A Roadmap to Remote Learning (Chicago Public Schools)

A Roadmap to Remote Learning (Chicago Public Schools)

May 29, 2020 • ByNathaniel Thomas

What is Remote Learning:

Although a lot of  students will not be attending classes in person for the beginning of the 2020-2021 School Year, CPS will continue to promote and engage students in their learning through virtual and non-virtual platforms. Remote learning will allow students to continuously learn and engage with their teachers and school staff on various platforms. CPS is working to provide Chrome-books to students so that they may engage with remote learning. These Chrome-books may be picked-up during school “Computer Pick Up Hours” and students/parents should check their school’s website for more information.

Navigating Remote Learning (Virtual and Non-Virtual)

It’s very important to note that each school has its own plans and expectations for remote learning, so please check your school’s website.

Virtual Remote Learning can take place across various platforms that are unique to each student’s classes. Platforms include Google Meets, Google Classroom, Math XL, Zoom and Khan Academy. In order to access these platforms, teachers and school staff have provided access/classroom codes to students so that they may participate. Students may find these codes by reviewing their CPS emails from their teachers. Students will need to access their classrooms platforms in order to engage in remote learning.

CPS is recommending that each day students have at least four hours of engagement with their academics. This includes two hours of Virtual Classes on various platforms and two hours of Virtual Office Hours. By participating in virtual classes, students will be able to interact with teachers on various subject topics, stay up to date on weekly assignments and ask for help. Virtual office hours will allow teachers to connect and communicate with their students for support with assignments.

Teachers and school staff will communicate with students throughout the week to provide updates on remote learning for their particular class, so it is important that students check their CPS email frequently. At the beginning of each week, students will receive emails from their teachers about their plan for the week. These emails will include class meeting days/times and weekly assignments along with due dates. Students are responsible for checking their email regularly and communicating with their teachers for support with accessing these platforms and their classes.

Below are two sample remote learning schedules, one for elementary school and one for high school. Remember to check student’s school website for their weekly schedule breakdown.

Non-virtual Packets:
Paper-based packets can be found using this link. These packets include lessons and activities for elementary and high school students to work on throughout the remote learning period. Packets are updated bi-weekly so that students without access to virtual learning can still engage with their academics. If printing isn’t an option food distribution sites may provide copies.

teenage student engaging in virtual learning


You may be asking yourself, “How will my student be graded” or “Will my student get promoted to the next grade level”.

On April 30th, CPS released an official statement regarding grading and promotion for Elementary and High School Students. Key points from the statement are listed below along how students will be graded for the fourth quarter;

CPS Elementary Schools

  • – CPS is, “…recommending the Board of Education approve a modification to the promotion policy that will advance all elementary students to the next grade level in the fall.”
  • – “Students will NOT receive a fourth quarter grade that falls below their third quarter grade.”

CPS High Schools

  • CPS is “Recommending that the Board of Education waive the following non-credit bearing graduation requirements… service learning, State-mandated Assessments (SAT/DLM/AA) Constitution Test, Financial Literary and Computer Science.”

CPS Grading Criteria: https://cps.edu/coronavirus/Pages/grading.aspx

Special Education Services & Additional Resources

Chicago Public School’s will continue to provide special education services to their students throughout the remote learning period. This means that students with 504 Plans and IEPs will still be given the accommodations outlined in their special education plans. Additionally, parents should follow up with their student’s case manager/case provider for information on upcoming annual meetings. At this time, CPS will continue to hold annual meetings, however they may be held through a virtual video conference or phone call with the student’s special education team. CPS is also providing grab and go meals to students and their families at numerous pick up sites from 9am-1pm.

The Remote Learning Process is new to students, parents, teachers and support teams so remember to be patient, flexible, understanding and communicate with school staff for support.

Please check out CPS’ official page for updates.

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