A District on the Rise
DISTRICT | December 20, 2019
A District on the Rise

Chicago Public Schools continues to build upon our historic academic progress. To ensure all students have what they need to continue their tremendous academic growth, we’ve made significant investments to further our commitment to equity in access to high-quality programming in every neighborhood. Out of the many newsworthy stories showcasing our students’ achievements, we’ve picked out 10 of our favorites, in no particular order, to share with you.

An Equitable Vision for Chicago Public Schools
This spring, the district launched our new Five-Year Vision. Over the past decade we’ve seen record-breaking progress from CPS students but we know there’s still more work to be done. Centered around equity, the vision incorporates feedback from families and educators to ensure all students are seen, heard, and supported.

Chicago Public High Schools Continue to Rank as Illinois’ Very Best
Students and educators are helping CPS schools make headlines! Nine schools ranked in the top 350 of U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the best high schools in the country. Top 5 on the list? All CPS high schools. Read the full report here.

Expanding Access to Equitable Curriculum Across the District
Earlier this year, the district announced the Curriculum Equity Initiative. Through this investment, educators across the district will be able to benefit from high-quality, culturally relevant curriculum available to all schools. Previously, educators have spent their own money and hours every week finding and personalizing curriculum. With this effort, all CPS educators will have access to instructional materials, giving them the opportunity to focus on creating a classroom environment that is responsive to their students’ unique needs.

#BetterMakeRoom Chicago
With a record-high graduation rate of 78.9 percent, our students are continuing to make amazing progress across the district! During our #BetterMakeRoomChicago campaign, we highlighted high school seniors, among them, Naomi and Nanette Beckley. Both stellar students, the Beckley twins made their mark at Brooks College Prep and are headed to Yale and Princeton after graduation. Learn more about their story here.

Recognizing Leaders Making an Impact in Civic Engagement
In partnership with the Obama Foundation, this year we announced the winners of the first-ever Civic Action Recognition Awards. Student groups, educators, schools, and community partners were recognized for their contributions towards uplifting student voice and empowering students to engage with their communities. Read the original story here.

Supporting Students in a Summer for Change
For six weeks this summer, more than 400 students at ten sites throughout Chicago participated in the first year of the Summer for Change program. Students most likely to be impacted by gun violence engaged in structured activities this summer, including mentoring, group-based therapy, community service projects, and field trips. During the program, all of the participating students stayed safe from gun violence.

New Schools Joined the Opportunity Schools Program to Support Educators
Through the Opportunity Schools program, educators are matched with schools with the greatest staffing needs. Throughout their first year of the program, they receive mentorship and training to ensure they feel supported and have the tools they need to provide the best possible education for their students. Learn more about Opportunity Schools here.

English Language Learners are Excelling at CPS
English Learners (EL) at CPS are not only reaching English proficiency, they are outperforming national averages in reading and math test scores. New research from the UChicago Consortium on School Research shows ELs are achieving higher than district average attendance rates and Freshman OnTrack rates over 90 percent. Read the full report here.

The Largest One-Time Academic Expansion Brings Programming to 32 Schools
This year, we made the largest one-time academic investment towards academic programming at schools across the district. 32 schools were selected through last year’s programmatic request process for programs such as International Baccalaureate, STEM, STEAM, Dual Language, World Language, and Fine & Performing Arts. Nearly 17,000 students will benefit from access to high-quality programs at their schools. Read more here.

The 1619 Project
This September, every CPS high school received copies of the New York Times’ The 1619 Project. Students and educators at high schools across the district will participate in honest conversations about the institution of slavery and how we’re still impacted by it today. Read more from CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson here.