About Parent Leadership Teams
Our Parent Leadership Teams (PLT) address an education issue at the local level. While parents take the lead, we offer operational support, as well as skill-building resources and connecting parents with networks to continue to push for the education they desire for their children and their communities.
We believe that, by building the community, access, and leadership of parents within Chicago’s resilient, yet under-resourced, communities and by addressing the issues that matter most to these communities, we can significantly advance educational equity. Together with these locally led teams, we’re building a network of deeply knowledgeable and powerful Black and Latine parents –whose children make up 85% of CPS students – ready to demand better for their children.
How PLTs work
A K1C Parent Champion, defined by their ongoing work with K1C to push for broad policy and system improvements, leads each PLT. PLT leaders recruit a group of 10+ parents who will support them in their ongoing efforts. K1C staff works closely with each PLT leader to establish a clear vision for each local plan with measurable milestones and outcomes, meeting facilitation, interaction and advocacy with key decision-makers, budgeting, and other work necessary to see the effort succeed.
The network of PLTs meets periodically to learn in the community, share ideas, and align on approaches that could work across Chicago’s Northwest, South, Southwest, and West Side neighborhoods and schools. This network informs one another and decision-makers (e.g., school and district leaders), ensuring that investments and initiatives are inclusive of the needs of CPS families while also establishing relationships and coalitions between parents across schools and regions.
PLTs Activating Citywide
PLTs are activating citywide to lead education initiatives in their communities and schools. We aim to activate 25+ local PLTs this year, including a dozen of which are continuing from last year.
Consuelo Martinez and Alma Sigala lead advocates in the Back of the Yards neighborhood to push for a new standalone library for their community. They managed to secure $15 million in state funding and are now focusing the campaign on the library being standalone.
LaTeShia Hollingsworth is organizing parents of Chicago charter school students to meet explicit standards for parent communication and engagement – something that CPS has not enforced.
Lilia Guevara and Edgardo Ramirez are each working in Little Village, where there have been a number of safety issues during pick-up/drop off to alter routes and set standards to ensure kids are safe.
Denise Dyer is leading a team at Englewood STEM HS pushing to make discipline more restorative at the school.
Mary Long is leading a team at Hirsch HS, working to get the school approved to access special programming like fine arts and/or STEM—a rare designation in a South Side school.