Saturday, December 26, 2020

Volunteer judges needed for CPS Decathlon on February 20, 2021

Volunteer judges are needed to judge student performances on Saturday, February 20 for the Annual Academic Decathlon. The Annual Academic Decathlon is a nationwide competition that promotes academic excellence through teamwork. Students of all achievement levels are tested on various subjects, such as Art, Economics, Music, Language Arts and Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science. Proficiency in Speech, Interview, and Essay writing is included as well. Students receive training and coaching throughout the school year in preparation to compete on a citywide and national stage. The specific content varies from year to year and is determined by the United States Academic Decathlon (USAD) Board of Directors. The 2020 topic is The Cold War. To ensure the safety of everyone and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the competition and volunteer roles have adopted a virtual format. This year they are in need of Interview and Speech Judges for the 2021 Academic Decathlon City Championship on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Specifically, they are looking for 40 speech judges and 40 interview judges for the City Championship. Your help would be greatly appreciated and would ensure a successful competition. It’s a great way to connect with students and support months of hard work. Confirmed volunteers will receive information regarding roles and responsibilities as well as training on Friday, February 5th. If this opportunity interests you, the online volunteer registration link is here. Please feel free to forward this information to family, friends, and colleagues who could benefit from this opportunity to support our youth. Also, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Anthony Mosley at Please click here for important information regarding CPS Volunteer policy and procedures. Click here for the flyer for the event.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Officers for the HPKCAC and CPS updates

Thank you to those who were able to join us for Wednesday night's HPKCAC meeting and congratulations to our new officers: Zanette Sanders (Chair) and Vicky Long (Secretary). As a follow-up, below are some upcoming events, resources, and opportunities to share: - December 14th Press Release on CPS High School Strategy - CPS Weekly Reopening Marketing Package (additional resources can be found at - New CPS Virtual Series: Ask the Expert! Ask the Expert is a weekly program offered by FACE. Ask the Expert is on Thursdays from 4 p.m.- 5 p.m. All sessions are recorded and later uploaded on the FACE YouTube channel. - Malcolm X College Project MPACT - December 19th Chicago Park District Winter Wonderland (various locations) - My CHI. My Future COVID-19 Resource Guide (health, food, housing, etc)

Friday, December 4, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on December 16 at 6:30pm

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will take place on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30 pm via googlemeets. Here is the googlemeet link: If you'd like to dial in by phone: (US) +1 347-696-8107 (PIN: 228792161) We are going to hold elections at this meeting. If you plan to run for chair or secretary, please be prepared to say a few words about your interest in the position. We'd also like to work on a one-pager about the HPKCAC that we can share with people in order to increase the number of active participants. Please see the attached drafts and come with suggestions for additional bullet points and/or other improvements.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Seats available for 8am-5pm remote learning supervision at Till Elementary Child Learning Hub

CPS is staffing a few schools around the city to offer supervision for remote learning from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. One of the locations (Till Elementary, 6543 S. Champlain) has open spots. Click here for more information.

Help with college essay and financial aid forms for HS juniors and seniors on December 3

The Maroon Tutor Match program at the UofC's Neighborhood Schools Program is offering assistance with writing college essays and filling out the financial aid forms on Thursday, December 3 from 6-7pm. Click here for the flyer. The flyer has the link to rsvp.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30pm

The HPKCAC usually meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month. Because Thanksgiving falls the day after the 4th Wednesday in November, we are moving the meeting to the 3rd Wednesday, November 18, at 6:30pm. In addition to our regular school updates, we would like to discuss the future of this CAC. It is coming time for us to hold elections for officers, but as part of that process, we want to take a look at the road ahead and assess/reassess the direction of this group and whether enough people want to keep it going. We'll start the meeting off with a short recap of our history along with the reasons why the CAC was founded and why we've kept it going. We'll then open up the floor for discussion of the following: -- Attendance at our meetings has not been robust. Should we continue to keep the Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC going? Relatedly, what would folks like to see the CAC do to make it something that more people want to participate actively in? -- There are other groups that do education-related support in the community -- LSCs, HPKCC... Is the work of the HPKCAC distinct enough that we should remain a separate group? If the HPKCAC were to fold, would it be missed? Here is the link for the meeting: Or dial in by phone: +1 385-404-5367 (PIN: 648327301)

Sign-up form to become a member of the HPKCAC

To become an official member of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council, please fill out this form and email it to Carl Hurdlik ( N.B. The small print at the end indicates that members should commit to spending 10 hours per month on CAC business. Don't let that number scare you away -- this can be as big or as small a commitment as you can make.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

The Illinois State Board of Education has an informative manual about dyslexia. Click here to see it.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Maroon Tutor Match now available for K-12 students

The 2020-2021 Maroon Tutor Match (MTM) parent application is now open. This tutoring program matches UChicago students with K-12 students for 1:1 virtual tutoring. Please feel free to sign up at this link to be matched. Tutoring rates are $14/hr. and there are limited scholarships available to local families in need of financial support. To learn more, feel free to reach out to for more information.

CPS announces new details re: voting for LSC elections on November 18 &19

CPS is allowing parents to mail in their ballots for the LSC elections on November 18 (elementary schools) and November 19 (high schools) or vote in person. Community members will need to vote in person.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on October 28 at 6:30pm

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will take place on Wednesday, October 28, at 6:30pm. Topics for the agenda include: Remote learning check-in, PreK and Cluster program return to school 2nd quarter, Dyslexia Awareness Month, LSC elections, and upcoming election for HPKCAC officers. or dial by phone: +1 304-397-0246 (PIN: 341493281) Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

High School Student Election Judges Needed

High School students who are 16 and older and are US citizens are eligible to serve as election judges and can earn up to $230 for working on November 3. Click here for more details.

Highlights from HPKCAC's September 23 presentation by Jane Fleming, Director of CPS Department of Literacy

The Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC appreciated hearing from Dr. Jane Fleming, the director of CPS's Department of Literacy at our September 23 meeting. Here are the slides she shared with us. Take a look at them to get ideas of additional resources for teachers, families, and students, especially during this period of remote learning.

Back to School event in Kenwood Academy parking lot on Saturday, September 26

There is a Back to School Event on September 26,2020 from 12pm-4pm at the Kenwood Academy Parking Lot located at 5015 S Blackstone Ave. Backpacks, school supplies, and other treats will be given out. Please click here for further details.

Greater Bronzeville CAC virtual breakfast on Saturday, September 26 to talk about remote learning

The Greater Bronzeville CAC invites families to log into their virtual breakfast on Saturday, September 26, from 10am-12pm to share information about remote learning. Click here for the link with the zoom link and/or phone number to dial in on.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on Wednesday, September 23 at 7pm

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council is Wednesday, September 23 at 7pm. We're looking forward to hearing from Jane Fleming, the director of CPS's Department of Literacy. We've asked her to speak with us about some of the ways that parents can support readers, especially beginning readers and/or those who may be struggling with learning to read during this period of remote learning.

or join by phone: (US) +1 405-703-9515 (PIN: 648996870)

Please feel free to share this announcement widely, especially with parents and teachers of beginning readers!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on Wednesday, August 26

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will take place on Wednesday, August 26 at 6pm.

Here is the link for the meeting:

to call in: (US) +1 929-324-2339 (PIN: 522531686)

Topics include updates regarding how the Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC spent the spring funds from FACE ($3000); updates regarding our meetings with various CPS folks this summer, including Dr. Jackson; information about the Fair Tax on the ballot this November; and remote learning updates. 

CPS and the City of Chicago are surveying families to better understand who may need help this fall finding a safe space for their children during traditional school hours. The survey should be completed by 5pm on August 28.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Free tutoring by high school students for K-12 students

An organization called Learn In Shelter is offering free tutoring for K-12 students. The tutors are high school students who earn volunteer credit.

The students are offering tutoring in Math, Science, English, History, Foreign Language, and Computer Science. The sessions are conducted via Zoom.

Click here for the flyer.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Zoom conference "Reimagining/Reinventing Police" on July 30-31

“Reimagining/Reinventing Police”

University of Chicago
Zoom Conference
July 30-31, 2020

The recent murder of George Floyd, the subsequent protests, and the police response are only the latest events to expose the often brutal and racialized character of policing in the United States, leading many to renew long-standing calls for police reform. Previous calls for reform led to the institution of new training modules (“bias training”) and other incremental measures, but recent events belie the shortcomings of such reforms. This two-day zoom conference will bring together leading social scientists, former police officers-turned-scholars, historians, activists and practitioners who will offer their views on how policing may be reimagined and reinvented, rather than just reformed. Speakers will discuss the promises and pitfalls of existing reforms and the potential for radically new alternatives. They will also offer critical analyses of current police practices, historical perspectives on policing, and international comparisons that can help illuminate the most promising paths ahead and the more perilous paths to avoid.

Registration is free and open to all. Email notification of the Zoom Webinar links for the conference will be emailed on Wednesday, July 29, to those who register to attend.

Fundraiser to support Kenwood Academy families with food gift cards

Community members are raising funds to support Kenwood Academy families dealing with food insecurity during these times.  

Donations through the link on Facebook are used to purchase gift cards which the principal of Kenwood distributes to families. All donations are tax deductible. Participating restaurants have been supporting the fundraiser, so the donations go further.

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

CPS seeking feedback on hybrid proposal for school this fall

CPS is seeking feedback regarding the hybrid plan for school this fall. There is an online survey to take: . Please complete the survey by July 31, 2020.

And there are virtual feedback meetings you can attend:
Virtual Feedback Meetings: The district will hold five meetings (three in English, two in Spanish) on the following dates. Participants must register in advance to participate. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

CPS Seeks Community Input on ARA on June 30, 2020

CPS uses a process called Area Regional Analysis for making decisions about schools around the city. The new website is here.

Hyde Park, Kenwood, and Woodlawn are in the Greater Bronzeville/South Lakefront Region.

There will be an opportunity for our region to provide feedback on the ARA and comment on ways we can support our schools going forward on June 30, 2020 at 5pm:

South Regions (Bronzeville / South Lakefront, Greater Stony Island, Greater Calumet, South Side):
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT

Thursday, June 4, 2020

One-day virtual conference on trauma-informed practices for schools on June 5

There is a one-day, virtual conference on June 5 on trauma-informed practices for schools following the Covid-19 crisis: Evidence-Based Guidance for How Schools Can Respond to A National Mental Health Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19.

The conference is being put on by the TREP Project -- Trauma Responsive Educational Practices Project.

The link to sign up and for more information is here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

CPS Capital Plan Virtual Community Meeting on Tuesday, May 26

CPS is holding virtual community meetings to seek community input on the district's capital plan for the 2021
fiscal year.
For families unable to attend the meetings, video recordings will be posted on the district's YouTube channel,
and presentation materials will be available in Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Polish, Urdu, and Arabic by 
late May 2020.
The meeting for the southwest region, which includes Network 9, is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26 
from 5:00-6:30pm.
Advance registration is not required but highly encouraged.

For more information and the link to register for the May 26 meeting, please click here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Free mini-courses on programming for CPS students via University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is offering two free programming classes for CPS middle school and high school students. The first meetings of the classes are May 26 and May 27, respectively.

Please see this flyer for more information and to register.

Next meeting of the HPKCAC via zoom on May 27, 2020

The next meeting of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will take place via zoom on Wednesday, May 27. We'll start the meeting at 7pm instead of 6pm and plan to end around 8pm.
Topics for the meeting include a check-in regarding how remote learning is going at our schools and an overview of the budgets for next year that were recently released. .
Here is the sign-in information. Thank you to Shaz Rasul of the University of Chicago for setting this up for us!
Join Zoom Meeting
Phone one-tap:US: +13126266799,,93900700595# or +16465588656,,93900700595#
Meeting URL:
Join by Telephone
For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
US: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or 888 788 0099 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free)
Meeting ID:939 0070 0595

Sunday, April 26, 2020

HPKCAC meetings are cancelled for the time being

Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council will not meet in person until the 'stay at home' order has been lifted. We will keep this blog spot updated.

If you have suggestions for how the HPKCAC can support our schools virtually, please email them to

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Food resources for families during the coronavirus school closure period

Beginning on Monday, April 13, CPS Grab-n-go school food program will continue to be offered at multiple sites around the city. A few of the food sites are Ray (5631 S. Kimbark), Burke (5356 S. King Drive), Dulles (6311 S Calumet), Till (6543 S Champlain), Sherwood (245 W 57th), Wadsworth (6650 S Ellis), Doolittle (535 E 35th), and Bronzeville Classical (8 W Root) from 9am-1pm. This website has more information:

Families should contact or 773-553-KIDS if they are experiencing any difficulties receiving the food. Students do not need to physically be at the schools in order for family members to receive food.

E-learning to begin on April 13, 2020 for CPS students

Here are the Remote Learning Guidelines from CPS:

Friday, March 13, 2020

HPKCAC meeting on March 25 is CANCELLED

There will be no meeting of the HPKCAC on March 25, 2020 due to the coronavirus.

We'll hope to see everyone in April.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Students invited to nominate teacher for WGN award

Students age 13 and older are invited to nominate a teacher who you feel makes a difference in your school or community. Nominations for 'Teacher of the Month' are reviewed on the 15th day of the month. Winning teachers will receive $1000 for school supplies.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on February 26, 2020

The next meeting of the HPKCAC is scheduled for Wednesday, February 26 at Dyett High School at 6pm. This is a special meeting because we'll be serving dinner. We are also asking our HPKCAC schools (Ariel, Carnegie, Harte, Kozminski, Murray, Ray, Reavis, Robinson, Shoesmith, Dyett High School, Hyde Park Academy, Kenwood Academy, and King College Prep) to each send 2 or 3 representatives to share your school's top CIWP priorities for this school year and enjoy the dinner.

Please email if you are able to attend (and the number of representatives from each school) so that we can plan correctly for the dinner. 

We haven't tried anything like this before. Hopefully this will turn out to be an enjoyable way to learn more about what the priorities are at our neighborhood schools and how the HPKCAC can be more supportive going forward.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Next meeting of the HPKCAC on January 22, 2020

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 22 at Dyett High School from 6-8pm. 

Topics for discussion include review of a draft flyer that we want to tailor for each of our HPKCAC schools regarding running for the LSC and other ways to support each school's community. (Relatedly, please see our blogspot for more information about the LSC Summit being hosted by the LSCs.4.All coalition on Saturday, January 25 at CTU.) In addition, at the meeting Syda will share some information about Title I funds at our HPKCAC schools. 

Free FAFSA Workshop on January 21 at Dyett High School at 6pm

Representatives Curtis Tarver II and Kam Buckner are offering assistance to students and families with filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on Tuesday, January 21 at 6pm at Dyett High School. 

In addition to helping students & families complete the form, there will also be information on financing college and reviewing award letters. 

Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Friday, January 10, 2020

'LSC Summit: Elections 2020' on January 25, 2020

The LSCs.4.All coalition is hosting a summit on Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 10am-2pm at Chicago Teachers Union (1901 W. Carroll Avenue). (The building is accessible via CTA and there is parking available near the building and in the parking lot.)

The LSCs.4.ALL coalition's LSC Summit: Elections 2020 is for current LSC members and those potentially interested in running for LSC. There will be a panel session and 4 workshops on how to create engaged and effective LSCs. The objective of the panel is to provide historical background and national perspective on school governance and to address the limitations of advisory LSCs. The 4 workshops include:
1) "LSC On Track: A Deep Dive on Budget, CIWP Monitoring, and Principal Evaluation”,
2) "Winning Your Race: LSC Elections",
3) "Fighting for Systemic Change: Organizing for the LSC Empowerment Bill", and
4) “What is an LSC exactly? LSC 101".

Hosted by the LSCs.4.All coalition: Lugenia Burns Hope Center, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Pilsen Alliance, Chicago United for Equity (CUE), Northside Action for Justice, Blocks Together, Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education (RYH), Chicago Teachers Union (CTU).

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Free ice skating lessons at the Midway rink on Tuesdays or Thursdays

The University of Chicago is sponsoring free ice skating lessons (led by university students) at the Midway rink from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesday or Thursday evenings. The lessons are for local children ages 7-11.

Sign up here. The spots are on a first-come, first served basis.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Social Justice Conversation and Screening of "America To Me" at Quaker House on 1/12/20

The Parent Support Network is hosting a screening of one episode of "America To Me" at the Quaker House (5615 S. Woodlawn Avenue) from 2-4pm on Sunday, January 12. The 10-part series addresses race and equity issues surrounding education and is set at Oak Park-River Forest High School.

The cost is $5; if you need babysitting services, please bring an additional $5 to pay the babysitter.

To RSVP please email Sisa Renie at

Here's the story in the Hyde Park Herald: