Election Day for Elementary Schools: Races to Watch

By Patty Wetli | Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Burley Elementary in Roscoe Village.

What, schools are holding elections today? Why didn’t anyone tell us?

But seriously folks, Local School Council election day is upon us, at least at the elementary level, and then we get to do it all over again tomorrow at the high schools. We won’t know if voters give a hoot until the final ballots are tallied, but the slate of candidates at several schools suggests a lack of community engagement.

Only one community member stepped forward to run for LSC at Burley, leaving the school a candidate short to fill two community seats. Jahn barely mustered two candidates and Blaine drew just three. LSCs at Burley and Jahn will be hiring new principals for the 2012-13 school year–will community outreach be a priority for the new leaders?

Among the races to watch: Blaine parents are practically tripping over themselves, with 11 candidates competing for six seats; Audubon has five community members vying for two positions. Will first-time candidates carry the day or will incumbents prevail?

The real question for schools, particularly those with a wealth of candidates, is how to capitalize on this level of enthusiasm. For those contenders who don’t earn a seat on the LSC, we can already imagine the school’s pitch: Hey, no hard feelings, let’s stay friends. Make that “Friends of….”

Voting at your neighborhood school runs through 7 p.m. tonight. Check out our guide on where and how to vote.

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