FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Mayor Emanuel joined Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department at a back-to-school rally today to announce that three additional schools will offer Safe Passage routes beginning this fall – bringing the total number of routes to 145. Shields Elementary School, Shields Middle School and Harold Washington Elementary School will receive new Safe Passage routes as part of the District’s continued investment to help ensure students have a safe journey to and from school so that they can focus on their education.
Today’s rally celebrated the 1,300 Safe Passage personnel and 21 community-based organizations who work tirelessly to ensure that more than 75,000 CPS students are able to travel safely to and from school every day. To date, there have been no serious incidents involving a student during operational hours while Safe Passage workers are present.
“This effort by the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Police Department and our dedicated community workers to ensure that thousands of Chicago’s students get to school safely exemplifies Chicago’s core values,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to thank the Safe Passage workers and community members who work tirelessly to safeguard our students so that they can remain focused on their studies.”
Safe Passage workers’ ability to understand community dynamics and to leverage their relationships within the school community is at the core of the program’s success. Safe Passage is a proven model of safety that employs workers who live in the communities they serve, which allows them to establish relationships and positive engagement with students and families. According to an analysis of CPD crime statistics, crime along Safe Passage routes has decreased by 32 percent since 2012. The program has also shown to improve attendance at the schools served.
“The safety of our students outside the classroom is paramount to their academic success in the classroom,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Forrest Claypool. “Thanks to the dedicated community Safe Passage workers, who look after students every day – rain or shine – we can look forward to another safe and successful school year.”
The CPS Office of Safety and Security provides training to each worker to ensure they are equipped with relationship-building skills, de-escalation strategies and important safety protocols to support students during their daily commutes.
“From day one of the school year, our top priority is to ensure that every student is able to travel safely to and from school every single day,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We’re proud to partner with dedicated community workers and the City of Chicago to expand this proven model of safety that has reduced crime and helped provide students the peace of mind they need to focus on academics and realize their potential.”
CPS’ Office of Safety and Security works with school communities to incorporate feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that routes are the most effective for students. This information allows the district to strategically position workers to deter potential criminal activity from taking place.
In addition to Safe Passage during the school year, CPS partnered with the Chicago Park District this summer to expand the Summer Safe Passage program by 50 percent, offering routes from 31 park locations and increasing Summer Safe Passage coverage to four days per week.
Safe Passage by the Numbers:
145 Safe Passage schools
1,300 Safe Passage workers
75,000 CPS students served
21 partnerships with community-based organizations
32 percent reduction in crime on Safe Passage routes since the 2012-13 school year
Additional information on the Safe Passage program, including route maps for all 145 schools, is available at www.cps.edu/safepassage
Chicago Public Schools serves 381,000 students in 652 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.