Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

When clerks get the call they step up and do what is needed to be done. You all kept clerking it from the day you started your work this school year through that 20th day and we have you to thank for working through those DNA/99 lists and helping connect our families back to their school.

Please continue to send remaining questions to studentreengagement@cps.edu.

As you settle into this school year and acclimate to the new new normal, we wanted to commend you as you do this work with grace and with students and your school community at the forefront. 

We are here to support you in everything you do. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, we are always happy to hear from you. Feel free to contact Katheryn Stafford-Hudson at kgstafford-h@cps.edu or 773-403-0924 or email the Clerk SOP team at clerkcommunity@cps.edu.

*Requires CPS login
“The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.”
Carlos Santana
The new Clerk SOP Video is ready for launch!

Thank you to everyone who helped us with the videos— from interviews to providing feedback, the clerks were front and center in the creation of this video.

The purpose of the video is to have a resource to share with folks who might not be as familiar with the roles and responsibilities of clerksadmin, school staff and even fellow clerks!

Feel free to take a look and pass it along to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Clerk SOP. 
Note from August Clerks Chronicles:

In the August issue, we had an announcement from Procurement that Amazon is now an approved vendor. While it is true that Amazon is an approved vendor for purchasing, this announcement did not come from Procurement as they do not endorse using any one vendor in particular.
Seasonal Reminders
Important Note: Materials developed through the Clerk Standardized Operational Plan are intended for informational purposes only. This information applies to the broad range of administrative roles in the school, including specialty roles (e.g., attendance clerk, business managers, payroll clerks, etc). Please take into account the fact that each clerk performs work that pertains to the needs of their school and school community.

To be redirected to a printable version of this list, please click on the image.
Quick Links
In this section, links are provided that pertain to the needs and requests of the clerk community as determined through the discussion on the Google Group. To access previous Clerks Chronicles newsletters, you may find them in the communication section of the Clerks Administrative Resources* website.
General Clerk Resources

COVID-19 Resources


Office of Finance

Clerk Community Resources

*Requires CPS login
Clerk Community Resources
This section contains information that can further elaborate on questions or conversations bubbling up in the Clerk Community Google Group. To join us in the Google Group, please email Ilana Harrow at irharrow@cps.edu, and you will be added within 24hours.
Google Group Best Practices
Super Clerks - You all have been participating and assisting each other in your Clerk Community Google Group for over a YEAR now! We hope that it has been helpful to have the Google Group available and are always happy to hear feedback about how we can continue to improve. One thing that some Clerk Ambassadors have thought to create, was a Clerk Community Google Group Best Practices Document. We recommend that everyone who is active in the Google Group or anyone who is still learning how to engage or join(LINK TO JOIN), please read the document. It explains some basic guidance, including:

  • Thread topics
  • Releasing students
  • Organizing your email inbox
  • Adding members to the group

Note: this is a working document. We will be updating it to reflect any updates or additional best practices throughout the year.
Early Security Return
Security Support Bucket for 8/23 and 8/24
For the week prior to returning to schools, principals were offered the opportunity to allow up to two security officers to return early on 8/23 and 8/24 to support their school. For schools who brought security back early, please use the centrally-funded bucket below to process this time:
  • Bucket # 639205 has been created for security that worked 8/23 and 8/24. 
  • The bucket has been active since 9/3/21.
  • All security hours worked on 8/23 and 8/24 will need to be sent as historical corrections.
Please note - Principals should have approved the early return of the security for those dates in order to have those buckets approved
Clerk Weekly Office Hours
Come join us to share your questions and feedback regarding your work! We want to support you by providing office hours weekly on Fridays. Office hours will provide an opportunity for you to ask questions to Central Office departments. Please submit your questions in advance of the weekly office hours session.   
Feel free to attend office hours as needed; it is a resource to assist you in doing your job more efficiently.   

Weekly Agenda (topics may vary)

  • Re-Engagement of students - DNA and Code 99 List
  • Student attendance
  • Payroll and KRONOS
  • Student records 
  • Procurement
  • Internal accounts
  • Aspen
  • Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW)
  • Other topics
CTA Ventra Cards for Students
We have noticed there is a bit of conversation occurring on the Google Group regarding Ventra Cards for students. For anyone who would like to know the process for securing Ventra cards for students, follow the steps below:
Ordering Student Ventra Cards
  • Student CTA Ventra cards are ordered and issued in Focus, which can be accessed on the Aspen webpage
  • Once logged into Focus, go to the Ventra tab:
  • Scroll to Card Orders and fill out the number of cards you want to order
  • Active cards are for students who have never had a Student Ventra Card
  • Inactive cards are for students who need to replace their Student Ventra Card
  • Depending on the schools need for cards, they can select the best delivery option for them
Assigning Students their Ventra Card:
  • Log into Focus
  • Under the Ventra tab scroll to Card Assignment
  • Fill out the Student ID number and the VID number of the card (this is on the white label on the front of the card)
  • Click Save
  • The activated card is ready for use right away (to upload balances and use the Ventra app)
  • Inactive cards will take 30 minutes or more before they are ready for use
  • Student Ventra cards cost $5.00 for each student, every time they purchase one.
Gift Cards
In the Clerk Community Google Group, we have seen a few questions about gift cards, and Internal Accounts has generously provided an updated Gift Card Policy! Please click the link below to find updated information about the Gift Card Policy. 
Students in Transitional Living Situations
Chicago Families Forward Fund

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated persistent disparities in the educational system along historical racial and economic fault lines. Students have had uneven contact with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) over the last year and some students have lost contact entirely with the district. The City of Chicago and CPS would like to help. 

The Chicago Families Forward Fund gives eligible families a $500 check per student to help with back-to-school and everyday household expenses. This program is funded by the City of Chicago through federal stimulus dollars from the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Students who are eligible for and enrolled in the Students in Temporary Living Situations (STLS) program for the 2021-22 school year are eligible for these grants. See the attached FAQ document for further details. If you encounter undocumented STLS students please let me know.

Current action steps:
  • Review the School FAQ to familiarize yourself with the program details
  • Notify all families currently enrolled in STLS at your school about the CFFF program: One-Pager / Family Flyer (Spanish)
  • Help families currently enrolled in STLS at your school submit the CFFF registration form by Friday, October 1
  • Continue to proactively identify and enroll all students in temporary living situations in the STLS program
  • Ensure all students in temporary living situations have a current STLS record in Aspen for SY21-22
  • Notify all families newly-identified as STLS-eligible about the program and help them submit the CFFF registration form
Attendance and Truancy
Relevant information for clerks from the Attendance and Truancy Department
In addition to the SY22 Attendance Guidelines*, we are are sharing the following guides:
The quick guide provides an overview with resource links to help schools with everything from the DNA Process to the daily process of proper attendance taking management. 
This is a reference guide for our attendance office staff and clerks who are fielding calls from families. This resource should help them navigate the varying calls that come to them as parents/guardians reach out with questions as we enter the new school year with COVID-19 management still an important element of our work.

If you or someone at your school did not complete the live training, it is now offered on Learning Hub. Course name, “Capturing Accurate Data: From Enrollment to Attendance Taking” Code # 105797.

Please Note:
  • To be marked as complete, attendees will need to watch the recorded training and complete the exit ticket (note that the exit ticket is a link that goes to a Google Form NOT the required ISBE course evaluation), both of which are found in the Learning Hub course. 
  • Here are detailed instructions* on how to find and complete the course on Learning Hub.

*Requires CPS login
Policy and Procedures
Relevant information for clerks from the Policy and Procedures Department
Relevant Policy Memos
Here are the Policy Memos* that have gone out since the last Clerk Chronicles Issue in August:
At the start of each school year, principals are reminded to review the accuracy of the School’s Grading Scale.

To help facilitate the college admissions application process, students now have the option to opt in to have their current class schedule appear on their High School Transcript. CPS has established an Opt-In Form for this purpose for distribution to all high school students, with a priority of distribution to high school seniors. Please note that unless the parent/guardian or student (age 18+) requests CPS to include the student’s current class schedule on the High School Transcript, the schedule will not appear on the transcript.

Illinois Law regarding transcripts has recently changed and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is now required to exclude SAT scores from a student’s High School Transcript unless the parent/guardian or student (age 18+) requests CPS to report the scores on the transcript. CPS has established an Opt-In Form for this purpose for distribution to High School Seniors and other applicable students who have obtained SAT scores from the CPS administration of this test.

Beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, we ask that each high school Counselor distribute electronically the SAT Scores on High School Transcript Opt-In Form to current 12th graders and other applicable students. Opt-In Forms must be collected and used to track opt-in requests. Upon receipt of completed forms, schools should enter responses into Aspen* by Friday, November 5, 2021, and file the Opt-In Form in the student’s Cumulative Folder

Under certain circumstances Chicago Public Schools (CPS) may release a student’s directory information unless the student’s parent/guardian has advised the District that they do not want this information shared (i.e., to opt-out). We are requesting your assistance to ensure that all parents and students fully understand their right to opt-out.  

Please direct this letter to the appropriate individual at your school. The information noted below describes the process for printing your Summer 2021 Diplomas. All information is due by Friday, September 24, 2021.  

During the spring semester of 2021, school principals were asked to identify individual(s) to serve as School Records Custodian / Coordinator. This requirement was communicated to schools in Policy and Procedures MEMO # 13 dated March 29, 2021 and May 10, 2021

Thank you for your diligence around the Did Not Arrive (DNA) Process.
Now that the automated process has occurred, it is important that schools ensure rosters and attendance data is being captured accurately.

It is important that accurate attendance be taken on a daily basis. Attendance coordinators must work closely with teachers to ensure that attendance is submitted accurately for all students. Students who are not present on the first day of school, Monday, August 30, 2021, must be marked absent. At the end of the day, Aspen will assign a Code 99: Did Not Arrive to all absent students. Success of the Did Not Arrive Process depends on the coordination amongst schedulers, teachers, attendance and status coordinators.  
The Chicago Public Schools Fee Waiver documentation details schools’ fee waiver obligations and provides guidance on how to fulfill these obligations.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is required, by law, to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect. In order to gather as much evidence as possible, DCFS may request to interview students. Parent consent may be necessary to interview a student only when there are allegations of child abuse/neglect by adults who work in schools.
  • Template Letter Regarding Department of Children and Family Services Investigation and Interviews (English, Spanish, and Polish)

Chicago Public Schools, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), places high priority on enrolling and educating children in the care of DCFS in a timely and inclusionary manner. It is the district’s intent to remove all barriers that prevent access to timely enrollment and a high-quality education.
This memo covers the specific procedures schools must follow if a student is stranded at school because a parent, guardian, or emergency contact has not come to pick them up by the end of the business day or a responsible adult is not available to meet the student(s) when the school bus arrives at the student(s) bus stop.

*Requires CPS login access
Relevant information for clerks from the Procurement Department
Training for Procurement Rules and Guidelines
This fall, the Department of Procurement will be launching an annual training to ensure all iProcurement users understand the latest district procurement rules, guidelines, and key Oracle iProcurement functionality. Because of how important it is to adhere to procurement rules and guidelines, this training is mandatory for all new and existing iProcurement users and must be completed by October 1, 2021. Completing this training will be required in order to receive or keep Oracle iProcurement access. 
The training is currently active on the SafeSchools™ platform. To access SafeSchools, log in at chicagopublic-il.safeschools.com* with your CPS credentials via any device (e.g., tablet, cell phone, computer). This training will take about 85 minutes to complete and consists of five videos and a comprehensive quiz. You may complete the training at your convenience over several sessions.
Please do not hesitate to email questions or concerns about the training content to the Procurement team via this request form*. Questions or concerns about the SafeSchools platform (e.g., access issues, completion status questions) may be directed to talenttraining@cps.edu.
*Requires CPS login access
Relevant information for clerks from the Records Department
Records Q&A Follow-Up
Thank you! to all clerks who joined us for the Records Q&A Session on August 26. If you have not already done so, please complete this feedback form. For those of you who were unable to attend, below are materials and an FAQ developed for clerks. If questions remain, please contact Susan Izban (smizban@cps.edu ) in the Records department.

Maintenance Requirement for the Student COVID-19 Self-Certification Attestation Form

Please ensure the signed copy of the Student COVID-19 Self-Certification Attestation Form that you collect is placed in each student’s hard-copy Cumulative Folder.
Each school was required to collect a copy of this form signed by each student’s parent/guardian at the beginning of this school year. Parents/guardians will be asked to complete this form again for each of the remaining quarters during SY21-22. Due to the content and purpose of this form, it is considered to be a temporary student record and must be maintained in each student’s Cumulative Folder to ensure compliance with the Board’s Student Records Management and Retention Policy.  
Preview of the Student Attestation Form
Office of Student Health and Wellness
Relevant information for clerks from the Office of Student Health and Wellness
Student Vaccination Communication
Reminder: Collecting Student COVID-19 Vaccination Records via School Nurses

Student vaccination records will be used to inform contact tracing and quarantine instructions. Please review these instructions* for an overview of how to handle student vaccination records when parents submit them to clerks, teachers, coaches, and other staff.
Condom Distribution
For schools that contain grades 5 and up: Between September 7-10, there should have been a shipment of condoms and related materials delivered at your school in alignment with the CPS Sexual Health Education Policy. Your principal should have designated someone in the school to be responsible for handling this delivery and storing the condoms in your school building. The following are resources that might be helpful at this time:

*requires CPS login access
Oral Health Virtual Van Sign Up:
Bright Smiles Bright Futures

The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future mobile dental van program is available to come to your school and share important information on how to support your students to maintain good oral health and hygiene!

Clerk Spotlight
Hello Super Clerks!

Excited to work with you again in SY2022! Moving along with our momentum, we would like to continue to recognize every single one of you for being the heart of our schools. It is your hard work and dedication that keep our schools running and our families engaged. 

Like last year, each month the SOP recognizes clerks based on a nomination process and are highlighted in our Clerk Spotlight section of the Clerk Chronicles. School staff, administrators, and fellow clerks can submit nominations to the committee. 

In SY21, we received 170 nominations from January to May where each nomination was reviewed. Thanks to your nominations and those of your colleagues, we were able to recognize 70 clerks across the district. 

Want to nominate a Clerk? Click here to help us recognize clerks today! 
September Clerks in the spotlight:
Technology Hack: Dualless
If you are someone who prefers to work on multiple screens but you do not have an extra monitor in addition to your laptop (or for folks you know who may be in this situation), please follow the link below for information on this topic.

Clerk Weekly/Monthly Reminders
Important Note: All the materials developed through the Clerk Standardized Operational Plan are intended for informational purposes only. This information is meant to apply to the broad range of administrative roles in the school including those specialty roles (e.g., Attendance Clerk, Business Managers, Payroll Clerks, etc). Please take into account the fact that each Clerk is doing their work at their individual school as it pertains to the needs of that particular school and school community.

To be redirected to a printable version of this list, please click on the image.
On a Lighter Note...
We would love to include content in this Newsletter from Clerks. If you have information to share or a remote work/technology hack that would be helpful to others we welcome your contributions! Please email Katheryn Hudson, Damaris Alvarado, or Ilana Harrow at clerkcommunity@cps.edu