CPS Encourages Community Members to Serve on Neighborhood Advisory Councils to Provide Feedback on New School Proposals 

NAC Members Identify Community Preference on 2014 New Charter School Proposals
CHICAGO— Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced it is now accepting applications for parents and community members to serve on Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) as part of the process to gain community feedback on proposed charter schools. All NAC applications must be submitted by Monday, June 1st.

“CPS is committed to working with families and communities to determine which new school proposals present the best options to prepare our students for success in college, career and life,” said Interim CPS CEO Jesse Ruiz. “The NAC process allows families and communities to review the proposals, ask questions and provide valuable feedback as we work to ensure that proposals meet the needs of our students, families and communities.”

NAC members serve as liaisons between the District, prospective charter applicants and the communities they represent. Their role is to ensure that all new charter and contract school proposals provide students and families with high-quality education options that correspond with a community’s specific academic needs. The members play an important role in the charter RFP process and are given the opportunity to thoroughly review submitted proposals, to ask questions and to ultimately provide input to the District and the Board of Education on how to proceed.

NACs will review proposals for new charter and contract schools that would open for the 2015-16 School Year. The annual request for new schools is mandated by Illinois Charter School Law. The NAC process was established in 2013 to give parents and other stakeholders a voice in the process to determine which proposals meet the needs of their community.  

CPS made changes to the NAC process based on feedback it received from NAC participants in 2014. This year, NACs will be led by independent facilitators to eliminate concerns about the District influencing the process. 

The District also adjusted the geographic boundaries for NACs so that every community for which a proposal was received will be represented by a NAC in of four regions across the city: North/Northwest Side, West Side, Southwest Side, and South/Southeast Side. Individuals seeking to serve on a NAC this year must live in one of the following communities:

  • Albany Park
  • Austin
  • Archer Heights
  • Avondale
  • Back of the Yards/New City
  • Belmont-Cragin
  • Brighton Park/McKinley
  • Bronzeville
  • Chatham
  • Chicago Lawn
  • Clearing
  • Douglas
  • Dunning
  • Edgewater
  • Edison Park
  • Englewood
  • Forest Glen
  • Gage Park
  • Garfield Park
  • Garfield Ridge
  • Grand Crossing
  • Hermosa
  • Humboldt Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Irving Park
  • Jefferson Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • Montclare
  • New City
  • North Park
  • Norwood Park
  • Pilsen/Little Village
  • Portage Park
  • Pullman
  • Rogers Park
  • Roseland
  • Uptown
  • Washington Heights
  • West Elsdon
  • West Ridge
  • West Lawn
  • Woodlawn

To be considered to serve on a NAC, potential members must commit to volunteering as a NAC member for four months, during which they will attend meetings and perform ongoing review of charter school application materials for a minimum of 10 hours per month. NAC members are also expected to serve as a community liaison by conducting community outreach activities and soliciting input from the community. 

Parents, community members and elected officials, including alderman and state representatives, are all eligible to serve on NACs. CPS will provide training to all NAC members on how to properly evaluate charter operator proposals.

Based on their review of proposals and community feedback, NACs will inform the CEO and CPS Board as to whether they can support the proposed school opening in their community. The Board is slated to vote to either approve or deny new school proposals at its October 2015 meeting. For more information on the NAC community engagement process, to submit an Interest Form, or attend a mandatory Orientation session, please visit http://cps.edu/NewSchools/Pages/NAC2014.aspx.

Chicago Public Schools serves 396,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

Page Last Modified on Friday, May 22, 2015