Education

 

  • Engaged hundreds of parents to win the construction of two new schools to relieve overcrowding
  • Increased collaboration among neighborhood schools to improve the transition between 8th and 9th grade for Albany Park students
  • Secured support from Chicago Public Schools for youth-led initiatives to increase high school graduation rates
  • Worked with groups to form the citywide coalition VOYCE (Voices of Youth in Chicago Education) which is working to end the school-to-prison pipeline and promote educational equity both locally and nationally
  • Developed the "Freshmen Year Initiative" (FYI) which successfully increased Freshmen "on-track" rates at Roosevelt High School
  • Won a $3.4 million investment from CPS for Dr. Jorge Prieto Math and Science Academy in Belmont Cragin to ease overcrowding
  • Parent and youth leaders gathered over 2500 signatures in the 33rd, 35th, and 36th wards to place a question on the February municipal elections ballot asking voters “Should the City of Chicago have an Elected School Board?”
  • Through Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, youth leaders successfully changed CPS' student code of conduct to eliminate two-week, out of school suspensions for minor offenses, ending in-school-arrest for disorderly conduct and reducing maximum suspension time in all Chicago Public Schools
  • As a result of VOYCE's efforts, every publicly funded school in Illinois is now required to report the number of suspensions and expulsions by race, gender, language and special education status. School districts with the highest suspense and expulsion rates are required to submit intervention plans to improve their practices to the State. 
  • Communities United and VOYCE was the 2015 recipient of The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award as part of the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards for its efforts to reform the school-to-prison-pipeline within CPS
  • Communities United in partnership with the Adler Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice at the Adler School of Professional Psychology (IPSSJ) launched Right-On Justice in 2014; a two-year collaborative to support and develop restorative justice practices throughout Chicago

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