We invite you to explore our recent publications and reports.
As 2023 draws to a close, we at Kids First Chicago (K1C) find inspiration in the resilience and strength that Chicago families have shown over the past year. Recent years have reshaped our lives and underscored the importance of parent and community engagement, especially in education. Despite the challenges, Chicago parents have led the charge to break down barriers and create more opportunities for our children.
Two and a half years ago, our lives were upended by a once-in-a-century pandemic. For some of us, COVID-19 has been a significant inconvenience but, for more than 1.1 million Chicago households, it was a catastrophic disruption to daily life.
In fall 2020, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) asked Kids First Chicago (K1C) to serve as the district’s lead stakeholder engagement partner for Accountability Redesign – a multi-year initiative to create a new system for measuring school quality and performance that would be fully informed by the ideas, insights, and perspectives of our city’s diverse education stakeholders.
These last two and a half years have altered our lives in ways big and small. They’ve changed how we live, learn, and collaborate with one another. We’ve seen the authenticity and power of parents in action. Our latest impact report reflects on the past two years and what we’ve accomplished.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third-largest school district in the nation, has lost more than 100,000 students in the last 20 years. Of that, more than 60,000 left in the last decade, more than 40,000 of those in the past five years alone.
Launched in June 2020, Chicago Connected provides free, high-speed internet to Chicago families. One year later, we reflect on how the program is serving Chicagoans and how to explain to better serve students and families.
In the fall of 2016, Kids First Chicago (K1C) launched its first school search tool designed to help K1C enrollment specialists support families as they navigated Chicago’s decentralized application process. At the time, families in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had the choice of 172 high schools with nearly 500 additional program choices, making selecting schools daunting at best.
For the fourth year in a row, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released its Annual Regional Analysis (ARA)—a transparent source of data on student choice, district enrollment, and school performance information.
This handy user guide gives you “food for thought” as you navigate the Chicago Public Schools’ Annual Regional Analysis (ARA), and provides questions for consideration and/or discussion.
Kids First Chicago is committed to putting parent feedback at the heart of all that we do. In order to understand how parents experienced the new GoCPS application process, Kids First Chicago, in partnership with CPS’ Office of Access and Enrollment, conducted nine focus groups with 65 parents of CPS 8th graders across the city.
Like many, as our world began to rapidly shift as a result of COVID-19, our team hunkered down to do what we do best — ask parents what they need.