What would be on your list for Lake View High School / Meeting Notice

June 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm 60 comments

Ok, I am worse than the Blue Ribbon Committee in terms of posting meeting notices.  In any case, a group of parents involved with Lake View High School are meeting Thursday evening.  Yay for them!  Please join them if you’re in that disctrict and would like to get involved.  This is going to take a big effort to make a noteworthy change.  I can promise that you that if you get involved, whether your child eventually attends LVHS or not, the efforts will make you proud, you’ll learn a lot, and I suspect you’ll meet a lot of great people along the way.

I will be away this weekend (yay!) but for a discussion topic, I was thinking it might be fun/interesting to compile a list of things we’d want out of high school (CPS high school people, so don’t get *too* carried away).  I always think of that legendary list that the moms at Nettelhorst compiled and took into the principal there who declared “we’ve got a lot of work to do, ladies!”    I know that this new LVHS group is on the case, but I feel like the more input from parents, the better.  I will pass it on to the relevant parties.



Find out what’s going on at the school that’s building community interest, is featured in a great article in the Chicago Tribune, and has potential new programming. Join Bob Guercio, former Bell principal, and a group of parents who are working hard to make Lakeview High School a desirable option for all of us. Learn what you can do to help make your local high school a place you’d like to send your children.

When: Thursday, June 23 at 7pm
Place: Smarty Party, 1846 W Belmont Ave.

– Proposed curricular enhancements

– Capital improvement priorities

– Fundraising

 RSVP: Rachel at rachelgchicago@gmail.com


Looking forward to seeing you on June 23rd.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Blue Ribbon Committee Meetings – SOON! Quest Open House Weds – spots still open

60 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cps Mom  |  June 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    The curriculum is important to me. Ideally there would be a reasonable variety of choices at various levels. Some classes at “regular” level, heavy on the honors classes. Students broken out somewhat by ablility – particularly in something like foreign language. In addition to the usual fare – 4+ languages, journalism, tech programing, pre-med and pre-law. The school could partner with sponsors for summer internships and with community colleges for access to a wide variety of courses.

    I know $$$$$ is always a factor.

  • 2. chicago mom  |  June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    The school needs neighborhood families to send there kids. I dont believe you need a ton of money. You need strong leadership. The new admin needs to market to feeder elementary schools. It will be forced to turn around due to the few selective enrollment high schools. Everyone spread the word!

  • 3. Northside Mom  |  June 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    The two most common questions at high schools that I think the parents going to this meeting want LVHS to become 10 years from now.

    1) What’s the average ACT? (18.2 per cps.edu)
    2) Where are the students going to college?

    Once answered, how do we raise ACT scores and get students applying to, and matriculating to, a more diverse group of colleges. Many schools bring ACT Prep in-house through relationships with Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc. Perhaps LV already does this…I don’t know. Require students to take four years of academic credit in English, math, science, social studies, and a language. Research programs at other schools, see where they are having success, decide if it would work for this population.

  • 4. HSObsessed  |  June 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Having watched the slow transformation over the years of Lincoln Park High School, I’d say the number one aspect they have to “sell” to potential families at feeder elementaries is that LVHS is a safe, welcoming environment. Somehow they need to invite parents to attend the school during the day to see for themselves the positive energy there, and how clean, safe and happy it all is.

    The second aspect they have to work on is to cater to the parents’ desires to have their children in some kind of special program that is somehow more challenging, or has special funding or some kind of “specialness”. The STEM program might be perfect for this. It has to be sold that the standards to get admitted are high, the teacher quality is high, and the standards of performance expected from students in the program are just as high.

    Also, the parents who are being addressed likely grew up in suburban or smaller town high schools elsewhere, and they have to believe that their kids will get a “normal” high school experience at LVHS, including homecoming dances, sports teams, cheerleading squads, and post-prom parties involving kegs and tons of pot. Oh, strike that part. You know what I mean.

  • 5. mom2  |  June 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    @4, I agree with you and thanks for the humor at the end. That was fun!

  • 6. cpsobsessed  |  June 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Heh, that’s why we live in the city, isn’t it? So our kids can take the El when they’re doing stupid things at night?

  • 7. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 23, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I not only want to know what colleges the kids go to, but also how they do. If honors students have below-average ACTs, they are going to flounder in college.

    My second question: what’s the gang situation? If you are not Latino, will the Latin Kings bother you? Is there a lot of tension or violence in the hallways because of the LKs? Can people tell who is who? What can be done to get them out?

  • 8. Mayfair Dad  |  June 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

    @ 4: Were you my date to prom? Sounds like you were there for the post-party.

    First and foremost, make sure every student is getting a solid high school education. What does the core curriculum look like? Raising ACT scores is a priority.

    Secondly, something new and shiny like the STEM program will allow you to re-brand the high school and give area families a reason to take another look.

    Finally, make sure you have your marketing act together re: tours, open houses, brocures, website presence. This includes listing where graduates attend college. If you have a good story to tell, make sure you tell it well.

  • 9. Mayfair Dad  |  June 23, 2011 at 8:38 am


  • 10. Mom2  |  June 23, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I agree with all the ideas. I do think that @7 is right in that many parents will not consider Lakeview if they feel the school is not safe or that their child will be in class with students more interested in causing trouble than getting good grades and getting into a good college. As I have said before, high school is the most critical time for making the right choice in friends. The wrong choice with all the peer pressure that goes along with that age can lead to a bad result.

  • 11. HSObsessed  |  June 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

    “@ 4: Were you my date to prom? ” — Only in my dreams, MD…

    Back on topic: Although the LVHS folks should have all the data ready to answer questions about average ACT scores and rate of college enrollment, the current numbers are not going to impress anyone, so I think they should be shared, but then immediately launch into how things are likely to change. The ACT score right now is 18.2 with only 26% of students scoring 20 or higher. Sixty-six percent of current LVHS graduates go to college, which is a pretty good number for CPS, but that’s not going to wow parents who were hoping their child would get into Lane Tech, and who assume that 95% of Lane graduates enroll in college (the actual number is 77%, but this is all about perceptions). So I’d say there should be at the heart of this transformation the message that they are working to attract a core of smart kids into this special program, and that this group (of maybe 75? or 100?) will be a big chunk of the entering freshman class of 440. No one wants to feel they’re taking this “risk” alone.

  • 12. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I care less about how many kids go to college than I do about how prepared the college-bound kids are. And that’s the knock in the neighborhood: Lake View doesn’t prepare kids for college, because that’s where all the kids who tag our garages go and they only care about dealing drugs.

    I know that not all kids at North Side go to college, and I know that drugs are in every school in the country. But that doesn’t mean I want to send my kid to a school where there are more Latin Kings than real honors students. If the perception is wrong, tell us why. If it’s right, tell us why it will change and why our children will be okay, and the answer has to be something other than “because your kids are smart and you won’t let your kids do drugs and you’ll do lots of fundraising for us”.

  • 13. RL Julia  |  June 23, 2011 at 10:55 am

    CPSDepressed – what could LVHS say on a tour that would convince you to consider sending your kid there? What do you want them to talk about? What sort of things would you want to know about the college bound LVHS kids?

    Also – what if the gang group also contained members of the honor club? Would that bother you?

  • 14. Mayfair Dad  |  June 23, 2011 at 11:20 am

    @ 12 & others

    CPS must come up with a comprehensive plan to legally remove the bad apples from a school community without trampling their civil liberties.

    For younger children, you could argue that the home environment and other factors outside of the child’s control are at fault. But by the time a student reaches high school age, presumably they are mature enough to know wrong from right.

    This “special needs” population is entitled to receive the support they need to become useful and productive members of society. I envision a very different type of selective enrollment high school where vocational training could be obtained for these troubled youths. Security would be high, zero tolerance for guns or fighting, perhaps in the shadows of Cook County Jail as a constant reminder.

    Then you would see neighborhood high schools improve.

  • 15. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 23, 2011 at 11:30 am

    LVHS has to hold tours during the day, during change of classes. That’s one thing that would help. What really goes on there.

    The campus needs to release crime statistics. It needs to tell us where the kids who go there are coming from and how they are admitted. It needs to address the issue of gangs, not say that the only thing the school needs is more neighborhood kids. Maybe some of the gang-bangers are from the attendance area, you know? Or maybe it’s just neighborhood perception and there are no gang kids at Lake View, but then the school needs to explain that. That’s the perception, that Lake View is a school with a gang problem.

    If the gang members were also honors students (real honors students, not accolades given to people with below-average ACT scores; a real program, not some sort of after-school club), I’d be okay with it as long as they were not disrupting the classroom or keeping my child from learning. Can you assure me that it takes real effort to be an honors student? Can you assure me that my kid will be reasonably safe? Is it okay to go to Lake View and not be in a gang?

    And I don’t want to know about the kids who are college-bound, I want to know about the kids who are there now. This city is filled with kids who have a 13 ACT and think they are going to become doctors. Lake View seems to have kids with 18 ACT scores who think they are honors students. Where do they go, Truman College or UIC? If they go to UIC, do they graduate, or do they flunk out freshman year?

    It all boils down to this: if I send my kid to Lake View, will he get a good education? Will he be safe? I’d rather know what the school for do for the students than what the “right” students with the “right” parents can do for the school. Unfortunately, the discussions about Lake View all seem to be about the latter rather than the former, and that bothers me.

  • 16. Grace  |  June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Just a little friendly reminder:

    The first Blue Ribbon Committee meeting is THIS Saturday, June 25 at 10 am at Westinghouse h.s.

    Blink and it will all be over.

  • 17. Mom2  |  June 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Everyone is making good points. It is true that LVHS has to market to potential parents and has to prove to them what the school can do for them and their children (and what it won’t do “to” them). It is too bad that the school couldn’t be shut down for 2 years and revamped/remodeled and then they could start fresh with new programs and a new all or mostly all neighborhood student body (or temporarily moved to an alternate location). I know it isn’t going to happen and would be totally unfair to the good kids and staff at LVHS that are trying hard to succeed in all that they do, but I think that starting fresh component would help convince some parents to give it a try. (I actually feel a bit guilty even writing this…)

  • 18. klm  |  June 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    There definitely needs to be something like the Lincoln Park IB program –a program with (real) admission standards and where kids are challenged and well prepared for college (and with a nice list of colleges where students have been admitted). I’m glad that people are pointing out how dismal public urban high school standards are, so that real results, not just “talking nice” are what matter. Also, I know (some) people will hate me for pointing this out, but white and asian kids don’t have the luxury of diversity-obsessed college admissions offices (I have some professional experience in this area, so I’m probably more sensitive about this issue than other people) when the time comes –they’ll have to compete with kids from the best public and private schools in order to be admitted and once enrolled, they’ll have to be able to hold their own and even excel in order to be admitted to grad school, get a good job, transfer into the engineering college, etc. On that note, LVHS’s current test scores and graduation stats don’t seem all too impressive, so what’s the CONCRETE PLAN/PROGRAM that will give my kids a good education? Remember that the 25th-75th %ile composite ACT scores at U-I/U-C is 26-31 (at Northwestern, it’s 31-34!).

  • 19. msg  |  June 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I’d also suggest that the school, by way of their website or some other means, indicate how many teachers are Nationally Board Certified and/or how they are involved in the school (ie: who is the chess club coach, who got a grant for new technology, who painted the mural, etc). The people in the school who are spending the most one-on-one time with the kids need to be as awesome as the school wants its students to be.

  • 20. Concernced CPSer  |  June 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Some of the comments within this thread are either ignorant or downright selfish. Lake View is a general high school….and one of, if not the best in the entire city. LVHS is bound by law to accept any student within the attendance area and to suggest that they find a way to legally remove students is wrong. They are entitled to an education and just like many of the parents that offer suggestions here, want what is best for THEIR children.

    Like many of the concerns voiced, current parents of LVHSs’ children cannot get into Lane, Northside etc….so what is the difference between these parents and you? I would suggest nothing. Their test scores did not make it…their grades did not meet SE standards…and perhaps their neighborhood schools were below what parents wanted for their children. Maybe your children won’t be the top of the class…and won’t get accepted into an SE school. Accept this…be good parents and work with the school that he/she gets into. Don’t try and make your child something he/she is not by changing the criteria of a local school. Just because you change a school’s label and make it a selective enrollment school….doesn’t make your child a top tiered student. If they didn’t make it into SE…then they didn’t make it.

    Lake View provides an opportunity for students to become involved in sports, clubs, academically challenging classes…in short…it provides an opportunity for students to better themselves as people and provides choice. Students who go to LVHS are often trying to escape a cycle within their families and for people to want to rip that legal and moral opportunity away from them is shameful. One of the great things that students walk out of LVHS with is the ability to understand diversity…academically, socioeconomically…athletically and this makes them better people. They come out with compassion, drive and pride (if they take that opportunity…just like any school in the world). I question parents who want to turn any school into a upper class homogeneous environment that could lead to ignorant ideas passed onto their children. I understand why you want the best for your children, but please don’t make it into a “my child is better than yours” situation. True leaders, who are academically fit and successful are more likely to come from parents with good parenting skills. They can excel in any environment, be it a general high school or a selective enrollment one.

    To suggest that a school (any school) will instantly give the ability to a student to achieve higher is being ignorant about education and human development. Schools can provide rigor and opportunity. Without a strong partnership between the parents, student and staff nothing can happen. Parental involvement significantly declines as students enter high school. You want better schools….stay involved in your child’s life at school.

    As far as the gangs go…I’m not sure how the Latin Kings became involved in this thread (12). Perhaps 3 known LKs…and they cause no problem. There is such a small percent of students involved in gangs at LVHS because they know that students won’t tolerate gang violence in their school. that is the truth. LVHS is safe….someone posted something about guns….why???!!! Again…ignorance can spread rumors. Fights do happen at every high school…remember when you went? Students today at every high school become involved in fights mostly because of Tweets, Facebook, and texts. That is why Illinois passed a law last year extending harder punishment and broadening the definition for cyber-bullying.

  • 21. klm  |  June 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm


    I KNOW people that went to LVHS (including a person I’m pretty good friends with, also my sister-in-law’s longtime boyfriend, etc.). They ALL are pretty negative about the place. There are many, many “regular, non-SE HSs in the suburbs, rural Downstate towns, etc. with good average ACT scores, graduation rates, etc., so why are people supposed to expect so much less from LVHS? Because it’s in a big city? Has more minorities? More low-income kids? Why should people want or necessarily expect less? It’s kinda’ like saying, “Oh, you’re smart for an URBAN youth! Not up to suburban standards, of course, but smart for one of YOU people”, not understanding how insulting that sounds, the presumptive inferiority it exposes, etc. OK, maybe there’s no reason to be totally scared to death about guns and gang violence at LVHS, but people in the neighborhood see the HS-age thugs and gangbangers (not as many as in some parts of town but there are some) , read newspaprers, watch the news, attend community meetings, talk to neighbors, wake up with gang signs sprayed on their garages, etc. –when all these things point to gangs, real crime (not paranoia) and violence in the area, people are just voicing their concern, not being totally paranoid. Nobody is expecting LVHS to be New Trier or Northside, but there’s no reason to NOT expect or want better academic stats than literally dozens or maybe even hundreds of other public high schools in the Chicagoland area and other parts of the state. Why is it “elitist” to expect just a “regular” public high school education and the test scores that go along with it? That’s what many/most other people in Illinois have, so why are parents in Lakeview somehow “jerks” for wanting the same?

  • 22. cps Mom  |  June 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    @20 you make some very interesting points. I think that we’re participating here to get some insight on “upgrading” a viable neighborhood school with potential. As a parent of a “high-schooler” I would have sent my child to any other school than my neighborhood school because it is not safe. This thread and the other LV thread interest me because I think that not having the opportunity that we had, I would indeed consider Lake View. As someone mentioned earlier, if there are no or very little problems at LV, make the community aware of that. It would be very interesting to all concerned to hear how you do it and how it could work for their family. As far as taking kids out of the system – I don’t think ANYONE wants their child to attend school with dangerous teens. Whether violent crimes occur inside or outside of school responsible parties need to be physically separate from those who are there to learn. Don’t take that personally – parents have to look out for their kids and will ask the tough questions. There are so many problems that a teen can get into, many of which are life threatening. Neighborhood schools in general have a bad rep – if LV has a different story, shout it from the top of a mountain.

  • 23. Mom2  |  June 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    @20 – You said, “LVHS is bound by law to accept any student within the attendance area and to suggest that they find a way to legally remove students is wrong.” Just to be clear, you think that it is wrong to try to remove a neighborhood student from a neighborhood school even if they are a huge behavior issue and are making it impossible for all the other students to learn. Correct?

    You said, “Like many of the concerns voiced, current parents of LVHSs’ children cannot get into Lane, Northside etc….so what is the difference between these parents and you?” There would be nothing different between those parents and me, if that was the only thing you look at when comparing. I’m sure the majority of parents at Lane are wonderful.

    You said, “Don’t try and make your child something he/she is not by changing the criteria of a local school. Just because you change a school’s label and make it a selective enrollment school….doesn’t make your child a top tiered student. If they didn’t make it into SE…then they didn’t make it.” I don’t think anyone is suggesting that by changing the criteria of a local school that this would somehow make their child a “top tiered student.” The reason for changing the school is to bring in the higher performing students rather than having them leave their neighborhood school for the SE schools. If you can get them to just go to LVHS since it is their neighborhood school, then the school will be filled with better students and that, just by itself, helps to create a better school environment for those from the neighborhood that couldn’t get into a SE school. It gives them better choices for friends, etc.

    You said, “Students who go to LVHS are often trying to escape a cycle within their families and for people to want to rip that legal and moral opportunity away from them is shameful.” I don’t think anyone wants to “rip” away opportunities. It is shameful that there aren’t neighborhood high schools all over the city that provide amazing opportunities. More effort and money should be spent to better those schools and to give the administration and staff the ability to make it great for those that want to learn.

    The question on this thread was what LVHS may need to do to attract more people from the neighborhood. It is reality that having kids from the neighborhood at LVHS rather than kids from outside the neighborhood (which was the point) would help attract others from the neighborhood. There are advantages to having your children make friends with those that live nearby. It isn’t about socioeconomic factors or race. It is about time to get from place to place, safety, transportation costs, and things like that.

    You said, “I question parents who want to turn any school into a upper class homogeneous environment that could lead to ignorant ideas passed onto their children. I understand why you want the best for your children, but please don’t make it into a “my child is better than yours” situation.” There are plenty of non-upper class students that would be neighborhood kids at LVHS. We are certainly not upper class. People that choose to live in the city are certainly not the type of people that are looking for homogeneous. That is the suburbs. And I don’t see anywhere where people even implied “my child is better than yours.” The only thing close to this was, again, the concern about kids that might not have the values to know things such as you going home after the school day or activities are over and doing your homework is a top priority.

  • 24. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Here’s the reality: Lake View’s attendance area is Tier 4. If you are Tier 4, you pretty much have to be 90th percentile or above to go to an SEHS. Snobby upper class parents that we are, we tend to believe that kids in the 80th percentile, and even the 70th or 60th, should be capable of going to college. That’s why so many families in the LVHS attendance area send their children to Catholic school, or to charter/magnet schools like Von Steuben or UIC Charter, or move out of the city. We have been told that Lake View would not only be a good option for our children, but also that the very fact of our children’s attendance would improve the school (more college-bound students, more fundraising, fewer slots for out-of-neighborhood kids who may bring down the scores). Fine. So tell me, why would Lake View be better than Catholic school, UIC Charter, or Oak Park-River Forest?

    I had no idea that wanting my child to get a good education in a safe school was trying to make him into something that he is not. I guess it is.

    Now tell me, who’s been tagging all the trash cans in the alley?

  • 25. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    And, BTW, it’s the CAPS officers who told us that the graffiti is from the Latin Kings trying to recruit at Lake View. That’s how the Latin Kings got involved in discussions of Lake View. That’s the perception in the neighborhood. Perceptions are often wrong. I know that. But that’s why the school needs to address the issue if it wants to attract families from the attendance area.

    If it does not want to attract families from the attendance area, then that’s a different story.

  • 26. Concernced CPSer  |  June 23, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    There is no doubt that everyone in the neighborhood wants LVHS to get better, regardless if they send their children there or even have children. There is nothing wrong with raised expectations and students, staff and community members should be working together to do just that. My contribution to the thread was not aimed at parents who want more for their children, we all do, but to those parents who wish to shut LVHS down, exclude “undesirable” (@23) students (yes…they cannot deny an education to a student even if they cause trouble…they can suspend them but even then only have a limited number of days in some cases) or refuse to work with LVHS. LVHS is a viable option for parents in the neighborhood because they continue to improve their programs and staff, wish to build a solid partnership with the community and continue to beat all general high schools within the city. LVHS would love nothing more than improve the attendance, raise the test scores, provide rigor to the students and attract those families that wish the same. LVHS does need to improve the perception that it has within the community and better its marketing practices.

    @24…Catholic schools cost money, charter schools are unproven and OPRF High School means you have to move. There are many out of area students who bring LVHS up….a student graduated to Cornell two years ago…another took 4th at the state track meet this year…3.1 million dollars went to scholarships and grants for this year’s graduates to attend college, including a full ride for a young man to attend Westpoint (also an out of area student).

    Gang members may be tagging the trash cans….but you cannot assume they are students that attend LVHS. In fact, many gang members target schools to recruit or send a message to non members alike. Additionally, you assumption that many of the tagging is gang related is wrong. As I drive around the neighborhood, most of the tags are from “Taggers”…kids that are not involved with gangs but simply want to put their “tag name” out there. They have zero gang meaning or affiliation. If you contact your local CAPS people, they will tell you the same thing. Please don’t assume that LVHS is the root of all the spray paint. Having said that, the tagging regardless of gang/tags needs to stop.

  • 27. Concernced CPSer  |  June 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    @25…I understand that LK want to recruit…they all do…at most every high school. It is the fact that LVHS has such a small gang problem that makes gangs want to recruit near the school. LVHS doesn’t have a problem but many outsiders think they do because they see gang tagging around. LVHS does everything within the law to curb gang activity through dress code, police patrol at dismissal and positive behavior programs targeting “at risk” students (counseling, after school activities).

    The truth is, there is more Latin Eagle (and even so…only within the last 9 months) tagging around the neighborhood than anything else so I’m not sure what the CAPS officer is referring to. Not that this is better btw.

  • 28. RL Julia  |  June 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    My neighborhood is also being tagged (and I not particularly close to ANY high school). There is a lot of gang activity in the whole northside right now according to CAPS. I understand that there are gangs agitating to the south of my neighborhood in Avondale, to the north in Albany Park and to the East in Lakeview/Roscoe. Two little kids were recently shot in a park about a mile from me. In the thirteen years I’ve lived in my neighborhood, its never been quite like this – so I wouldn’t pin the increase in graffiti in your neighborhood solely on LVHS just yet.

  • 29. Mom2  |  June 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    @26, I am sorry that you are so defensive about my comments. I really do want what is best for LVHS, the neighborhood and all CPS children. I just know parents in the LVHS neighborhood that right now would never consider sending their child to LVHS and one of the main reasons is that they don’t want their child sitting in class with kids that disrupt their ability to learn every day. The CPS policy that doesn’t allow those kids to be moved elsewhere makes these parents cringe. That is one reason why they try so desperately to get their children into SE schools. Because those schools are selective, it is less likely (not impossible, but much less likely) that they will encounter this issue as those kids usually cannot get into these schools. These “undesirables” (your words, not mine) could be wonderful kids outside of the classroom, could even come from wealthy backgrounds, in the neighborhood, with great parents, but if they have behavior issues that make everyone else suffer, CPS should be able to do something about it and do something to help those kids, but not by just keeping them where they are and hurting everyone else.

  • 30. Concernced CPSer  |  June 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    @29. CPS or even in the suburbs cannot do anything. CPS is one school district and there isn’t a “cast-off” (for lack of a better term) school that all schools can send troubled students.

    The hope is that there is enough funding for specialized services (social workers, individual education plans, school based problem solving) that help to address these issues, while maintaining the goal for higher standards.

  • 31. cps Mom  |  June 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I read and someone affirmed here that there is in fact one alternative high school in Englewood. A student at an Oak Park high school circulated a list defaming certain girls and was removed and placed in this Chicago school. So there is something in place. It is up to CPS to protect your kid and provide safe passage. I’m not saying that a 17 year old that does a drive by and shoots a nine year old on their bike goes to Lakeview. If they do, they should be removed and I’m guessing that no other school will want them either.

  • 32. Mom of 4  |  June 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    These issues aren’t unique to the northside. Morgan Park is going through the same types of issues. Diminished reputation in the community due to lack of diversity and safety concerns. Yet CPS has said they think it’s a fine school so have not been terribly supportive of our efforts to better market it to the community. We are looking for a new principal and hoping this will provide a strong sense of leadership to improve test scores, build on existing programs (7th and 8th grade academic center, IB program, and World Languages).

  • 33. Bad Kid  |  June 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Regarding comments about students with “disruptive” behavior. Yes, the schools can do something about these students. Usually it starts with an assessment for education-impairing disabilities, including emotional/social disorders. Then, if qualified disabilities are discovered, CPS would need to provide appropriate placement — which might be in-school supports, or even transfer to a therapeutic school. But, that’s a lot of ifs. You want to improve schools, improve its special education and treatment of students with disabilities. But, we know how well CPS does that, don’t we? Well, maybe you might not know yet. But, trust me.

  • 34. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 24, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Given that most (almost all?) of the students at Lake View are outside the attendance area, it should be possible to kick disruptive students back to their home school, yes?

    That seems like a really quick way to raise the behavior standards and assure families in the attendance area.

  • 35. Mom2  |  June 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Was anyone here able to attend last night?

  • 36. Grace  |  June 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Just caught up with this thread and it’s really thought provoking.

    klm # 18 — would you mind explaining something to me?

    “Remember that the 25th-75th %ile composite ACT scores at U-I/U-C is 26-31 (at Northwestern, it’s 31-34!).”

    You packed a lot of info into that one little sentence and I can’t quite parse it out. : )

    Also, an IB program or a STEM program for LVHS would be invaluable.

    There is a similar model just opening up this Fall in the brand new South Shore High School. New principal is well-regarded, Dr. Beryl Shingles of MPHS. The 300 incoming freshmen students will go into 3 programs: a general neighborhood program, a vocational program (medical and legal) and a STEM program.

    There is federal money for STEM programs, the only problem I know of is there may not be enough teachers. If you are interested, De Paul’s college of education is one school I know of that trains STEM teachers.

  • 37. cps grad  |  June 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    The (almost) exact situation is occurring on the south side at Morgan Park H.S. Half the students at MPHS do not live in the neighborhood. Residents are hesitant to enroll their students there because of safety and social concerns… The building is in need of repairs/replacement… the staff does not actively recruit at local elementary schools… the school needs to be more welcoming to locals… The grass roots group has a fb page “Make Morgan Park High School an Option for Your Family.”

  • 38. HSObsessed  |  June 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    @ 36 Grace said: “You packed a lot of info into that one little sentence and I can’t quite parse it out. : )”

    Obviously I’m not klm but I can help you with that, if you’re not sure what it means. It means that at UIUC, 75 percent of students who were offered a spot scored 26 or higher on the ACT, and 25 percent scored 31 or higher.

  • 39. klm  |  June 24, 2011 at 5:17 pm


    Thanks@38. I got those stats from the “collegeboard.com” college search. Here again, I hope that people don’t take this the wrong way, but when I hear from people saying things like, “Well, if such and such inner-city high school is so bad, how did my friend’s second cousin’s boyfriend get into Northwestern?!”. Well, I can tell you (I used to work in the field of education law) that any decent college wants very, very badly to be “diverse”. The admissions committees that I worked with bent over backwards to admit “special cases” (i.e., hispanic and [especially] A-A kids from poor and working class backgrounds in order to increase “Diversity” on campus, boost minority enrollment figures, etc. (I know around a decade ago some people even at Northwestern were suggesting having REMEDIAL classes even there, so hard pressed were they to increase A-A enrollment). Sometimes the disparate ACT and SAT scores were kinda’ stunning I came accross were stunning. The theory was/is “Let’s give this poor kid a chance, given how he/she has overcome so many obstacles and done his/her best, given the circumstances, etc.”. I am not against these types of policies, since in the long run, these institutions are trying to crate an American Power Structure that reflects American Society. The same goes for grad school. That said, white and asian kids are virtually never considered “special cases” –they have to have the same scores as the kids that go to the best schools, perhaps with some recognition of socioeconomics (but then again there’s only so much financial aid available and Latino and A-A Diversity usually trumps the “trailer park”). So yes, there may be kids from say, LVHS, Senn, etc. that go to Northwestern, Stanford, etc., but I would bet good money that they were admiited despite much lower than average ACT scores, etc.

  • 40. cps Mom  |  June 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    @39 – gotta love it. I know and the money scenario worries me greatly.

  • 41. Measured Mom  |  June 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    @37 – Morgan Park is almost 100 percent African-American student body, even through its neighborhood it roughly 50 percent Black and 50 percent White. It’s very bizarre. And, yes, it does have gang problems and many out-of-area students.

  • 42. Measured Mom  |  June 24, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Excuse typos.

  • 43. Dr. Lilith Werner  |  June 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Board policy states that if a student was originally accepted by an attendance center while living outside the attendance area, the school cannot transfer out that student. However, if a student originally lived in the attendance area and then moved out of the area while still enrolled at the original attendance center, the school could then transfer the student out to their home school if it so desired.

  • 44. mom2  |  June 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Do you have to accept anyone that applies that is outside the area when you have room or are there (or could there be) criteria or standards? Can you review their past school records before admitting them? Is the only answer to change board policy or fill up the school with attendance area students only?

  • 45. Esmom  |  June 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Interesting insights re Morgan Park. Over the past couple years it seemed to come up consistently in high school-related conversations as a viable option on every front except location for northsiders. So somehow word of mouth seems to be strong for whatever reason.

  • 46. Mom of 4  |  June 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Glad to hear MPHS is being floated as a viable option for some. Has many good points but needs more support from central office, alderman and community. Seems to need a good PR person.

  • 47. Grace  |  June 26, 2011 at 8:38 am

    It needs an excellent, visionary principal now, as Dr. Shingles has left.

    If you know of anyone who is qualified by CPS’ Office of Principal Preparedness and would want to increase diversity and rigor at the school, please let them know to apply.

  • 48. Two-sided Mom  |  June 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    The new alderman for the MPHS area seems even LESS likely to boost MPHS than the old one (who had been a teacher – maybe in Catholic schools).

  • 49. mom2  |  June 27, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Does anyone here know what happened/what was discussed at the LVHS meeting?

  • 50. Mom of 4  |  June 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

    The current alderman has attended some of the meetings already held regarding needed changes at MPHS and the initial principal candidate forum at MPHS. If he is thinking about reelection, he will actively work to improve MPHS. It would be quite a feather in his cap, wouldn’t it?

  • 51. Southside Mom  |  June 27, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    What could be the scenario where the gangs and out of area students at MPHS are gone from the school and white and high achieving students of all races enroll? How, logistically, could that happen?

  • 52. CPSDepressed (was copyeditor)  |  June 28, 2011 at 7:51 am

    All anyone in the Lake View and Morgan Park attendance areas wants is a safe school that will prepare their kids for college. The challenge is that these parents expect their kids to go to college – it’s not a dream for them. And, families in Tier 4 are more likely to have the resources to pay for private school or to move. Right now, I’d consider moving before I’d consider Lake View. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe.

    However, shouldn’t everyone in the city be able to send their kids to a safe high school where the students can get a good preparation for college? it’s pathetic that we even have to have this discussion.

  • 53. Grace  |  June 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

    CPS-D, you’re right. Really not much to ask, is it?

  • 54. Mom of 4  |  June 28, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Currently approximately 50% of students attending MPHS are from outside the attendance area. Presumably some of those students are enrolled in one of the special programs, but most are not. CPS has allowed this to happen because residents stopped taking the neighborhood seats. If a mix of neighborhood families started attending, there would be a real shift in the school. As far as gang activity is concerned, there are some gang members in every school in the city, as well as most of the suburbs. What parents need to know is what are the real safety concerns, what is happening on a day to day basis within the school, and what measures are in place to keep kids safe.

  • 55. mom2  |  June 28, 2011 at 9:29 am

    @54 – please name the gangs that have members at Northside College Prep and Payton.

  • 56. mom2  |  June 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

    It is pretty obvious that what we have here is the chicken and egg issue. In order for Lakeview (or MPHS or others like them) to turn around, you need to get the high scoring kids with good families that live in the neighborhood to go there. That means getting a very large group of parents to be willing to not even try to get their kids into the top 5 SE schools, or those that don’t get in need to not try to get their kids into Lincoln Park IB or double honors or even Von Stuben. If their kids got into those schools, I doubt they would ever give them up to have their kids be a guinea pig at a school that currently doesn’t make them feel safe or feel that their child would have a high quality and rigorous college bound education. Once or if that did happen, I think it would be much easier for the next group of parents to take that same risk. Sooner or later, it wouldn’t seem like a risk at all. Instead, everyone would be thrilled that they don’t have to worry about the whole SE game.

    Sorry, but without some major changes at the school before all this takes place, I don’t see it happening and I sure wish I did. Somehow, the high school 4 years is just not enough time for parents to be willing to take this gamble.

    Maybe if it was 6 years…just thinking. If they started off high school at 7th grade everywhere (and no longer offered it at the elementary school level) but didn’t add a 7th grade to places like NSCP, Payton, and Jones (WY and Lane already have it, so hard to take away, but I guess they could), then kids would have to go to their neighborhood school for at least the first 2 years. Hmmm.

  • 57. klm  |  June 28, 2011 at 11:38 am


    If kids had to go to 6-7th grade at LPHS (instead of their local school) 80% of the parents at Lincoln Elementary would move to the suburbs or go private. Much of the same would be true of Alcott, I’m sure. the same would be true of Bell, Blaine, Edgebrook, on and on…..

    People make life plans for their famililies, invest time, money (i.e., real estate), emotions, friendships, and any change like that would be devastating to many Chicago families. Changes like that would make people never want to stay/invest in the city because God only knows what sudden “changes” CPS would throw at people that have planned their entire lives around certain schools.

  • 58. mom2  |  June 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    @57 – I unfortunately agree with what you are saying. It is awful that this is how it is. I just wonder if all these parents knew that their children would be going to this high school with every single one of the kids that they currently go to school with, guaranteed, would they feel more comfortable with this change? I am pretty sure that if the parents I know with kids at Bell, Burley, Blaine, Hawthorne, Disney and Nettlehorst knew that every child from those schools would be going to Lakeview for 7th and 8th grade, they would be much more likely to give it a try. It would change the whole makeup of that school. It isn’t the building that makes the school, and the teachers and administration are usually pretty good. It is mainly the students the make the biggest difference.

  • 59. klm  |  June 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm


    Everything you say is so true. A common reoccurring point on this site is how easy (‘relatively’-speaking and even then it’s hard) it is to start changing the culture of an neighborhood elementary school in the very early grades (so many ‘middle-class-thinking’ people with little kids wanting to stay in the city, people willing to take a ‘chance’ sometimes with Kindergarten and lower grades, etc.), but by the time high school rolls around these challenges seem so impossible that people won’t even try (I’m afraid that this includes me). If kids’ directions in life are not altered for the better by 3rd or 4th grade, it seems like it’s virtually impossible to make huge positive changes for large numbers of people. I went to urban schools and I know that most kids were not “bad” or “lazy”, it’s just that over a period of time certain norms creep into the culture of a peer group and even entire schools. Sadly, the negative neighborhood culture at was so strong (like everywhere) that no amount of good parenting was enough to protect most kids. Eventually, things are so far from the “mainstream” that the “mainstream” seems foreign. Anybody who acts “mainstream” is one huge walking target, so kids learn fast how behave (the “wrong’ way becomes the”right” way) . School becomes a place to “chill”, “hang out”, meet girls”, “hang with the posse”, “make up baby names with one’s girlfriends” (several girls in my school were already pregnant by 8th grade), etc., rather than a place of intellectual advancement. By the time I went to middle school the worst thing to be called by other kids was “smart”. The “smart” kids were the target of derision and scorn –the thugs and clowns were the “cool” ones. My small gang of shell-shocked “smart” friends and I all went to a SE-type or Catholic high schools. The other kids went to the local HS –a place I would never, ever in a million years send my kids, even if I had to share a trailer with another family in the suburbs or eat hot dogs and live in a tent. It really was that bad. Yet, there were many people who insisted that it was a “great school”, –depite an average ACT score of 14 (one year even the valedictorian went to community college “on a full scholarship”–I almost criend when I read that one), the violence, the high drop-out rate, etc. My sister went there, graduated in the Top 10 in her class, but had to drop out her freshman year in college, start over at community college with remedial classes….on and on… Dysfunction escalates to the point that high school evolves into not much more than a “way station” to nowhere. OK, I’ll stop now –sorry. I guess you get the picture.

  • 60. SSM  |  June 30, 2011 at 10:38 am


    MPHS LSC principal search update

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