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CPS Students Participate in Expanded 2022 Summer School Opportunities and Courses

01 August 2022

Nearly 91,000 students participate in Summer 2022 Academic, Athletic and Enrichment Programming and Job Opportunities 

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO - Nearly 91,000 Chicago Public School students are participating in summer academic and enrichment classes, internships, day camps and additional programming, up from the 55,000 students last year.  Summer opportunities include academic classes to help students catch up or get ahead, as well as paid internships and jobs, and middle school Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps that offer an introductory overview of fields, from aviation to the culinary arts. Summer athletic opportunities and out-of-school enrichment camps are among the additional opportunities that are rounding out this summer’s offerings.  

“We are thrilled to see so many students take advantage of this summer programming as we continue to emerge and recover from more than two years of the pandemic,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “These programs help our students catch up or get ahead academically and they also give children and teens a much-needed outlet to have fun, explore their interests and connect with each other, teachers and coaches. We are hopeful that this engagement will help provide a smooth transition into the 2022-23 school year.”

A cross-departmental District team began plotting summer offerings last December and the Board of Education later set aside $30 million to support efforts. Students have responded with unprecedented enthusiasm. Nearly 30,000 students are participating in locally-developed out-of-school programs focused on sports and fitness, technology, STEM, the arts, and more. 

“Many of our schools offered a combination of out-of-school enrichment activities, academic recovery as well as accelerated classes allowing students to delve into subjects such as algebra - a subject that sets the foundation for more rigorous math and science classes,” said Megan Hougard, Chief of College and Career Success. “Students are taking advantage of all the programming within our schools and with private and public partners who want to support our city’s youth and their future.”

More than 1,000 CPS high school students are participating in paid internships with 135 corporate partners, city governmental departments and agencies, as well as non-profit organizations across the city. Students are earning $15.40 an hour as they contribute their skills and gain on-the-job experience in the fields of law and public safety, education, transportation, media and communication arts, business and finance, manufacturing, information technology and more. 

For many, like Iselle Martinez, a Class of 2022 graduate of Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy, the experience is life changing. She is completing a six-week-long internship at IBM and hopes to continue to work part-time for the company as she attends the University of St. Louis where she plans to major in international business and minor in finance. 

“I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to go to college or what I wanted to do, but these programs exposed me to all of the possibilities,” said Iselle of her Sarah Goode journey. “Now, I’ll start college with an internship and career experience.”

Iselle was among the 31 CPS Class of 2022 students to graduate high school with a diploma and an associate degree. This summer, nearly 670 students are working toward a similar goal by participating in dual enrollment classes through a partnership with City Colleges of Chicago.

District schools have also long offered  a variety of summer-time transition camps, such as the popular Freshmen Connection, which helps rising ninth graders prepare for high school classes and schedules, even the building norms and traditions. 

Additionally, more than 25,000 CPS students from 605 schools applied for summer employment opportunities as part of One Summer Chicago, a City program with a My Chi My Future app that connects every young person to youth-centered and engaging experiences. Another partnership with the District’s Safe Passage Team and the Chicago Park District is serving thousands of children ages 6-12 through day camps at 55 Chicago parks. 

Meanwhile, the District’s many efforts to re-engage students, particularly those who have endured additional trauma, losses and economic challenges, continues this summer.  The CPS Choose to Change program, which provides intense individualized services and mentoring, has helped more than 550 youth connect to summer jobs. In addition, another 1,000 students who have been dis-engaged for over 18 months will receive similar direct services through the District’s “Back to Our Future,” program this summer. The program will continue into the school year and feature comprehensive services to support students.

Finally, more than 300 sixth through eighth-grade students are participating in one-to-three week Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps, introducing students to aviation, automotive services, barbering, digital media, engineering, health sciences, and more. 

Clara Perez, 12, is attending the culinary arts summer program at Benito Juarez High School before she begins 8th grade at Galileo Scholastic Academy of Math & Science. “I’ve been interested in cooking for a little while and seeing what I could learn,” said Perez. “I really like how you meet a lot of other people who have the same interests.”

The camps began five years ago and this year took place at 28 schools. 

“The culinary summer camp at Juarez helps students explore the CTE programs at CPS,” said Rita Cardenas, Career Academics and Internship Coordinator at Juarez. “ It helps many 7th and 8th graders figure out what pathway they may want to try and pursue in high school.”