CHICAGO - Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department today to announce that the district’s Safe Passage program will expand to 162 schools for the upcoming school year. The Safe Passage program, which began with 35 schools in 2009 and expanded to the 162 schools supported today, places community-based workers along common routes to keep students safe as they walk to and from school every day.
“The Safe Passage program is part of our promise to our students that receiving a high-quality education should not require a concerning commute to and from school,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “From Uptown to Roseland, the Safe Passage program has effectively kept students safe, and we’re excited to expand the program to more schools in more neighborhoods this school year.”
Today’s announcement was made at the district’s back-to-school Safe Passage rally, which celebrates the more than 1,300 Safe Passage workers from 19 community-based organizations. As part of the Safe Passage program, CPS relies on a community-based model, where we enlist workers who live in the communities they serve, allowing them to forge strong bonds with students and their families and use their unique expertise of neighborhood dynamics to protect students.
“The strength of the Safe Passage program lies in the fact that our dedicated Safe Passage workers are serving the communities that they live in,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “As another school year begins, we know that strong academic performance starts with a safe commute to school and we will continue to provide that support so students feel safe and can focus on their studies.”
To ensure that potentially dangerous situations are handled appropriately, the district’s Office of Safety and Security trains Safe Passage workers on how to manage various scenarios in a way that resolves conflict cautiously and effectively. To date, there have been no serious incidents involving a student during operational hours while Safe Passage workers are present.
"There is no higher priority than the safety of our youth across throughout Chicago," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson. "We look forward to partnering with Chicago Public Schools to ensure a safe and enjoyable start to the school year for our children."
Additional information on the Safe Passage program, including route maps for all 162 schools, is available at www.cps.edu/safepassage.
Safe Passage by the Numbers:
Chicago Public Schools serves 361,000 students in 644 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.
- 162 Safe Passage schools
- 1,300 Safe Passage workers
- More than 75,000 CPS students served
- 19 partnerships with community-based organizations