Our School History
Created in 1972, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School approaches education from the perspective of the whole-person, linking education to the individual social, emotional, and academic needs of our students and empowering them to be active participants in creating change at the global, local, and personal level. Courses are designed to meet Illinois State Learning Standards and are integrated in community-based activities and engage students in the process of critical thinking and community inquiry.
We offer basic skills training with activities in technology, urban agriculture, media production and communications, critical art, and participatory action research, as well as college preparatory coursework through an ongoing partnership with Wright College. Classroom instruction is primarily project and problem based with an emphasis on developing higher order thinking skills of inquiry and analysis in place of rote memorization. Planning for the years to come, our curriculum will have social ecology as a conceptual centerpiece, framing student learning around three experimental stations: a hydroponics-based greenhouse on the roof of PACHS; soil-based community gardens in and around Humboldt Park; and tropical soil-based agriculture on the island of Puerto Rico.
“An excellent example of liberating education can be seen in the efforts of students and teachers at Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School in West Town, Chicago. Here, the staff use critical pedagogy in their collective work with the Puerto Rican community. They try to help students acquire a sense of humanity and purpose in their lives after an often brutal and dehumanizing colonization within the United States, where the material conditions for their labor are controlled and their dreams, desires, hopes and visions are often ideologically subjugated. Teachers at Pedro Albizu Campos are committed to equality and social justice and demonstrate an unyielding dedication to the empowerment of the Puerto Rican people.” (Excerpt from Life in Schools, by Peter McLaren)
Lolita Lebrón family Learning Center
A satellite program of the Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School, the Lolita Lebrón Family Learning Center integrates educational activities for young adults and children into a comprehensive program, the Lolita Lebrón Family Learning Center (FLC) provides educational services primarily to female-headed families in the Humboldt Park and surrounding communities. Services include high school classes, women’s studies, health and nutrition workshops, life skills workshops, childcare, parenting courses, parent and child activities, and support services to help participants address obstacles that hinder consistent participation. Thus, while students are working towards their high school diploma, they are also receiving information on how to utilize the strengths in their families to maintain a literacy-rich environment in the home. In addition, they gain an important support network through their discussions with other parents who share similar experiences. El Rinconcito del Niño/The Children’s Corner, the FLC’s bilingual book and game library, contains children’s books and resources for a variety of age levels, from infant to primary; special collections include books focusing on family and culture.
The FLC confronts the problems of limited education in the community by providing an opportunity for students to engage in a quality educational experience based in critical thought and social transformation from the classroom to their homes. The program strives to make learning relevant, utilizing the rich and varied experiences of the participants as the basis for instruction.
For more information or to enroll, please contact Danette Sokacich, Director, at 773/342-0809 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org