2012-2013 Policy Papers

Education Council

In the summer of 2012, the Education Council worked to answer the question, "How can Chicago high schools create more positive and rigorous school cultures?" As a group, they identified five essential elements of successful schools to help guide their research: supportive staff and administration, motivated students, rigorous classes, safety and discipline, and student involvement. They then created a policy guide and tip chart for principals and educators.

Based on this guide, they hope to give principals tips on bringing innovative, positive, and rigorous strategies into the classroom, ultimately bettering school culture. Students will have an increased interest in lessons and an increased motivation in class. Other benefits include an effective full school day and a positive learning environment within the school. Check out their guide here: Guide for Positive and Rigorous School Cultures.

Youth Commission

During the 2012-2013 school year, the Youth Commission is working on the issues of education, safety, employment, health, and recreation. Over the summer, the Commission produced a State of Young Chicago Report for the Mayor. This report is based on findings from a survey of over 800 youth, neighborhood visits, direct conversations with young people from other youth-oriented organizations, and supplemental research. Read their report here: The State of Young Chicago Report.

Health Council

During the summer of 2012, the Teen Health Council sought to address the question "How Do Schools Create Effective and Sustainable Youth Wellness Teams?" A Youth Wellness Team is a school-based group of student leaders that works with their administration to promote healthy living, implement new health policy, coordinate school-based health programs, develop youth leadership, and amplify youth voice.

The Teen Health Council created a toolkit containing a list of 15 different projects a Youth Wellness Team can implement at their school within the areas of obesity, mental health and sexual health. For each proposed project the Council lists how the solution has worked in the past, people to work with to make the project a reality, and the specific actions a Youth Wellness Team can take to successfully implement the project. Check out their Youth Wellness Team Toolkit.



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