THE SCAB SCHOOLS PLAN OF 2012... Brizard's Scab Schools letter to parents draws more and more anger as it becomes clear that the Emanuel administration wants to force confrontations on the picket lines on September 10

The letter to parents, sent by CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard to all CPS parents (and some former parents that CPS hasn't bothered to remove from its email list) is drawing more and more hostility from real parents in the real world, as more and more parents are realizing that the Scab Schools (being called "Children First") are insulting examples of babysitting, on a half day basis, and an attempt to exploit children by forcing the children of working class parents to cross the picket lines of striking teachers. More and more, teachers and parents are preparing to thwart Brizard's plans, which remind veteran teachers of the silly attempt 30 years ago by another CPS chief (Ruth Love) to force the same confrontations.

BELOW: Brizard's Scab Schools Letter of September 7, 2012. It was distributed to parents in four languages.

EDear Parent, Guardian or Caregiver:

We began this school year with the promise of the full school day for our students, providing them with more quality time in the classroom with our teachers. Last week, the leadership of the Chicago Teacher’s Union announced its decision to strike on September 10, 2012. I want to assure you that we are meeting with CTU every day; we are still negotiating and we are hopeful they will reach an agreement before any disruption to our students’ learning. No one will be hurt more by a strike than our children, and we know they belong in the classroom with their teachers.

In the event that the leadership of the CTU chooses to strike, we all need to be prepared to serve our students and families. All parents should prepare to identify their own alternative options for their children. However, we recognize that this puts a strain on many families who do not have alternative options; for those who have exhausted all other means of identifying safe child care and other activities for their children, CPS will open 144 Children First sites throughout our city.

These Children First sites will available for students most in need of support, and will include daily breakfast and lunch and a safe environment. While state law does not allow us to provide instruction, sites will provide students with positive activities to keep them engaged. The sites will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and will include elementary and high schools as well as special education cluster sites. Every CPS student has been assigned a designated site in their community that is not necessarily their regular school. If you need to send your child to a Children First site, please sign up your child in advance to help ensure that the staff at the site is prepared for any needs they may have. Please visit to sign up your child using their student ID number. If you cannot sign up your child online, please call 311.

Your child’s student ID number can be found on all CPS progress reports and student report cards or by visiting the Manage Students page in the CPS Parent Portal accessible through Parents of high school students can also find their student’s ID number on their child’s identification card. If parents are unable to find their child’s ID number, your principal can provide you with that information. Please see the reverse side of this letter for additional information on the CPS Children First plan.

CPS will continue to communicate with you via email, letters, calls, text messages and other communications tools to ensure you remain updated as we continue to negotiate with the CTU and work towards a solution that is fair for our teachers and keeps our students in school. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work every day to reach an agreement with the CTU to avoid any disruptions to your children's learning.

Please keep an eye out for alerts about the progress we are making towards a fair agreement and the status of school on Monday. Between parents coming together, faith based organizations opening their doors, select CPS Children First locations and help from sister agencies and our non-profit partners, we can work in partnership to ensure that children – especially those most at risk – get the critical services they need.

Sincerely, Jean-Claude Brizard Chicago Public Schools CEO

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, 125 S. Clark Street, 5th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60603

BELOW: FAQs. Brizard's September 7, 2012 version of the outline of the Scab Schools (the second page of the September 7 letter). The FAQs.

Children First Q&A

How many CPS sites will be open?

CPS will open 144 Children First Sites including general elementary and high school sites. Elementary and high school students will attend separate sites. To see a list of all sites, please visit

Will this be a normal school day?

No. The Children First Sites should be considered a safety net for parents that have exhausted other means of safe child care and activities for their children. No instruction will be provided. However, students will be able to participate in positive activities to keep them engaged.

How were these sites selected?

Children First sites were selected based on the size and location of the building, with preference given to those with air conditioning, a gym, a cafeteria, computer labs and proximity to public transportation. Can students come and go from the building at any time during the day? No, students will be expected to be at their site the entire day, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Who will be staffing the sites?

Children First sites will be staffed by principals, assistant principals, Central Office staff and non-CTU employees, as well as staff from vendors who submitted a request for proposals (RFP) to help staff schools and provide programming. All individuals working at Children First sites will have undergone a background check.

Do students need to be signed up to attend a designated CPS site? Parents are encouraged to sign up their children in advance to help ensure that the staff at the site are prepared for any needs a child may have. Information and sign-up tools are available at to help parents identify nearest sites, sign their student up and provide additional information and assistance. Parents may also call 311 to assist with registration or with any questions. Student ID numbers will be needed to sign up.

Does CPS have a way to help parents find their child’s student ID? For security reasons, we will not be issuing student ID numbers over the phone or online. The student ID number can be located on all CPS progress reports and report cards or by visiting the Manage Students page in the CPS Parent Portal that can be accessed through Parents of high school students can also find their child’s ID number on their student identification card. If parents are unable to find their child’s ID number, the information can be provided by their principal.

Will food be provided?

Yes. All students attending a Children First site will get daily breakfast and lunch at no cost.

Will transportation be provided?

CPS will not be able to provide students with transportation to or from sites, but reimbursement will be available for the parents of special education, homeless and students with a 504 plan.

How will I know if there is a strike?

While CTU has set a strike date for September 10, that does not necessarily mean there will be a strike. We are meeting every day, and doing everything possible to avoid a disruption to our students and their learning. We will continue to provide you with updates, but please also play close attention to the media.

For more detailed information please visit or call 311


September 9, 2012 at 12:10 PM

By: Kent Jones

Parent Support

Every single parent at my school, that I have spoken to, is 100% in support of the CTU's efforts in securring clinicians, a/c that actually works, and arts for all. They can also do the math, with one parent remarking "How can CPS keep saying that you are not working any longer than last year if our school is open one hour longer? What do they think you do during your free time; read the paper?" Exactly!

My in-laws ask "what about the lottery?" TIF perhaps.

My neighbor, "you're a taxpayer, right?" Yes I am.

Another parent inquires why the Democrats are jumping on the union-busting bandwagon and why the CTU keeps endorsing them. Actually we don't. In the last mayoral race we endorsed no one, however had we endorsed Emanuel we may have avoided all this.

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

2 + 3 =