Friday, March 28, 2014

Questions that were sent to CPS officials prior to March 26 CAC meeting

Before the March 26th meeting, CPS asked that we send our questions for Harrison Peters (Network 9 Chief) and Ben Felton (from facilities).  We originally asked that Harrison Peters address his talk toward any of our 3-Point Plan (Social/Emotional Development, Early Childhood Education, and/or Middle School Experience) but later we were told he would be giving a "State of the Schools" address.

We then reached out to the 24 CAC members (those who have put in an application) for any questions that they might have for these officials.  Here are those questions if you are interested:

Questions for CPS Officials for March 26th Meeting

CPS Launches Website for School Repurposing and Community Development Proposal Submissions

     For more information contact:
CPS Office of Communications
Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @ChiPubSchools

March 28, 2014

CPS Launches Website for School Repurposing and Community Development Proposal Submissions
School Repurposing and Community Development Website Will Allow Community Members to Submit and Review Proposals for Property Redevelopment

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today launched a website that will allow members of the community to submit and review proposals for the repurposing of former school sites. The website, found at, is an important first step in the implementation of the plan outlined by the Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development in its February 2014 report on property reuse recommendations.

“The website is an important piece of our community engagement process and will structure how we receive proposals to ensure the process is inclusive and transparent,” CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said. “Each neighborhood has their own vision for these buildings, and we look forward to hearing their proposals of how we can find a new use that boosts economic activity and cultural vibrancy for the community.”

The School Repurposing and Community Development website hosts a comprehensive list of former school sites in need of repurposing. The website maps out all available properties and includes photographs as well as physical and financial information about each site. After the community preference for reuse has been established, interested parties will be able to submit formal redevelopment proposals through the website. A summary of submitted proposals will be posted on the site for public review.

CPS will be working with aldermen to facilitate the determination of community reuse preferences and to communicate the process for making proposals. The aldermanic community meetings will provide an additional forum for Chicago residents to contribute to repurposing efforts with the goal that each property is redeveloped in an appropriate manner for its surrounding community.

The School Repurposing and Community Development website is part of a multi-phase strategy recommended by the Advisory Committee to repurpose the sites of former schools in a transparent manner that best serves local communities. The three-phase effort is broken into the following categories:

  • Immediate Reuse: This initial phase has allowed for the immediate transfer of properties within CPS or to sister agencies who have demonstrated need and financial viability to take ownership of the facilities in 2014. This phase is underway and has resulted in the repurposing of William H. King Elementary School as a facility for the City of Chicago’s Department of Fleet and Facility Management, and the M. Jean Lafayette Elementary School as a future location for the Chicago High School for the Arts.
  • Competitive Redeployment: The School Repurposing and Community Development website is a key component of this phase, during which the majority of schools have a solicitation process where community groups and other interested parties submit proposals for reuse. A community engagement strategy, involving the School Repurposing and Community Development website, aldermanic community meetings and site tours has begun so that residents are well-informed about available properties and are offered the ability to review and provide input.
  • Development through a Revitalization Partner: If community or financial benefit is not immediately apparent, an external partner with expertise in real estate planning and community development would assume responsibility of the building to create a plan for stronger options.
 As part of the effort, CPS will appoint an advisory review and evaluation committee to support the repurposing process and provide analysis of qualifying proposals. The committee will be composed of six individuals who have relevant and diverse expertise in real estate, development, social services, finance and lending. 
Chicago Public Schools serves 400,000 students in 658 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

Agenda from March Monthly Meeting- Minutes to Come

Here is the agenda from the March monthly CAC meeting for reference.  We will post minutes as soon as they are cleaned up.  Thanks to everyone who came- we had an awesome turn out!!  Keep the momentum rolling!

Agenda for March 26th CAC Meeting

Next Monthly CAC Meeting- Wed, April 23 + Work Group Meeting Dates

The next monthly CAC meeting is on Wednesday, April 23.  More details and an invite to come closer to the date.  We are currently ready to survey our members to see if our meeting time needs to change.

The next Strategic Planning Work Group meeting is April 2 @ 7pm at the Reynold's Club.  This date is a little off from regularly scheduled meetings, but usually the meetings will be 4 weeks apart.  We will be discussing more about what information we'd like to collect on our schools and who will be collecting/providing said data.

The next Rapid Response Work Group meeting is Thursday, April 4 @ 4:30p at the Blackstone Library.  This group is having meetings every Thursday and encouraging people to come to at least one.  Last week the talking points per Patricia Breckenridge were:
1. Dyett and Canter will not become charters.
2.Alderman Will Burns will schedule community forums for Dyett and Canter in April.
3. Non for profit education stakeholders and partnerships are suggested for the revitalization of Dyett and Canter.
5. 3 Point Plan middle school experience pedagogy, socio-emotional curriculum and design, and early childhood education program.
6. RTI (Response to Intervention is now MTSS
7. Core instructions must be robust.
8. Collaboration with CAC liaison and FACE on high stakes testing.
9. PARCC replaces ISAT and EPAS next year. Please visit or for acronym translations.
10. Scholarships and program application due dates: Loyola University Middle School Law Camp 7/14/14 - 7/18/14, 75 enrollment due date 5/1/14, 1 (312) 258-4868; Chicago State 2014 Summer Pre-Freshman Program in Engineering and Science (PREP),tentative 6/30/14 - 8/814, application due 5/2/14, 1 (773) 995-2356, Fax# 1 (773) 995-4504; The Imani Pearls Community Development Foundation Scholarship-2014, high school seniors accepted to college or full-time college with 3.0 GPA, etc., 4/25/14 due date by 4 pm, notified by 5/30/14; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Chgo Alumni Chapter, Edward G Irving Scholarship Foundation, GPA 3.0 on 4.0 scale, etc., due date.4/11/14, Mr. James Alexander, Wells Fargo Securities, 10 S. Wacker Dr., 18th floor, 60606 City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), Guided Pathway to Success (gps), 2 years or earlier receive Associates degree transferable to 4 yr university, and College to Careers focus areas (C2C).
Chicago Ready To Learn! Preschooler enrollment, all programs, or call 1 (312-229-1690), Children and Family Benefits Unit (CFBU) for Medicaid and Food Stsmps 1 (773) 553-5437 National Hook-Up of Black Women, ,(NHBW) Inc., non for profit organization, two $1000 cash scholarships, GPA 3.0,,etc., application due date 4/14/14, CPS, 125 S Clark, 12th floor,Chgo IL 60603; William J. Cook Scholarship Fund, Cook County High School Seniors college bound, renewable awards ftom $1000 - &5000, aplication due date , 4/15/14,, call Mary L. Meyer at 1 (507) 931- 0465

National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing-- Follow Up from Schools' Corner at March Monthly Meeting

At the March monthly CAC meeting, Don Willard (Vice Chair of Ray Elementary's LSC) presented on the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing.  The link to the resolution is below.

Ray's LSC voted unanimously (with the interim principal absent) to sign it.  Previously, Murray Elementary's LSC voted unanimously (with the principal abstaining) to sign it.

Please keep us updated if any schools you are involved with sign on and we will keep our membership and community updated in return!

National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing

Or here is the full text:

WHEREAS, our nation's future well-being relies on a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, and strengthens the nation’s social and economic well-being; and
WHEREAS, our nation's school systems have been spending growing amounts of time, money and energy on high-stakes standardized testing, in which student performance on standardized tests is used to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators and schools; and
WHEREAS, the overreliance on high-stakes standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools by hampering educators' efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep subject-matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy; and
WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness; and
WHEREAS, the over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate; and
WHEREAS, high-stakes standardized testing has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English language learners, children of color, and those with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the culture and structure of the systems in which students learn must change in order to foster engaging school experiences that promote joy in learning, depth of thought and breadth of knowledge for students; therefore be it
RESOLVED that the Murray Language Academy Local School Council calls on the governor, state legislature and state education boards and administrators to reexamine public school accountability systems in this state, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools; and
RESOLVED, that the Murray Language Academy Local School Council calls on the U.S. Congress and Administration to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently known as the “No Child Left Behind Act"), reduce the testing mandates, promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability, and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.

CAC Application, Reposted for Easy Access

Here is the link to the application to become a member of the Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC, reposted simply for convenience.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FAQs about CAC

Please share this as needed- there have been some questions circulating and we want to be as informative and transparent as possible.  Also, if you have other questions, please email them to  Thanks for your involvement!

FAQs about the Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC- created March 2014

- What is a CAC (Community Action Council)?
A CAC is a community-organized group that works directly with CPS staff to create a vision for our neighborhood schools. It includes (ideally) all stakeholders- parents, educators, community organizations, faith-based organizations, businesses, not-for-profits.  *Link to CPS’s paperwork on what a CAC is.

- How do I become a member?
There is an application that is filled out and sent to CPS directly *link to application* through fax or mail (details are at the end of the application).  Individuals who apply are considered part of the “CAC board” as members.  Members will be involved in making decisions and kept abreast of information along the way.  Organizations can fill out one application for the whole group to become a member or an individual can apply as a representative from that group.

- Can I come to the meetings if I’m not a member?
YES!  All monthly meetings are open to the community and we encourage people to attend when they can!

- Can I help if I am not a member?
Yes!  You are welcome to volunteer to help in anyway even if you are not a member of the CAC.

- Is there a certain number of members needed for a CAC?
CPS gives a guideline of 20-25 members but that is just a suggestion.  The Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC was formed officially in February 2014 with 21 members and we expect that number to grow!

- Will the applications be capped off at a certain number?
No.  Although there is a deadline on the application of February 28, 2014, applicants who find out about the CAC after that date or decide to join later will not be turned away.  Please note that some work will already be rolling but it will be easy to get up to speed!

- When are the meetings?
The Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC meets every 4th Wednesday at Kenwood Academy HS, at 6p.  We work hard to end the meetings by 7:30p.

- What is the leadership structure?
Currently there are 2 Co-Chairs and 2 Co-Secretaries who are interim leaders until the end of the school year (June) when the CAC as a whole will reassess this structure.  Each Work Group (see next question for more on Work Groups) also has a chair.  

- How is the work getting done?
Right now there are Work Groups that have been formed, which will morph into Committees as the needs of the schools are more defined.  So far, the Work Groups are: Strategic Planning, Rapid Response/Steering, PR/Outreach, and By-Laws.  *link to work group descriptions*  These groups discuss and meet outside of the monthly meeting as they deem is necessary and report back to the larger group.  Currently you do not need to be a member of the CAC through the application process to volunteer to work with one of the Work Groups.

- What is the “work” being done?
The CAC will work with CPS to create a vision for our neighborhood schools.  This involves research and gathering data about the schools and discussing/creating a strategic plan with a longer-term perspective but that might have urgent needs. Some work has been started through the discussion process to prioritize some school issues.  *Link to 3-point plan*  Please note that these documents are working documents to be revisited and adjusted as the CAC develops.

- Can the CAC really have a “say” in our schools?
There are currently 9 CACs in Chicago including Hyde Park/Kenwood.  The other 8 CACs were developed a few years ago in neighborhoods that saw a lot of school actions.  As decisions were made, the CACs were at the table with CPS.  
Bringing together community stakeholders to discuss how to support our neighborhood schools- this, in and of itself, is very important.  Funding is limited and CPS has a large structure and mandates already in place.  We can make our voices heard, however.

- Is the CAC really just a front to save Canter and/or Dyett schools?  What if I am opposed on those issues?
The birth of the CAC was in response to the closing of schools in Hyde Park/Kenwood.  This was the catalyst, yes, but the overall mission has grown beyond individual schools.  The driving factor was the lack of authentic community voice when major decisions were being made about our schools.  The CAC will support all neighborhood schools and create an overarching strategic plan that addresses the needs of our community.  However, Canter and Dyett remain “hot topics” that will be discussed.  If you find yourself on the opposite side with any individual on any argument related to schools, we urge you to attend and become involved in the discourse with the CAC.  We need to work together to hear all perspectives and then create a plan that helps to strengthen the Pre-K to 12th grade continuum in Hyde Park/Kenwood.

- What is the difference between the HPKCAC and the HPKCC?
The HPKCAC is the Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council.  This is the group that you have been reading about in this FAQ and the blog you are on.  The “CAC” as it is commonly known, is supported by and heavily connected to CPS.  This allows for access to CPS officials, information directly from CPS, and communication with CPS.

The HPKCC is the Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Conference, which has a Schools Committee.  The HPKCC has been around for a very long time and is broader in its mission.  The Schools Committee of the HPKCC works hard to support the neighborhood schools and is independent from CPS entirely.

There has been some confusion about the two, as the Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Conference’s Schools Committee took the initiative to form the Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC.  Although the Schools Committee launched the process to form a CAC, the groups are different but certainly share the same desires to support our schools.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Important Dates- School Fairs, Diverse Student Expo, Pre-K registration.

We have a massive amount of information with regards to dates and upcoming events...

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT RESOURCE FAIR- Curie High School Statewide College Dreamers Conference
- March 22, 9a-2p, @ Illinois Institute of Technology, 3241 S. Federal St.
*Register at

UCHICAGO UPWARD BOUND-  Recruitment Orientation
- March 22, 10a-11:30a, @ University of Chicago Cobb Hall 102, 5811 S. Ellis
* RSVP by calling 773-702-8288 or emailing
* For 8th-10th graders, HS students must have unweighted GPS of 2.5 or higher
* Target areas are: Douglas, Greater Grand Crossing, Woodlawn, or Washington Park OR attend either Hyde Park, Phillips, or Hirsch High Schools.

- March 26- 5p-7p, @ DePaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave.

- March 10, 2014 - already past
- April 28, 2014- 5p-7p, @ Urban Partnership Bank, 7801 S. State Street
- May 3, 2014- 2p-4p, @ Pilgrim Baptist Church of South Chicago, 3235 E. 91st St

- March 29, 2014- 10a-2p, @UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
*List of HSs signed up to be there to come!
*Transportation from various points around the city available, including between this HS fair and the Parent Empowerment Expo

- March 29, 2014- registration 8a-9a, event 9a-4p, @ Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 South Lake Shore Drive
*Special education and disability resource fair for parents, family members, and caregivers of CPS students receiving special education services and supports.

- Enrollment now happening for CPS pre-K programs.  Get info from your local school or visit website above.

Report of the Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development

This is the report from the Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development- an appointed group by the mayor to give guidelines about what to do with the schools that will be shuttered this year.

Repurposing Report

10-Year Educational Facilities Master Plan for CPS

We are hoping to have someone from the facilities department at CPS come to our meeting next week to talk about the 10-Year Educational Facilities Master Plan.

Here is the link to the 10-Year Facilities Plan for CPS.  A daunting document at 450+ pages, but it is promoted as a working document.  Please peruse as you can-- we hope to have a CPS official at the next CAC meeting to address some issues and answer questions.

CPS 10-Year Educational Facilities Master Plan *corrected link as of 3/26/14
Bronzeville neighborhood section is on page 136 (includes King, Dyett, Reavis)
Hyde Park neighborhood section is on page 212 (includes rest of schools)
Speaks to CAC involvement on page 68
*corrected pages/links as of 3/26/14, the previous information was for the earlier draft of the plan, not the final draft given to the board in Sept.  Apologies for the error.

To search by specific schools, go to this webpage and use the search tool at the bottom.  Once you get to the school's page, you need to go to the 'Reports' tab, scroll down to 'Building' and click on 'Educational Facilities'.

Links to specific schools' information in plan:



Monday, March 10, 2014

Next Meeting- Wednesday, March 26

Come, join, participate in creating a VISION for our community schools!

You are invited to the
Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Action Council (CAC) Meeting
6pm @ Kenwood HS, King Room
*Mixer with refreshments will start at 5:30p across the hall*

We are inviting STUDENTS from the neighborhood schools to come!  
Please help us spread the word to any students who are interested in representing their school on the CAC.

Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC will regularly meet every 4th Wednesday at 6p at Kenwood HS.             

Visit for the application, minutes from past meetings, documents, announcements, and information.  

All monthly meetings are open to the community. Email with any questions.

For assistance or additional information please contact:     
Carl Hurdlik at 773.553-1554 ( or  
Brenda Bell at 773.553-1538 (

CPS has extended the deadline for filing paperwork to run for Local School Councils!
The Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC encourages you to

Paperwork deadline is now March 14th.  
Stop by your local school to ask for an application and information.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

LSC Paperwork due FRIDAY! See which schools need YOU to step up!

From CPS, regarding paperwork being filed for LSC elections.  *DEADLINE IS FRIDAY!!*

As of March 6th @7am, here are the latest totals:

Kenwood -  0 parents/ 0 community/ 0 teachers
Dyett- 0 parents/ 0 community/ 0 teachers
King-  0 parents/ 0 community/ 0 teachers 
Ray- 7 parents/ 2 community/ 1 teacher
Harte- 0 parents/ 0 community/ 0 teachers *with 5 being sent in since this update, not sure of breakdown.
Kozminski- 1/0/0
Murray- 1/1/2
Robinson- 2/2/0
Reavis- 4/0/2
Shoesmith- 0/0/0

Work Group Meetings- Please come! Strategic Planning and Rapid Response/Steering Scheduled.

Some work groups have scheduled meetings outside of the monthly CAC meeting.  Please come if you are interested!

STRATEGIC PLANNING:  Wednesday, March 12 from 7-8:30 pm at the Reynold's Club, 5706 S. University - enter at 56th St, look for us on 1st floor.  We’ll discuss goals for the working group and report back to the entire CAC at our next meeting on March 26.

RAPID RESPONSE/STEERING: Thursdays, March 20, 27, April 3, 10-- 4:30p-5:30p  in the Meeting Room at Blackstone Library.  Please attend at least one of the four meetings if not more.  

Topics for Discussion:
1)  Turn around for CAC Liaison response.  I have not heard if we will be supplied with flyers for the schools that don't have organized LSCs by March 14th.  I was emailed King, Kenwood, Harte, Shoesmith, and Dyett.  These schools should have flyers with community event incentives by the March 14th deadline..Maybe CPS-LSC department can bring out paraphernalia at dismissal.  Can we get this organized before the 14th?
2)  Support for Murray's resolution to stop high stakes testing.
3)  Ineligibility for substitute teachers to run for positions on LSCs.
4)  3 Point Plan
5)  By-laws with Roberts rules of order

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Want to volunteer? Find Work Group Descriptions here.

Here is a link to a description of the Work Groups developed so far with the Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC.  Please consider volunteering to help with the work being done!

Description of Work Groups (February 2014)

Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC to meet 4TH WEDNESDAY of every month, 6p, Kenwood HS

We have set a regular meeting time- the Hyde Park/Kenwood CAC will meet the 4th Wednesday of every month at 6p at Kenwood HS.  We will still send out invitations and post information on the blog, but go ahead and mark your calendars through June!!

- March 26
- April 23
- May 28
- June 25

FAQs about the CAC

We will be posting soon a series of FAQs about the CAC to keep everyone informed about the process and what is what.  If you have a question, please email it to  Thanks!

Minutes from past meetings for your reference...

Below are links to the minutes from past meetings so that everyone can see where the CAC has been and how it developed so far.  We will make an effort to post all meeting minutes for those who might miss some meetings.

Minutes from December 19, 2013 meeting

Minutes from January 8, 2014 meeting

Minutes from January 22, 2014 meeting

Minutes from February 3, 2014 meeting

Minutes from February 19, 2014 meeting

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Schools needing LSC candidates

As of February 26th, these schools in our neighborhood had no one on file as running for LSC.  Of course, this does not mean that no one is running, but just that no one has filed the paperwork to run.  Some may be waiting until last minute.  Regardless, please spread the word to anyone you know how valuable it is to be a part of a LSC.  It is the only elected entity to help run our schools and is comprised of teachers, community members, and parents.  

Dyett HS
Kenwood HS
King HS