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Youth-led Advocacy

CPS Student Advisory Council

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The CPS Student Advisory Council’s (SAC) mission is to build a network of youth input that informs the CEO’s office to influence principals working to build a positive school culture in their schools.

SAC is a group of CPS students (age 16-18) that advises the Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools, Dr. Janice K. Jackson, by providing youth perspective, research, and recommendations on district policies and initiatives. Council members learn about the inner workings of CPS, work in committees to gather and analyze student feedback from their peers, and share their findings with different CPS leaders. In 2020-21, their work brought student voice to three district initiatives: work to reduce inequities in how the Student Code of Conduct is enforced, the development of a new Curriculum Equity Initiative, and a redesign of the district’s School Quality Rating Policy.

Notable Achievements

  • Developed a comprehensive list of 7 recommendations on areas of community engagement in CPS neighborhood schools including: community perspective safe passages, libraries, life skill classes, and social emotional learning classes.
  • Students also developed a Parent Language Initiative and a Feeder School Initiative that will be piloted during the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Members of the Student Advisory Council were invited to moderate a panel of Janice Jackson, Forest Claypool and other CPS leaders for over 1,000 principals.
  • Created a video and curriculum to address cyber-bullying in schools.
  • Rolled out a district-wide survey to help improve relations between students and security guards.

2020 Recommendations

Throughout the summer, Mikva Challenge youth policymakers identified the most pressing issues and inequities currently affecting Chicago youth. At a town hall event, they presented their policy recommendations and identifying ways to take action to turn their vision for our city into a reality. Read the CPS Student Advisory Council’s full set of recommendations.

Never have I felt more empowered to break barriers and create change in this country,

Tania Zamora, CPS Student Advisory Council Youth Leader from Lake View High School