Chicago Public Schools Celebrates Safe Passage Program
15 August 2023
Safe Passage Will Serve 188 Schools During 2023-24 School Year
CHICAGO–With less than a week before the start of the new school year, Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Pedro Martinez today joined students, educators, staff, and community members to celebrate the nearly 1,200 Safe Passage workers that support Chicago’s youth. The Safe Passage Program aims to improve student safety during daily walks to and from school and increase engagement through partnerships with community-based organizations. This year, 188 schools will be connected to Safe Passage routes.
“By establishing bonds with our students and ensuring their safety on their way to school and back, the Safe Passage workers are building stronger communities one student at a time,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “As the father of three CPS students, I’m grateful for the work they do to provide positive role models for our students while keeping them safe.”
Held at the Wintrust Arena, the Safe Passage Rally also celebrated the work of nearly 20 Safe Passage workers who excel in their roles while serving their communities.
“The Safe Passage program allows students to connect with community members as they commute to school,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We want every child to feel a sense of community that allows them to feel supported so they can focus on achieving their dreams and building a successful and meaningful future.”
Safe Passage workers are employed by community-based organizations that operate in the school communities that they serve. The CPS Office of Safety and Security provides training to each Safe Passage worker to ensure they are equipped with relationship-building skills, de-escalation strategies and safety protocols to support students during their daily commutes. CPS’ Office of Safety and Security works with school communities and organizations to incorporate feedback on an ongoing basis to ensure that routes are the most effective for our students.
“Safe Passage has played a significant role in supporting children and families as they travel to and from school every day,” said CPS Chief Safety and Security Officer Jadine Chou. “Our Safe Passage workers place a high priority on building relationships with their students that allows them to be proactive in promoting a safe commute to school.”
The District established the Safe Passage Program in 2009 with 35 schools. Over the past fourteen years, the program has steadily grown, serving 172 schools during the 2022-23 school year and increasing to 188 schools and more than 78,000 students across the city this school year.