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Citizens’ Advisory Council Hosts ‘Welcome Back’ Meeting

U-46 parents, community members invited to meet Sept. 12 at Elgin High School

Parents and residents who want to learn more about School District U-46, influence Districtwide policies, and engage other parents and community members are invited to join the School District U-46 Citizens’ Advisory Council, also known as “CAC.”

The CAC’s first meeting of the new school year is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 at Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin. It is open to the public and intended as an orientation for new members and those who may be interested in becoming members.

The council, which has been in existence for more than 60 years, is made up of volunteer parents and residents interested in local education who represent U-46 schools across 11 communities. CAC members help facilitate communication between District administration, the Board of Education, and individual schools. The CAC also provides meaningful feedback to U-46 on Districtwide issues and programs.

“The Citizens’ Advisory Council is a unique and valuable group to the U-46 community. The feedback they have given on a variety of important issues, from finance to family engagement, has been valuable in helping the District and Board of Education gain a better understanding of the hopes and priorities of U-46 families,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “Together we are all working to provide outstanding educational opportunities for all students.”

The CAC and its committees will be focusing this year on growing parental and community involvement to ensure everyone has a voice in the District, said CAC Chair Larry Bury.

Bury said in his eight years of involvement with CAC, notable highlights have included serving on various committees addressing a number of topics and representing the council as a member of the Alignment Collaborative for Education (ACE) Operating Board. As a co-chair of the CAC Finance Committee, he became involved in early discussions of how to update U-46’s college and career readiness efforts, which has evolved into the District’s Educational Pathways plan.

“Being a CAC member is a great opportunity to provide a voice for your students and your school,” he said. “The networking with parents and community members, ability to interact with key District administrators, and ability to work on issues of concern on various committees is unique and valuable to your school community.”

The CAC oversees five standing committees: Family and Community Engagement (FACE), Finance, Instructional Initiatives, School Safety, and Specialized Student Services. The CAC’s FACE committee seeks to strengthen family and community involvement within the District. That committee started a popular outreach event to local real estate agents to educate them on services the District offers, so the real estate agents can better inform prospective home buyers.

The Finance committee is working to provide valuable input on infrastructure improvements and Instructional Initiatives committee members have helped U-46 staff determine and implement new educational programs and have been involved with the District’s one-to-one technology rollout. The School Safety committee has updated the student handbook and improved the process to gather parent feedback on disciplinary policies.

The Specialized Student Services committee provides support and information geared mainly for parents of the District’s special education students. The committee regularly brings in highly qualified experts who can help families better navigate common concerns and issues.

The Specialized Student Services committee will again this year present a series of programs aimed primarily at educating and supporting the special needs community within U-46, though the general public is invited. The programs for the 2019-20 school year are as follows:

  • SSI, SSDI, HFS, DHS, PUNS — Understanding the Alphabet Soup.
    • Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. Gail Borden Public Library
  • Unraveling Anxiety.
    • Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Poplar Creek Public Library, Meeting Room 1.

Each District U-46 school can have up to five registered representatives on the CAC. Those who would like to volunteer as a CAC representative are asked to contact the principal at one of the schools in their attendance zone. Parents and/or community members may also apply for two “At-Large-Membership” positions by calling the District’s School & Community Relations Department at (847) 888-5000 ext. 5003.

CAC General Assembly meeting dates for the 2019-20 school year can be found below. All meetings are open to the public and Spanish translation is always available.

Date Time Location
Thursday, September 12, 2019 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, October 10, 2019 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, November 7, 2019 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, December 5, 2019 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, January 9, 2020 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, February 6, 2020 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, March 5, 2020 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
Thursday, April 1, 2020 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Elgin High School, 1200 Maroon Drive, Elgin
May 2020 Meeting: TBD TBD TBD
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