Options for Chicago Students During Teachers Strike

September 10, 2012

options for students during Chicago Public Schools teachers strikeAs reported Sunday night, Chicago’s teachers went on strike Monday morning. The Chicago Public School system has implemented its Children First plan for some of the 403,000 students that attend the nation’s third-largest school district.

To read about the 144 open Children First sites and how to sign up your student, click this Chicago real estate link.

On Monday, more options became available to Chicago Public School students missing school.

*Safe Haven Churches: 59 Chicago churches will continue the “Safe Haven, Safe Summer” program to provide CPS students with structured activities in a safe space while out of school. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; breakfast and lunch will be provided by Catholic Charities.

*Chicago Park District: 78 park locations are offering half- and full-day programs, including a camp. No meals will be served at these programs. Parents must sign up their children on site.

*Chicago Public Libraries: 76 library facilities will be open for students to access books, magazines and online learning opportunities. Only students under the age of seven must be accompanied by an adult, and no registrations is required. No food will be served, but kids can bring healthy snacks to eat.

*Free transportation: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is offering free rides to CPS students weekdays between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. during the strike. The free bus and train rides are to help students get to and from one of the options listed. To get free rides, students should show their CPS ID card.

*Senior study: CPS seniors can continue their studies online so they don’t fall off-track for college. Register at

*How to help: CPS has partnered with nonprofit Chicago Cares to coordinate volunteers to help at some of these Children First locations. Want to volunteer? visit

“The choice by the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union to strike is an incredible burden on our families and children, and I want to thank Chicago’s community and faith leaders for coming together to support our students in what will be a difficult time,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

“While we can provide a safe and engaging environment for students most in need, it is not a substitute for being in class with their teachers, where our students really belong. We are committed to working with the CTU, as we have for the past few months, to find a solution that is fair for our teachers and keeps our kids in class.”

For more information about the Children First plan, visit

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