Click my mask for latest information about school re-opening in the fall. 



Missing you guys...stay safe and healthy. Remember to stay positive and practice your SEL skills.

To McDowell Parents and Students:


Let your voices be heard. Your opinion counts.


Because of the unexpected world-wide pandemic, we left school mid- year in a blur and a whirlwind. You met the challenge of remote learning with bravery and tenacity. Let us celebrate each other for our accomplishments. We know you will be leaving McDowell to further your educational goals and we wish you the best of luck. The McDowell family still wants to celebrate you. Exact time and place will be determined; this is why we need your feedback.


Help us plan your farewell celebration by responding to the prompt on our website. Click on the link and follow the instructions. We look forward to hearing from you.


Thank you,

McDowell Staff



Saying Goodbye to the 2019–20 School Year and Looking Ahead

Dear CPS Families, 


Our 2019–20 school year is officially a wrap, and it was certainly unlike any we have experienced before. While this was a hard year, it was also full of immense growth, strength and accomplishment. Our staff and community members came together to support our schools through a difficult time. And I want to say a huge thank you to all of the parents, guardians, and family members who wore many hats these past few months and ensured our students continued their learning from home. I am so proud to be a member of the CPS family. 


Please continue to keep your child engaged this summer.

As we all experienced firsthand this year, learning is not limited to the classroom. Keeping your child engaged over the summer is critical to ensuring he or she continues learning and is prepared for the next school year. We are fortunate to have community partners and educators from across the city working to ensure your child has access to free and fun online enrichment learning opportunities all summer long. You can take virtual field trips to Chicago’s most iconic museums and cultural institutions, attend a virtual online summer camp, and build stories through the Chicago Public Library's Summer Learning Challenge.


Grab-and-go meal sites will remain open this summer.

As a reminder, our summer grab-and-go meal sites will be open Monday, June 22 through Friday, August 28, from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. every weekday. Find the most up-to-date list of meal sites near you at Please note that meal sites will be closed on Friday, June 19 due to a scheduled day off for staff.  


Be on the lookout for opportunities to provide input on our plans for the next school year.

As I shared last week, we will soon be launching a series of surveys to get your feedback on how we can provide a safe, welcoming, and productive learning environment for students this fall. We sent a student survey yesterday to students in grades 4–12. Please check your child’s email account. You and your family are critical partners in this work, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.


The district will move Local School Council elections to November.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district was unable to hold the Local School Council (LSC) elections in April. LSCs play a critical role in our schools––making policy changes that directly impact student outcomes, selecting school leaders, and approving how school funds will be spent. Yesterday, Governor JB Pritzker signed a law that will allow the district to move the LSC election to November and extend current LSC terms until the new election takes place. The law also allows for flexible voting formats to protect the health and safety of all participants. We will share new election dates and voting formats with you as soon possible. Thank you to the dedicated, passionate members of our CPS community who are running for election to create positive, well-rounded learning environments where every child has the opportunity to succeed.


I hope you have a safe and healthy summer. 




Janice K. Jackson, EdD

Chief Executive Officer

Chicago Public Schools

Dear  Parents:

Please note important information regarding summer school:

If your child is participating in remote learning (this includes non-digital  or digital) chances are they WILL NOT have to attend summer school.

However, if your child is not participating in digital learning, has not received the non-digital remote learning packets and has not returned those packets to the school for grading, your child must attend summer school.

IF your child is 1) in the digital class but is not turning in digital assignments 2) has not brought up previous failing grades in core subjects OR 3) is receiving an "incomplete" due to lack of completion of work-Your child will be required to attend summer school.

If you have questions, be assured that as more information becomes available, I will send it to you.

Progress Reports will be mailed to homes next week. I urge you to check Parent Portal to view your child's grades on a regular basis. If your address has changed please email the new address to Mr. Bell to change it in the computer system. Reports cards are automatically mailed to the address on file.


Dr. Hood

cps ceo video 2.JPG

               Dear CPS Teachers, 


               While this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is taking place during some of the most unpredictable       

            circumstances our district has ever faced, your dedication and selflessness are the reasons we have been able to continue educating our students during these times. Completely shifting how we teach and learn in a matter of weeks should be comparable to moving a mountain—you made it look as if you were lifting a pencil. You are not just teachers. You are superheroes. 


Over the past few weeks, we have heard countless stories of how excited our students were to be reunited with the teachers they love, even if it was just seeing a face on a screen. The bonds you have formed with your students have transcended being separated from them, and that means more to them than any of us can even imagine. 


Every school year has its peaks and valleys. Every student hits highs and lows throughout their education, sometimes over the course of a single day. We value you because you meet our students where they are; you are there to celebrate their successes, and you are there to help them reach their goals by uplifting them at their lowest point. 


Our students might not remember every vocabulary word or math

equation they learned this year, but they will remember what

their teachers helped them discover about themselves. In putting

your students first in everything you do, we know that they will

become a superhero for someone else in the future. 


We are so grateful to call you each a part of the CPS family.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week




Janice K. Jackson, Ed.D                               LaTanya D. McDade

Chief Executive Officer                                Chief Education Officer 

Chicago Public Schools                                Chicago Public Schools

Attention Parents!!


CPS has announced that report cards will be mailed to students' homes this week. Cards should arrive by Wednesday. Teachers will be reaching out to you to arrange virtual conferences. Feel free to email teachers with your questions. Visit our website for teacher email adresses and all of your remote learning needs.

Have a wonderful and safe week.

Dr. Hood

Update on Remote Learning and Third Quarter Grades


Dear Parents and Families,


We hope this email finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe. We are reaching out today to provide you with a quick update on remote learning and information about the end of the third quarter.


Remote learning kicked off on Monday.

Your child’s teacher is connecting with students through engaging lessons and routines. Please encourage your child to participate in remote learning every day.

  • The district is monitoring student participation to ensure our students continue to learn and make academic progress. Your child’s school will reach out to you if they do not see or hear from your child each week. Please make sure your child’s school has up-to-date contact information for your family.

  • If your child needs a device to access remote learning, please contact your principal.

  • Remote learning will not take place on Friday, April 17, as it is a school improvement day on the CPS calendar.

Third Quarter ends April 16.
April 16, is the final day of the third quarter. As a reminder, work submitted after March 17 can improve, not lower, the third quarter grades your child had when schools closed.

  • Please utilize Parent Portal to monitor your child’s progress. Click here for more information on Parent Portal and contact your child’s school with questions.

  • On April 22 and 23, your child’s teacher will hold remote office hours so you have an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and third quarter grades. Please be on the lookout for more information from your child’s school on scheduling a time.

  • You will not be expected to pick up your child’s report card at their school. The district will mail report cards and Individualized Education Program report cards to your home the week of April 20.

We know that learning at home may be incredibly challenging for students and parents, and we thank you for all you have done this week to help your child learn in a new way. We do not yet have answers to all outstanding questions related to the state-mandated closure, such as fourth quarter grading, grade promotion, and end-of-year activities. Please know that we are committed to providing you with regular updates, and we expect to have additional information for you by the end of the week.



Janice K. Jackson, EdD           LaTanya D. McDade

Chief Executive Officer        Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools           Chicago Public Schools

Learning together at home.


Dear CPS Family,

We won’t be the first to say that this has been a difficult school year. As leaders of our district, we know the anxiety about school being closed amidst a global health emergency can be exhausting. But we also know that we are a district on the rise because of our people—from our emergency personnel who haven’t taken a day off of work and our dedicated teachers to our remarkable students and families who remain involved every step of the way. We remain on the rise during this challenging time, and even when it feels like we have to be superhuman to provide our young people with the education they deserve, we only need to remind ourselves that we are strong enough to meet the challenge ahead. 

When our schools are open, their value to the community they serve is evident. But in some ways, this value is made clearest when the buildings are closed. Over the past few weeks, we have been amazed by the countless individuals across the district who have selflessly stepped up to assist our school communities. In particular, we want to recognize our food service staff, Safe Passage workers, and school administrators who have worked together to help our schools provide over 4 million meals to families so far. We will continue to support our students for as long as this crisis keeps us apart. 

As former CPS teachers, we know that the bonds formed between students, teachers, and administrators can often be best described as magical. It’s encouraging to know that though we are separated, that magic is uniting us in ways that we have never seen before. From Agassiz students leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance every morning to virtual story time with Principal Lavin at Brentano to the Art+ Challenge created by Lindblom art teacher Ms. Crone, our district continues to teach, learn, and grow together. We encourage those seeking inspiration to look no further than your classmates, colleagues, and fellow Chicagoans. 

Learning at Home

Today, April 13, marks the beginning of the next phase of this uncharted journey. Our remote learning plans are rooted in the same core values as our Five-Year Vision: providing students with high-quality learning opportunities that meet their unique needs and empowering educators to equitably provide student-centered academic experiences. These values have guided every decision behind these plans, including creating specific resources for engaging students in temporary living situations, diverse learners, and English learners; ensuring instructional resources are available in both digital and printed materials; and distributing more than 100,000 devices to families to support student learning. 

If there’s one word we want everyone to lock in on in the coming days, it’s engagement. We should think about how we can engage with and check in on each other to ensure everyone in our CPS family feels supported. Above all else, we need to engage our students so they can continue to reach their full potential. 

Even during our toughest days, we should find comfort in knowing this situation is not permanent and we will be reunited soon. Until that time comes, let’s focus on continuing to take care of ourselves and each other. Today, we will be attempting to do in weeks what would normally take years to plan, and we should practice kindness, patience, and grace with each other. There will, undoubtedly, be bumps along the road, but it’s critically important that we continue to support each other until we get to the other side of this global health emergency. Until then, let’s all work to ensure that we have created an environment where students can continue to learn and teachers can continue to teach. 


Janice K. Jackson, EdD             LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Executive Officer         Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools            Chicago Public Schools

Dear CPS Family, 


Our district has been working around the clock to create remote learning plans that will meet the unique needs of every student. We thank our dedicated teams for taking on this monumental task and applaud everyone for successfully completing years of work in just a few weeks. 


Launching Our Remote Learning Plan

Our schools have been busy connecting with families about what remote learning will look like for their children. To ensure greater access to virtual learning opportunities, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is distributing more than 100,000 devices to students in communities around our city. If your child needs a device to access digital remote learning, please contact the Information and Technology Services Parent Support Help Line at 773-417-1060 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We have also created this guide to help families explore how they can get connected to the Internet for remote learning.   


CPS is committed to providing high-quality learning options for all students from Monday, April 13, through the end of our state-mandated closure. Please note that remote learning will not take place on Friday, April 17, as it is a professional development day for teachers on the CPS calendar.


We urge all families to visit for the most up-to-date information on remote learning and to access valuable remote learning resources for their children. For students participating in remote learning virtually, please see these best practices for important information about privacy and confidentiality. 


Updated Locations for Grab-and-Go Meals

CPS has distributed nearly five million meals since the start of the school closure on March 17, and we remain committed to providing our families with free, healthy meals for as long as our school closure lasts. To give families the most consistent experience when picking up food and to better support school staff, we announced last week that grab-and-go meal sites were being consolidated.


Beginning Monday, April 13, families may pick up meals at one of more than 270 CPS schools. Meals can be picked up Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To find the meal distribution site nearest you, visit


On Monday, we will all begin a journey into uncharted territory. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, but we know that if we work together, we can provide our children with the education they need to remain on track and continue growing until we can all be together again. We thank you for your partnership and look forward to starting this new chapter as one CPS family. 




Janice K. Jackson, EdD            LaTanya D. McDade
Chief Executive Officer         Chief Education Officer
Chicago Public Schools           Chicago Public Schools


Click on images for a larger view!


Hey guys before you are able to do any remote learning you have to take these first steps! -- Mr. Vince Davis

Disclaimer: This video is a tutorial on How To Access Your Student's Class Invitation for their Google Classroom in your student's CPS email account. The work you will see is in this video is for First grade. The work will differ for each grade. 

Dear CPS Parents, Families, and Staff,

This past month has been an unprecedented challenge for all of us. As difficult as it has been to see our normal lives put on pause, we are incredibly proud of our CPS family and how you have moved to protect the health of our city. Today, Governor Pritzker announced that the state-wide mandated school closures will be extended through April 30.

As hard as this is, it is what we need to do in order to keep our city safe, and we promise that we are working diligently to support our students, families, and staff members through these closures. 


Important Reminders

Healthy meals are available to our students.
Since our schools closed, over 2.1 million free grab-and-go meals have been provided to CPS families. Families can continue to pick up grab-and-go meals at their neighborhood CPS school from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Remote learning will begin on April 13, 2020.
Earlier this week, we announced our Pre-K–12 remote learning plan to keep our students engaged, learning, and connected to their school community during the closure. 

  • Remote learning assignments and activities will only improve student grades. Our aim is to increase learning, not to negatively impact our students during school closures. 

  • The district will be distributing more than 100,000 devices to help narrow the digital divide during this period. 

  • Please visit to learn more. 


You can take crucial actions every day to help protect yourself and your community. 


If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness at or by calling the CPS Command Center at 773-553-KIDS (5437).

We will get through this together. 



Janice K. Jackson, EdD              LaTanya D. McDade

Chief Executive Officer             Chief Education Officer

Chicago Public Schools             Chicago Public Schools

Remote Learning Begins April 13, 2020

Dear CPS Families and Supporters,


Today, the district is announcing a Pre-K–12 remote learning plan as part of our response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. While this plan will not replace the classroom learning experience or completely bridge the digital divide that exists in our city, it is a full-throttle effort from the district to empower our educators and provide them with the resources they need to engage students in high-quality learning opportunities while schools are closed. 


This plan is not a one-size-fits-all approach—every school community is different, and each school will be notifying families of their plans by April 6, and in alignment with new guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, remote learning plans will begin April 13, following our scheduled spring break. A “Remote Learning for Parents” document will be available later today at


Remote learning will only improve a student’s academic standing.

Students will be offered both digital and non-digital learning options, as well as dedicated “office hours,” where students and families can receive support from teachers via Google Meet, phone, or email. While students are expected to complete assignments and schools are able to grade work, grades will be counted only if they improve a student’s grade and will not negatively impact any student’s academic standing. Students who do not engage in academic work can be issued an incomplete and will be expected to make up incomplete assignments following the remote learning period.


The district will be distributing more than 100,000 devices to narrow the digital divide.

We recognize that a significant digital divide exists in our city and throughout the country, and schools will ensure that families who lack access to technology can utilize printed materials that will be created by the district. And while we are taking steps to help ensure instructional resources exist in a variety of formats, we are also taking seriously our responsibility to help narrow that digital divide. Utilizing socioeconomic data and hardship indicators, and working in close collaboration with our school principals, the district will be distributing 65,000 school-based Chromebooks, laptops and iPads; 37,000 new devices; and additional devices through potential philanthropic contributions. In total, we will distribute more than 100,000 devices to families in the weeks ahead to ensure our students have significantly more access to electronic learning resources.


Remote learning will begin Monday, April 13 and remain in place until schools reopen—which is currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 21. However, should the need arise, we designed our remote learning plan to support our students’ academic progress if the closure is extended further. 


The road ahead is uncharted territory for all of us, but we could not ask for a more dedicated and talented group of educators to stand beside as we blaze this new trail. We are fully prepared to support our principals and educators as they make plans to educate our students remotely, and we are confident our remote learning plan provides the framework and tools for our teachers to succeed.


Schools will share detailed information about their remote learning plans with families prior to the start of spring break on Monday, April 6. In the meantime, enrichment resources for students are available at CPS will update these resources every two weeks. 


We want to thank everyone for their patience as we flesh out our response to this public health emergency, and we promise to continue updating all CPS stakeholders as decisions are made and new resources become available. There are many outstanding questions left to be addressed including graduation, college entry, grade promotion, and admission to selective-enrollment schools. Our commitment to you is that we will be transparent and continue providing regular updates. 


We thank you for your continued support during this challenging time and hope all in our CPS community remain healthy and safe. Please remember to stay at home and practice social distancing whenever you are out. This is how we will achieve what we all want, which is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and see our students and staff return to school as quickly as possible. 




Janice K. Jackson, EdD                    LaTanya D. McDade

Chief Executive Officer                   Chief Education Officer

Chicago Public Schools                   Chicago Public Schools

McDowell Parents:

CPS schools will be closed from March 17,

to April 30, 2020; or until further notice.

For all CPS updates on COVID-19 and school closures please visit In addition to work packets sent home Monday, March 16, 2020 here are some additional enrichment activities for your children to use at home.


Thank you, McDowell Administration and Staff

Welcome Back To A Positively Amazing Year
Dr. Jodi Easterling-Hood, Principal


Reaching Academic Excellence 

By All “Equitable” Means

Every Child Gets What Every Child Needs 2019-2020

Welcome back!  CPS has rolled out its 5 Year Vision Plan and it is nothing short of amazing. Our CEO and CEDO’s vision is in direct alignment with McDowell’s vision and we will commit to full implementation. We have been on the academic journey to excellence for a long time. It hasn’t been easy but it has been rewarding.  District-wide data has indicated that McDowell is making remarkable strides and the Dept. Of Literacy wants to take a look at what we’ve done and how it’s been done. The main focus of CPS is providing equity to children of color. Great! This is what we do. For the past few years we have worked on alignment, coherence, rigor, common core and last year “Putting the pieces together” and we continue to do well. We will continue our work with TREP and the digital curriculum. 


As we work together to inform other schools of our practice we will share how we use the correlates of effective schools as our foundation of success.  Our school bus graphic says it all. The wheels of the bus are moving us down the road of excellence meeting the needs of all children in a holistic way. How? With a vision, goals, a way to assess the goals, effective teachers, a conducive environment, and involved parents.  ALL effectively operating by the leadership of a facilitative principal. We are on the right bus, with the right people in the right seats, and with the right set of tires. We are ready!

Let’s go McDowell!

Think Positive!

African American History

It's Everyone's History

mcdowell safety patrol

Don't Worry . . .

we've got your back!


Congratulations to Mrs. Grossett and her Polar Express themed door!


McDowell Science Fair 2019/2020

Congratulations To All Our Participants...

and our Winners!


1st Place-Mateo Wilson

2nd Place-Michael Young

3rd Place McKenzi Wilson


1st Place-Daniel Southern

2nd Place-Tashon Toney

3rd Place-Isaiah Fountain

Photos Credit: Tsureyah N. McKee

McDowell teachers know how to SEL.

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McDowell School of International Studies
Chicago Public Schools
1419 East 89th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60619
All rights (c) 2015-2019