The Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) for the Laboratory Schools was established in 1976 with four purposes in mind:
To assist the superintendent in maintaining a viable relationship between the Illinois State University Laboratory Schools and the University, community, and state regulatory systems;
To provide recommendations regarding both short- and long-term goals of the Laboratory Schools;
To promote parent and community representation on committees as determined by the superintendent; and
To provide a liaison between the administration, faculty, and parents of students attending the Laboratory Schools.
The members of the CAC include nine parents, representatives of the PTO and Boosters, and two faculty members. Qualifications for membership, in addition to being a Laboratory School parent, include an active interest in the school system and the willingness to commit time to the CAC. The CAC meets quarterly, typically from 7:00–9:00 p.m.
The CAC does not serve as a school board for the Laboratory Schools. Thus, it has no formal authority with regard to policy approval, grievance hearings, or operational decisions. The Laboratory Schools are part of Illinois State University, and like other departments on campus the Laboratory Schools are required to operate under the policies established by the Board of Trustees.
The Citizens Advisory Council has been active in a variety of important areas during its existence. Representative activities include recognizing faculty and staff by spearheading the Those Who Excel nomination process; examining safety issues in the schools; promoting better use of technology; examining multicultural issues in the schools; and working with local legislators to advance legislation favorable to the schools.
Clearly, the Citizens Advisory council is very important to the schools. The children enrolled in the Laboratory Schools benefit when additional expertise is applied toward school improvement efforts. Everyone benefits from the additional communication channel provided through the CAC. If you have any questions about the Citizens Advisory council, please contact me at 309-438-8542.