The organization of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been refined during the past year to reflect the Chief Executive Officer’s (“CEO”) approach to reform and reflect the five pillars contained in the Action Plan, “The Next Generation.” The core principles of the organizational design remain, with each organizational unit reporting up through a clear hierarchy to a chief officer that reports to the CEO and each chief officer clear part of achieving one of the five pillars. In this way, accountability and responsibility are clear, communication is direct and the organization reinforces the goals of reform.
District Goals for FY15 and Beyond
The CEO’s action plan – The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children – will continue to be implemented in FY15. This action plan was developed after listening carefully to the concerns of thousands of citizens and civic leaders across the City of Chicago, including parents and community members, principals and teachers, religious and business leaders, elected officials, and philanthropists.
This vision builds on the goal that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has established for the City: a high-quality education for every child in every neighborhood. This means high-quality early learning opportunities, full-day kindergarten for all, expanded and enhanced arts education, and a full school day. The District will continue to add new high-quality schools to neighborhoods across the city – such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Early College Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and innovative charter and contract models – to ensure that all children have access to high-quality options that support their aspirations for college and career. Principals and teachers must be supported, empowered, and held accountable to ensure world-class learning experiences for every child. Parents must in turn be armed with the information to help them choose the best options for their children and support their children’s ongoing development.
The following five pillars describe our framework for success:
- First: High standards, rigorous curriculum, and powerful instruction for all students regardless of their neighborhood, diverse learning needs, or level of English language proficiency. This means going beyond the basics to ensure that children become critical thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible global citizens. The definition of core instruction must be expanded to include the arts, health, physical education, and extracurricular activities.
- Second: Systems of supports that meet all of our students’ needs because every student is unique. High expectations for all students must be coupled with a holistic approach that supports the individual needs of each. We must also remove barriers to learning with practices that promote children’s health and safety, social and emotional development, school attendance, and college and career preparation.
- Third: Engaged and empowered families and communities. Parents must be empowered as leaders who can advocate for their children and for all the community’s children. Meanwhile, school and district leaders must be resourceful in identifying community partners who can support children’s growth and learning.
- Fourth: Ensure committed and effective teachers, leaders, and staff. Teachers, principals and administrators will be valued and developed, will hold themselves accountable, and will be rewarded for success. We must ensure that we are the place where the best talent comes to work.
- Fifth: Provide sound fiscal, operational, and accountability systems. Priorities that lead to student success must drive planning, spending, and accountability at the school and district level. Every employee needs to be held accountable for student outcomes and provided with useful data and guidance in working toward those goals.
Organizational Structure Aligned to Achieve Five Pillars
The Board of Education remains the overarching entity, with the Inspector General, Office of Law, and the CEO reporting directly to the Board. All other offices report to the CEO.
Board of Education
The Chicago Board of Education is responsible for the governance of CPS and provides organizational and financial oversight. It establishes policies, standards, goals, and initiatives to ensure accountability and to provide students in every community with a world-class education that prepares them for success in college and career. The Office of Law and the Inspector General are autonomous units that report directly to the Board.
The mission of the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) is to ensure integrity in the operations of Chicago Public Schools by conducting meaningful, accurate, and thorough investigations into allegations of waste, fraud, financial mismanagement, and employee misconduct. The OIG also reviews CPS systems, practices, and procedures to determine their efficacy in preventing waste, fraud, and financial mismanagement. OIG is an independent unit that reports directly to the Board of Education.
Office of Law
The Law Department has charge and control of all litigation, legal questions and other legal matters related to the District’s affairs. The Law Department supports the District’s goal of providing a quality education to Chicago Public Schools students that adequately prepares them for college and/or a career by providing premier legal services and counsel.
Chief Executive Officer
The CEO drives the District’s mission by acting on behalf of the Board to craft strategies, practices, and policies that maximize student performance. All offices listed below report directly to the CEO.
Office of the Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the District’s departments and officers to ensure that their work aligns with and advances the goals of the Chief Executive Officer.
Office of the Chief Operating Officer (NEW)
At the direction of the CEO, the Office of the COO leads the integration of new business and management strategies for the overall operational activities for the District to provide the most efficient and effective education for students possible using managed competition between internal and external providers. The office was created by bringing existing staff together to provide this focused attention.
Pillar 1: High standards, rigorous curriculum, and powerful instruction
Office of Teaching & Learning
Under the guidance of the Chief Teaching & Learning Officer, the Office of Teaching & Learning provides the direction, resources, and supports that enable educators to effectively plan and deliver instruction that prepares students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in college, career, and life. Departments that report to the Chief Teaching & Learning Officer include: Early Childhood Education, Core Curriculum, Arts, Literacy, Math and Science, Professional Learning, Sports Administration & Drivers’ Education, Student Health and Wellness, Grant Funded Programs, Core Academic Supports, and Education Policy and Procedure.
Office of Language and Cultural Education
The Office of Language & Cultural Education (“OLCE”) supports all English Learners (“ELs”) in the district through guidance of quality programs and instruction, building capacity of teachers, and empowering parents to be active participants to advance bilingual and bi-literacy skills. OLCE also directs the development and implementation of high quality and rigorous World Language Programs that engage and advance students’ language and cultural competencies.
Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services
The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (“ODLSS”) strives to provide high quality and specially designed instructional supports and services for all diverse learners within the least restrictive environment with the goal of improving the academic achievement of all diverse learners in the Chicago Public Schools. ODLSS works collaboratively with schools, networks, students, families, and other external stakeholders to provide the tools, guidance, supports, and services necessary to ensure that all diverse learners receive meaningful and relevant access to grade level core instruction within their neighborhood school, school of choice, or the school closest to their residence, thereby preparing them for a successful transition to college and career.
Office of Network Support
The Office of Network Support oversees 13 networks, which were reorganized during FY14 to include elementary and high schools. There are also networks that oversee schools managed by the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) and Military schools. The Network Chiefs are responsible for ensuring that they are building effective schools with effective leaders by creating a professional development plan, collecting and assessing data to drive interventions, collaborating on best practices with other networks, and enhancing community and parental involvement.
Office of Strategic School Support Services
The Office of Strategic School Support Services (“OS4”) was created by the Chief Executive Officer to provide high-need elementary and secondary neighborhood schools with the comprehensive and coherent services and supports required to increase student achievement and sustain school improvement.
Office of Innovation and Incubation
The Office of Innovation and Incubation (“I&I”) seeks to identify and bring to Chicago the most promising innovative approaches to education, and to broaden the reach of innovative ideas proven to be effective within our District. I&I will provide a robust incubation process, effectively position CPS as the leader in urban education for high standards and operator accountability, and empower families to identify and access the best options for their children. Departments under Innovation and Incubation include: New Schools and Programs, Access and Enrollment, Innovative Models, and the Department of JROTC/Office of Service Leadership Programs. The Office of Innovation and Incubation is the former the Office of Portfolio.
Pillar 2: Systems of support that meet all of our students’ needs
Office of College and Career Success (NEW)
The Office of College and Career Success (“OCCS”) works with schools, networks and communities to ensure that every student at every grade level is provided individualized supports and opportunities to keep them engaged, on-track, and accelerating toward success in college, career, and life. Departments that report to OCCS include Student Support and Engagement; Social and Emotional Learning; School Counseling and Post-Secondary Advising; Magnet, Gifted and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs; and Early College and Career Education. This department was created through re-organization of existing units to provide focused support on college and career success.
Pillar 3: Engaged and empowered families and communities
Office of Family and Community Engagement
The mission of the Office of Family and Community Engagement (“FACE”) is to empower and engage CPS families and communities in order to nurture strong support structures leading to improved student outcomes. Major programs under the Office of Family and Community Engagement include: Network FACE Managers, Faith-Based Initiatives, Parent Support Centers, Community Relations, Strategic Initiatives, Local School Council (LSC) Relations, and LSC Election Support.
Office of Public & External Affairs
The Office of Public & External Affairs advocates for the students of CPS before every level of government to shape educational policy and secure external resources. This includes advancing CPS’s agenda in Springfield, before City Council, and in Washington, DC, as well as with entities that offer grant opportunities. The Office of External Partnerships within the Office of Public & External Affairs develops strategies and writes competitive grant applications in order to gain financial support for district priorities.
Office of Communications
The Office of Communications seeks to promote the District’s vision, key priorities, and policies through a full range of communications tools and strategic plans to engage the public and key internal and external stakeholders around our goal to prepare every child for college, career, and life. The Office also provides system-wide communications support to CPS departments, networks, and schools through a one-stop shop for media, external, internal, stakeholder and digital communications.
Pillar 4: Ensure committed and effective teachers, leaders, and staff
Office of Talent
The Office of Talent supports the pursuit of college and career readiness for all students by ensuring that they are taught by a highly-effective teacher workforce, that teachers are led by high-performing school leaders, and that our schools are supported by a well-functioning district staff that facilitates solutions.
Pillar 5: Provide sound fiscal, operational, and accountability systems
Chief Administrative Officer
The Chief Administrative Office ensures that all operations of the school district run smoothly and are directed toward supporting schools and driving student achievement. The office strives to ensure fiscal stability and accountability, focusing on short-range and long-range financial planning. Departments that report to the Chief Administrative Officer include the School Support Centers, Chief Financial Officer, Facility Operations and Management, Strategy Management, Transportation, Nutrition Support Services, Information Technology Services, Safety and Security, Procurement, and Payroll.
Office of Accountability
The mission of the Office of Accountability is to provide timely, accurate, and comprehensive data-driven decision support to school-level, network, central office, and cabinet stakeholders to improve the lives of the students we serve across the city.
Achieving excellence district-wide also requires that we hold ourselves accountable for meeting standards, and that we organize a system for making quick course corrections when we fall short. Annual progress on each of the five pillars and the overall district vision is monitored using the CPS DISTRICT SCORECARD, which will include metrics such as student attendance and academic growth, evaluations of school climate, the percentage of high performing employees retained in the district, and student college enrollment and success.
We continue to work to establish baselines on all of these measures so that we may set ambitious, achievable goals for progress in the months and years to come.