Chicago Teachers Union leadership has chosen to end the strike. All Chicago Public Schools will re-open on Wednesday, September 19, and all CPS students are expected to be back in the classroom. Continue to check back at cps.edu for more information.
How many CPS sites will be open?
CPS will open 147 Children First sites. Elementary and high school students will attend separate sites.
Will this be a normal school day?
No. The Children First Sites should be considered a safety net for parents that have exhausted other means of safe child care and activities for their children. No instruction will be provided. However, students will be able to participate in positive activities to keep them engaged, including independent reading and writing, arts and journaling, sports activities, and computer-based programming.
What time will the sites be open from and to?
Starting Thursday, September 13, CPS will extend the hours at Children First sites to provide a full six hour day—from 8:30 am-2:30 pm—to help support Chicago’s parents.
How were these sites selected?
Children First sites were selected based on the size and location of the building, with preference given to those with air conditioning, a gym, a cafeteria, computer labs and proximity to public transportation.
Can students come and go from the building at any time during the day?
No, students will be are expected to be at their site from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Do students need to be registered to attend a designated CPS site?
Parents are encouraged to register their children in advance to help ensure that the staff at the site are prepared for any needs a child may have. However, if a child shows up at a site they will not be turned away. Information and registration tools are available at the Chidren First website to help parents identify nearest sites, sign their student up and provide additional information and assistance. Parents may also call 311 to assist with registration or with any questions. Student ID numbers will be needed to register.
Does CPS have a way to help parents find their child’s Student ID?
For security reasons, CPS will not be issuing student ID numbers over the phone or online. The student ID number can be located on all CPS progress reports and report cards or by visiting the Manage Students page in the CPS Parent Portal. Parents of high school students can find their student’s ID number on their child’s identification card. If parents are unable to find their child’s ID number they should contact 311 for assistance.
Will CPS be partnering with any City Sister Agencies to provide support to parents and families?
Yes, CPS will partner with City Sister Agencies such as the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Police and Fire Departments and Office of Emergency Management Services to help ensure students are safe and families have access to the essential services they need. Find a list of options here.
How will these sites be staffed?
Children First sites will be staffed by principals, assistant principals, Central Office staff and non-CTU employees, as well as staff from vendors who submitted a request for proposals (RFP) to help staff schools and provide programming. All individuals working at Children First sites will have undergone a background check.
What is the process for RFPs?
RFPs were released to the public on Thursday, Aug. 30 to help staff non-instructional programming at school sites. The RFP Bidder’s Conference took place on Friday, Aug. 31, and responses were due Tuesday, Sept. 4. The District is currently reviewing proposals.
Will food be provided?
Yes. All students attending a Children First site will get daily breakfast and lunch at no cost.
How many students rely on CPS for nutrition services?
84% of CPS students, or more than 338,000 children, qualify for free and reduced lunch. CPS serves more than 400,000 daily breakfasts and lunches in elementary and high schools.
Will CPS provide transportation for students to the sites?
CPS will not be able to provide transportation for students to sites. CPS will be working in close partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to help ensure families are supported as much as possible in getting their children to and from the District sites.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is offering free rides to Chicago Public Schools students between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. To receive free rides, students should show their CPS ID card, reduced fare card, or other identification, and CTA bus operators or customer assistants will validate age.
CPS Children First sites will have fare cards available for Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) for assistance in getting to and from the sites. Students and families will be able to pick up the fare cards at any Children First site.
Will parents be reimbursed for costs spent on transportation to a site?
Students in temporary living situations (STLS) and students with disabilities who are currently eligible for transportation as a related service on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan will qualify to receive a CTA pass or mileage reimbursement. Parents of students in grades K-6 and who are eligible for a CTA pass to Children First sites may receive a CTA pass to accompany their child to and from the site.
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 and Girls Cross Country
Boys and Girls Golf
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 CPS intends 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 arts, puzzles, sports activities, computer-based programming, journaling and independent reading and 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.
Can High School Seniors take online courses?
CPS High School Seniors are eligible to take free web based online courses through CPS. Students at off-site locations (home, libraries, and community centers) with computer and internet access may take credit recovery, elective courses or advanced placement courses for credit upon completion of their courses. Click here for a list of courses offered.
At CPS Children First sites, seniors may have exposure to noncredit bearing college and career planning, reading/writing comprehension courses. For more information click here and to register, visit www.cps.edu/cpsseniorsonline.
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.
Early Childhood/Preschool Students
Are Pre-K students allowed to attend a Children First site?
Yes, all CPS Children First sites are open to Pre-K students. The hours for Pre-K students will be from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. Since the vast majority of children in CPS Pre-K programs have a 2.5 hour day, this will stay consistent.
Will I be reimbursed if my child attends a tuition-based Pre-K if my child attends a CPS school-based program?
Yes, families whose child attends a CPS Pre-K program will be compensated, either through credit, reimbursement or extension of the program. Further information will be provided as details are finalized.
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. Nursing staff will be available at every site to ensure students’ health/medical needs are met.
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.
What programming will be available to students with disabilities?
Students with disabilities will participate in the program activities at their respective Children First sites. Additionally, several specialty school sites will remain open as Children First sites, Non-CTU staff at these sites will be available to provide supports and they have familiarity with the needs of the students.
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 504 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.
Will there be a nurse at Children First sites?
Yes. Each site will have one nurse on staff. Sites designated as special education cluster locations will have additional nurses to meet students’ needs.
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 security officers across the sites based on a variety of factors, including expected attendance at each site. In some cases, this coverage will increase depending on the particular circumstances of the site.