Back to School 2011 

Classes start on August 8th for Track E schools while the first day of school is September 6th for Regular Track Schools

July 20, 2011

As the new school year approaches, it's time to get students ready to go back to school. For parents, that means buying school supplies, purchasing uniforms, tracking down important dates and events, and filling out necessary forms.


Since we know how busy the back to school season is, we've compiled a list of important dates, events, forms, and general information, to get your child ready for school. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Volunteers are needed!

Phone Banking


CPS is looking for volunteers to help place phone calls in the weeks prior to the first day of school to parents to inform them of the date, and ask if their children will be in attendance for the first day. Volunteers will receive on-site training from a CPS staff member and have a script and call sheet to follow. Volunteers can sign up for 2 hour shifts, at two different locations.


To Register:


We are using a free event registration site, that will ask you to register for a specific day and time slots. We will have available days August 22nd - September 2nd for the first day on September 6th. Phone banking times will be 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. The site will ask you to provide your name and email address and will provide you with a FREE ticket for registration purposes.


Downtown Location: Central Office 125 S. Clark Street 


Neighborhood Location: Zenos Colman Elementary School, 4655 South Dearborn, 3rd Floor 


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Back to School 2011

Check out the various events CPS has held and is taking part in during the Back to School effort.


First Day Attendance Increase at Track E Schools | August 12, 2011


CEO Jean-Claude Brizard Rings in New School Year For District's Early Start Schools | August 8, 2011.


Mayor Emanuel and CEO Brizard Announce Investments in Back-to-School Initiatives | August 2, 2011.


CEO Brizard Calls Parents in Back To School Phone Bank | July 26, 2011.


CPS Partners with Groupon's G-Team to Urge Residents to Purchase $12 Kits for Kidz | July 26, 2011.


CEO Brizard Launches Back to School Campaign to Boost Awareness of First Day | July 20, 2011.


Also keep up with videos of these events:


Chicago Bear Israel Idonije reminds us that school starts Sept. 6th (August 22, 2011) Opens in a new window icon


Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs warms up CPS students for the start of the new school year (August 15, 2011) Opens in a new window icon


2011 Bud Billiken Parade (August 13, 2011)


Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks announces that Track R schools start on Tuesday, September 6
(August 11, 2011).


CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard addresses Harper High School students on the first day of school (August 8, 2011).


Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillien reminds CPS students and families about the start of the new school year (August 5, 2011).


CEO Brizard and Mayor Emanuel Go Door To Door to promote Back to School attendance (August 2, 2011).


CPS CEO JC Brizard rings the bell on the first day of school at an UNO charter school, Zizumbo Campus, on the South Side (August 1, 2011).


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Enrollment procedures and requirements

If you are enrolling a child to a Chicago public school for the first time, follow this links below to find out what information and materials are needed when you go to register your student. If you have any other questions, please contact the school you are enrolling your child. PDF icon. English | PDF icon. SpanishPDF icon. Polish.


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School start dates

  • Regular school year starts: Tuesday, September 6, 2011
  • Track E year-round schools started on Monday, August 8, 2011 (to see if your school is a Track E school, follow thisPDF icon. link)
  • Charter schools: Each charter school has its own start date. Contact your child's school to confirm his or her first day of school.


View our Back to School flyers:

PDF icon. Early Start Schools begin (Track E): 8.8.11

PDF icon. Regular track start schools begin: 9.6.11

PDF icon. First Day flyer (Spanish)


View our Back to School posters:

PDF icon. Early Start Schools begin (Track E): 8.8.11

PDF icon. Regular track start schools begin: 9.6.11

PDF icon. First Day poster (Spanish)


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Parent Involvement

Parents, we may need to reach you! During flu season or if your child is chronically truant, there is an increased need for schools to immediately connect with parents. Please call your child's school to give them your current contact numbers. Learn more about updating your contact information at your child's school.


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Health requirements

Students are required to have all health forms on file at their current school by October 15, 2011 or they may face expulsion from school. You can view the Minimum health requirementsPDF icon. English | PDF icon. Spanish.


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School supplies

Contact your child's school directly to get the complete list of school supplies needed for your child's grade.  You can also view our general list of school supplies.


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View application deadlines, holidays, report card distribution dates, and much more on our Key Events and Student Days Off calendars. Each section also features downloadable versions of all CPS calendars.


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Contact your child's school directly to find out whether or not uniforms are required for the 2011-2012 school year. For school contact information, visit our Find a school section, enter the name of your child's school and select the Search button. Contact information is available on each school page.


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Interested in supporting our Back to school supply drive? There are many students who need our help. Donate school supplies, uniforms, or even money to ensure that each student starts the year off right.  Learn more about how you can help.


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Learn more about your child's school

To learn more about your child's school visit our Find a school section, enter your zip code or the name of your child's school and select the Search button. There you can view everything about your child's school in one place. See scorecard data, demographics and statistics, weekly school recycling reports, and much more. Help your child.


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High school orientation

Help your child prepare for high school before school starts. View the dates for this year's high school orientation at 


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Get help with homework

Homework is an essential part of the learning process. To succeed, it's important that students understand the benefits of doing homework.

View our guide to the CPS Homework Policy to learn more about the benefits of doing homework. The guide is available in:
PDF icon. English  |  PDF icon. Spanish  |  PDF icon. Polish


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Contact us

Do you have questions or concerns about getting your child ready to go back to school? There are a variety of ways to get in touch with us:


Email us at

Back To School Hotline at (773) 553-3CPS (3277)

High Schools at (773) 553-2150

Elementary Areas at (773) 553-2150

Academic Enhancement at (773) 553-2060 (magnet, selective enrollment schools)

New schools at (773) 553-1530

Specialized Services at (773) 553-1800

Transportation at (773) 553-2860

STLS (Homeless) at (773) 553-2242


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Photo gallery
Back to School 2011
Photo gallery: Back to school 2011