Alderman Pawar’s Note on Neighborhood High Schools (Lake View and Amundsen)
I attended a meeting last week at the alderman’s office North Center about Lake View HS. The school has a new principal (imagine a young Ken Jennings) and he has the backing of the CPS district office and the local Aldermen. Lots of parents from the Lakeview feeder schools attended, and there is great excitement about making LVHS into a desirable neighborhood high school option. I’m hoping to get some time on the new principal’s calendar soon to talk more about his vision and I’m currently working on a meeting time with the Amundsen Principal. That school just had a big improvement in their IB pass rate this year, which is a very impressive accomplishment for both students and staff. So I hope to continue sharing more about these north side high schools.
Here’s is a post from Pawar’s Facebook page. Links are below to the LVHS and Amundsen support groups.
By Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward: Lakeview and Amundsen HS)
Why building a neighborhood K-12 is important:
Last Thursday, my office hosted the rollout of the new ‘Lake View Partners’ with Principal Scott Grens, Lake View High School STEM partners (Northwestern University, DePaul University, Microsoft), Ald. Tunney, Ald. Cappleman, and over 70 of our neighbors. The event was a tremendous success! People had an opportunity to meet Principal Grens and learn more about the university and technology partnerships. Most importantly, everyone had a chance to hear about Principal Grens’ vision to make LVHS a solid choice for everyone in our community. In sum, complete #GROW47‘s vision to build a neighborhood K-12 system in our community.
Neighborhood schools have been my ‘all-in’ since taking office – but I still hear some skepticism about neighborhood high schools. But here is what I know: People move to our community for elementary schools, but move to the suburbs for high schools when their children reach the sixth or seventh grade (sometimes much earlier). Why? Families and students are living in a pressure-cooker. If you live in Tier 3 or 4 of the CPS Tier system, your child has to get straight A’s, never miss a day of school, and test in the 95-99% percentile to test into a selective enrollment high school. For many families, the stress is just too much and they move to the suburbs. What do they get in the suburbs? Suburbs make schools the starting point for everything they do. Property values, economic development, and community sustainability is tied to the school districts. So one tax bill nets a family an entire K-12 system. This means there is no stress about getting into the right high school to get into the right college as everyone goes to the same high school. There is more stability and equity for all kids. And this allows kids to be kids and families to live with some peace.
To combat the suburban outflow, I launched GROW47. The goal: give families in the City what they seek out in the suburbs — a neighborhood K-12 system.
The completion of a neighborhood K-12 system in our community begins with you and me. And it begins with shaping our perception of neighborhood high schools. Everyone has to get involved-parents, homeowners, renters, business owners, etc. It doesn’t matter if you have children. You can do your part by running for Local School Council. Or join your school’s parent organization. Volunteer at an event or put a sign in your window. At a minimum, spread a positive message about your neighborhood school. How does this help? Because performance follows perception.
If you and your family are tired of living in a constant state of stress, I urge you to take a second look at Lake View High School and Amundsen High School. Both schools have transformative principals, vision for excellence, and great programs. What’s missing? Buy in.
Shaping school perception begins with you. And again, performance follows perception. So what can you do? Get involved. Here’s how:
- Join the new Lake View Partners – http://lakeviewhs.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cb51e2b34351d231690903b9a&id=d0061444cc
– Join the Friends of Amundsen https://www.facebook.com/groups/196286870490599/
- Work with both principals to set up school tours
- Begin a dialogue on your block about neighborhood schools – and name the time and place and I will do my best to be there to give your neighbors my pitch on building a neighborhood K-12 system. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
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