Chicago Public Schools

BCG’s Center for Illinois' Future helped Chicago Public Schools develop safe passage and other programs improving student safety.

Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) faced a daunting safety and security challenge. In a single school year, 290 CPS students were shot, and 32 of those students lost their lives. The school system turned to BCG for pro bono help in developing a comprehensive program that would significantly enhance the safety of students.


BCG Solution

Working closely with school officials and the Chicago Police Department, BCG developed a multiyear program to provide intensive intervention support for students who were at the greatest risk of being harmed. We built a statistical tool to estimate each student's risk level and crafted a program to provide concentrated and effective intervention support.

BCG created a new metric to improve safety levels for students and developed a strategy to roll out best practices. The team also identified “safe passage” hot spots and devised detailed strategies to curb school violence.


Today, Chicago Public Schools are measurably safer. In the first year of BCG’s engagement with CPS, student shootings were down by 45%. Over a four-year period, out-of-school suspensions in CPS high schools have declined from 24% to 16%.

A 2011 study by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research found significant safety improvements since 2009. Thanks in part to BCG’s ongoing commitment to CPS, students and teachers report feeling increasingly safe.

About Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the third-largest school district in the US. CPS educates approximately 380,000 students in more than 650 schools throughout the city. BCG's partnership with CPS dates to 2009 and has included a number of different projects, with an emphasis on safety and school violence.

Center for Illinois' Future