School Partnerships grew out of the adopt-a-school program launched by Mayor Richard M. Daley, with the goal of every Chicago public school developing a productive relationship with a business and its employees. Partnership coordinators from the Partnerships Office assist in identifying partners and forging effective partnerships between businesses and schools to improve the quality of education for students in the Chicago Public Schools. Coordinators also facilitate the donations of time, talent, and material resources given by corporations, organizations, or individuals.
Our Partnership Program has grown to include over 300 Chicago area businesses that contribute over $15 million in funds and in-kind services a year to almost a third of the Chicago Public Schools. Partners commit to the following:
- The CEO (or highest ranking officer in the Chicago area) visits the school at least once a year. (Possibly as Principal for a Day)
- Members of the business or organization engage in at least three volunteer activities during the year. (See sample partnerships)
- The company or organization donates money or material resources to the school.
Many organizations choose to go beyond the minimum number of activities during the year.
Our partners enjoy the positive connections to students and communities they develop as a result of their efforts. Many organizations also mention an increase in team spirit, loyalty, and morale as individuals come together to help Chicago Public School children. Our city’s health is closely connected to productive citizens and a quality workforce. Partners can be proud of their contributions to our children and our city’s future.
When you become a school partner, you join a national movement in which businesses invest in tomorrow through today’s public schools. Our program is flexible. We neither dictate the elements of your program nor require extensive paperwork. We support your partnership as it grows with a network of resources on school partnerships.
Step to Establish a Partnership
- To get started, give us a call at 773-553-1540 to discuss the possibilities for partnership. Please let us know if you have a specific school, neighborhood, or student population in mind.
- A Partnership Developer will arrange and facilitate an exploratory first meeting with one or more schools.
- A partner school is selected based upon a mutual agreement between the principal and the partner. There are no specific criteria other than both parties agree that it is a good fit between needs and resources.
- A plan is developed and the Partner and principal begin to communicate directly and establish a working relationship. The same partnership plan does not fit all schools or businesses. View the following for further guidance on the elements of Partnerships:
Citywide and School Partners
Businesses and organizations may choose to partner with one school, several schools, or system wide. Currently we have over 300 partners. In addition to businesses, associations, foundations, and other non-profit organizations establish school partnerships through our office. View a list of corporate partners, citywide partners, and community partners.
- Components of a Partnership with CPS
- Sample Elementary School Partnership
- Sample High School Partnership
- Top Ten Partnership Activities
External Affairs & Partnerships of Chicago Public Schools does not share the contact information of individuals who serve as Principals for a Day or have District-wide or School-based partnerships with other departments or outside organizations.
Mae Jefferson, Partnership Developer