Youth-led Advocacy

CPS Student Advisory Council

All Programs

The CPS Student Advisory Council’s (SAC) mission is to build a network of youth input that informs the CPS District’s policy priorities for a more positive school culture.

The CPS Student Advisory Council (SAC) is composed of Chicago Public School students representing more than 20 different schools from across the city, 16-18 years old, who are passionate about education and are committed to improving CPS schools. Students focus on district policy and initiatives selected in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CPS and other district leadership, meeting regularly to inform and develop solutions and policy recommendations. Students work in committees to gather data and research, analyze student feedback from their peers, share their findings, and advocate for policy solutions that will equitably impact students district-wide and further create a transparent CPS through inclusive partnerships.


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.
  • Developed a Parent Language Initiative and a Feeder School Initiative that wase 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.
  • Participated as panelists on a Stakeholder Roundtable for the CPS Skyline Kick-Off Event. Skyline is the district’s first-ever universal curriculum resource focused on cultural-responsiveness and tailored to the needs of students across Chicago zip codes. Skyline was developed through the Curriculum Equity Initiative that SAC students worked on, which was launched to ensure high-quality curriculum and instructional resources for all students.
  • Presented with the Office of Social Emotional Learning (OSEL) at the July 2021 CPS Board Meeting, making history as the first student to present at a board meeting – sharing their proposed Student Code of Conduct policy changes, which were approved.


2023 Recommendations


Throughout the summer, Mikva Challenge youth policymakers identified the most pressing issues and inequities currently affecting Chicago youth. Read the CPS Student Advisory Councils’ recommendations in the SAC Summer 2023 White Paper.


Past Policy Papers


How might CPS to get communities more invested in neighborhood schools?

How do we offer students a voice in allocating resources to equitably impact all CPS youth?

How do students have a voice in the SEL practices at their schools?

How might youth perspective inform and improve CPS District policy, priorities, and decisions in order to achieve the district vision goals?

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