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Mayor Lightfoot and CPS Launch Second Annual Program Application Process Focused on Community Engagement

14 November 2019

CPS Will Hold Principal Workshops and Five Community Outreach Events to Further Empower and Support School Communities During Program Application Process

CPS Office of Communications

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

CHICAGO – To build upon CPS students’ academic progress, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson today launched the second-annual academic program application process to expand access to high-quality academic programs throughout the city, in alignment with the district’s Five-Year Vision. In its second year, the district’s program application process will further empower school communities by providing additional support to principals and holding community meetings to ensure families and communities have a greater understanding of the process and the opportunities available to their schools.

"Community-driven investments are essential to meeting our goal of expanding equity in classrooms throughout our city, and ensuring more students have opportunities to pursue their passions," said Mayor Lightfoot. "High-quality academic programs will inspire the next generation of lifelong learners in CPS schools across Chicago as they continue to make record academic progress and redefine what they can achieve when given the tools, resources and education they need to thrive."

Based on feedback from the inaugural program application process, the district will strengthen engagement and support for schools by holding five community outreach events across the city and three principal workshops. Through the community outreach events, the district will provide a detailed overview of the programmatic offerings to help community members gather an understanding of the options available to their communities. CPS will also offer three principal workshops to provide support for school administrations in identifying their programmatic needs, developing their plans for program implementation and engaging parents and other stakeholders within their school communities.

“One of my overarching goals for CPS is that every neighborhood school becomes a place where each and every student has access to the high-quality academic programs that meet their needs and interests,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Based on feedback, we strengthened our application process this year to be more equitable and accessible to community members and stakeholders across the city.”

Before implementing the formal application process, CPS evaluated opportunities on a school-by-school basis to determine programmatic need and schools’ ability to successfully implement programming. The new application process, which was launched last school year, provides an equitable and transparent framework for schools to apply for high-quality programs in their school communities. Elementary and high schools can apply for the following programmatic investments:

  • Dual Language
  • Fine & Performing Arts
  • Gifted
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
  • Personalized Learning
  • Science Tech Engineering Art Math (STEAM) Programming
    Science Tech Engineering Math (STEM)
  • World Language

During the application process, CPS will work with interested schools to provide them with support to develop and submit competitive proposals. The district will give careful consideration to all high-quality applications that address a programmatic need, have a strong implementation plan and have the clear support of the school’s administration, educators, local school councils, students, parents and other stakeholders. 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. Letters of Intent will be due in December and CPS will review all proposals and announce the successful applicants in the spring of 2020.

“Strengthening a school through a programmatic investment has the power to lift up communities and instill a sense of pride while expanding high-quality academics,” said Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “By working with school communities throughout the process, we will help ensure that schools receive the support they need and deserve so that our city’s students can reach new levels of success inside and outside of the classroom.”

By creating a more robust engagement process, the district hopes to encourage more schools across the city to apply for a programmatic investment—specifically targeting neighborhood schools in areas of the city that did not apply last year. Last year’s application process led to the district’s largest programmatic expansion ever, providing $32 million in funding for programs for nearly 17,000 CPS students—80 percent of whom were low income.

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,156 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.