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Update on reopening framework, sports, and technology

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August 7, 2020

Dear CPS Families,

Our goal for the upcoming school year is to provide the strongest possible education in these challenging times, and as we announced on Wednesday, we believe an improved remote learning model that engages students for the full school day is the right way to begin the new school year based on both the evolving public health situation and feedback from our families.

The next step in preparing to open our schools is the release of our final reopening framework, which we now plan to issue in the days ahead. We are taking additional time to work with school leaders and labor partners to ensure the plan we finalize for the new school year is thorough and thoughtful, and we will be sharing those guidelines as soon as they are ready. It's important that we head into the new school year with clear and consistent expectations for staff, an understanding of how remote learning will impact out-of-school-time clubs and activities, and further guidance on other supports for students and staff. We thank you for your patience as we navigate these unprecedented challenges, and appreciate your continued engagement and support.

A device for every child who needs one and access to high-speed internet
Learning at home starts with having a computing device, and we are committed to ensuring that every child has what they need to succeed. If you need a device, please call your school to ask for assistance. If your child’s school no longer has devices available, we will work with the school to ensure you receive one. If you need additional assistance, please contact our family hotline at 773-417-1060 or email familyservices@cps.edu. We ask that you work through your school first to allow our hotline staff to prioritize families who need assistance accessing meals or other emergency services. But in the event that you need their support, they will be there to help you.

Through Chicago Connected, we partnered with Comcast and RCN to provide high-speed internet access at no cost to 100,000 CPS students. Eligible families received robocalls, text messages, and letters in the mail. If you accidentally discarded the letter or believe you may be eligible for Chicago Connected, please call your child’s school. Principals have been provided a roster of eligible students and will be able to provide you with the next steps to sign up for the program at no cost.

Beginning the year at home does not currently impact the fall sports season
As it currently stands, the fall sports season is set to begin the week of August 17th, which is one week before the state practice window begins. We are taking the extra week to ensure all necessary supports are in place for a successful start to the season. As the public health guidance evolves, we will work closely with IHSA to provide families with the latest updates.

Under IHSA’s revised calendar that was released last week, the following sports are currently scheduled to move forward in the fall:
Girls and Boys Cross Country;
Girls and Boys Golf;
Girls Swimming and Diving; and
Girls Tennis.

While the following traditional fall sports will move to Spring 2021:
Boys Football;
Boys Soccer; and
Girls Volleyball.

Teams will play shortened regular-season schedules and state series will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A full listing of the changes to the schedule can be found here.

This coming school year will be unlike any other we will have had in our lifetime. There is not a single person on our team who isn’t 100 percent committed to doing everything in our power to make sure our students can continue to thrive. As we navigate the challenges that this year will bring, we will be singularly focused on doing what’s best for our students while also ensuring the health and wellness of every single member of our CPS community.

Sincerely,

Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools

LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools

 

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773-417-1060

Support is available in English and  Spanish.