March 2, 2012
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is encouraging all parents and community members who want to strengthen their local schools and have a positive impact on student achievement to run for their Local School Councils (LSC) this year. Candidates have until March 8 to submit nominating forms. More than 6,800 seats are at stake citywide in the elections.
LSCs empower parents and the school community to partner with their principals in creating a positive school environment that best serves the needs of all children in boosting their academic achievement. LSC representatives will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2014. LSC representatives serve as an important link between a school’s administration, community, Central Office and students, and play a significant role in decision-making at the local school level.
“Participation in one's Local School Council is an excellent way to make a difference in our schools and in the lives of our children,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We want to create the very best schools for every child in every community so they can thrive and be successful, but CPS cannot do so alone. The community must help lead this effort and there is no better way to do so than by joining your Local School Council.”
In an effort to ensure that many engaged members of the community are involved in their local schools, CPS has been aggressively working to inform parents and other community members about the value of LSC participation. To build momentum around the upcoming elections, CPS’s Office of LSC Relations is holding community rallies, using online outreach and grassroots outreach to engage parents and community members across the city. CPS has already held three rallies – including Lane Tech High School, Depriest Elementary and Simeon High School, and will hold a fourth rally at the Parent Resource Center later today from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Other avenues for spreading information on LSC elections has come through parent letters from principals, the CPS website, and social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, CPS has displayed posters and made nominating forms available at City Hall, aldermanic offices, churches, libraries and City Colleges. The District also purchased advertisement on CTA buses, billboards and in community newspapers. Even those calling CPS Central Office hear promotional messages on LSC elections while waiting on hold.
While CPS has recruited 1,358 candidates to date, which is more than had declared at this point in the 2010 election, far more candidates are needed to apply in this last week before the deadline.
Interested candidates need to submit nominating forms at the school of the LSC they are running for. The forms, along with additional information, can be found on the Local School Councils election page, in the main office of any CPS school, CPS Network Offices, Chicago Public Libraries and the Office of LSC Relations at 125 S. Clark, 5th floor.
Parents are eligible for seats on the LSC of the school their children attend, as are members of each school’s community, and the teachers and non-teaching staff from the school. LSC members cannot be employees of the Chicago Board of Education nor relatives of the principal eligible to serve on the LSC of that principal’s school. Each LSC is made up of six parents, two community members, two teachers, one non-teacher staff member and the school’s principal. High School LSCs also have a student representative.
The primary responsibilities of LSCs include approving how local school funds and resources are allocated, approving and monitoring the implementation of the annual School Improvement Plans for Advancing Academic Enhancement (SIPAAA) plan, and hiring and evaluating the school's contract principal.
More information is available by calling the Office of LSC Relations, (773) 553-1400 and reading here.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.