September 29, 2013
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced that it will begin accepting applications for parents and community members to serve on the District’s Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) on Monday, September 30, as part of the 2013 New Schools Request for Proposals (RFP) comprehensive community engagement process. NAC members will serve as liaisons between CPS, overcrowded priority communities as identified in the RFP, and prospective charter applicants to ensure that new school proposals offer high-quality educational options that correspond with the community’s specific academic needs. All NAC applications must be submitted by Friday, October 11.
The New Schools RFP serves as the District’s centralized process to request and review new charter school proposals. The District is mandated by state law to solicit these proposals on an annual basis.
“As we work to expand high-quality academic options with a key focus on overcrowded communities through the New Schools RFP, parent and community engagement will serve as the linchpin of this process,” said
CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “I strongly encourage our parents and community members to serve on a
NAC to help us evaluate charter applications to ensure that their voices guide all decision-making around this process.”
To be considered to serve on a NAC, potential members must be able to commit to the following:
- Volunteering as a NAC member for four months
- Attending meetings, training and reviewing charter school application materials for a minimum of 10 hours per month
- Serving as a community liaison by conducting community outreach activities and soliciting input from the community
Additionally, individuals must reside in the following overcrowded priority communities to serve on the NACs:
- Ashburn – Defined by the boundaries of the boundaries of 75th Street, Cicero Avenue, 87th Street, and
- Belmont Cragin – Defined by the boundaries of West Belmont Avenue, North Kenton Avenue, West
Grand Avenue, and North Harlem Avenue
- Chicago Lawn – Defined by the boundaries of West 58th Street, South Kedzie Avenue, 75th Street, and
South Cicero Avenue
- McKinley Park – Defined by the boundaries of 59th Street, Stevenson Expressway, and South Halsted
- Midway – Defined by the boundaries of 65th Street, 51st Street, Harlem Avenue, and Cicero Street
- Reed Dunning – Defined by the boundaries of West Belmont Avenue, North River North, North Austin, West Montrose, North Cumberland, and Dunning
CPS also is seeking volunteers to serve on NACs who live on the Northwest or Southwest Sides of the city, but not in one of the six specific neighborhoods above, to review only high school proposals.
At least 51% of the members for each NAC must be parents of school-aged students in the identified priority communities. Members of the community and elected officials, including alderman and state representatives, may all serve on NACs. Each NAC must elect officers including a chair and co-chair, and may have other elected officers, as necessary.
NAC members will receive training from CPS and New Schools for Chicago experts on how to evaluate charter operator proposals, and will conduct a rigorous review of proposals from charter operators seeking to manage schools in their community. NAC members also will have an opportunity to meet with applicants about their proposals to open new schools in their respective communities, if approved. Based on their review of proposals and community feedback, each NAC will then make recommendations to CPS and CEO Byrd-Bennett on the new school proposals that best fit the educational needs of their community.
The NAC evaluation process will run simultaneously to the evaluation conducted by CPS leading up to the anticipated January 2014 Board vote to approve or deny new school proposals.
For more information on the NAC community engagement process or to submit an application starting on
September 30, please visit /NEWSCHOOLS/Pages/Process.aspx.