CPS Civic Life Strategic Plan

Civic Life Vision

Civic Life is the pursuit to the question, how shall we live together?

What is Civic Life?

An active civic life recognizes that it is through our own individual and collective knowledge and culturally-responsive actions that we improve and sustain our communities and our democracy.

The role of citizen or citizenship does not refer to legal status in a nation state, but rather to the actions we take in our communities to bring about growth and change for present and future generations.


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New Initiatives

K12 Civic Media Literacy

Media-dominant culture is growing more pervasive and complex by the day, and the media and information we consume largely determines our perceptions, beliefs and attitudes. To prepare students to thrive in a world of ongoing and accelerating change, they must understand the power of media in shaping culture, politics and values. They also need to learn how to decode and respond to the powerful messages they receive daily.


Inquiry to Action Projects

Informed action is a new framework developed to expand and improve the quality of civic-oriented classroom service learning projects across all content areas, grades K-12. Students investigate social or political issues connected to classroom content, and pursue civic action along three paths: Educating or creating public awareness of a problem or issue; joining, convening or organizing with others; or advocating for systems or policy change.


Strategic Priorities 2021-2023

Building on the three-year “Ready to Engage” plan, which firmly established the infrastructure for high-quality civic learning opportunities across the district, CPS will take its model civic learning and student engagement program to the next level. Over the next three years, we will ensure civic learning is meaningful, relevant, inclusive and available. Our goals include:

Support Culturally Sustaining Curriculum and Instruction

Students’ identities and lived experiences are reflected in course content. Teachers are grounded in honest reflection of their own identities and backgrounds and are aware of implicit bias and their own susceptibility to it.


Cultivate Student Voice Culture

Youth voices are valued and heard in classrooms and schoolwide decision making spaces.


Invigorate PK-8 Social Science and Civic Engagement

Social science is an academic staple in preschool, kindergarten and elementary grades, and culturally-sustaining, inquiry-based instruction is widespread.


Expand and Deepen Civic Life

Classrooms and schools are viewed as public spaces where students, educators and school staff are each valued members of the community whose interests comprise the public good. Culture is steeped in public service and active involvement to create change is valued.


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