Education Committee and CPS Partner Schools

North River Commission supports the 25 CPS schools in our area by working with diverse education stakeholders to improve the quality of education. [See list of schools below] This collective of diverse education stakeholders, known as the NRC Education Committee, includes local teachers, civic leaders, LSC representatives, parents, community organization staff members, students and residents. After convening a series of public meetings to gather information from the community on how to improve education locally, the committee volunteers their time pursuing five initiatives.

FORGE at 4 Local CPS Schools

North River Commission collaborates with Bateman Elementary, Palmer Elementary, Albany Park Multicultural Academy, and Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center to bring FORGE educational opportunities to students and parents.

FORGE is FREE to all registered students and their parents/guardians/caregivers. FORGE provides all programming and materials free to its participants. FORGE is funded by the North River Commission (NRC), including a grant from Illinois State Board of Education Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC).

To learn more about FORGE, click here.

Branding and Marketing of Neighborhood Schools

a. Five Fast Fasts Campaign
b. I Choose...Campaign 

Fundraising Education
a. Founded Friends of RHS
b. Hosts Fundraising Workshops

Art Programming Initiative
a. School and arts partner networking opportunities
b. Workshops on how to secure funding and lobby to elected officials

Student Voice Initiative
a. 33rd Ward Youth Council

LSC Awareness
a. Recruiting and preparing community LSC representatives for our area schools

Would you like to join? Contact Maddie Polovick at

Five Fast Facts Campaign

Click here or on the image below for more information and examples...

Illinois State University (ISU) Partnership

NRC partners with Illinois State University’s Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline or National Center for Urban Education (NCUE)  to connect education majors to Chicago Public Schools and our neighborhoods, which encourages them to choose Albany Park schools for their first teaching positions.  NCUE is grounded in social justice and works to cultivate and sustain innovative, resilient, and effective educators for urban schools and their communities.

The Pipeline has carefully constructed and refined a model of pre-service professional development for urban teachers that demonstrate the value of community-based partnerships to enhance shared educational goals. North River Commission is NCUE’s chosen community partner in Albany Park. At the NRC we work closely with ISU professors and student teachers, as well as local schools and community organizations to coordinate learning opportunities or clinical site visits in the North River service area. ISU Education students come here to observe classes, engage in school activities, receive community tours, and participate in community projects. These visits acquaint prospective teachers with the area, and promote our diverse and dynamic community; its schools, businesses and organizations.

ISU Education students also become familiar with the NRC service area through STEP-UP (Summer Teacher Education Partnership for Urban Preparation) program. STEP-UP is a 4-week teaching and community internship and summer residency program for pre-service teachers from Illinois State University. NRC has partnered with community organizations throughout our service area to place new student teachers in internships. These internships and home stays steep students in our community culture, make them more effective student teachers, as well as provide community organizations with needed assistance.

ISU Education students are then placed in our area schools to complete their student teaching. Pre-service teachers can opt to do Traditional Student Teaching, which consists of sixteen weeks of a student teaching with a cooperating teacher and evening seminars at CTEP that expand student teachers knowledge on relevant topics with housing options available in the community. Or they can chose to do Professional Development School, which is a year-long internship consisting of two phases. Student teachers work under two cooperating teachers in two different schools in the community during the year, attend classes at CTEP, and are visited by a site coordinator to ensure they are developing appropriately.

Once ISU student teachers graduate we hope they choose to teach in Albany Park schools. The retention and effectiveness rates of ISU CTEP graduates are extremely high due to the aforementioned intense preparation, as well as continued support. First and second year teachers identify veteran teachers to serve at their mentors, and the mentor and mentee pairs attend PD throughout the year on various topics, as well as receive technological and financial supports.

Chicago Public Schools including charters, in the North River Commission service area