As remote learning begins, thousands of families across the City are eligible for free internet

Good afternoon,
As we prepare to begin the school year learning at home, we want to make sure students have the basic tools they need to be successful — that means access to computers, internet service, and a CPS login.  In partnership with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and 35 community partners, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has already connected more than 18,000 students to high-speed internet service at no cost, but there are still 82,000 eligible students who have yet to register for Chicago Connected. Here is how you can help families get connected for the first day of school.
Tell Your Friends, Family, or Students About Chicago Connected
Eligible CPS families can now receive high-speed internet in their homes immediately at no cost for up to four years. There are no installation or upfront equipment fees and families are not required to provide a social security number.

Families can find out if they are eligible through Chicago Connected’s eligibility tool. If eligible, families will be provided an activation code for Comcast or RCN. Families can also connect with their child’s school to confirm their eligibility and receive an activation code.

We have partnered with T-Mobile to reserve 12,000 internet hotspots for all students in transitional living situations (STLS), unstable housing, or outside of the broadband service area. Schools are prepared to provide STLS students with a laptop and an internet hotspot to ensure they’re ready for the first day of school.

The district contacted eligible families by U.S. mail, text messages, robocalls, and emails over the summer, and we will continue contacting families in the weeks ahead. But we know that hearing about this opportunity from trusted friends, family, and members of their school community can be even more impactful, so please help spread the word about this free program. It’s critically important that families in need have access to high-speed internet for the first day of school, which is Tuesday, September 8.

Providing Devices to Students Who May Still Need One for the First Day of School
We have distributed 128,000 laptops, iPads, and Chromebooks, and have purchased an additional 36,000 devices to ensure all students have a device prior to the start of school. If you know a CPS family who needs a device, please tell them to connect with their child’s school directly. We have asked our schools to provide every student in need with a device.

If You Are a CPS Parent, Do You Know Your Child’s CPS Email?
Your child will need to access their CPS account for the first day of school. Attendance and classroom participation will be tracked through their CPS email. If you do not know your child’s CPS login, connect with your school and ask for assistance as soon as possible. This is how your child will access their classroom instruction and assignments while learning at home.

We thank you for your continued partnership and look forward to a safe and productive school year where our students will build on their progress and learn to shine in new ways.


Janice K. Jackson, EdD
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Public Schools