Lake View High School to select a new principal
I heard about this a couple weeks ago – that LVHS will be choosing a new principal very soon. Got this today from the North Side HS Initiative:
The Lake View High School Principal Forum is scheduled for the evening of Monday, June 6 at Lake View High School. The three candidates for principal will attend the “meet and greet” from 6:00-7:00 and the forum will begin at 7:00. Please share this information. Hope to see you there.
I think this is really exciting. Nothing against the current admin, who I know absolutely nothing about, but since I suspect I am a bit of Reformer at heart, I like the idea of the school getting reinvigorated. Or maybe it is the corporate drone in me who buys into the idea of “new management signals a change in strategy” as a way to build interest in the company (uh, or school.)
I’m trying to find out whether the current Asst Principal is on the short list, as well as who else might be. I’ve heard there might be interest in getting some new blood in the place (from a current teacher) but it can be difficult for an LSC to NOT choose an existing staff member unless there is a real commitment to change.
I still haven’t gotten filled in on the last meeting (although I offered a friend a beer if he would write up some notes – the offer stands for any of you who attend a meeting!) He did tell me that he feels the school may be at the tipping point.
The Trib also ran this article today. That is some good PR for a neighborhood HS for a change.
‘Best kept secret on the North Side’
Lake View High seeks prestigious science, math program
(by Erin Calandriello, Special to the Tribune)
Mark Morgan, a junior at Lake View High School on Chicago’s North Side, does not come from a wealthy background. So his parents didn’t have the money to pay for private school.
Initially, Morgan, 17, didn’t think a neighborhood school would be challenging or rewarding. But after attending Lake View, he found otherwise. “After attending Lake View, I realized that neighborhood schools are just as good as private schools and magnet schools,” he said. Morgan cited extracurricular activities including band, mock trial, art club and sports teams along with the wide selection of Advanced Placement courses that Lake View offers students.
Now, administrators and teachers hope to enrich the 1,550-student school’s offerings by starting a STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — program. The advanced program, which is offered at other high schools in the Chicago area and across the nation, engages students in projects and independent research on a large scale, said Vyjayanti Joshi, who has been a biology teacher at Lake View for seven years and is the chairwoman of the science department.
Assistant Principal Carolyn Eggert and her colleagues said that if they could improve their science labs and add the STEM program to the curriculum, the school’s reputation would improve; mentors from the neighborhood would take students under their wings; companies would donate money and time to the school; the caliber of students would increase; and more neighborhood parents would view Lake View as a good choice for their children.
The school’s administration is asking Chicago Public Schools to match the $2 million raised with the help of a local alderman to pay for the STEM program and improve laboratories, Eggert said. “We need millions of dollars in capital improvement funds,” she said, noting that selective enrollment schools such as Walter Payton College Prep have received strong financial support for new facilities.
CPS has yet to release its budget to Lake View for the coming academic year.
Strengthening the offerings at Lake View High School would improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, Eggert said. “We are the best kept secret on the North Side of Chicago, but we are limited in what we can do,” she said.
Eight out of the nine science labs at Lake View are below CPS standards, Eggert said. The lab desks are nailed to the floor, and the school doesn’t have the money to provide necessary safety equipment like eye flushes and goggles.
Basic science supplies such as Bunsen burners, petri dishes, flasks and cylinders are in short supply, Eggert said.
Students said they are frustrated by the limited science options. They said they have had to skip labs because of a lack of equipment. The lack of resources also means they have had to share new pieces of equipment and computers, which means lessons that should take one day to finish are stretched over two days, the students said.
“There is such a limitation on what we can do,” Joshi said. “So many parents don’t want to send their kids to a magnet school, but we need to expand our rigor to keep them here. … We need the space and tools so we can better prepare them for postsecondary education.”
Eggert agreed. “We cannot advertise the STEM program if we don’t have a state-of-the-art science lab, where students can engage in expansive research. We cannot analyze data if we cannot collect it,” she said.
But despite these problems, students and teachers said they are proud of their school. “There is no reason to pay too much money to get a good education because you can get a great education at a local neighborhood school,” said senior William Bazan, 18, who is from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side and who has been enrolled in Lake View’s Math Science and Technology Academy throughout his high school career.
“Before I came here, I was just interested in mechanical work, and now I’m interested in mechanical and electrical engineering,” said Bazan, who plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It opened up my mind to what I could do.”
The teachers work hard to help students, said Melissa Lara, 17, a junior who is interested in the arts. “The teachers are great. They actually care — and that’s what matters the most,” Lara said.
The school opens its doors Saturdays to provide ACT tutoring, Eggert said. The average ACT score at Lake View is about a 20, which is “in line” with schools like Lane Tech College Prep High School, she said. About 41 percent of those who took an Advanced Placement test for college credit in 2010 passed it with a score of 3 or higher, Eggert said.
“It’s OK to go to your neighborhood school,” said Melissa Zagorski, a 15-year veteran physics teacher at Lake View. “I think magnet schools purposely put us down to build themselves up and make neighborhood schools seem like a last resort, but we’re not.”
Morgan agreed. “When you’re in grade school, everyone says make sure you apply to magnet schools like Lane Tech because you don’t want to end up at schools like Lake View,” he said. “But the bad reputation they have — it’s not true. They might not have the best equipment or laptops for every student, but the kids care and the teachers want you to learn. If I could advertise, I would say, come here.”