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Academic Program Request for Proposal (RFP)

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. In last year’s inaugural Academic Program Focus Request for Proposals (RFP), Chicago Public Schools announced the largest-ever academic program expansion in history: investing $32 million in new high-quality programming for nearly 17,000 students at 32 schools across the district.

The 2019-2020 application for change in programmatic focus 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 second year of 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 improve equity of access to high-quality academic programming across the district.

The district will give careful consideration to applications that address a programmatic need; have the appropriate entry criteria and plan for implementation; and demonstrate clear support from the school administration, local school council, 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.

To identify opportunities for additional investment and develop a transparent and equitable investment process, the district worked with Kids First Chicago to publish the Annual Regional Analysis (ARA), a fact-based report to empower communities with objective school-level and regional education data. Before beginning the Letter of Intent, please review the Annual Regional Analysis.

The SY 2019-2020 Request for Proposals

CPS is seeking proposals from elementary and high school leaders requesting the addition of specific academic programs in their schools. The information, forms, and support tools needed to complete this application can be found in the three tabs on this site:

  • Timeline - This tab provides a timeline of the RFP process.
  • Program Overviews - This tab provides an overview of each program to which you can apply.
  • Community Events - This tab provides a list of outreach events and links to register.

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent application and accompanying documents should be emailed to no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2019.

Network Chiefs can fill out the attached form and send it back to

2020 Academic Program Awardees

After evaluating each application by using the ARA to identify programmatic need, reviewing letters of support from community stakeholders, interviewing school staff and receiving letters of support from Local School Council (LSC), the district selected the following 22 schools to receive a new academic program:

  • Armour Elementary School (STEM)
  • Brentano Math & Science Academy (World Language – Spanish)
  • Burr Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Clark Elementary School (World Language – Spanish)
  • Dawes Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Ebinger Elementary School (IB – Primary Years Programme)
  • Farragut Career Academy (IB – Career-Related Programme)
  • Julian High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Kelvyn Park High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Libby Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • McCutcheon Elementary School (STEAM)
  • Morton School of Excellence (Gifted)
  • North-Grand High School (Early College STEAM)
  • Parkside Community Academy (STEAM)
  • Plamondon Elementary School (STEM)
  • Pullman Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Rogers Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Sayre Language Academy (IB – Middle Years Programme)
  • Schubert Elementary School (Dual Language)
  • Tarkington School of Excellence (Dual Language)
  • Uplift Community High School (Early College STEAM)
  • Whittier Elementary School (Dual Language Magnet with Boundary)

Schools that were not selected this year were provided clear feedback that identified specific areas of improvement to support them in working toward successful program implementation in the future. Whether schools are applying for the first time or strengthening a previous application, CPS is committed to helping them throughout the next application cycle, which is scheduled to begin later this year.


Activity Proposed Date Information and Updates
Release Letter of Intent (Phase 1) of RFP November 14, 2019
Letter of Intent Due December 3, 2019  
Release Full Application (Phase 2) to Selected Schools December 20, 2019  
RFP Application Window Closes February 7, 2019  
Evaluation / Site Visit Period February 7 - March 27, 2019  
Announce Program Focus Awards April 2020  

CPS reserves the right to request additional information and documentation from applicants, as deemed necessary for review, and to amend this timeline as needed.