SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS
When stay-at-home orders were enacted in cities nationwide, technology became our way of learning, working, socializing, connecting, and even distracting ourselves from the challenges facing home and society. By focusing on positive activities and using technology to build healthy connections, students can manage the screen-time grind.
This year posed many challenges for our students and staff. But instead of writing off 2019-20, our team greeted each obstacle with an innovation and tenacity that gives new meaning to how we recognize success this season. Here’s how CIS of Chicago has been working to help our students feel safe and supported, so that they can continue on the path to graduation.
Student Supports Manager Diamond Howard knows first-hand the impact that a caring adult has in one person’s life. As she looks back on her personal journey, Diamond raises concern for how today’s students will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — and what we can do as a community to support today’s young people.
SURROUNDING STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS WITH A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT
For CPS’ 26,000 eighth graders, the final semester of 2019–20 was fraught with fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic, but our Student Supports Managers were there to make sure that their eighth graders finished the school year strong and had the tools they needed to start high school remotely.
How has CIS of Chicago been able to pivot programs and services so that we can continue serving students, families, and partners during COVID-19? A huge reason is the strong relationships we’ve built over the past 32 years. Our partners have responded heroically to the new charge — and so have our staff members.
Dr. Judith Allen, Chief Operating Officer, shares her guidance for parents as they navigate both working and homeschooling. The most important aspect for creating structure for students is consistency and continuity, she said.
INNOVATING AND ADAPTING
As school communities prepare for an unprecedented fall semester, Dr. Judith Allen, Chief Operating Officer, joined WBBM’s Rob Hart for a discussion about what CIS of Chicago has learned from pivoting our work.
Field Supervisor Kyla Gilmore ventured back to the CIS of Chicago office on Van Buren on a sunny day in March, and the sight — and silence — of the empty suite prompted her to reflect on the heart of our work and the imperative of our mission.