FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, January 21, 2018
CPS Office of Communications
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools today announced the Safe Passage program will be expanded to include 14 additional schools, bringing the total number of schools with Safe Passage to 159 to serve more than 75,000 students. Safe Passage is a collaborative city effort that has been shown to keep students safe during their daily commutes, reduce crime along routes and promote attendance at supported schools.
“By expanding the Safe Passage program again this year, we are doubling down on a successful model that ensures the support our students need so they can focus on their studies and on their future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “By helping thousands of Chicago’s students get to school safely, this effort by the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Police Department and by our dedicated Safe Passage workers exemplifies the city’s core values.”
On Wednesday, the Board of Education will vote on a proposal to increase Safe Passage spending authority by $1 million to fund the additional 14 routes. The full funding increase was provided by the City of Chicago through its FY18 budget.
“Student safety and academic success go hand and hand, and that success starts every day with a safe commute to and from school,” said CPS Acting CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Safe Passage provides students with a well-deserved sense of support as they travel to and from school, helping them remain focused on learning, growing and embracing their educational experience.”
With the support of Mayor Emanuel, the Safe Passage Program has undergone a substantial expansion since it began with 35 schools in 2009. The success of the program is credited to the positive engagement of nearly 1,400 Safe Passage personnel, from 20 community-based organizations who work tirelessly to ensure that more than 75,000 CPS students travel safely to and from school every day. To date, there have been no serious incidents along Safe Passage routes involving a student during operational hours while Safe Passage workers are present.
“Making sure our children receive access to their education is one of the many ways we can make Chicago safer in the long run,” said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “The Safe Passage program has been vital in allowing students to get to school without a major incident and that is why I am excited for the expansion of the program. I would like to thank Mayor Emanuel and CPS for their continued investment in the safety of our kids.”
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.
If approved by the Board of Education, routes will be in place at the following 14 schools in the coming weeks:
- Ashe Elementary
- Bradwell Elementary
- Daley Elementary
- Frazier Prospective Elementary
- Joplin Elementary
- Lewis Elementary
- Manor Elementary
- McKay Elementary
- Morrill Elementary
- Ruggles Elementary
- Ruiz Elementary
- Sawyer Elementary
- Sherman Elementary
- Warren Elementary
The CPS Office of Safety and Security provides training to each Safe Passage worker to ensure they are equipped with relationship-building skills, de-escalation strategies and important safety protocols to support students during their daily commutes. 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.
Safe Passage by the Numbers:
- 159 Safe Passage schools
- Nearly 1,400 Safe Passage Workers
- More than 75,000 CPS students served
- 20 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 is available at www.cps.edu/safepassage
Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.