Grow Your Own Illinois aims to solve the perennial problem of high teacher turnover in low-income schools. The initiative, modeled after a program that started six years ago in Logan Square, provides teacher training for parents, community leaders and paraprofessionals who are already active in schools. “We want to help regular people in the community become powerful teachers,” says the program’s director.
Last-minute recruiting brought the number of candidates for local school council elections to 7,059 by the Mar. 17 filing deadline, according to data from Chicago Public Schools. This year, 62 schools will have fully contested elections. Meanwhile, the longtime head of the district office that oversees elections announced he is leaving his post.
Soktheary Nak, a graduate of Roosevelt High who hopes to enroll in college next year, directed and produced a documentary on the inequities between college prep and neighborhood schools and also appears in it. She talked with writer Emily Horbar about the film and what she hopes it will accomplish.