Chicago Public Schools Guide

mays1.jpgThe CPS Guide primarily links to selected sections of web sites developed by the Chicago Public Schools, including databases with performance and demographic data for each school. It also includes information compiled by Catalyst, such as longitudinal citywide data and suspensions by school. We welcome your suggestions for additions and improvements. Send an e-mail to editorial@catalyst-chicago.org.

Catalyst CPS Guide

The employee directory lets you search (by last name, first name or department) and browse (by last name or first name) all CPS employees.

The City Council lets you click on a map to find your alderman, or search by ward number or the alderman's name. A seating chart shows where each alderman sits when the Council is in session.

Alderman and ward information, as well as committee assignments, the council's calendar, rules of order, and a record of recent roll-call votes.

The House of Representatives has a member directory with a separate page for each member, including a photo and short bio, as well as contact info. 

TheIllinois Senate has a member directory with a separate page for each member, including a photo and short bio, as well as contact info. 

 A searchable lobbyist information database is available from the Secretary of State's web site.

Search by zip code to find your local representative.

Search by zip code to find your local senator.

Keep up-to-date with all the key events of the school year, including holidays and student days off.

The six-member panel, appointed by the mayor, oversees the Chicago Public Schools and crafts its policies. The Board meets once a month. The CPS page provides access to a schedule of Board meetings (typically held on the morning of the third Wednesday of the month) and agendas for past and upcoming meetings.  

A CPS department directory includes phone and fax numbers; it links to pages with the director's name and contact info.

CPS’ school progress report cards for the 2011-2012 school year include extensive data, from measures of parent involvement to growth in test scores, presented in two formats: a PDF for every school and a spreadsheet that includes all the data for all schools. (Charter schools do not have the same testing and reporting requirements as traditional schools and are not included.)

What's better, what's not: Data on key measures of school improvement under Mayor Daley show that progress is better weighed by the ounce than by the pound. With initiatives stretched thin, where will reform get its heft?

School autonomy all over the map: Driven by a belief in school choice, Chicago has created a layered cake of autonomy and accountability that has educators feeling their way and anxious about what's next. Results are unclear.

Catalyst has compiled selected data from the Illinois State School Report Cards going back to 1987.

The CPS web site offers a wide variety of data (e.g. test scores, student demographics and promotion and graduation rates) at the school, area and citywide levels. Some data sets may be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet.

This CPS web page includes such basic facts as the number of schools and citywide student demographics for the most recent year available.

This CPS web page shows the standing of each school under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Academic and enrichment programs are designed to provide learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. This page includes links to information about: Advanced Placement, arts education, CPS Virtual High Schools, early childhood, Gifted and Enriched Academic Programs, Global Classroom/Model UN, International Baccalaureate, JROTC, language, homeschooling, literacy, magnet clusters, math and science, Smaller Learning Communities, summer learning opportunities, specialty academies, and more.

CPS offers additional academic programs before and after the regular school day, including After School Matters, athletics, College Bridge, driver education, and more.

CPS has designed a variety of programs to help meet students' needs, including: Gear Up, AVID, alternative education, distance learning, Freshmen Connection, Graduation Pathways, homeless education, college and career prep information, service learning, specialized services and summer quest.

Learn about the programs CPS uses to ensure health and safety, including information about Children and Family Benefits, nutrition programs, school health services, safety and security, transportation, and more.

This summary covers the original 1988 act, which created local school councils, and the 1995 amendments, which put mayoral appointees in control of the school system.

These state web pages contain the laws that pertain to the Board of Education in cities with more than 500,000 residents - namely, Chicago. There are other Chicago-only sections that deal with bonds and tax anticipation warrants, working cash funds and budgets and appropriations. To read these sections, look for Article 34 in the Illinois School Code.

This web page links to a guide and text posted by the Illinois Attorney General.

This state web page is a gateway to bills, laws, reports, members and other information.

No Child Left Behind Act (a summary)

This is a summary of the act by Education Week, the national newspaper of record on education.

No Child Left Behind Act (a summary)

This is a summary of the act by Education Week, the national newspaper of record on education.

This is a summary of the act by Education Week, the national newspaper of record on education.

No Child Left Behind Act (full text)

This federal web page is an index to the full text of the act.

No Child Left Behind Act (full text)

This federal web page is an index to the full text of the act.

This federal web page is an index to the full text of the act.

This CPS web page allows users to check capital improvement plans for individuals schools.

This 2005 study by Catalyst found that from the perspective of student-based budgeting, schools with the fewest poor students and schools with selective enrollments have padded budgets. At the other end of the funding scale, large and overcrowded schools, many of which are mostly Latino, are likely to be shortchanged. Catalyst calculated a budget equity index for each school, for various types of schools (e.g. high schools, small schools, magnet schools) and for each of the city's 77 official community areas.

This CPS document provides detailed information for principals, administrative staff and Local School Councils about preparing and managing school budgets.

This CPS web page is a gateway for annual budgets beginning in 2003, financial bond statements and annual financial statements going back to 2001.

This CPS page provides a list of state, federal, and foundation grants available to schools, a grant writer's guide, a deadline calendar and a searchable database of grants.

This CPS web page allows users to find the 2005 allocations from these programs for every school.

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