Please see the CPS letter Principal Roche sent below …

Dear CPS Families and Supporters,

Today, the district is announcing a Pre-K–12 remote learning plan as part of our response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. While this plan will not replace the classroom learning experience or completely bridge the digital divide that exists in our city, it is a full-throttle effort from the district to empower our educators and provide them with the resources they need to engage students in high-quality learning opportunities while schools are closed. 


This plan is not a one-size-fits-all approach—every school community is different, and each school will be notifying families of their plans by April 6, and in alignment with new guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, remote learning plans will begin April 13, following our scheduled spring break. A “Remote Learning for Parents” document will be available later today at www.cps.edu/remotelearning.

Remote learning will only improve a student’s academic standing.Students will be offered both digital and non-digital learning options, as well as dedicated “office hours,” where students and families can receive support from teachers via Google Meet, phone, or email. While students are expected to complete assignments and schools are able to grade work, grades will be counted only if they improve a student’s grade and will not negatively impact any student’s academic standing. Students who do not engage in academic work can be issued an incomplete and will be expected to make up incomplete assignments following the remote learning period.

The district will be distributing more than 100,000 devices to narrow the digital divide.We recognize that a significant digital divide exists in our city and throughout the country, and schools will ensure that families who lack access to technology can utilize printed materials that will be created by the district. And while we are taking steps to help ensure instructional resources exist in a variety of formats, we are also taking seriously our responsibility to help narrow that digital divide. Utilizing socioeconomic data and hardship indicators, and working in close collaboration with our school principals, the district will be distributing 65,000 school-based Chromebooks, laptops and iPads; 37,000 new devices; and additional devices through potential philanthropic contributions. In total, we will distribute more than 100,000 devices to families in the weeks ahead to ensure our students have significantly more access to electronic learning resources.

Remote learning will begin Monday, April 13 and remain in place until schools reopen—which is currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 21. However, should the need arise, we designed our remote learning plan to support our students’ academic progress if the closure is extended further. 

The road ahead is uncharted territory for all of us, but we could not ask for a more dedicated and talented group of educators to stand beside as we blaze this new trail. We are fully prepared to support our principals and educators as they make plans to educate our students remotely, and we are confident our remote learning plan provides the framework and tools for our teachers to succeed.

Schools will share detailed information about their remote learning plans with families prior to the start of spring break on Monday, April 6. In the meantime, enrichment resources for students are available at www.cps.edu/remotelearning. CPS will update these resources every two weeks. 
We want to thank everyone for their patience as we flesh out our response to this public health emergency, and we promise to continue updating all CPS stakeholders as decisions are made and new resources become available. There are many outstanding questions left to be addressed including graduation, college entry, grade promotion, and admission to selective-enrollment schools. Our commitment to you is that we will be transparent and continue providing regular updates. 

We thank you for your continued support during this challenging time and hope all in our CPS community remain healthy and safe. Please remember to stay at home and practice social distancing whenever you are out. This is how we will achieve what we all want, which is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and see our students and staff return to school as quickly as possible. 
Sincerely,

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

LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools

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