“We have so much to offer our community,” say LSC members, as CTU urges support for pioneering sustainable community school.

  • 9:30 a.m., Wed., Oct. 26: press conference with LSC members, parents, supporters, CPS HQ, 42 W. Madison St., Chicago

CHICAGO — Parents, LSC members and local residents will urge CPS on Wednesday to support a gem of a high school in Uptown – Uplift Community High School – and designate that high school as the neighborhood open enrollment high school. The move would help alleviate enrollment problems that have challenged Uplift in recent years – and fulfill a promise that CPS made to the school community when Uplift first opened in 2005.

LSC members, parents and supporters will gather at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 26, at CPS headquarters, located at 42 W. Madison St., to urge support for the move, then head into the monthly board of education meeting to make their case.

Supporters of Uplift Community High School will petition the Board of Education to name the school the official high school for Uptown with attendance boundaries. Uplift is the only non-selective enrollment, non-magnet school in CPS without attendance boundaries, creating a constant recruitment challenge. When Uplift opened in 2005, it was understood that the following year it would become the neighborhood high school for the area – but that did not occur. LSC members and supporters are speaking out Wednesday to correct these inequities, and circulating a petition, as well.

“Uplift has so much to offer the community,” says LSC member Marc Kaplan. “We are a STEAM school (one of only two Early College STEAM schools in the city) and a Sustainable Community School, and these programs bring us extra resources that provide real benefits to our students.”

Today students in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood attend Senn High School – two miles away from centrally located Uplift, which is also one of 20 Sustainable Community Schools, or SCS, in CPS.

As a Sustainable Community School, Uplift is able to provide innovative culturally relevant learning, a restorative justice coordinator, extended after school programming and other wrap around services and programming for parents and the community. This proven model allows coordinated efforts promote student, family and neighborhood health and well-being in a community-led, community-driven approach to educational justice and equity.

Uplift’s STEAM program provides up-to-date technology and teaching methods to integrate both STEM and arts into the classroom, and opportunities to earn college credits all the way to an associate’s degree while still in high school.

Strong neighborhood schools are an anchor for their communities. Naming Uplift the official high school will help to create a comprehensive and coordinated network of schools from the elementary schools up through Truman College that will all work together to ensure that young people of the Uptown community develop to their full potential and are ready for college and other postsecondary pathways, careers, and full and productive lives.

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.