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Pre-Service Teacher

Section 504.10 | Board Report 22-0223-PO2 | Date Adopted February 23, 2022

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That the Chicago Board of Education rescind the Student Teacher and Pre-Service Teacher Enrollment Policy, Board report 06-0426-PO1, and adopt a new Pre-Service Teacher Policy. The policy was posted for public comment from December 21, 2021 to January 21, 2022.


The purpose of this policy is to establish guiding principles, eligibility criteria and procedures for the enrollment and placement of pre-service teachers.


I. Belief Statement

CPS’ commitment to district-wide equity ensures that top teaching talent goes to schools and communities where the need is greatest. The CPS Pre-Service Teaching Program is designed to attract outstanding pre-service teachers by offering a unique urban teaching experience, support and guidance through the final phases of a traditional educator preparation program to meet the needs of a unique, and diverse group of learners. Any IHE (Institute of Higher Education) students that would like to participate in the CPS Pre-Service Teaching Program must complete any and all applicable registration and application procedures, as determined by CPS. The district acknowledges the value of a diverse and representative teaching force and the importance of intentionally preparing students and community members from Chicago's diverse communities to become teachers and pursue further education in the field.

II. Statement of Equity

At the heart of the CPS equity-driven initiatives is our belief that every student deserves access to a high-quality education, regardless of their race, zip code, ability, country of origin, or other protected class. Our examples of Excellence in Schools are represented in all regions and demographics across the city of Chicago. Teachers, principals, and school staff are leading for equity, by implementing promising practices and creating school cultures that support all students. The effectiveness of a classroom teacher is the most influential in-school factor impacting student learning. Educators should understand there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions. (23 Ill. Adm. Code 24.50(b)) Therefore, educators should actively work to identify and eliminate barriers to opportunities, inequities in access to resources, and policies that impede student progress. (23 Ill. Adm. Code 24.50(b)).

Pre-service teachers are one of our most effective resources that students across the city should have access to. Pre-service teachers graduate with a more robust training and realistic understanding of the profession when they serve students across the city, and as they serve students across the city, schools with historically lower candidate interest are in a more equitable position to recruit and hire teacher talent. As an example, from the Spring Semester 2019 to the Fall Semester 2020, North and Central regions averaged 5 and 6 student teachers per school, while West and South regions averaged only 3 and 1. While the South region has the most amount of schools overall, they averaged 1 student teacher in 40% of their schools. The CPS Pre-Service Teaching Program currently sees approximately 40% of its pre-service teachers become full time employees; they should be prepared to work for all communities of Chicago. Therefore, to ensure that all students have access to one of strongest resources, the work of CPS Pre-Service Teaching Program and its partner Educator Preparation Programs should center around the following Equity Targets:

  • Pre-service teachers who are gaining field experience should observe at least half of their field hours at a school located in the most underserved regions (according to the Opportunity Index, Annual Regional Analysis or similar district review) to gain more clinical experiences to prepare them for possible student and professional teaching, in that same or similar region.
  • Pre-service teachers who are student teaching should be equitably distributed across city regions. Each Educator Preparation Program should send a proportionate amount of their student teachers to at least one underserved region (according to the Opportunity Index, Annual Regional Analysis or similar district review and adjusted for student enrollment and number of cooperating teachers).
  • The Talent Office will request a report from Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) regarding their yearly pre-service teacher program (student teaching and clinical experiences) enrollment relative to this policy.
  • IHEs in Illinois are encouraged to partner with CPS to ensure competencies related to and outlined in applicable Culturally Responsive Education and diversity policies and ISBE Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards (2021) guidance are provided to pre-service teachers. In addition to Culturally Responsive Teaching, IHEs should provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to explore high-needs certification areas to best meet the needs of diverse learners.
  • CPS and its sister city agencies should work together for equity and justice for the most impacted communities. In order to disrupt inequities, the district should provide professional development, as deemed necessary, to strengthen knowledge and skills of culturally responsive education and diversity competencies for all CPS pre-service teachers and related staff to ensure competency attainment and continuous improvement.

III. Definitions

Clinical Experiences: The part of the professional preparation program that enables candidates preparing for licensure to acquire practical experience along with theoretical knowledge prior to entering into the full responsibilities of the role for which they are seeking licensure. These practical and structured experiences include pre-service teaching field experiences and student teaching as outlined in the Illinois Administrative Code.

Cooperating Teachers: A person employed by a school district directly engaged in teaching students in a school and who is immediately responsible for a “pre-service teacher” engaged in field/clinical experiences as outlined in Illinois Administrative Code. Culturally Responsive Education: In alignment with Illinois State Board of Education Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards, Culturally Responsive Teachers and Leaders:

  • are reflective and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and how they impact others, leading to more cohesive and productive student development as it relates to academic and social-emotional development for all students;
  • understand that there are systems in our society that create and reinforce inequities, thereby creating oppressive conditions. Educators work actively against these systems in their everyday roles in educational institutions;
  • view and value their students as individuals within the context of their families and communities;
  • (who fundamentally believe all students are capable) center learning around students’ experiences and position them as co-creators, with emphasis on prioritizing historically marginalized students;
  • will partner with families and communities to build rapport, form collaborative and mutual relationships, and engage in effective cross-cultural communication;
  • intentionally embrace student identities and prioritize representation in the curriculum. In turn, students are not only given a chance to identify with the curriculum, they become exposed to other cultures within their schools and both their local and global communities;
  • ensure the diversity of their student population is equally represented within the learning environment. In turn, all members of the student population feel seen, heard, and affirmed. Exceptionally well-versed culturally responsive teachers and leaders provide exposure to under or misrepresented minority groups even when they are not present within the population of their school and community at large.

Diversity: Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Educator Preparation Program: a state or regionally accredited higher education program authorized to prepare individuals to fulfill all of the requirements to receive an Illinois standard teaching certificate as outlined in the Illinois Administrative Code.

Field Experience: A variety of early and ongoing field-based opportunities in which “pre-service teachers” may observe, assist, tutor, instruct and/or conduct research. Pre-service teachers must complete 5 or more hours observing in a classroom and/or school environment. These hours are often required by IHE to obtain credit toward an education preparation program as outlined in the Illinois Administrative Code.

IHE: An Institute of Higher Education that contains an educator preparation program.

Pre-Service Teacher: An active participant in a CPS program/initiative who is enrolled in an accredited University's School of Education and in process of receiving teacher certification from a state board of education, and who has direct contact with CPS students. In other words, “pre-service teachers” refer to all university students who participate in CPS field experience and/or student teaching as outlined in the Illinois Administrative Code.

IHE: An Institute of Higher Education that contains an educator preparation program.

Student Teacher: An active participant in a “Pre-Service Teaching Program” where a candidate shall demonstrate mastery of skills and techniques including, but not limited to planning, organization, evaluation, parent relations and competence in subject matter areas as outlined in the Illinois Administrative Code.

IV. Program Administration

  • Talent Office Oversight, Guidelines, and Implementation
    The Talent Office of CPS is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the Field Experience and Student Teaching application and approval processes. The CPS Talent Office is authorized to establish guidelines for the implementation of this policy including procedures for the application and registration process.
  • School Placement
    The CPS Talent Office will determine pre-service teacher acceptance into the program based on IHE referrals and the qualified pre-service teacher candidates’ applications. The IHE should only refer pre-service teacher candidates to apply directly with CPS who:
    1. are in good academic standing;
    2. have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses identified by the IHE; and
    3. have otherwise satisfied the IHE student teaching requirements and its requirements for participation in the Program.
    The Talent Office will have final decision-making authority in approving students to participate in the pre-service teaching program. Student placements must center Equity Targets as listed in Section II above. The Talent Office must document pre-service teacher placements, and is available to recommend cooperating teachers for IHEs who seek assistance.

V. Cooperating Teachers

In order to produce the most effective and prepared teachers, all student teachers should be paired with a Cooperating Teacher who meets the minimum requirements for mentorship as defined by the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Induction Policy of Chicago Public Schools.

Cooperating Teachers must do the following:

  1. Instruct and supervise their assigned participating student teacher,
  2. Hold regular conferences with the participating student teacher as required by the IHE Program,
  3. Promptly advise the CPS Talent Office Representative, CPS School Program Coordinator and the IHE Liaison if a participating student teacher endangers or appears to endanger the safety and/or the emotional or physical welfare of any CPS student, employee, or visitor,
  4. Promptly advise a CPS Talent Office Representative, CPS School Program Coordinator and the IHE Liaison of any participating student teacher performance issues that could negatively impact the participating student teacher’s ability to achieve the objectives of the IHE Program,
  5. Complete evaluations for each assigned participating student teacher during the semester of the participating student teacher’s student teaching placement using IHE evaluation templates provided by IHE in accordance with program and state guidelines.

As pre-service teachers matriculate through the program and become full-time, licensed teachers, they should receive mentor teachers in CPS to continue the cycle of learning and development, see Teacher Induction and Mentoring Policy, Section 504.6.

VI. Criminal Background Check

A prospective pre-service teacher is responsible for the cost of any necessary fingerprint background check. An individual is ineligible to be a pre-service teacher in Chicago Public Schools, until the individual is cleared by CPS Background Check team. IHEs must cooperate with the Board in coordinating the completion of the participating pre-service teacher’s background check as outlined in the program guidelines.

VII. Health Screening

All prospective pre-service teachers are required to demonstrate evidence of physical fitness to perform duties assigned and freedom from infectious disease as outlined in Illinois State Code 105 ILCS 5/24-5. The Talent Office must update and post the specific evidence required during the application window. This evidence may include negative tuberculosis tests, proof of applicable vaccinations, physical and health screening, immunization records, or as may be defined.

VIII. Confidentiality Agreement

Prospective pre-service teachers must execute a Chicago Public Schools’ confidentiality agreement (relating to confidential student and school records) before they can be placed at a Chicago Public School.

IX. Master Agreement

The Talent Office must have a Student Teaching Master Agreement in place with all IHEs that desire to place Pre-Service Teachers in the district. The Talent Office and Law Department will coordinate with the IHE to complete the Student Teaching Master Agreement as outlined in the program guidelines. The Master Agreement must be approved by the Board before a pre-service teacher is eligible to start service at a Chicago Public School.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Rescinds 06-0426-PO1;
Cross References 21-1117-PO1
Legal References Ill. Adm. Code tit. 23, § 24.50 (2021); 105 ILCS 5/24-5 (2019)
References The University of California Berkeley Strategic Plan for Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, Pathway to Excellence, 2009
Public Comment Pursuant to Board Rule 2-6 this Policy was subject to Public Comment from December 21, 2021 to January 21, 2022.

Policy Managed By Talent Office

773-553-HR4U (4748)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602