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Citizens’ Advisory Council Hosts ‘Welcome Back’ Meeting

Sept. 3, 2020

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. 10. Because of the need for social distancing, and limits on large gatherings, the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Information on how to join the meeting is located at the end of this release.

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.

Each monthly meeting has a targeted focus, but they also feature  Districtwide updates and reports from CAC committees.

The September meeting will include an update from District administrators on how the first three weeks of school have gone. It is also designed as an orientation for new members and those who may be interested in becoming members. There will also be elections for the CAC Executive Board and discussion of potential bylaws changes. 

“For more than half a century, the CAC has been an important partner in the District’s efforts to deliver the best possible educational opportunities to our families,” said Superintendent Tony Sanders. “The challenges caused by COVID-19 over the past six months have only underscored how important these relationships are with our parents, guardians, and community members who serve on the CAC. They serve as both a valuable sounding board but also a vehicle for sharing important news about the District with the greater community.”

The CAC and its committees will focus this year on the challenges to education, parenthood, and social-emotional health during the age of COVID-19. Planned meeting topics for the first half of the year include how Distance Learning has fared to date and what hybrid learning will look like, student anxiety and depression, and online safety.

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; 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. 

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 Chair Larry Bury has served on CAC for nine years. 

"Members of the CAC have always made their voices heard regarding important challenges and opportunities facing the District, its staff, and students,” Bury said. “With the transition to Distance Learning, our work continues to play an important conduit role between U-46 and its greater community."

CAC General Assembly meeting dates for the 2020-21 school year can be found below. Meetings are traditionally held at Elgin High School, but will be conducted virtually via Zoom until further notice. All meetings are open to the public, and Spanish translation is always available. 

 

Date

Time

Thursday, September 10, 2020

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Thursday, May 6, 2020

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

 

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Meeting ID: 939 0823 9943

Passcode: 992451

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