Children First FAQ 

General Information

How many CPS sites will be open?

Approximately 145 CPS facilities will be open, including general sites as well as special education cluster sites. Elementary and high school students will attend separate sites.


What site will my child attend?

CPS will be releasing additional information about the Children First Sites in the days to come at or, and a hotline (773-553-1000) will also be available to help provide additional information and assistance.


What time will the sites be open from and to?

The designated facilities will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.


How can one keep up to date on the latest news and plans that CPS has if there is a strike?

For the latest news and information regarding the potential strike, please visit or


Are there options other than sending a student to a CPS site?

Yes, CPS will partner with City Sister Agencies, community and faith organizations and not-for-profits to help ensure our families have access to the essential services they need. Examples of services that will be available through partners include:

  • Working with the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Police and Fire Departments to ensure safety and provide additional services.
  • Partnering with the Office of Emergency Management Services to provide parents and other stakeholders with information through 311.
  • Partnering with faith and community-based organizations to offer expanded summer safe haven site options.


Additional details regarding services that will be offered by partners will be available in the coming days.



How will these sites be staffed?

In addition to principals and assistant principals, CPS will be asking central office, parent volunteers and volunteer organizations to help staff the sites in the event of a strike. Further, CPS will invite organizations to apply to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to staff non-instructional programming at the sites.


What is the process for RFPs?  

RFPs will be released to the public on Thursday, Aug. 30 to help staff non-instructional programming at school sites. The RFP Bidder’s Conference will take place on Friday, Aug. 31, with responses due Tuesday, Sept. 4.



Will students continue to provide meals during the strike?

Yes, in the event of a strike, CPS sites will offer breakfast and lunch to students during the weekdays.  



What sports would be impacted by a strike?

All sports would be cancelled, per IHSA regulations.


Can students play in games during a strike?

Students cannot play in games during a strike.


Can students participate in practices during a strike?

No, organized practices are not allowed during a strike.


How many students would be impacted by cancelling Varsity sports?  

All athletes would all be impacted by a strike, including approximately 11,000 varsity students.


What are the fall sports which would not have practice or games?

Boys Soccer
Girls Swimming
Boys and Girls Cross Country
Girls Volleyball
Boys and Girls Golf
Girls Tennis
16 Inch Softball


How may this impact seniors relying on college scholarships for sports that may be cancelled because of a strike?

A strike could impact the ability of seniors to secure sports-based scholarships, but we intend to work with seniors and colleges interested in them to advocate that previous season play be taken into account in order to maximize opportunities for students.


Who coaches CPS sports teams? Can I volunteer to coach?

School employees coach CPS sports teams, and the majority (90%) are members of the CTU. Per IHSA regulation, formal practice would not be allowed during a strike.


Can CPS teams make up games once the strike ends?

A team’s ability to make up games is dependent upon the length of a strike and the particular sport.  For example, Football teams are not allowed to play more than one game in a week, whereas Volleyball teams are, thus it would be looked at on a sport-by-sport basis.


Would the strike affect playoffs?

Per IHSA rules, Football teams have to play 8 games in order to be eligible for the playoffs, and a strike would jeopardize those teams reaching the minimum number of games.


Student Programming, Instruction and Assessment

What type of programming will be offered to students?

Only certified staff may deliver instruction, therefore students will not receive any instruction. Students will be involved in a variety of enrichment programming, including art-related, puzzles/games, sports activities, computer-based programming and independent reading/writing activities.


Will CPS still be hosting after-school programming if there is a strike?

No, all after-school programing will be cancelled.


Will CPS have to make up any lost academic days if there is a strike?

Yes, by state law, students will have to make up any academic school days lost to a strike, and the days will likely be built into the end of the school year.


High School Seniors

What will high school seniors miss out on in the first month of school if there is a strike?

Along with all students, high school seniors will miss out on critical academics.  However, seniors will also be at risk of not meeting key deadlines for college applications, interviews, applying for financial aid and preparing for college placement exams, such as the SAT II.  In addition, seniors must also begin preparing for Advanced Placement exams, which are also used for college placement.


How is CPS making sure seniors stay on track for graduation?

High school seniors with computers and Internet access from home are encouraged to take available online courses to recover credit needed to graduate through the CPS Virtual Learning Program. For students enrolled in AP courses, there are also courses available. These courses may only be taken from home, libraries or computer sites and require a level of independence. Students reporting to CPS sites can elect to take online courses to prepare for college and career preparation after site hours are over.


Will guidance counselors be available to meet with students?

Since guidance counselors are members of CTU, they will not be at any CPS facility in the event of a strike.


Special Education

What are the District’s plans to ensure special education students are receiving the support needed?

Supports for students with disabilities will be available at the program sites.  In addition, nursing staff will be available at every site to ensure students’ health/medical needs are met.


Right now, the District is not planning to provide transportation to students as part of Children First. Instead they will reimburse the parents of students entitled to transportation (homeless, IEPs, 504, magnet, NCLB-related) to help recoup transportation costs. The District is still in the process of developing standards for levels of reimbursement and a payment mechanism.


Will program sites have access to students’ IEP?

Program site administrators and nurses will have access to student records to ensure appropriate supports are available for students attending the site.



How will school staff be informed of students’ allergies and medical needs?

The District will have on hand the most current 504 plans for students with known medical conditions. Parents are asked to provide documentation of any new diagnoses and/or medication changes.  Based upon the 540 plans and any newly obtained information, the appropriate staff member will be notified and all CPS health policies (food allergy, medication administration, asthma, diabetes management, etc.) will be followed.



How is CPS ensuring the safety of each open site?

CPS will be working with each principal to finalize his/her specific safety plans for each site.  Safety plans consider factors such as arrival and dismissal, placement of security officers and emergency management plans.


How many security officers will CPS have at the sites?

CPS is planning to staff 1,000 security officers across the sites. This is based on a variety of factors, including expected attendance at each site (at a ratio of 100 students per officer).  In some cases, this coverage will increase depending on the particular circumstances of the site.