Here’s where you can send your kid during the CPS teachers strike

CPS has designated nearly 700 official contingency locations to host 300,000 displaced CPS students starting Thursday.

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Young students from Emmett Till Elementary partake in the Museum of Science and Industry’s innovation studio which is part of the museum’s Black Creativity exhibit.

Young students from Emmett Till Elementary partake in the Museum of Science and Industry’s innovation studio.

Sun-Times file photo

The Chicago Teachers Union is set to strike Thursday, and Chicago Public Schools has published a contingency plan for parents since the work stoppage will cancel classes for 300,000 CPS students.

The plan outlines alternative options, which include libraries, parks, community centers and other sites that will be staffed to supervise children while schools are closed.

Snacks, fruit and cold meals like sandwiches and wraps will be provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository at some library branches, YCMA sites and district locations. (Scroll down for a complete list of sites and food options.)

CPS school buildings will be open at their usual times, and principals and non-union staff will be on site providing breakfast and lunch to students and coordinating “engaging activities” to occupy the time. Students can attend any CPS school that is appropriate for their age, even if it’s not their usual school. School transportation services will not be available, but the CTA will offer free rides to CPS students.

In addition to CPS buildings, all Chicago Public Libraries will accept students, as will 18 parks, designated “Safe Haven” sites, and other community partner sites.

You can search through the full list of contingency sites using this site locator map:

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If you plan to send your student to a CPS school during the strike while classes are canceled, the district is asking that you sign up with your child’s student ID number via this online registration tool.

Alternative options include about 30 “Safe Haven” sites like St. Sabina Church, the Institute for Positive Living and Bright Star Community Outreach. Other community partner host locations include the Beverly Arts Center, five Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago locations, the Gary Comer Youth Center and many YMCAs across Chicago.

Chicago Public Library branches:

Seventy-two library locations will be open during regular hours Thursday. However, parents may not leave children under 11 unattended. Children can bring their own food, and snacks will be provided at the following locations:

  • North Austin, 5724 W. North Ave. Cold meals from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • RMD, 733 N. Kedzie Ave. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • Little Village, 2311 S. Kedzie Ave. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • Toman, 2708 S. Pulaski Rd. Cold meals from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Kelly, 6151 S. Normal Blvd. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • Greater Grand Crossing, 1000 East 73rd St. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • Thurgood Marshall, 7506 S. Racine Ave. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • Woodson Regional, 9525 S. Halsted St. Cold meals from 1-2 p.m.
  • West Chicago, 4856 W. Chicago Ave.
  • Austin, 5615 W. Race Ave.
  • West Englewood, 1745 W. 63rd St.
  • Whitney Young, 7901 S. King Drive
  • South Chicago, 9055 S. Houston Ave.
  • Pullman, 11001 S. Indiana Ave.
  • Sulzer Regional, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

Safe Haven sites:

About 30 different Safe Haven sites are included in CPS’ contingency plan. Students K–12 are allowed, and food will be served. The locations mostly span the city’s South and West sides, with several on the North and Northwest sides.

Food being provided at YMCA locations:

  • Rauner, 2700 S. Western Ave. Cold meals from 12-2 p.m.
  • West Communities, 6235 S. Homan Ave. Cold meals from 12-2 p.m.
  • High Ridge, 2424 W. Touhy Ave. Cold meals from 3:15-3:45 p.m.
  • Kelly Hall, 824 N. Hamlin Ave. Cold meals from 5:30-6 p.m.
  • South Side, 6330 S. Stony Island Ave. Cold meals from 12-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.
  • Irving Park, 4251 W. Irving Park Rd.
  • Lake View, 3333 N. Marshfield Ave.
  • McCormick, 1834 N. Lawndale Ave.
  • Leaning Tower, 6300 W. Touhy Ave., Niles
  • Lattof, 300 E. Northwest Highway, Des Plaines
  • North Lawndale, 3449 W. Arthington St.

Food being provided at Chicago Park District sites:

Chicago Park District workers reached a tentative contract agreement on Wednesday, averting a strike. CPS lists 18 larger parks in its contingency plan, although it was not immediately clear whether food or additional programming would be available.

Cold meals will be available from 3-5 p.m. at all sites

  • Rosedale, 6312 W. Rosedale Ave.
  • Margate, 4321 N. Marine Dr.
  • Riis, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
  • Gompers, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
  • Hamlin, 3035 N. Hoyne Ave.
  • Warren, 6601 N. Western Ave.
  • Taylor, 39 W. 47th St.
  • Dvorak, 1119 W. Cullerton St.
  • Columbus, 500 S. Central Ave.
  • McKinley, 2210 W. Pershing Ave.
  • Archer, 4901 S. Kilbourn Ave.
  • Humboldt, 1400 N. Humboldt Drive
  • Washington, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
  • Hamilton, 513 W. 72nd St.
  • Ridge, 9625 S. Longwood Drive
  • West Lawn, 4233 W. 65th St.
  • Trumbull, 2400 E. 105th St.
  • South Shore CC, 7059 S. South Shore Drive

The Salvation Army:

Students can stay at any of four Salvation Army sites Thursday. Most will be free of charge, offering food, activities and, in some cases, after-school programing.

  • Army Red Shield Center in Englewood, 945 W. 69th St.: Staff can accommodate up to 200 children from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with movies, sports and study time. Lunch and two snacks will be served. No charge.
  • Freedom Center, 825 N. Christiana Ave.: Staff can take up to 50 children from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by an after-school program until 7:30 p.m. Light breakfast, lunch, a snack and dinner will be served. No charge.
  • Chicago Lawn Corps, 5950 S. Spaulding Ave.: Up to 50 children can stay from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be served. No charge.
  • Kroc Center, 1250 W. 119th St.: Staff can supervise up to 200 children from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an after-school program until 6 p.m. Lunch an a snack will be provided. Cost is $15, and an additional $20 for after-school care.

City Light Church:

Staff from Ald. Gilbert Villegas’ office (36th) will provide free lunch and adult supervision at City Light Church, 6425 W. Grand Ave. Guardians can reserve a spot for their student by calling (773)745-4636 or emailing

Shedd Aquarium:

The Shed Aquarium’s “Camp Shedd: School’s Out” program, designed for annual CPS non-attendance days, will be offered for K–5 students for up to two weeks during a strike. Campers will make scientific observations, learning about aquatic life and animal adaptations.

Registration is $100 per participant each day. Camp runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shedd, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. Free after-care is available until 5 p.m.

University of Chicago:

The University of Chicago Admissions Office will offer a free college application essay writing workshop to high school juniors and seniors. The hour-long workshop starts at 10 a.m. at the Performance Hall at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. College Advising Corps advisers will be available after for one-on-one counseling.

The Chicago Children’s Theatre:

Students K–5 can participate in a “Drama Day Camp” by the Chicago Children’s Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave. From 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., students can take classes on acting, singing, puppet making, performance, design and storytelling.

Before-care starts at 8 a.m., and after-care runs until 6 p.m. Tuition is $75 per day with financial aid available.

Facets film camp:

Non-profit film organization Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., is offering a “School’s Out: Film Day Camp” on Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for children from 9 to 13 years old.

For $20, children will watch age-appropriate films from Facets’ International Children’s Film Camp and learn about filmmaking or film criticism. Campers are required to bring their own lunch, but drinks and popcorn will be provided.

Old Town School’s Day Off Camp:

Old Town School, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., is offering a “Day Off Camp” with dance, art and music classes for students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students must bring their own lunch. Before-camp care starts at 8 a.m. and pick-up runs until 3:30 p.m. A $90 payment is required.

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