From DNA news:
(P.S. Have you subscribed to DNA news for your neighborhood? I love the unbiased reporting of local events. It’s a great way to keep up on school changes, restaurant openings, protests, neighborhood changes, Alderman stuff. I really like this site.)
Should the north side community protest the expansion of Passages Charter High School? The school wants to continue to add a grade per year to their elementary school. The HS would be small, around 60 kids per class.
FYI, Passages elementary performs slightly above the CPS average, around the same as nearby Peirce Elementary. Passages appears to have a higher African American population (50%) compared to surrounding schools, and a higher low income student body. Should the community be opposing any and all charters? Does it matter when they’re small? Is this a threat to Senn (and Lake View and Amundsen?)
By Benjamin Woodard on November 22, 2013 9:59am | Updated on November 22, 2013 9:59am
EDGEWATER — Ald. Harry Osterman and Senn High School’s principal oppose an Edgewater charter school’s proposal to offer high school classes in the neighborhood, saying it’ll harm progress made by neighborhood schools.
“We have a college-prep school that serves our diverse community in Edgewater — and that’s called Senn High School,” Osterman (48th) said at a public meeting Thursday about Passages Charter School’s plan to add high school classes beginning next fall. “We don’t need a charter school. we don’t need another high school in Edgewater. We have one.”
Osterman said Senn’s success in recent years has led to a resurgence in support for public education in the neighborhood.
Senn Principal Susan Lofton, who has largely been credited with leading the transformation at Senn, said a new charter high school could jeopardize what’s been gained so far.
“There are ways to deliver curriculum and ways to get people to produce — and the neighborhood school can do it,” she said. “Senn’s been in this community 100 years. And we’ll be here another 100 years because we were built to last.”
But Passages Principal Nicole Feinberg, who has led the pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade charter school at 1643 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. for the past five years, said she doesn’t want to compete with area high schools.
“We’re not looking to be a Senn, an Amundsen or a Lake View,” she said, adding that if the Board of Education does approve its application in January, it would add one grade per year. Passages is “a small community environment. We’re not looking to be a big neighborhood school.”
She said no more than 240 students would be admitted into the high school grade levels. This year, the school has a total of 433 students, according to CPS data.
“Our parents are really looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s a growing community.”
Feinberg also said the school would replace what was lost when St. Gregory the Great, directly next door, closed last year. The Catholic high school had 92 students at the time.
But Osterman and other opponents — including ONE Northside, an activist group that organized the meeting Thursday — say any type of competition will drain money from neighborhood schools.
“I’m going to fight to make sure that that high school does not open,” Osterman said. “Adding Passages [high] school is a distraction in this community, and it takes money away from Senn.”
Passages is in fact located in Ald. Pat O’Connor‘s 40th Ward. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
James Morgan, the former chairman of now-shuttered Trumbull Elementary School, encouraged the community to support its neighborhood schools.
“Just like the community rallied around Trumbull to keep us open, we need to do that now to make sure nothing happens to Senn,” he said.
November 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm
I won’t comment. But if you’d like to vote on whether we should start the school year before or after Labor Day, please make your voice known!
Also, as a reminder, the Neighborhood School Fair (sponsored by parents) is this Saturday. This is turning into quite a fun event:
Aside from raffle prizes, kids activities, face painting, entertainment and informative workshops for parents, we are offering a free sandwich from Smoke Daddy’s who has generously supported our event. Thank you Smoke Daddy!!! You don’t want to miss this!!!
November 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm
For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, here is the SunTimes Top 50 schools listing in the state.
And the top honors go to….
Skinner North Elem (Classical)
Whitney Young Middle School (Selective enrollment academic center)
Walter Payton High School (Selective enrollment) unseating long standing #1 high school, North Side College Prep (which still has higher ACT scores.)
I just read that any differences between these and CPS scores are that these do not include Science (REading and Math only.)
Coonley and Greeley (turns out this is a Greeley in the suburbs) moved up the list a lot for Elementaries. Lincoln is the top rated neighborhood school.
Lane Tech AC makes its debut at #5 in the state among middle schools.
Jones is now in the the top 5 of high schools.
Hinsdale looks to have unseated new Trier as #1 non-selective school in the state.
Which goes to show the point made on the blog earlier today: There are 2 reliable ways to predict good test scores in a school: 1 good test scores of the kids coming in 2 financial situation of the parents.
IN OTHER NEWS:
A couple people sent me and email with the following info about network re-structuring. I’ve lot track of how this has all changed because it seems to change like every year or so. From BBB:
Starting immediately, we are restructuring our networks to better align both our academic goals and geographies of existing neighborhoods. This will allow us to better engage our community stakeholders while improving the allocation of Network resources to our schools. To accomplish this, we are moving from the existing structure of 19 separate networks for elementary schools and high schools to a new configuration consisting of 13 networks that encompass Pre-Kindergarten education through Grade 12. Combining elementary and high school networks will allow for a more coherent, continuous delivery of instruction for students starting in Pre-Kindergarten through the 12th grade.
Some school types that require more specialized education supports will operate under their own organizational structure. The Alternative Schools Network, which has been renamed the Department of Option Schools, will report to the Office of Innovation and Incubation. Service Leadership Academies (Military) will be counted in the new Network structure, but will operate as a separate unit within the District. Lastly, AUSL schools will no longer be included under the new Network structure and will instead receive support directly from the Chief Officer of Network Supports.
I am confident that this revised network structure will strengthen our schools, better support school leaders and teachers, and help us reach our vision for every student in every neighborhood to be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program to prepare them for success in college, career and life.
Network Leads: (this likely has typos… scribbled it down from a RYH post this weekend that I can’t find now.)
Anna Alvardo – Sauganash, Reed-Dunning, Albany Irving
Craig Beves – RavenswoodRandel Josserand – Austin, Belmont Cragin
John Price – Logan, Lincoln Park
Wanda Washington – Garfield, w Humbodlt, North Lawndale, Humboldt
Elizabeth Kirby – Englewood, Auburn-Gresham
LaTanya McDade – Chatham, South Shore
Karen Saffold – Far South, Far East ?
Herald “Chip” Johson – near North, Near West Loop, Bridgeport, Chinatown
Theresa Plascencia – Pilsen, Little Village
Luis Soria – McKinley Park
Harrison Peters – Bronzeville, Hyde Park, woodlawn
Rhonda Seagert – Beverly, Midway, Chicago Lawn (?) Ashburn
INTERESTING ARTICLE FROM CATALYST:
This is a POV from a teacher about whether kids who just don’t do the work should get a 0% or 50% for doing nothing. It’s insightful about what some teachers are facing in high schools where some kids just don’t do the work. And also about how decisions like this can affect how a school’s ratings look. It’s interesting and fairly short.
November 1, 2013 at 12:33 am
Okay, I’m finishing up the most boring marketing book in the world, so I need something interesting to read. I keep hearing that this has some interesting stuff in it so I’m choosing this as the next CPSO Book Club Selection. This will be my first official Kindle read. I just realized the downside of the Kindle is the inability to perceive the size of the book by seeing how thick/heavy it is. 320 pages it says. So once I/any of you dive in we can decide how long we might need to read it, then I’ll plan an outing.
The last time we met was very fun. And you can feel free to come if you didn’t read the book as we spent more time talking about (really, do I have to spell it out?….) CPS! And having some wine.
October 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm
A group of parent/LSC members from a range of neighborhood schools is putting on a Neighborhood School Fair, to give more parents the chance to get familiar with these schools.
Saturday November 16
11am – 3pm
Clemente High School
1147 N. Western
Currently it looks like there will be 27 schools (including elementary and high schools) at the fair. I can’t find a list of the schools participating, but it looks like if you scroll through their Facebook page, you can see announcements made when schools sign on.
From their site:
Why a Neighborhood Schools Fair?
For more than a century, Chicago, the City of Neighborhoods, has had strong, vibrant public schools at the heart of its many neighborhoods.
The Neighborhood School Fair is an event for parents and by parents where these neighborhood public schools can:
- showcase their resources and programs;
- share information with other schools;
- learn about community organizations available to support their schools.
The Fair is intended as a way to foster educational organizing and school involvement among parents at neighborhood schools. The Fair will highlight the fact that our public schools have many wonderful programs and involved families and that our communities can come together to help public schools continue to thrive throughout our city. It will bring parents from neighborhood schools together for a meet and greet that reaches across neighborhood boundaries.
The organizers of the Fair are a group of parents from across Chicago who came together to fight the mass school closings. Most of us have children at neighborhood schools—many from schools that were on the closing list (Lafayette, Garvey, Manierre, Mitchell, Kelly, Pritzker, Sheridan, Drummond, Goethe, Nettelhorst, Grimes-Fleming, Ray, Mt. Greenwood, Whitney Young, etc.)
We are looking for sponsors among both elected officials and community organizations and also looking for help to spread the word—to get schools to sign up to participate with a booth and to get parents to attend. Please send us a message if you are interested in participating. Online registration coming soon.
Although we are focusing on neighborhood schools, we will also be happy to include public schools that aren’t strictly neighborhood schools as well (magnets, selective enrollment, magnet cluster, etc.)
October 29, 2013 at 5:36 am
Raise Your Hand is doing a new survey to gather input from a range of parents on how their schools have been affected by budget cuts and what your key priorities are for the near term.
Take a moment to fill it out and pass it on…..
Parents: RYH needs to hear from you as we plan our work going forward. Please take a few minutes to take this survey to inform us of what’s happening at your schools and what initiatives you want us to focus on. Your info will stay confidential. We won’t share any specific info about schools. Thank you!
October 29, 2013 at 5:22 am