DISTRICT | June 25, 2021
We are one district. One CPS family. But that doesn’t mean we are all the same. Our student population represents nearly 90 countries of origin and speaks more than 140 different languages.
Being a student-centered district means helping every student in every neighborhood thrive both inside and outside of the classroom, regardless of the supports they need to reach their full potential. We’ve worked to expand the resources available for our immigrant and refugee students, from expanding dual language programs across the city to encouraging students to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy to forging strong relationships with partner organizations to support students and families.
We are also committed to empowering our immigrant staff members to use their unique perspectives and experiences to inspire their students. At Budlong Elementary, Ms. Wei Wang and Ms. Wenjie Zhang Cosentino are using their cultural backgrounds to build the school’s Chinese language program from the ground up. At Frazier International Magnet School, Nigerian immigrant Ms. Tolulope Solola is teaching the same grades as when a teacher helped her have a transformative school year that helped her adjust culturally and socially. And, at Reilly Elementary School, Principal Marcelo Costilla’s memories as an immigrant student are what pushes him to elevate community partnerships and student voice throughout his school’s culture.
June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and Chicago Public Schools will always view its identity as one of the most diverse school districts in the country as one of its greatest strengths. As we close out a challenging school year, we are excited and optimistic that our school communities will have more opportunities next school year and beyond to come together to celebrate the cultural diversity that makes our district so special.
Happy Immigrant Heritage Month—we are so blessed that you are part of our CPS family.