Local School Councils and PACs- about/doings, mtg. schedule, elections, schools table and LSC memberships

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee and the HPKCC website, www.hydepark.org.
Help support our work-Join the Conference.
Join the Schools Committee-chair Nancy Baum. email hpkcc@aol.com, nbbaum@sbcglobal.net.

Return links:New HPKCC hydepark.org website home and about/from Schools Committee.
Home and link page of this neighborhood site of HPKCC Hyde Park Record.
Schools/schools committee home. School Hot Topics. About the HPKCC Schools Committee

Local School Councils: celebrated 20 years in December 2009;
Further description. HPKCC letter.

Info 773 553-1400, www.CPS.edu, Facebook.com/ChicagoPublicSchools

Meetings and opportunities

August 23, Wednesday, 6 pm. HPK CAC (community action council for schools) meets adt Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell. Election of officers, Jane Averill Reading Day, consideration of draft letter on the Single Application.

HPKCC Schools Committee starts up again in the fall.

LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS WERE APRIL 2016 ELEM, 8 HIGH SCHOOLS. VISIT SCHOOLS PAGE FOR INFO. Organizational meetings for LSCs are in July.
ELECTED IN APRIL 2016 (High schools not yet reported).
According to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), each LSC should be made up of six parents, two community members, two teachers, one non-teacher staff member and the school’s principal. Using a data map from CPS, it was found that four area schools are short in meeting some of these requirements.
Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., is short one community member; Reavis Elementary, 834 E. 50th St., and Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., have only five of the six needed parents, and Kozminski Community Academy, 936 E. 54th St., is short by two parents.

BRET HARTE

Elizabeth Herring-Parent
Erica Walker-Parent
Darryl Williams-Parent
Eric Johnson-Parent
Robert Jr. James-Parent
Rodney Shelley-Parent
Caroline Anderson-Community
William Sweetland-Community
Kendra Williams-Teacher
Adam Schwartz-Teacher
Acceshia Hart-Non-Teacher Staff

KENWOOD:
Timothy Miller-Parent
Joy Clendenning-Parent
Michael Ewing-Parent
Nicole Hayes-Parent
Melba Allen-Parent
Eric Jenkins-Community
Brittany Croone-Community
Genesis Taylor-Young-Teacher
Brian Hester-Teacher
Kristin Flowers-Non-Teacher Staff

KOZMINSKI
LaDonna Myers-Parent
Chyla Howard-Parent
Ceandra Burks-Parent
Salitha Castile-Parent
Imani Lewis-Community
Mario Parham-Community
Sabrina Pritchett-Scott-Teacher
Charles Beavers-Teacher
Latrice Wilson-Non-Teacher Staff

MURRAY-
Timothy M. McGovern-Parent
Tracy B. Fleming-Parent
Dawn P. Evans-Parent
Stephanie D. Adams-Parent
Nkrumah Hopkins-Parent
Iris L Troutman-Parent
Samuel Brown-Community
Anona Dixon-Brown-Teacher
Terra Sinkevicius-Teacher
Linda Covington-Non-Teacher Staff

RAY
Silvia Arbelaez-Ellis-Parent
Mosea L Harris-Parent
Ramona N Burress-Parent
Scott Shurtliff-Parent
Kara Scott-Parent
Megan Kruis-Parent
Fran Grossman-Community
Michael Carter-Community
Eleni Lemberis-Teacher
Anita Walker-Teacher
Sonia Vergara-Non-Teacher Staff

REAVIS
Maixannie Hubbard-Parent
Frank Johnson-Parent
Victoria Miles-Parent
Nicole Perkins-Parent
Deangelo Slaughter-Parent
Curtis Odom-Community
Elizabeth Todd-Breland-Community
Tara Idemudia-Teacher
Nicole Poplawski-Teacher
Donnetta Towbridge-Non-Teacher Staff

SHOESMITH
Angela Gibson-Parent
Nyla Malone-Parent
Asia Saunders-Parent
Mariam Sobh-Parent
Lakisha Pittman-Parent
Marcellus Moore-Community
Camille Hamilton-Doyle-Community
Ashley Keine-Teacher
Erika Goldsborough-Teacher
Rhonda Willis-Non-Teacher Staff


Training for LSC members:

10-year facilities plan:
If you would like to read some of the draft document, the section about Hyde Park schools starts on p. 194- http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Policies_and_guidelines/Documents/CPSDraftEducationalFacilitiesMasterPlan.pdf#page74
For more information: Adrienne Garner at CPS: awgarner@cps.edu or HPKCARESgroup@gmail.com

Feedback: facilitiesplan@cps.edu.

VISIT FEBRUARY 23 2010 CEREMONY AND FORUM page. Review in pdf.

Get involved in the meetings of the HPKCC Schools Committee! Chair Camille Hamilton-Doyle, Co-Chair Nancy Baum.
Next with principals May 21, 6 pm at Murray- contact/reg. with Nancy Baum/

The Five Fundamentals of School Success model is used to focus school planning on what matters most. This model was built on research developed and refined by CPS practitioners and stakeholders and used to guide the CIPAAA process: Instruction, Instructional Leadership, Professional Capacity, Learning Climate, and Family and Community Involvement.
Visit also Link to Kenwood School Improvement Plan survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/33SSMNN.
View/print pdf of flyer about Kenwood Academy and Kenwood SIPPAA.

See how CPS has adapted findings from the UC Consortium and more for school improvement plan planning: Defining Excellence- 5 fundamental supports.

HPKCC and the LSCs, other opportunities

“The mission of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee is to provide community support for the schools and to provide a place where Local School Council members can get together to share information.”

Our mission and reports are in the Schools Committee homepage

 

Updates and trends

Ray school LSC chose interim AP Megan Thole as Principal September 18, 2014. Ms. Thole was praised as a communicator, team builder, and leader strongly supported by the teachers and after a lengthy public vetting of the many candidates, according to the Herald. She was introduced to the school community September 23 at a special LSC meeting.

The legislature made it easier to exclude LSCs in the schools they are "turning around." Visit for one view http://pureparents.org/index.php?blog/show/Legislators_betray_LSCs.

If your LSC is having trouble getting the information and documents's it needs, note that the state has liberalized the rules on Freedom of Information:

Help is on the way from the Illinois Attorney General and a new FOIA law. The new law, among other things:

•Creates a presumption that all records are public; if a public body claims an exemption, it has the burden of proving that the record is exempt by clear and convincing evidence.
•Shortens the initial time to respond to a FOIA request from 7 to 5 business days and the time

del.

Despite stereotypes of LSC members held by some, a comprehensive research study of Chicago's LSCs by the Consortium on Chicago Research at the University of Chicago concludes that: ""The vast majority of Local School Council members quietly oversee school policy and carry out their official duties of the evaluation of the principal, approving the budget, and approving and monitoring the School Improvement Plan. ...They also help the school with a myriad of small and large tasks," which include increasing parent involvement and developing collaborations with organizations in the community. "These individuals deserve our praise and our thanks...By devolving significant resources and authority to local school communities and by expanding opportunities for local participation by parents, community members, and staff, this reform has enlarged the capabilities of school communities to solve local problems."
These research findings are supported by:
• Senator Arthur Berman, former Chair of the Senate Education Committee and a key sponsor of the Chicago School Reform Act of 1988.

• Clarice Berry, President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, who strongly endorses the request for the two-week extension and praises the collaboration within an effective school community to which LSCs contribute (see Attachment C).

deleted section

 

Why LSCs-- and good, trained and attentive members--matter and are endorsed by the HPKCC Schools Committee. Particularly important in light of repeated filing of bills to eliminate or eliminate the powers of LSCs.

Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE) issued a "fact sheet" on LSCs

LSCs Improve Schools

The Illinois Supreme Court in 1990 said that LSCs are essential units of educational governance, empowered to make important budgetary, educational, and administrative decisions regarding the Chicago public school system. [t]he legislature has given them the primary responsibility for school governance and improvement....

A 2004 report by Archon Fung of Harvard uses LSCs as a model of empowered deliberative participation. He found, according to the fact sheet, that LSCs increase accountability, build social capital, held encourage parents - especially minority- become more involved. Most importantly, the study found LSCs t have a positive impact on student achievement.

U. of C. Consortium on Chicago School Research studies such as "Charting the Course" found high LSC effectiveness: principals gave a strong endorsement of LSC principal selection, 70% of teachers said LSCs were helping make their school better, and that the LSCs ar an overwhelming percentage of minority elected officials in Illinois.

"The Big Picture," 2005, Designs for Change, showing a correlation between schools with up trending scores and effective LSCs. [Download "The Big Picture" and other studies from the Designs for Change website.]

"Sharing Our Successes: The LSC Gold Star Awards for 2002" by Community Media Workshop's Successful Schools Project highlighted LSC contributions:

  • integrating arts into the curriculum
  • creating collaborative school improvement plans that have lifted schools out of probation
  • successfully advocating for new school buildings and facilities improvements
  • involving parents and local businesses in the school's Character Education program
  • implementing a family literacy project.

LSCs- real elected officials

Do LSCs represent enough people to be making the important decisions?

Other school boards are not challenged on these grounds [the ones that have elections!]

Northbrook D 27- 10,000 residents. The top vote getter (unopposed) received 716. Glencoe D35- 6,000 eligible. Top of 3 unopposed 178 votes (3%).

7,000 ran and over 100,000 voted in every LSC elections. (465,706 voted in the last mayoral election 15% and Mayor Daley got 324, 519 votes.) LSC elections in the 13th Senatorial District 15 ran per school, with 1, 294 votes cast, an average of 321 per school-note one can vote for up to five.
LSCs boast the largest number of elected African-American and Latino officials in the nation.

Myth v Reality: Challenges to LSC principal contract decisions

Non-renewal arbitrations: Myth: All to principals lost. Reality-3 lost, 6 withdrew, 2 defaulted

Arbitration standard: Myth: Personalities and a student's grade. Reality: Results are confidential but in one known, that school ranked last in its area in nearly every category.

LSC members as unqualified to hire/fire. Reality: LSC members are significantly better educated than average Illinois adults--31% have bachelors (v 21%, 32% some collage v 25%. Only 13% lack high school diploma v 24% Illinois.
No one is suggesting the 900 Illinois elected school boards be disbanded or their powers stripped.

CPS role. Myth: CPS is accountable for results so should select principals. Reality: CPS already prescreens, and LSCs choose from these. Selection for local needs is shown to do best.

Why PURE support LSC's

  • Local School Councils Work. Test scores have risen impressively at schools that were lo-performing but remained under LSC governance and not central office intervention v little progress in schools that were low in 1989 but where decisions are made by CPS. Source: The Big Picture from Designs for Change.
  • The LSC Law works. A check and balance where needed most- in the schools.
    • The cleanest unit of government in Chicago with over 20,000 having served.
    • Law provides principals whose contracts are not renewed opportunity for due process before an independent hearing officer. In the 3 hearings lost, the principals lost and the LSCs were ruled within bounds.
  • LSCs need more support, not less. CPS does not meet the need for training and information:
    • No guidebook or training manual for members elected in 2006
    • Funding not renewed for a successful, independent conflict resolution program
    • CPS takes public sides against LSCs and then sits in judgment over them later: Supervision and monitoring must be move out of CPOS into a neutral entity while CPS provides more resources for the schools and LSCs.

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LSCs have had other good reviews and defenders-- notwithstanding there are drawbacks and they need not only good, dedicated people willing to give the time but strong resources from downtown

PURE writes March 16 2010. From the Sun-Times

"This is the 20th anniversary of LSCs, an experiment unique to Chicago to give parents and neighborhood folks a real voice in running their schools. For the most part, research suggests that LSCs work, helping schools function better and drawing resources and parents into the schools. But LSCs are only as good as the people who run for them."

Joe Moreno, newly-appointed 1st ward alderman, in the same Sun-Times issue: Moreno...has served as a member of the local school council at Jose Diego Academy..."What I can bring as a businessman and as a local school council member is sort of a bridge and a connection to those two entities because they really need to be working together," Moreno said.

What the HPKCC Schools Committee concludes about LSC's greatest needs:

  • Parent participation including running for LSC
  • Training
  • Liaison staffing and sound advice especially on complicated issues such as the SIPA (school improvement plan, to which all the required reporting, funding and school programs must relate); better access to downtown experts and liaisons.
 

 

School boundaries

Kenwood's is 47th, Cottage, 60th, Stony, 56th, Lake Michigan.
Canter's is the Harte, Ray, and Shoesmith districts.
Murray is a magnet school so has no boundaries, an explanation left off this map from the April 12 Herald.

Some local school addresses:

  • Bret Harte Elementary. 1556 E. 56th
  • Kenwood Academy High School. 5015 S. Blackstone
  • Kozminski Community Academy. 936 E. 54th
  • Murray Language Academy. 5335 S. Kenwood
  • Ray Elementary. 5631 S. Kimbark
  • Reavis Elementary. 834 E. 50th
  • Shoesmith Elementary. 1330 E. 50th

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______________

Join the Schools Committee, working to build LSCS and participation in LSCs, elections- or contact
Joy Clendenning.

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Table of public schools with addr/phone, LSC calendar, uniform policy, principal, and lsc or alternative chairperson.

printable by itself. BASED ON UPDATE OF NOVEMBER 219, 2016 .

 
School website, clerk contact Address/Phone/Fax LSC/PTA/PAC Mtgs Uniform Contact:
Ariel ElementaryCommunity Academy
Katharine Madkins
1119 E. 46th 60653
(773) 535-1996x7
Meets 3rd Monday of the month at 8AM. lt blue shirts, khaki bottoms Principal: Dr. Linnette Coleman
lacoleman@cps.edu
AP: Dr. Judith K. Shelton jkshelton@aol.com

LSC Co-chairs: Larry Lomax, Chosi Mabina
Andrew Carnegie
www.carnegie.cps.edu
1414 E. 61st St. 60637
(773 534-0530 x8
PAC- Wed. 9-10:30
LSC Meets 2nd Tuesday at 6PM every other month Sep, Nov. etc.
yellow tops, navy blue bots. for 6th, 7th, 8th; powder blue top, navy bottom, no gym shoes Principal: Docilla Pollard
Asst Juanita Stern
LSC Chair: Tina Bey Muhammad
Bret Harte School
Acceshia Hart
1556 E. 56th Street
(773) 535-0870 x5
FAX 773 535-0666
Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the Month in the gym at 5PM white or baby blue tops,Khakhi bots. Principal: Shenethe Parks
sparks@cps.edu
Interim AP Megan Fido
LSC Chair: Darryl Williams
Hyde Park Career Academy
Regina Nicholson
6220 S. Stony Island Ave. 60637
(773) 535-0530
Meets the 1st Thursday of the month at 6PM< in 208 royal blue for F, lt blue for S, dark for J and Sor white polo, khaki bots Principal: Antonio Ross
AP: Ms. Gover-Douglas
LSC Chair: Tina McKinney
Kenwood Academy High School
www.kenwoodacademy.org
Akannke Kareem

5015 South Blackstone
(773) 535-1350x2, 6 or1351
FAX 773 535-1408
Middle (Acad Ctr)
23156x7

 

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6PM in Library Media Room.
no uniform Principal: Gregory L. Jones,
gljones@cps.edu
AP: Karen Calloway;
KACalloway@cps.edu
Janeen Hatoum, jhatoum@cps.edu, Mr. Frayne, O'Connell
LSC Chair: Michael Ewing
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. College Prep High School
Stacy Taylor
sdtaylor1@cps.edu
4445 S. Drexel Blvd.
773 535-1180 x5
FAX 773 535-1716
Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6PM no uniform Principal: David Narain
dnarain@cps.edu
AP: Lynda Parker, ljparker@cps.edu
LSC Chair: Dathon O'Banion?
Charles Kozminski Elementary Community Academy
kozminski.cps.edu
Latrice Wilson

936 East 54th St.
(773) 535-0980 x6 FAX 773 535-0982

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5:30PM.
PAC same 9 am.

Navy tops, navy blue bottoms Interim Principal: Bernadette Glover
blglover@cps.edu
LSC Chair: Lakeisha Hamilton
PAC: Kimberly Stark

Phillip Murray Language Academy
www.murray.cps.k12.il.us
RadiahEllis,
rellis5@cps.edu
Ramon Dickson, clerk
rsdickson1@cps.edu, rellis5@cps.edu

5335 South Kenwood
(773) 535-0585x6 FAX 773 324-8764

Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6/7:00PM. PTO ahead

no uniform Principal: Gregory Mason
gmason@cps.edu
AP:? Rhonda Butler, rbutler@cps.cdu
LSC Chair: Tracy Fleming
PTA: Thelma Tenant
?

William H. Ray Elementary School
www.ray.cps.k12.il.us

 

5631 South Kimbark
(773) 535-0970 x8. FAX 773 535-0842

Meets the 2nd Thurdsay of the month. at 6PM

 

no uniform Principal: Meagan Thole
mmthole@cps.edu
AP: Gayle Harris Neely
gpharrisneely@cps.edu
LSC Chair: Sylvia Ellis
PTA Pres: Lawanda May
William Claude Reavis Math and Science Specialty Elementary School
Ms. D. Cobbs
dacobbs@cps.edu
834 East 50th
(773) 535-1060x4 FAX 773 535-1032
Meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6PM, PAC 9AM Top white, bottom blue Principal Gail King
gking@cps.edu
AP: D. Griffin
ddgriffin@cps.edu
LSC Chair: Nichole Perkins
Jackie Robinson Magnet Cluster Academy
Dalicia Davis, dcdavis@cps.edu
4225 S. Lake Park Ave. (773) 535-1777x6 FAX 773 535-1727 Meets the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6PM. PAC 1st Th 8:15 am tan kaki bot, navy polo top Principal: Relanda Hobbs
rmhobbs@cps.edu
LSC Chair: Mr. Moore. PAC Keshia Clybron
Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School
www.shoesmith.cps.edu
Miss Donna Willis
1330 East 50th St
(773) 535-1764 x7 FAX 773 535-1877
Meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 5:30PM white, black or gold tops, Khaki bottom Principal Sabrina L. Gates
slgates@cps.edu
AP: Nichole D. Neal?
LSC Chair: Jacinta Epting

 

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PURE (Parents United for Responsible Education) has assembled a guide to elections. Here is a summary of key points. (this needs updating for 2010)

To receive the book, call 312 489-9101.

Who sits on the LSC? The principal, 6 elected parents, not BoE employees 2 teachers (polled) , 2 elected non-parent community residents with no children enrolled in the school as of June 30 of the election year and not relatives of the principal or BoE employees), in high schools one student (polled).

The LSC is the policymaking body for the school. Its responsibilities are:

  • approving the School Improvement Plan
  • approving the school's budget
  • evaluating the principal
  • hiring the principal

The meeting schedule must be posted in the school and is usually monthly. Everyone can attend and except for executive sessions they are covered by the Open Meetings Act. All votes must be taken in public. Meetings are usually monthly.

A parent of a child in the school or a resident of the attendance area is eligible unless a CPS employee.

Elections are held even years (every two years) in spring. (2006 Elementary are on April 20, high schools April 20, 6 am-7 pm. Hint- it's always Report Card Pickup Day. Note, U.S. citizenship not required.

The Candidate Nomination Form requires: Name, address, type of candidacy and proof of eligibility (2 forms of ID--parents must be listed in school enrollment records or tax return or birth certificate. Community residents must bring proof of residency.
Declaration of any economic interests at the school
Criminal Conviction Disclosure
Telephone Number Disclosure (for BOE and confidential)
Teacher or student information form for those in those categories
Candidate Statement (optional, one page, can include picture)

Hint: get a copy of all forms and get a signed, dated receipt!

Remember the deadline to file is March 17 [passed] and literature distribution day is April 18--One 8x12 page. You furnish enough copies for every child (the school is not allowed to make or copy), divided into piles of 35--must be at school by 3 pm April 17.

Caution again--No one can use school resources including staff, equipment or material to endorse or promote andy candidate or slate. Staff may not recommend candidates. If anyone sees violations, call CPS Law Department 73 553-1700. Staff can be suspended up to 30 days.

Voting

  • Vote at every school where you are eligible--at least 1 elementary and 1 high school, maybe middle. Parents may vote at all schools where they have a child enrolled. Election Hotline: 773 553-1400.
  • You do not need to be a U.S. Citizen, do have to be 18 or older.
  • If a school is not accessible, it must provide curb-side voting for persons with disabilities.
  • Bring two forms of ID that include your address.
  • Voting is in person and by secret ballot and only for yourself.
  • You may vote for up to 5 candidates only, and each only once. Select any combination of parent and community candidates.

(For teachers: it is secret and in person, principal and assistant do not vote, principal submits the 4 top vote getters to CPS, which appoints June 28.)

Preparing for the election:

LSC (or principal) is to establish and LSC Judge recruitment committee. None can be candidates or supporters of candidates. Judges receive $100 for the day. Training is mandatory. Cannot be under 18, student or staff at the school, Board employee, LSC candidate there or immediate family/residing in same house as candidate or principal. Application deadline is March 24.

Also recommended: By January 20 Develop plan to publicize the election, set date for Candidates Forum (for between March 27 and April 3), set date for certification meeting (no later than April 28 8 pm).

Hold the forum--place must be accessible; all candidates must be notified and invited. Lottery for ballot position is held at this forum. Recommend doing this as first item and using as order of speaking.

Coordinate with Report Card Pick-Up. Greet parents and encourage them to vote before they get report cards! Remove all campaign materials from the school the day before the election by 3 pm!

Hold results certification meeting by April 28, 8 pm.

Electioneering must be more than 100 feet from any school entrance. Post this at several places in the school.

Principal's responsibilities:

Public information: Post procedures, timeline, eligibility, boundary map.
Send two letters to parents. Dec. 1-9 nomination and challenge procedures, timeline, eligibility
March 20 list of candidates, info on the Forum, election date-hours-location.
Post filing of candidates (within 24 hours of first filing) with statements; update daily as changes occur.
Prepare literature distribution day April 18
By 9 am April 17 post revised ballot in lottery order. Candidates can correct by 3 pm. At 4 pm it is final.
Post election results as soon as count is complete.
Assure that no school resources are used to promote candidates
Provide and collect nomination papers, forward copies to Area Office.
Accept applications for judge and forward to Area Office by March 24. (Note judges and monitors make all decision about the election).
Distribute 6 poll watcher credentials to each candidate at the Candidate's Forum.
Prepare for judges a complete list of all staff eligible to vote for teacher (not principal or asst.)
Provide a list all students enrolled in the school.
Conduct student non-binding advisory poll between April 18 and 19)
Receive all ballots and place in security envelopes in the school safe.
Forward security envelopes to Area Office.

Poll watchers. Candidates or pollwatchers with valid credentials can witness all phases. Mx is 6. Civic groups can ave a credential for every school inservice area and every multi-school area. Candidates can have only one pollwatcher in the polling place at any given time.

The Challenge (which anyone can do) procedures are quite precise, including hearing notifications. Eligibility is the main grounds in pre-election challenges. Post-election challenges require signature of at least 5 vote-eligible. Note deadlines t file, hearing etch.

Results must be posted in the school after the count is final on election night. Highest numbers are declared elected. Current LSC certifies by 8 pm April 28 and determines winner in case of a tie. The public must be informed of challenge procedures. Certification of Results is to be filed by May 1. Teacher and student reps. are selected/announced by the Board June 28.

The organizational meeting is between July 1 and 14. It can be called by any 4 or more elected, but a quorum of 6 for elementary and 7 for high school must be present to conduct business. This meeting: sets time and place for regular LSC meetings, selects a parent member as chairperson, selects a secretary. If less than a minimum of "eligible's" are elected by a quorum is, the LSC shall fill vacancies (except teacher). If less than a quorum is elected, CPS decides course--773 553-1400.

Removals. Any member may be removed by majority vote if the member has missed 3 consecutive regular meetings within 12 mo. There is due process. There are other bases for removal.


Why LSCs?

Adult Collaboration Improves Schools and student achievement. strong academic expectations combined with trusting relationships make a difference, research shows.

Successful Schools have Common Practices. 1997 Designs for Change identified:

  • Active and effective Local School Councils
  • Effective principles who involve others in decision making
  • More teacher involvement in decision making
  • More teacher outreach to parents
  • Students who feel safe in the schools
  • Teacher collaboration and information sharing
  • Teachers who trust one another
  • Teachers who are encouraged to innovate
  • An overriding focus on improved student achievement.

Cooperative Adult Effort Raises Academic Achievement

Social Support Motivates Students to Learn, giving a sense of trust, confidence and safety

Common traits of collaborative LSC relationships

Shared Knowledge of the Law and agreed-upon way of checking and reporting back.

Shared Information: Principals proved timely, adequate information to the entire LSC including giving each member a set of key school documents including school improvement plan implementation et al.

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Strong LSCs, selection of strong principals intertwined

From Herald March 22 [2006]. By Tameka Brown

....Among its many duties, the local school council is responsible for selecting and evaluating principals every four years. James Deanes, in charge of LSC relations for Chicago Public Schools, said the council's role in the selection of principals is important."A principal's leadership sets the tone for staff [and] influences parent participation," Deanes said. "It's the most important thing an LSC can do."

In 1988, the Chicago School Reform Act created the existence of local school councils, which in most public schools in the city are comprised of parent representative, teacher representatives and community representatives, and in the case of a high school there is also a student representative. The act entrusted decisions about student development, financial management and principal selection to the representatives on a local school council.

Zoe Mikva, member of Canter LSC and of the HPKCC Schools Committee says " LSCs have real power and they are a wonderful way to stay involved in the community." She works on the school improvement plan and budget. "We work in tandem with the principal. I think it is important that the administration of every school be accountable. LSC is the group to whom they are accountable.

[Caution: the strong lsc has to fight the temptation, including on the part of parents, to select those thought more amenable and nice, or male (thought by some essential as role models). And evaluating and selecting the principal is the most important part of the LSC job-- trainers should remember that.]

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