May 19, 2023

A Note From CPS Leadership

Click here to view this letter in Spanish, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Filipino, Polish, Ukrainian, Urdu, or Vietnamese.
Dear CPS Colleagues, Families, and Supporters,

The school year may be winding down, but our city is beginning an exciting new chapter. I had the privilege earlier this week to attend the inauguration of Mayor Brandon Johnson, a former educator in Chicago’s public schools. I appreciate the unique perspective that Mayor Johnson brings to this role, and I look forward to partnering with him to continue moving our schools forward and ensure that every child, no matter their race, zip code, or country of origin, has access to the high-quality education they need to achieve their dreams.

Reminder to Explore CPS’ Summer Programs!
Students in a summer cooking class
CPS is currently preparing for its summer programming, which runs from June 26 through August 4. Programs include: 

  • Academic programs for students who need additional support.
  • Enrichment opportunities for students who want to go above and beyond academically, including our Summer of Algebra program that prepares students to take more advanced math courses in high school.
  • Athletic programs for children who are passionate about sports, and enrichment activities in other exciting areas like the arts and STEM.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps that will give students in grades 6–9 the chance to complete hands-on career-focused projects and learn from industry professionals.
  • Transition programs such as Preview to Pre-K, Kick-Off to Kindergarten, and Freshman Connection. 

Details and registration information for all of these programs can be conveniently found in one place at This website will be updated as details are finalized, so please check it regularly. Families can also contact their principals to find out what programming will be available at their specific school.

Summer programs and other opportunities, including job opportunities, will also be offered through the District’s partner organizations such as One Summer Chicago, My CHI, My Future, the Chicago Park District, and the Chicago Public Library.

Honoring our CPS Crossing Guards
Before our students even step foot on school grounds in the morning, most are greeted by one of CPS’ 700-plus crossing guards. Their most obvious and important job is shepherding our kids safely across Chicago’s busy intersections as they travel to and from school. But they are also a key part of the village CPS is working to build for our students: a village of caring adults who support our children across many roles, but who all have the same goal of ensuring their happiness, safety, and success.
A group of four crossing guards smiling
We gathered earlier this week for a celebration to thank our crossing guards for their service throughout the school year. Each received a commemorative pin that I hope they will wear with pride as they continue supporting our students every day.
A close up of a
We also honored four CPS crossing guards with the 2023 Crossing Guard of the Year Award for going above and beyond for the students in the areas where they serve. Each of these exemplary crossing guards was nominated by a member of their school community who has seen them make a difference in the lives of children.
A photo of Marquetta Jones accepting her award
Marquetta Jones, who assists students as they cross the intersection of 55th and Rockwell in Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood, has been a part of the Carson Elementary School community since 2015. A graduate of CPS schools, Marquetta works hard to form bonds with the community, even learning Spanish so that she can improve her communication with the students and families she serves.
A photo of Consuelo Reyes accepting her award
Consuelo Reyes, who crosses Zapata Elementary students at 27th and Kostner, has lived in Chicago’s Little Village community since the age of four. She has been supporting the Zapata community for more than 20 years, and now regularly serves the children of parents she once helped guide across the street. Consuelo’s daughter and two grandchildren are current CPS students, and they often comment on how she is known to everyone in the Little Village community.
A photo of Gwennette Scott accepting her award
Gwennette Scott, who guides Lincoln Elementary students across the intersection of Kempner and Geneva Terrace in Lincoln Park, is relatively new to the crossing guard role, and finds it gratifying to know that she is seeing students safely to and from school. A product of CPS schools, Gwennette is a proud graduate of Otis Elementary and Wells Community High School, and is now honored to be a valued member of the Lincoln Elementary community.
A photo of Briana Wright accepting her award
And Briana Wright, who helps the students of Fuller Elementary safely navigate the intersection of 42nd and St. Lawrence in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, goes above and beyond to create a bond with her students, even inviting their families to summer barbecues to get to know them better. A graduate of Chicago’s DuSable High School and Kennedy-King College, Briana has served as a crossing guard for seven years and finds it a privilege to support students in the community where she has lived her entire life.

As a CPS parent, I understand the peace of mind that crossing guards provide to our families as they send their children out the door to school each day. I thank them for being trusted adults that our students know they can count on, and for role modeling safe and responsible behavior on our city’s busy streets. I am glad that we could honor our crossing guards this week, and I urge everyone in our CPS community to take a moment before the school year ends to let the crossing guards in your life know how much you appreciate their service. 

Finally today, I want to kick off graduation season by sharing this powerful video from this week’s Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) graduation. I had the pleasure of attending this ceremony, where 94 young people interested in pursuing careers in public safety, law enforcement, criminal justice, and fire science celebrated their completion of this two-year training program. I applaud these students for their accomplishment, and for their desire to serve their communities in such critically-important ways. I look forward to attending more graduations in the coming weeks as we celebrate the CPS Class of 2023.


Pedro Martinez
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools

Help Us Highlight Your School
One of our goals for 2023 is to highlight more of the amazing things that are happening day-to-day in our schools, along with the people who are making them happen. There is no better source for this good news than you — the members of our school communities — so we hope you will consider sharing your stories by completing this brief form.

Help us show the world that the best are with CPS! Fill out this form so that we can share your stories in this newsletter, on our District’s blog, and across our CPS social media channels.
Ms. BryAnna Sumbry smiling in front of a bulletin board
Staff Spotlights
Teacher Appreciation Week may have wrapped up earlier this month, but one week just wasn’t enough to highlight all of our amazing teachers. This week, we’re proud to feature Ms. BryAnna Sumbry, a first-year teacher at Metcalfe Community Academy. Ms. Sumbry focuses on giving her students choices and flexibility so they can determine how they learn best. Not only has this helped them academically, but it’s been key to Ms. Sumbry’s success with effective classroom management.

And we’re also thrilled to highlight Ms. Cynthia Ibarra, a veteran educator from Seward Communications Arts Academy. She views professional development as a crucial part of creating engaging instruction. For example, she’s participated in the Yale National Fellows program three times! This time around, she is working on a unit about environmental injustice, which she believes will excite her students because of their interest in climate change.
The Marine Leadership Academy Change of Command Ceremony
A Look Around the District
Marine Leadership Academy held its Change of Command Ceremony, a tradition where the outgoing cadet battalion commander symbolically relinquishes responsibility and authority by passing the colors to the incoming cadet battalion commander, beginning a change in leadership for the new school year.

Culinary students from Graham and Southside Occupational schools recently visited the Spring Special Olympics at Dunbar Park for their Capstone Projects. At the event, students taught athletes about nutritious foods and how to make them and even provided live cooking demonstrations.

Providence Englewood Charter School hosted its 16th Annual Career Day to illustrate achievement through people whose success stories are parallel to the school’s mission to work, plan, build, and dream. 

At Finkl Elementary, 6–8 grade students in the moderate cluster program started Café 216, a full-service coffee shop. The café has helped students gain functional life skills while serving coffee to parents, faculty, and staff.

350+ CPS students from schools all over the District attended the second annual Spring Robotics Showcase at Truman College. Teams came together in competition and cooperation to showcase what they learned in CS/STEM robotics this year.

Finally, we would like to congratulate Jaylen Trice, a student at Woodson Elementary, for his recent Do the Write Thing Challenge awards. Jaylen was one of two writers selected for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Chicago at the national student gathering!
Important Information for Families Receiving Medicaid Benefits
We want to let families know that the federal government has now ended the COVID-19 public health emergency. During the public health emergency, families receiving Medicaid were automatically re-enrolled in the program. But now that the public health emergency is ending, families will again need to renew their Medicaid benefits starting this year.

The State of Illinois will begin mailing out renewal forms beginning this month. If your family currently receives Medicaid benefits, we strongly encourage you to make sure your contact information in the state’s database is up-to-date so you can receive your renewal form.

Here are the steps you need to take now:
  • Visit
  • Click “Manage My Case” to log in to your account.
  • Verify and update your mailing address under “Contact Us.”
OR, you can use the Report Medicaid Change of Address Form to quickly update your address.

Updating your address will ensure that you receive your renewal information on time. After that, watch your mail for your renewal form and complete the form within 30 days. If you don’t remember your login and password, or if you are currently not receiving Medicaid benefits and think you are eligible, call the Healthy CPS Hotline at 773-553-KIDS (5437) or fill out an