The central function of any school district is to help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary for future success. But coming back from the pandemic, our students have experienced major challenges — an overall decline in proficiency, persistent and widening opportunity gaps, and variance in student experience. We must do more to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students.
The foundation for our academic progress is our Instructional Core. By recommitting to this proven model, we can raise achievement across our District.
The CPS Instructional Core centers on identity, community, and relationships.
Students must experience core instruction that is responsive to and sustaining of who they are and what they bring, and empowers them to connect, imagine, and act as ethical, critical actors that shape the world.
Here are the Components that
make up the Instructional Core:
Ensuring that instruction is designed with the student at the center, and using learning acceleration practices that continue to give students access to grade-level standards
Ensuring that student identity is nurtured and students can grow socially and emotionally in our classrooms while providing robust experiences and opportunities outside of school to meet the needs of the whole child
1. High-Quality Rigorous Instruction
- Ensure every school is organized and resourced to offer small class sizes, arts instruction, robust academic and social-emotional learning intervention systems, and comprehensive Out-of-School Time and summer programming.
- Have every student engage with a high-quality curriculum including expanding Skyline, Pre-K, and SEL curricula access to all schools and grade levels.
- Expand the use of meaningful assessments and access to assessment data to inform instruction including K-12 screeners and benchmarks, Skyline-embedded assessments and SEL skills assessments.
- Enhance early learning experiences through expanding Universal Full-Day Pre-K and investing in foundational early literacy programming and resources to help students become confident readers at an early age.
2. Talented and Empowered Educators
- Increase teacher professional learning and collaboration opportunities through school funds and provide teachers with additional time and opportunities for professional development.
- Invest in development opportunities for school leaders and expand our pipeline to teacher leaders.
- Prioritize filling vacancies in hard-to-staff schools and subject areas through targeted initiatives like Opportunity Schools and Teach Chicago Tomorrow.
- Ensure a diverse workforce.
3. Safety, Wellness, and Supportive Learning Communities
- Ensure policies and resources are in place to support the whole child so that all students are healthy, safe, engaged, and academically challenged.
- Expand resources for students in temporary living situations, school counselor support for communities in need, and coaching for staff on restorative practices.
- Use protocols that protect school communities from COVID-19 and keep students in school.
In order to arrive at the best solutions, we need the voices of those who are most impacted to be central in the process. Schools and communities are experts in their lived experiences — and our solutions must respond to those lived experiences. We want to encourage students, families, teachers, leaders, partners, and community members to get involved with co-creating solutions to longstanding challenges in our District.
If you are interested in getting involved, please fill out the form below so that we can contact you with opportunities to engage with CPS on these important issues. For more information on the methods and activities CPS uses for community engagement, visit our Reimagining With Communities Toolkit.