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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:23pm
Wed Dec 18, 2013

Is The CPS Safe Passage Program Keeping Students Safe?

Some parents and education activists say the Chicago Public Schools' expanded Safe Passage program that launched this year has been working well to keep students safe. But others argue that the program is simply a "roll of the dice" when it comes to young people's safety. 

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
11:58am
Thu Nov 7, 2013

Hundreds Protest For A Vote On Immigration Reform, Block Traffic In Chicago (VIDEO)

More than 100 people were given citations for blocking traffic Wednesday night as a massive immigration reform rally interrupted traffic at the Clark Street and Congress Parkway intersection, near the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters building in Chicago. Progress Illinois was there for the action.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:39pm
Mon Aug 26, 2013

First Day Of School Causes Headaches For Some New Ellington Elementary Parents (VIDEO)

The first day of school was a breeze for some Edward K. Ellington Elementary parents, but it was chaotic for others who were sending their children to the West Side “welcoming school” for the first time.

Ellington, located in Chicago's Austin community, is receiving students this academic year from nearby Robert Emmet Elementary and Francis Scott Key Elementary, both of which shut down in June due to the district’s reported underutilization crisis. Ellington’s enrollment has now jumped from about 350 students to more than 800.

Chricia Johnson’s son and daughter, who previously attended Key, were not able to enjoy their first day of school due to a registration mix-up at Ellington. Johnson said she registered both of her children at Ellington before school started, but only her daughter was on the list today. Her son had been enrolled at Thomas Chalmers Specialty Elementary School, located outside of the Austin community.

“It was a lot of blame [today] and no one taking responsibility,” Johnson said just before school let out for the day. “This is ridiculous. They pretty much ruined the school system. They ruined our kids' education.”

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
12:15pm
Mon Aug 26, 2013

CPS Students Head Back To School, Safe Passage Program Takes Center Stage

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students have made their way back to class today, marking the first day of school since the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 50 neighborhood schools in May. Forty-eight of those schools were closed in June. 

Today is also the first day the expanded Safe Passage program has gone into effect, which is meant to help students safely travel to and from school as thousands of children trek to unfamiliar schools this year as a result of the closings. Many of the welcoming schools are located farther away from students' homes than their previous school, leading critics of the closings to say the move puts children at an increased risk of falling prey to gang violence or predators. Just one day before school began, a 28 year-old man was shot along a Safe Passage route and a 14 year-old boy was shot and killed less than a block away from Melody Stem School, a West Side welcoming school. Nonetheless, CPS insists the hundreds of workers in the Safe Passage program will provide students with the necessary security and supervision needed to keep them safe.

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