Chicago Public Schools Launches Five-Year Strategic Planning Process
28 September 2023
District will host a series of public engagement events to share updates and solicit input from families, educators, and members of the community
CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools (CPS) launched the planning and public engagement process for a new five-year strategic plan during Thursday’s Chicago Board of Education meeting at Austin College & Career Academy High School. The District will begin the development of a five-year strategic plan, which will include an Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) Report that details the state of CPS facilities. Thursday’s Board meeting is the first in a series of public engagement events where the District will share information about the process of developing a District strategic plan, including multiple opportunities for feedback and input from the CPS community.
“Every child, in every neighborhood, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, and play in a school building that is safe, welcoming, functional, and capable of providing a 21st-century education,” said Board President Jianan Shi. “As a Board, we look forward to working with our families, educators, students, school leaders, community members, and elected leaders to ensure our EFMP Report and five-year strategic plan meet the needs of our neighborhood schools and our entire community.”
The District’s new five-year strategic plan will build on the District’s Three-Year Blueprint, which was designed to ensure strong academic recovery following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, CPS students saw significant growth in Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and i-Ready scores following intentional investments in interventionists, counselors, and classroom and curricular enhancements to support literacy and math. The five-year strategic plan will build on this success with a focus on investments in resources and facilities that help all students learn and thrive.
“We are excited to build on the success of our current Three-Year Blueprint with an equitable, community-centered strategy that supports student success both in and outside the classroom,” CEO Martinez added. “As we work to finalize a new EFMP Report and a five-year strategic plan, we will continue working with local, state, and national partners to ensure we address their concerns and develop a sustainable plan for our school community. Chicago students deserve safe, welcoming, world-class facilities that reflect the strengths of our city and school district.”
As part of the District’s strategic plan and ongoing equity work, CPS remains committed to addressing the opportunity gap, particularly regarding our Black students. To address these long-term structural academic disparities, CEO Martinez is establishing a comprehensive advisory team that will listen and respond to the needs of the community, set universal goals, and make actionable recommendations that will culminate in a multifaceted District-wide Black Student Success Plan. Members of the advisory team will report directly to CEO Martinez. This plan will aim to address and close historic opportunity gaps and will be incorporated into the District’s new five-year strategic plan.
EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES MASTER PLAN (EFMP)
The District’s EFMP Report, which is now available on the CPS website, outlines the current state of the District's facilities where students learn. According to the analysis, CPS would require $14.4 billion to update and modernize all current CPS facilities. This investment would not only address immediate critical needs, but would address accessibility needs and facility upgrades, such as finishes, with a focus on energy efficiency and environmental equity.
The EFMP includes a comprehensive, neighborhood-by-neighborhood analysis of the current state of CPS facilities, their capacity, and current realities. The plan contains important information about the District’s enrollment trends, program offerings, demographics, and unique community needs that will help guide decision-making as well as details regarding the District’s planned facility investments for the 2023-24 school year. These planned investments, as well as future facility investments, are based on the District’s Annual Regional Analysis (ARA), biennial Facilities Condition Assessment, and Five-Year Planning Area Analysis, which will be posted on the Educational Facilities Master Plan section of the CPS website.
Members of the community will have an opportunity to provide feedback and participate in plan development—including a community survey—with community engagement opportunities occurring during the fall and winter months of the 2023-24 school year. Families, staff, students, community members, and other stakeholders are encouraged to make their voices heard in multiple forums, beginning with the five sessions listed in the upper righthand box above. A full list of community engagement sessions are listed here and will continue into 2024. The Board is expected to review public input and the proposed plan next summer before finalizing a five-year strategic plan during Summer 2024.
“As a District, we value and uplift the voices of our diverse students, families, and educators by putting public engagement at the center of our work,” said Chief Education Officer Bogdana Chkoumbova. “Our best policies and practices are made in collaboration with our community, and we are excited to work alongside the people of Chicago to ensure our EFMP Report and five-year strategic plan meet the needs of each and every community.”
These vital community engagement sessions will help CPS set priorities as a District, respond to where facility needs are greatest, and make the case for the necessary funding. Following the community engagement phase, CPS will produce a five-year strategic plan for approval by the Board of Education that will include recommendations for improving CPS facilities. If approved by the Board and funded by local, state, and federal resources, CPS will be able to move forward on the critical work of upgrading District facilities to serve the needs of CPS staff, students, and community.
Additional information will be available in the coming weeks on the Strategic Plan section of the CPS website.