At Chicago Public Schools (CPS), our vision for success is for every student in every neighborhood to be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program that prepares them for success in college, career, and life.
The district has focused on strengthening neighborhood schools with high-quality academic programming since 2011. Since the inaugural 2018 Academic Program Focus Request for Proposals (RFP), Chicago Public Schools has committed over $57 million in new high-quality programming at 61schools across the district through this process, affecting nearly 31,000 students.
The RFP continues to put the voice of our school communities front and center. Through this process, schools are able to submit proposals requesting the addition of specific academic programs in their schools. In this process, the district seeks to maintain integrity in district decision making, provide even greater transparency and clarity into how academic programs are added to schools, and increase access to high-quality academic programming across the district.
The district will give careful consideration to applications that address an access gap and a programmatic need; have the appropriate entry criteria and plan for implementation; and demonstrate clear support from the school administration, local school council, students, and parents. Schools that apply but are not chosen will be given clear, objective rationale, as well as areas of improvement so they can focus on strengthening structures to ensure successful program implementation.
SY21 Request for Proposals
Annually, CPS seeks from elementary and high school leaders requesting the addition of specific academic programs in their schools. School communities with questions about the Academic Focus RFP can email the Programs Focus team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SY21 Request for Proposals has concluded and is not accepting applications at this time. Please visit this page often for updates on the RFP.
Phase 1 Letter of Intent
In Phase 1, applicants are required to submit a brief letter of intent (using a provided form) that details the school community’s support for the program and how the requested program aligns with the school’s mission and vision. Applicants are also expected to explain how data, including Annual Regional Analysis data, supports a need for the program in the school and broader community. In the letter of intent phase, applicants must provide signed letters of support from their LSC Chair and Network Chief with their submission.
Applying schools are highly encouraged to utilize resources provided on this webpage to learn more about their desired program and how data (including the Annual Regional Analysis, CPS District Data and existing programmatic access data) support their proposal.
In Phase 1 of the RFP, applicants must demonstrate school and community alignment in support of the desired program. In this Phase, each applicant school will be analyzed to determine the need for support based on resource equity and the need for added availability of programming based on access to similar programming. Applicants meeting the evaluation criteria in Phase 1 will be advanced to RFP Phase 2, the full application process.
Please note that schools may only apply for one program in any given RFP cycle.
Phase 2 Application
In Phase 2 of the RFP, applicants are required to submit a comprehensive written proposal in response to the Academic Focus RFP application. Schools that submit a full written proposal in Phase 2 also will participate in a site visit with RFP evaluators. The written proposal and site visit will require applicants to demonstrate their plans and readiness to implement the requested program with fidelity.
CPS reserves the right to modify RFP expectations and requirements as needed to ensure alignment with the RFP goals of equitably increasing programmatic access and promoting best practices in high-quality program implementation.
We anticipate updating this website in fall 2021 with additional information on the RFP timeline. Please note we cannot accept RFP submissions outside of the official application window.
Key information about each programmatic area is available in the linked PDFs below. Please review the summary for the program you are applying for. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Downloadable Program Overviews
- Dual Language Program Overview
- Early College STEM Program Overview
- Fine & Performing Arts Program Overview
- International Baccalaureate Program Overview
- Personalized Learning Program Overview
- Regional Gifted Program Overview
- STEAM Program Overview
- STEM Program Overview
- World Language FLEX (Magnet Cluster) Program Overview
Annual Regional Analysis
School communities should refer to the Annual Regional Analysis to help them analyze information related to issues of need and access including: Program Density by Region, Variety of Schools and Programs Offered, Time and Distance of Students Traveling to School, and other metrics regarding program access.
CPS District Data
School communities may also refer to CPS District Data, which contains a variety of district aggregated data that may be helpful to prospective applicants.
The following maps display the current programming by Network. ISP, AUSL, and Charter, Contract, and Options Schools are displayed within their geographic network.
- Network 1
- Network 2
- Network 3
- Network 4
- Network 5
- Network 6
- Network 7
- Network 8
- Network 9
- Network 10
- Network 11
- Network 12
- Network 13
Citywide Maps by Program
- Dual Language
- Fine & Performing Arts
- International Baccalaureate
- Personalized Learning
- Regional Gifted
- STEM and other Math & Science Programming
Unsure of your community area or school’s network? The CPS School Locator Map has overlays for the Elementary and High School Networks. Click the “Overlays” icon in the top-right corner of the map, and, under “Geographic Overlays”, select if you’d like to see the elementary or high school networks on the map.
Applying schools are encouraged to utilize resources from the CPS Equity Toolkit when developing their proposal.
Particularly, schools are encouraged to consider the role of equity, including resource equity in their school community, in the broader community and within the district, in their proposal:
Further, as part of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the RFP process, schools must demonstrate clear support for the requested program from the school administration, local school council, students, and parents. Schools are encouraged to utilize the CPS Office of Equity’s Spectrum of Inclusive Partnerships for engaging their community:
Community Outreach Events
Please stay tuned to this webpage for future community outreach events. Community outreach events are anticipated to start in Summer 2021. A recording from a 2021 Academic Focus RFP Community Information Session is also available for review.