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Children First 




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.


Read the letter to parents on CPS extending the hours at Children First sites English l Español


  • All CPS Children First Sites

    CPS is committed to staying at the negotiating table with the CTU — every day if needed — to ensure our students stay in the classroom and continue to take advantage of more time with their teachers with the Full School Day.


    We are strongly encouraging all parents to first explore other options for their children. We know that a strike will put a strain on many families, and no one will be hurt more by a strike than our students.


    For families that are not able to access alternative options for their children, the "Children First" plan is a safety net to provide a safe environment, food, and engaging activities:

    • 147 CPS "Children First" site locations will be open to students with limited hours in the event the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) chooses to strike.
    • Parents can sign-up their child at a Children First site using their student identification (ID) number through the sign-up tool located on the right side of this page.
    • Parents without access to the internet can call 311 or visit their local library to sign-up their child.
    • Every CPS student has been assigned a designated site in their community that is not necessarily their regular school, but will be equipped to address their needs and provide a safe environment. Parents are strongly encouraged to register their children to ensure staff at the site are prepared for any needs children may have.


    Please Note: A student identification (ID) number is required to sign up. 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 also find their student's ID number on their child's identification card. If parents are unable to find their child's ID number they can also obtain it from their principal. 


    Educational Resources for High School Students

    Chicago Public Schools is providing a number of on-line educational resources for parents and students. These resources and tools will help students stay engaged in learning during the strike.


    Now: All CPS High School Students 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 click here.


    Each Children First high school site will have trained professional college and career coaches and specialists offering daily “College and Career Sessions” to help students review college preparation checklists, explore college options, build a strong resume, review the Common Application and financial aid forms, draft personal statements and resumes, and prepare for interviews, college visits, and college fairs.


    On Tuesday, the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) will host an Open House at all seven of its City College Campuses from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This is the first time that CCC is hosting open houses for CPS students in such a formally coordinated manner. CPS students will receive information on dual credit/dual enrollment opportunities, as well as a tour of the campus, information on College to Careers and opportunities to talk with advisors, faculty, and students.

    Partnership with City Sister Agencies, Faith-Based Organizations and Community Based Organizations 

    CPS is working in close partnership with City Sister Agencies — including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Library, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago Fire and Police Departments and the Office of Emergency Management — as well as faith-based organizations, non-profits and other stakeholders to ensure students receive the support they need in the event that the leadership of the CTU chooses to strike and until the leadership of the CTU chooses to provide instruction in the classroom.  These partnerships have resulted in more than 200 additional locations as options for students. This includes 78 Chicago Public Libraries, 84 Chicago Park District sites, 59 locations through the Safe Haven program and programming offered by more than 100 non-profit organizations.  Read about the Coordinated Children First Efforts to Keep Students Safe and Engaged here.


    Starting Monday, September 10, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will offer 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. Read more here.




    In an effort to support students and families of CPS, 59 faith based organizations will provide Safe Haven sites in the event CTU leadership chooses to strike. Registration is free and available on a first come first serve basis. Space is limited. For additional information please call 773.553.2500.