Northside Welcomes Ms. Kimberly Isaacs to the School Security Team

Ms. Kimberly Isaacs (Photo by Maryam Abdella)

Ms. Kimberly Isaacs (Photo by Maryam Abdella)

Maryam Abdella, Features Editor

It was around 2001-2004, when she opened and managed a daycare home, when Ms. Kimberly Isaacs first decided to go back to school to receive her Associate in Arts degree (AA). 

“Covid-19 created the perfect ingredients that allowed me to return to school to continue to pursue what has turned out to be a lifetime affair,” said Ms. Isaacs. She is currently working on obtaining her AA with a focus in Early Childhood Education at City Colleges (CCC). 

Prior to the pandemic, Ms. Isaacs had already been interviewed for the school security position at Northside. Just as the world seemed to be put on hold, the position was as well. Once CPS began in-person learning again, the position became available and she accepted it. 

Ms. Isaacs was not always a school security officer. Prior to her current position, she worked as a recess monitor at the Charles Sumner Math and Science Community Academy on the west side of Chicago. The kids at the school called her Ms. Isaacs, but since it was difficult to pronounce, she now goes by Ms. K or Ms. Kim.  

As a recess monitor, Ms. Kim supported teachers by escorting students to and from designated areas during their break time. She would monitor students as well as create a safe environment for them to learn and play. Covid-19, however, allowed her to work towards fulfilling her dream of working in childhood education.

Ms. Kim said her proudest accomplishment is running her own Home DayCare because of what it took to open the doors as a Licensed Child Care Home through the Department of Children and Family Services, (DCFS).

Becoming a childcare provider through DCFS is a long process. It took her about a year to complete this process. In order to open the daycare, she had to become a Licensed Childcare Provider. “The process is not just a phone call— that’s just where it starts. How bad I wanted my license was up to me,” said Ms. Kim. She had to compile and provide DCFS with documents that consisted of background checks and tuberculosis (TB) tests for every member of her household. Before opening her daycare, Ms. Kim first needed to child proof her home to create a child-friendly and age-appropriate environment, as well as creating a meal plan and a fire-escape plan. Once all of that was complete, the licensing representative for DCFS scheduled a home visit. 

Ms. K directing students outside. (Photo by Maryam Abdella)

What Ms. Kim loved most about managing the daycare was the response she got from children who felt safe. Ms. Kim began caring for a child named Christopher when he was six months old. His mom had found her name on a referral list through a child care organization. “I met with her and Christopher on a Friday and [he] began [the next] Monday.” 

Christopher’s grandfather loves him and “like most grandparents, he wanted to inspect not only his daughter’s decision but also my home”-to make sure he would be safe and cared for. “When I opened the door, Christopher leaped out of his granddad’s arms with excitement and joy [and] into my arms. His grandson felt safe and happy being in my care. That’s what the granddad needed, and he received that [with] tears of joy.” 

“I wanted to provide a safe place that would allow a child to be a child and learn while interacting with others,” said Ms. Kim. In 2004, that chapter of her life ended with the closure of her daycare. 

While CPS schools were still in remote learning, Ms. Kim worked as a teacher’s assistant for the Foster Park Fine & Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School on the south side of Chicago. 

Ms. Kim is known as someone who is very resourceful, giving, and caring, as shown through her actions and experiences. “My most memorable experience was at Foster Park, because I still reported to work during COVID-19. I took that opportunity to transform bulletin boards and unused rooms into well organized supply closets for all of the school supplies and books,” said Ms. Kim. 

Adding to her resourcefulness, Ms. Kim’s favorite hobbies include couponing and snagging deals. She “take[s] pride in the fact that [she is] a valued customer.” 

Northside is Ms. Kim’s first experience being a school security officer and working at Charles Sumner is what helped her decide to pursue this field. “Because I am familiar with the dangers of a [school] community. I want to do my part in making sure that the children [are] safe to learn and play,” said Ms. Kim. 

“What I like most about Northside is the welcoming environment [created] by staff and students alike. The environment creates and fosters students’ growth, thus allowing them to achieve success,” said Ms. Kim. 

If you see Ms. Kim in the hallways (or outside), be sure to say hi!