LSC Deadline is Friday 3/23. Does your school have candidates?

March 22, 2012 at 10:58 am 38 comments

Thanks to those who posted/sent me this link.  Take a look to see if your local elem or high school still needs candidates.  We all complain about the high schools and it sounds like there are a few that need community member candidates.

People have said that Shurz appears on this list, but actually has 2 communicaty candidates.  Amundsen has a few running, as I have been speaking with them and will post more info on that later.

Being on an LSC can be a rewarding and interesting experience.  There are plenty of LSCs who are utterly passive, run mostly by the principal (for better or for worse.)  Many of the LSCs need a good strong voice to question things in a constructive way.  This is YOUR chance to speak up in a place where you just might make a difference.

I know someone mentioned that it is “just once a month – no big deal.”  Keep in mind that members need something like 8 hours of training.  That takes time.  If your school is going through a principal contract renewal or anything where you may want to survey the school, that takes extra time.  A school that is seeking and hiring a new principal may need a much greater time committment to do it right.   If you really only want to spend one hour a month, I would defer to someone else in the community who can spend a little more time on it.  I feel that most schools need more than just an hour a month. 

If you have news on specific schools, candidate recommendations, news on candidate forums, questions, etc. please post below.

We spend a lot of time here complaining (heck, it was whay I started the blog) and the LSC is a chance for many of us to put our money where our mouths are when it comes to “why don’t you work to improve neighborhood schools?” comments.

Also, if anybody has pointers on how to move a plethora of assembled Lego creations to a new home, please share.    The Lego Death Star is particularly vexing as it took a good 30 hours to assemble….


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New School Schedule – Plan those late August vacations! Rahm announces new IB high schools and programs to open

38 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mayfair Dad  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:38 am

    A truly rewarding experience. After taking a breather for a term, I am running for the LSC again, this time at my younger children’s school.

  • 2. Sarah E  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I just wish I knew where my 5yo is going to kindergarten! If knew I’d run for THAT LSC. Too bad those letters don’t come out until next week. (And yes, I could run as a community member for my neighborhood school, but if we end up elsewhere, that’s where I’d like to place my energies.)

  • 3. kimmy  |  March 22, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Do they ever have LSC members who don’t have a child in public school? I’m curious. My children are in a private school but I wouldn’t mind participating in the neighborhood school LSC if there is a need.

  • 4. A D  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I have served on my LSC for two years. It is a very rewarding experience. A high functioning LSC can make a real difference in the school in many different ways.

  • 5. RL Julia  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    3- Kimmy – you can run as a community member- but you have to live in the school’s community/catchement area.
    Mayfair dad – I am taking an LSC breather and no running – do you know – if I re-run for another LSC does that mean I have to re-take the training?

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Kimmy, if you live in the zone, I think it would be a great contribution to the school. You could bring in a fresh perspective.

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  • 7. KG  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Sarah E– You can run as a community member but if your 5 yo ends up at the neighborhood school, you will have to resign as a community member. Also, you are ineligible to run as a parent (even if letters were to go out already) because your child is not currently enrolled at the school.

    I served on an LSC for the last two years and unfortunately I am in the same spot, I am not eligible to run right now as a community or parent rep, eventhough my child will be attending the school.

    I really enjoyed my time on the LSC and would run again.

  • 8. cps alum  |  March 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I spoke to someone on currnet NSCP LSC; they still need community members. Anything north of Belmont is in the NSCP community.

  • 9. Sarah E  |  March 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you for the heads up KG. I figured that was the case.

  • 10. SR  |  March 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I’m thinking about running for my neighborhood school LSC as a community member, but the current community members have (or are likely to) put in their applications to serve again. I’m not sure I’m up for campaigning. Can anyone comment on the election process where a position is contested? Does it ever get ugly? I’m not that familiar with the school, but see this as a way to get involved.

  • 11. KG  |  March 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    There is no real campaigning in the traditional sense. Should you submit an application you will be asked to participated in an LSC candidate forum, where you will give a short statement on why you would like to serve.

    When I ran for community rep, I asked all my neighbors to come out and vote for me. Just sent an email to my block list and let people know. At most schools there is a very low turnout for the vote.

  • 12. SR  |  March 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks, KG – that’s what I figured I’d do too.

  • 13. Mayfair Dad  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    @ 5 RL Julia: I don’t know the official answer to that question but I plan on taking the training over. Its been 6 years since my initial training and I could use a refresher, especially on the budgeting and SIPAAA stuff. I completed the bulk of my training during an all-day training seminar and the instructors were CPS headquarter and area employees who I stayed in touch with. It was helpful beyond the training. I imagine all of the training modules are available online by now.

    @10 SR: I served at a school of 975 students and I don’t think I ever received more than 50 votes. Not sure of the situation at your school but the voter turnout is typically very low, thus the effort put behind campaigning equally low. Here are a few pointers:

    1. Get your Candidate Statement done ASAP and submitted with the rest of your candidate paperwork. Deadline is tomorrow! Your Candidate Statement is where you tell your personal story, explain your connection to the school and the neighborhood, and share any pertinent career or volunteer experience, even if it’s singing in the church choir or organizing a blood drive for your sorority in college. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

    2. Become more visible at school, even if that is limited to spending 20 minutes at drop-off and pick-up for a few days leading up to the election date. Introduce yourself to parents and teachers, especially those you don’t know. Make new friends!

    3. Be prepared to speak at the Candidate Forum. Type up your notes – don’t wing it. This would not be the time to appear disorganized. The LSC meeting minutes and agendas are posted on the school website, perusing these will give you a sense of what the issues are. Familiarize yourself with the SIPAAA, also posted on the school website or available in the school office (required by law).

    Good luck. Have fun.

  • 14. SR  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks, Mayfair Dad. I’ve got the SIPAAA and plan to read it carefully, but can’t find any LSC info. Is it a requirement that LSC info be on the school’s website?

    And I’m working on my candidate statement now, so thanks for the tips. I assume I should type it up on a separate piece of paper, rather than printing on the form CPS provides?

  • 15. Mayfair Dad  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    @ 14: Yeah, sometimes schools fall behind updating the LSC info on the website, but it has to be made public. Is there an LSC announcement board near the school office? You will find stuff posted there.

    Yes, you are allowed to type your candidate statement on a separate sheet of paper. I added a header with the correct CPS form name and number just to be clear. Also be sure to sign and date your candidate statement.

  • 16. RL Julia  |  March 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    SR – In regards to your statement – be sure to talk about what skills you have to offer – you have specific and pertinent experience with gifted kids, sped kids, bi-lingual kids, you have experience working with budgets, you make sure you keep current on central office doings, you have volunteered in your child’s classroom, you have experience thinking about things critically, you are the sort who isn’t afraid to ask questions, your are a quick study… anything about what you bring to the table. Its really hard to chose between two or three candidates who only say that they are running for their kids or because they love kids or because they want to show their kids the importance of volunteering – mostly because I don’t know what they are bringing to the table – I mean I’d like to think that we all love kids – at least our own.

  • 17. kikiandkyle  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Very large boxes, and a lot of packing peanuts! You can buy them in huge bags at the office stores.

  • 18. HSObsessed  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    I love seeing more candidates than seats. Not in the sense that it’s good people will “lose”, but in that it shows a healthy interest and pride, or maybe concern. Being a member of the LSC is really a pretty big commitment, I understand, and it’s fantastic when people step up and participate. Kudos to all of them. Amundsen has 8 community members running for 2 spots! Lincoln Park HS and Lake View HS both have 6 students running for 1 student spot!

  • 19. Hannah L.  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I have a question about eligibility areas for LSC voting – and serving as a community representative – at a magnet school. I’ve searched online and can’t find any info. Called the LSC Relations office at CPS, and called the school – haven’t received a return call yet.

    I live .8 miles from the magnet school. Is it likely I’m eligible for a community representative position?

  • 20. SR  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks RL Julia – great advice! I probably won’t list the fact that I obsessively read this blog, even though I’ve learned a lot here.

    HSObsessed – I agree. Even if I don’t win, I figure it’s a positive thing to show that I care about the school and learn a little more about it. And maybe I can get involved in another way.

  • 21. Go4it  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Kimmy — The LSC is always looking for new input, especially community. Some of our local LSC has been involved for soooooo long, they would welcome new faces. Good luck

  • 22. HSObsessed  |  March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    @19, I think there’s a boundary around each magnet school, in which the community rep has to live. It’s very small, too, not the 1.5 miles which is used for neighborhood spots in the lottery. Is it LaSalle 1 by any chance that you’re considering? Because the boundaries were publicized in a recent newsletter I got recently, and I think it was Armitage, Clark, Larrabee and North Ave. It’s like 1/4 mile on each side.

  • 23. WRP Mom  |  March 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    @19, The school should have information on the boundaries. I know at my child’s SEES, they have a map on the bulletin board right inside the main entrance showing the boundaries.

  • 24. RL Julia  |  March 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Just something to remember which is that LSC meetings are open meetings so even if you are not a member, you can still attend the meetings. Some of the best LSC members on my school’s LSC started by coming to the meetings and participating as guests. Even if you can’t vote, you can still participate and you’ll learn tons about the school and its administration.

  • 25. wide net mom  |  March 23, 2012 at 6:57 am

    I served on LSCs over 10 years ago, so my info may be dated — but at that time, non-members could serve on LSC committees, just not vote at the council level. Not all LSCs have enough outside participation to form committees, and consequently do the lion’s share of the work as a single entity. Going to the general meetings is a great way to express your interest in involvement as well as learning what LSCs are about.

    RL Julia – I’m disappointed you won’t be running for Schurz LSC. I was ready to volunteer as your campaign manager!

  • 26. Friday Roundup | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS  |  March 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

    […] LSC Deadline is Friday 3/23. Does your school have candidates? CPS Obsessed: I know someone mentioned that it is “just once a month – no big deal.”  Keep in mind that members need something like 8 hours of training.  That takes time.  If your school is going through a principal contract renewal or anything where you may want to survey the school, that takes extra time. […]

  • 27. Local School Council | Little Kids, Big City  |  March 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

    […] CPS Obsessed also has good information about what's involved in being on an LSC. […]

  • 28. RL Julia  |  March 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wide Net Mom – I was all set to consider it but when I called the school I found that they already had two community members and that the LSC meeting time is at a time when I have to pick my daughter up from religious school I am committed to attending the LSC meetings as audience when I can make it though. To be honest, I am sort of looking forward to taking a break from LSC work.

  • 29. ChicagoGawker  |  March 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

    There is only 1 parent who is running and 6 parent seats at Senn. Do the rules say only parents can get these seats even if there were not enough candidates to fill them? Or could a community member run for them since no parents did? What does a LSC if their seats are not filled?

  • 30. Ravenswood Mom  |  March 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    @14 SR & @15 MFD and others regarding LSC Minutes on school websites – interesting story here:

    about the Welles Park Bulldog attempts to get LSC Minutes. It was not problem at some schools, but not so at others. In any event it is available now, see the links by school name at the very bottom of the page. NOTE: I’ve been through most of the documents – there is a WIDE variety in the quality and quantity of info provided.

  • 31. ChicagoGawker  |  March 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm


    The mayor just announced that they are opening 5 IB high schools and 5 IB programs within neighborhood schools. There will be 1 school and 1 program per region in the city.

  • 32. SR  |  March 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks Ravenswood Mom – yes, definitely a wide variety in the three that I looked at. And some good information, mostly in what wasn’t there, for the school I put my application in for.

  • 33. Chicago Mama  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

    @ 29 – an LSC needs only 7 positions filled to be functional, so for Senn, it depends on whether the school has 2 teachers, 2 community members, 2 non teacher staff positions.

  • 34. falconergrad  |  March 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Is there some reason LSC minutes could not be posted as a public Google document or similar? It seems to me this might be the fastest and most efficient way to get the job done online.

  • 35. linajeanfritz  |  March 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I just signed up to run for LSC at Shoesmith Elementary after joining Friends of Shoesmith last July. I have 9 years of education experience (both as a teacher and an administrator) and I’m hoping to improve the academic and social curriculum at the school and make it a viable option for our neighborhood. If you live in Hyde Park in the attendance boundaries of the school, I hope you’ll come out on April 18th to vote for Lina Fritz!

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