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Chicago Public Schools Press Protocol

The Districts Office of Communications is the clearinghouse for all media engagement, including, but not
limited to: interview requests, press conferences/building access, press releases/statements and third-party
projects/documentaries.

Network Chiefs and Principals that have developed relationships and partnerships with various external
organizations will often participate in media events or interviews to highlight the success of those endeavors.
While we welcome and celebrate these kinds of public engagement opportunities, it is important that we work
in collaboration to deliver a consistent message. Therefore, it is imperative that these actions are coordinated in
advance with the Communications office. Barring emergencies/breaking news scenarios, these requests should
be submitted to Communications at least one-week before the event.

The following outlines a process to ensure effective two-way communication:

Points of Contact in Communications Office: Each Deputy Press Secretary has been assigned
oversight of a network. As such, they will contact their designated Chief on a weekly basis to learn of
upcoming events, activities or challenges. Likewise, the Office of Communications will immediately
contact Chiefs to vet schools/principals (and develop messaging) before authorizing any media
interview.

If a school principal is approached to have either themselves or their school participate in a media event,
activity or interview, they should inform both their network chief and the communications office in
advance. They should provide proposed dates of any such activities, list of participants, as well as an
overview of what the event/activity.

Media consent forms: Parents/guardians should be encouraged to fill-out and return media consent
forms so the school office has on file for students. Robo calls/parent letters: Principals should be
instructed to notify the Communications office before they release a robo call and/or send home
backpack letters. While our primary role is not to edit the language, we do have to ensure the messaging
is appropriate, given the fact that this information is likely to reach the media.

Media access in school buildings: Members of the press have been instructed to contact the
Communications office, if they would like to shoot b-roll inside a school building and/or interview
school staff and students. However, many times they fail to do so and will arrive at a school seeking
access. When this occurs, principals should contact or instruct the reporter to call the Communications
office right away. Note: it is permissible for the media to be on the pubic way, not school property
without permission.

Local School Council Meetings: Since LSC meetings are governed by the Open Meetings Act,
members of the press are allowed to attend without seeking consent from the Communications office.
However, it is a good idea for the principal to notify our office post the meeting of which media was
present, so we can follow-up and monitor coverage.








Communications Phone List

Main Line: 773-553-1620
Keiana Barrett, Interim Chief Communications Officer
Email: kabarrett1@cps.edu
Office: 773-553-1628
Cell: 312-505-6002

Joel Hood, Director of News Affairs
Email: jhood8@cps.edu
Office: 773-553-1638
Cell: 312-771-8445

Lauren Huffman, Deputy Press Secretary (Lauren is the liaison for Networks 1-4)
Email: lehuffman@cps.edu
Office: 773-553-1611
Cell: 773-569-9048

Michael Passman, Deputy Press Secretary (Michael is the liaison for Networks 5-9)
Email: mrpassman@cps.edu
Office: 773-553-1614
Cell: 773-251-6255

Jamila Johnson, Deputy Press Secretary (Jamila is the liaison for Networks 10-13)
Email: jhjohnson6@cps.edu
Office: 773-553-1616
Cell: 708-997-0005


Note: Jackie Rodgers, Director of Stakeholder Communications and Colleen Kozubowski, Manager of
Stakeholder Communications, handle Spotlight stories for the CPS website.