Chicago Public Schools' goal is to ensure that every student, in every school and in every neighborhood graduates from high school prepared for college and career. To help boost student achievement, CPS has set out on a number of ambitious initiatives and programs to meet this goal. The district is in the midst of implementing initiatives that all together, ensure that we change what we teach, how we teach, and ensure we have the proper time to teach.
CPS is committed to improving school options and developing innovative programs that will benefit students, employees and the community. Whether it's lengthening the school day, making secure access to view your child's grades easier or launching new programs in our schools, our district initiatives aim to improve each student and parent experience throughout his or her time at CPS.
What We Teach
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) – these standards outline a higher bar for what our students need to know in order for them to succeed in college and career. The district will be implementing these standards across the next few years, fundamentally changing and improving "what" we teach in our classrooms. Read more about CPS' implementation of the CCSS.
In addition, CPS will be using the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) as a new district-wide measurement of student growth, moving away from using ISAT the sole gauge of student achievement. Using NWEA in elementary schools district-wide will provide school leaders and teachers with access to student growth data that can better inform them of their students' academic needs.
How We Teach
REACH Students is a new, comprehensive teacher evaluation system, designed in collaboration with the Chicago Teacher's Union and will provide teachers with unprecedented tools and support to improve their practice and better drive student learning.
Each component of our new evaluation system - Teacher Practice, Student Growth and Student Feedback - is grounded in the feedback from CPS educators, as well as research and experiences from districts across the country. REACH Students is replacing the current 40-year-old outdated evaluation system that is disconnected from the needs and vision of today's teachers and classrooms. Read more about REACH Students here.
Time to Teach
The Full School Day is built on a simple fact – Chicago Public School elementary students spend 22% less time in the classroom than the average American public school student. The Full School Day – with expanded instructional time – will bring to an end Chicago's disgraceful status of having the shortest school day of all major American urban school districts. Read more about the Full School Day.
Creating Quality Education Options for All
Early College STEM Schools (ECSS)
Early College Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools, or ECSS, connects high school, college, and the world of work through dynamic partnerships and pioneers a new vision for college and career readiness. With a unique Early College model, students will follow CPS high school graduation requirements but will also have the opportunity to graduate high school with industry certifications, significant college credit, and possibly an Associate's Degree. CPS, the City Colleges and corporate sponsors will work together to ensure that students have an opportunity to pursue a career in technology while gaining skills for the 21st century workforce enabling them to realize their full potential.
CPS will create 10 new International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programmesin high schools across the city and outlined plans to directly inform parents and community members about the benefits of this college prep program before selecting schools. The new IB programs will be located in existing neighborhood high schools. Each of the District's five regional collaboratives will receive one new IB campus that solely offers IB curriculum.
The progress report cards look beyond the traditional metric of Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) data to tools that better gauge college readiness. Parents will find information on the percent of students who perform at grade level compared to their national peers, based on the growth assessments CPS implemented district-wide in 2010. The progress reports also show the percent of students keeping pace academically compared to their peers nationwide and reports on the performance of students in the early elementary grades in both literacy and math. The High School report cards also look at Student Progress toward College Readiness, College Eligibility and College Enrollment. Find your school by going here and typing the name of your school in the "Find a school" box.
The Parent Portal is a unique web-based tool that allows you to securely view your child's grades and attendance online. You can register to receive e-mail or text notifications when your child is absent or when his or her grades drop below a point you identify. Additionally, you will be able to communicate directly with your child's teachers, enhancing the opportunity for parent-teacher interaction.
CPS is committed to providing all children with access to a world-class education in their own community so they can graduate from high school both college and career ready.
Not enough schools are meeting the academic needs of our students. Far too many underperforming schools are not preparing our children for college and career, while achievement gaps continue to widen for African American and Latino students. CPS is committed to put each student's academic achievement and safety above all else to ensure that every child has access to a high quality education in every community.