From Chicago Sun-Times by Fran Spielman:
Chicago Public School officials started reaching out to parents Thursday — through letters, text messages, robo-calls and in a “tele-town hall” meeting — to reassure them that their children will be fed, supervised and occupied in the event of a teachers strike.

Last week, the Board of Education authorized $25 million in spending on a contingency plan if teachers walk off the job for the first time since 1987.

Now that the union has turned up the heat by issuing a 10-day notice of a strike, meaning teachers could walk out as early as Sept. 10, CPS is outlining broad details of the board’s plan to keep kids safe for at least part of the day.

The plan includes opening 145 schools between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The schools will be staffed by principals, assistant principals, central office employees, parent volunteers and other non-CTU staff.

Elementary and high school students will be housed in separate facilities, but all participating students will receive a cold breakfast and lunch “that meet USDA requirements,” officials said. Parents will be able to register their kids online.

A so-called “request-for-proposals” (RFP) due back Tuesday invites community groups, non-profits and other organizations to help “staff schools and provide non-instructional programming.” The request requires no more than 25 students for every staff member, a “security-to-student ratio” capped at 100 to 1 and that all supervisors staff be required to pass background checks.

“While academic instruction will not be provided [because it’s prohibited by law during a teachers strike], students will participate in positive activities to keep them engaged,” according to a CPS fact sheet distributed Thursday. “Examples include arts, sports, journaling, independent reading and writing, puzzles and computer-based programs.”

As many as 80 Chicago Park District summer camps could be extended to accommodate students and 79 public libraries could be opened to them.

The fact sheet does not list specific schools that would be open during a strike.

read more>>