career by providing premier legal services and counsel.
Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) drives the district’s mission by acting on behalf of the Board to craft strategies, practices and policies that maximize student performance. All offices listed below report directly to the CEO.
Office of the Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the district’s departments and officers to ensure that their work aligns with and advances the goals of the Chief Executive Officer. The Office of External Partnerships within the Office of the Chief of Staff develops strategies and writes competitive grant applications in order to gain financial support for district priorities.
Office of Teaching & Learning
Under the guidance of the Chief Teaching & Learning Officer, the Office of Teaching & Learning provides the guidance, resources, and supports that enable educators to effectively plan and deliver instruction which prepares students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college, career, and life. Departments that report to the Chief Teaching & Learning Officer include: Language & Cultural Education, Early Childhood Education, Pathways to College and Career, Educational Tools and Technology, Arts, Literacy, Math and Science, Professional Learning, Sports Administration & Drivers’ Education, Student Health and Wellness, and Magnet, Gifted, and Talented Programs. The Office of Teaching & Learning is the former Office of the Chief Education Officer (CEdO).
Office of Network Support
Network Support oversees 14 elementary school networks and five high school networks. The Network Chiefs are responsible for ensuring that they are building effective schools with effective leaders by creating a professional development plan, collecting and assessing data to drive interventions, collaborating on best practices with other networks, and enhancing community and parental involvement.
Chief Administrative Officer
The Chief Administrative Office ensures that all operations of the school district run smoothly, and are directed toward supporting schools and driving student achievement. The office strives to ensure fiscal stability and accountability, focusing on short-range and long-range financial planning. Departments that report to the Chief Administrative Officer include the School Support Centers, Chief Financial Officer, Facility Operations and Management, Transportation, Nutrition Support Services, Information Technology Services, Safety and Security, Procurement and Payroll.
Office of Strategy Management
The Office of Strategy Management was launched in FY2013 to help the district set and achieve ambitious goals through long term strategic planning, development of a culture of excellence in execution, and project management of key cross-functional initiatives. Major programs under the Office of Strategy Management include: Strategic Planning and Initiative Management, School Transitions, and Demographics. The main objective of the Office for FY2014 is to manage the $68 million district-wide investment in School Transitions related costs to support the academic, social and emotional needs of students, including all populations of ELLs and diverse learners; to ensure the successful decommissioning and security of all affected facilities, and close-out of all financial, inventory, and IT-related matters; and to assure provision of vital Talent support to all impacted employees.
Office of Public & External Affairs
The Office of Public & External Affairs advocates for the 400,000+ students of CPS before every level of government to shape educational policy and secure external resources. This includes advancing CPS’ agenda in Springfield, before City Council, and in Washington, DC; as well as entities that offer grant opportunities.
Office of Communications
The Office of Communications seeks to promote the District’s vision, key priorities and policies through a full range of communications tools and strategic plans to engage the public and key internal and external stakeholders around our goal to prepare every child for college, career and life. The Office also provides system-wide communications support to CPS departments, networks and schools through a one-stop shop for media, external, internal, stakeholder and digital communications.
Office of Talent
The Office of Talent supports the pursuit of college- and career-readiness for all students by ensuring that they are taught by a highly-effective teacher workforce, that teachers are led by high-performing school leaders and that our schools are supported by well-functioning district staff that facilitates solutions.
Office of Innovation and Incubation
The Office of Innovation and Incubation (I&I) seeks to identify and bring to Chicago the most promising innovative approaches to education, and to broaden the reach of innovative ideas proven to be effective within our District. I&I will provide a robust incubation process, effectively position CPS as the leader in urban education for high standards and operator accountability, and empower families to identify and access the best options for their children. Departments under Innovation and Incubation include: New Schools and Programs, Access and Enrollment, Innovative Models, and the Department of JROTC/Office of Service Leadership Programs. The Office of Innovation and Incubation is the former the Office of Portfolio.
Office of Family and Community Engagement
The mission of the Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) is to empower and engage CPS families and communities in order to nurture strong support structures leading to improved student outcomes. Major programs under the Office of Family and Community Engagement include: Network FACE Managers, Faith-Based Initiatives, Parent Support Centers, Community Relations, Strategic Initiatives, Local School Council (LSC) Relations, and LSC Election Support.
Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services
The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS) strives to provide high quality and specially designed instructional supports and services for all diverse learners within the least restrictive environment with the goal of improving the academic achievement of all diverse learners in the Chicago Public Schools. ODLSS works collaboratively with schools, networks, students, families and other external stakeholders to provide the tools, guidance, supports and services necessary to ensure that all diverse learners receive meaningful and relevant access to grade level core instruction within their neighborhood school, school of choice, or the school closest to their residence thereby preparing them for a successful transition to college and career.
Office of Strategic School Support Services
The Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) is a new office created by the Chief Executive Officer to provide high-need elementary and secondary neighborhood schools with the comprehensive and coherent services and supports required to increase student achievement and sustain school improvement.
Office of Accountability
The mission of the Office of Accountability is to provide timely, accurate, and comprehensive data-driven decision support to School-level, Network, Central Office, and Cabinet stakeholders to improve the lives of the students we serve across the city.
District Goals for FY2014 and Beyond
The CEO’s recently announced action plan – The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children– was developed after listening carefully to the concerns of thousands of citizens and civic leaders across the City of Chicago, including parents and community members, principals and teachers, religious leaders and business leaders, elected officials and philanthropists.
This vision builds on the goal that Mayor Rahm Emanuel established for the City: a high-quality education for every child in every neighborhood. This means high-quality early learning opportunities, full-day kindergarten for all, expanded and enhanced arts education and a full school day. The district will continue to add new high-quality schools to neighborhoods across the city – such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Early College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and innovative charter and contract models – to ensure that all children have access to high-quality options that support their aspirations for college and career. Principals and teachers must be supported, empowered and held accountable in ensuring world-class learning experiences for every child. Parents must in turn be armed with the information to help them choose the best options for their children and support their children’s ongoing development.
The following five pillars describe our framework for success:
- First: high standards, rigorous curriculum and powerful instruction for all students regardless of their neighborhood, diverse learning needs or level of English language proficiency. This means going beyond the basics to ensure that children become critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible global citizens. The definition of core instruction must be expanded to include the arts, health, physical education and extracurricular activities.
- Second: systems of supports that meet all of our students’ needs because every student is unique. High expectations for all students must be coupled with a holistic approach that supports the individual needs of each. We must also remove barriers to learning with practices that promote children’s health and safety, social and emotional development, school attendance and college and career preparation.
- Third: engaged and empowered families and communities. Parents must be empowered as leaders who can advocate for their children and for all the community’s children. Meanwhile, school and district leaders must be resourceful in identifying community partners who can support children’s growth and learning.
- Fourth: ensure committed and effective teachers, leaders and staff. Teachers, principals and administrators will be valued and developed, will hold themselves accountable and will be rewarded for success. We must ensure we are the place where the best talent comes to work.
- Fifth: provide sound fiscal, operational and accountability systems. Priorities that lead to student success must drive planning, spending and accountability at the school and district level. Every employee needs to be held accountable for student outcomes and also provided with useful data and guidance in working toward those goals.
Achieving excellence district-wide also requires that we hold ourselves accountable for meeting standards, and that we organize a system for making quick course corrections when we fall short. Annual progress on each of the five pillars and the overall district vision will be monitored using the
CPS DISTRICT SCORECARD which will include metrics such as student attendance and academic growth, evaluations of school climate, the percentage of high performing employees retained in the district, and student college enrollment and success.
We are working to establish baselines on all of these measures so that we may set ambitious, achievable goals for progress in the months and years to come.