Lindblom Selective Enrollment HS and Academic Center

November 1, 2011 at 11:37 pm 23 comments

I’d like to start highlighting some of the high school options in the city in more detail with the goal of exploring the choices and hopefully opening people’s minds a bit more.  In my usual fashion, I still haven’t written about my visit to Lake View High School a few weeks ago, mainly because I had so many positive things to say that I wanted to get my thoughts organized.

But since Lindblom (SE high school and AC) was noted for their strong rise in the Sun Times’ new High School ranking AND because the principal is a reader and poster here, I figured they’re a good candidate to go first.

For the SE schools, I’m not going to get into the nuances of test scores.  It’s selective.  Is there coursework that will challenge your child? Yes.

Here is some info on the school (frequent readers will have seen this already.)

Lindblom Math & Science Academy
http://lindblomeagles.org/
6130 S. Wolcott Avenue

Grades 7-12
724 students
Track E school (they go more year-round rather than 3 months off in summer)
Shuttle service is provided from the nearby El lines.  AC has busing within the typical CPS boundaries.

High School Open House 11am-1pm Saturday Nov 5
Academic Center Open House 2-4pm Saturday Nov 5

In the 2011 Sun Times’ top 50 high schools ranking Lindblom shot up to #39 from #114.

Principal’s Message from the school web site:
Welcome to Lindblom Math & Science Academy, the most exciting learning community in Chicago!

Lindblom is a unique place. We like to call Lindblom a new school with a rich history. For years, Lindblom was a jewel on the south side of Chicago, turning out Chicago’s top graduates. It fell on hard times in the 90’s and went through a series of changes. In 2003, the Chicago Board of Education decided to close LIndblom and invest heavily in infrastructure. In 2005, I was given the opportunity to reopen Lindblom, hiring outstanding faculty and initiating new and exciting programs.

We boast some incredible programs and partnerships: We have the largest Arabic and Chinese language programs in Chicago. We offer the only biotechnology classes in CPS because of our powerful relationship with Baxter International. Our arts program has a four-year partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art that has our students working with Genius Award Winner Mark Bradford.

We have the most engaged and supportive alumni of any school I know. Our annual career day has had over 60 alumni returning to share their stories of high school and life after with our current Eagles. It is always a powerful day.

Lindblom is a great school for many reasons; these are just a few. I hope you will come by and see what Lindblom has to offer!

Go Eagles!

Alan Mather, Principal

Parent Review:

“I would definitely +1 Lindblom here (our daughter is in the AC program.) Great experience so far. Very strong academics coupled with an inclusive culture. (As a little, white Hyde Park-er, her fit socially was our first concern, but she has found real friendships with kids from a variety of backgrounds that I suspect she wouldn’t have found in many other schools.)

ps-Also a huge fan of Alan.”

Note from the principal, Alan Mather that he wrote on CPSObsessed:

Our support colloquia work this way: If a student has a grade lower than a C in any course, s/he is place in content area colloquia classes with the teachers they have. This gives the student extra time with the teacher in an area s/he may be struggling in.

For example, a student has a D in Arabic, a C in English, and a series of Bs. The students will definitely be placed in the Arabic colloquium with his/her teacher to get the extra help to be successful. Since each student is given three colloquium classes, s/he will also be placed in two other content area classes. Ideally, the placement would be in English and another course.

In the course where the student in more successful, s/he may be able to assist others, bringing other students up.

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Brizard taking questions on WBEZ Thursday 11/3 at 7pm Galewood New Charter School Dissent

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  November 2, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Don’t care for Track E, but really love the principal’s idea of supportive colloquia for students.

    Many can’t find or afford private tutors when they need just a bit if help to get that B or A. Sometimes playing a h.s. sport takes up so much time that school work lags.

    How long have colloquia been in place at Lindblom? How many students participate? What the rise in school ranking has been for the past 3 years or so?

    Also, what has Brooks done to achieve their rise in ranking?

  • 2. marrs96  |  November 2, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Actually for us the Track E has not really been a problem. It takes away a potential August holiday, but our family schedule really does not allow for it anyway. It does give the DD a break (2 weeks) in the Fall to be completely spoiled by her Grandparents and allows us some flexibility in scheduling our Spring and Christmas holidays.

    From my experience the teachers are both available during the Wednesday Colloquium (which admittedly is held too infrequently as this day is lost to school holidays, in-service days, and during other non-five day weeks.) The teacher’s though do a yeoman’s job in offering regular tutoring sessions during lunch hours and before and after school, which helps because there is a significant course load. (We do have a private tutor for Arabic though, although this is mostly due to our daughter being a slacker in this class…)

    I’m sure other have better answers for your other questions, but I’d think once the Academic Center kids really start filtering up into the higher grades the test scores and rankings will continue their strong rise.

  • 3. Lindblom Principal  |  November 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I can answer part of your question that our parent didn’t hit. (I won’t be of much help on the Brooks part.)
    Colloquium has been in place since I reopened the school in 2005 but in a completely different iteration. When we opened, we very much had the Northside model (1 class, 3 hours). The only difference was that each of our colloquia had to be dedicated to service to the Englewood/West Englewood communities.
    As we grew, two things happened: 1) some of the Englewood service colloquia became less meaningful, and 2) we were discussing how to deal with bright students who weren’t achieving at the level we thought they should.
    So, a few years ago, we provided these support colloquia. I would agree that our colloquium days don’t happen frequently enough. (I think we meet only 25 times this year because 15 of the weeks are four-day weeks.)
    We still offer the service colloquia that student can choose if they are performing well academically. It is, however, always a balancing act to make certain that all our courses are meaningful.
    I hope that more of you will post questions about Lindblom. As you might guess, it’s my favorite topic.
    By the way, if this doesn’t give you all the info you want, you can also follow me on Twitter: @PrincipalMather.

    Go, Eagles!
    Alan

  • 4. cps Mom  |  November 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Does Lindblom really have only a 5 hour 45 min. day as reported in a link on this site? What would you like to do with extra time possibly required by high schools next year? Do you have block scheduling and what are your thoughts on that?…..thank you

  • 5. Paula McClain  |  November 3, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    My son is a senior at Lindblom Math & Science Academy and have received scholarships from Vanderbilt, Stanford and NU (Evanston) already. He plans on majoring as a pre-med student, in hopes of becoming a Doctor, in the future. I have to say that Principal Alan Mather has always been there for both the teachers and students. Alan reallt knows all of the students and cares about his staff. The teachers are excellent and know their subject areas. The school is small however my child has thrived in this environment. The coursework is very challenging (a lot of late nights and weekend work) but it has paid off for my son through his scholarships and excellent grades. Lindblom focuses on math and sciences which has turned my kid into a kid that loves both of those subjects and gave him direction into his future..hence future MD! He also has taken four years of Madarin Chinese which most private catholic high schools don’t offer. I have to be honest, I wanted my son to attend Mount Carmel (I am from Hyde Park) but we couldnt afford to send two boys to catholic high schools so Lindblom was on out list when he took the selective test in his 8th grade year. He was admitted and after taking a tour of the school building, I felt that it would be a perfect fit for my son. The school building is AMAZING! My son tells me that he feels like he attend high school in a prestigous museum, truly amazing. I had concerns regarding the outside area, but the school provide shuttle buses and my son never had any safety issues, outside of school and there has never been any fights inside or outside of the school. The students are from all over city and because of that, my son has made friends with students from many different background. My husband and I, plan to send our youngest to Linblom as well. I believe my oldest son has recieved a private education for free by attending Lindblom. Lindblom is a true hidden gem!

    Thank You Alan Mather (Principal)

    The McClain Family

  • 6. Lindblom Principal  |  November 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you, Paula. We not only have great students; we have amazing parents, too. In fact, today was our report card pick up. We had an incredible turnout. What I was most impressed by (and this gets to cps Mom’s question) is that I had over 50 parents meet with me to discuss what a longer school day should look like next year at Lindblom. We had a vibrant and informative discussion, with parents provided some terrific ideas.
    So, currently our schedule is much like Northside’s schedule (in effect, I brought the schedule when I moved to Lindblom).
    We have continued to adapt it, but we have the alternating block. Our typical school day runs from 8:00 – 3:04, with the colloquium day going from 9:00 – 1:09.
    Last week, I met with teachers to garner ideas about next year’s schedule, today was parents, and next week, I’ll be meeting with student government. After each group has had its say, we’ll move to meetings that bring the three groups together.
    It is the energy and passion of parents, teachers, and students that makes me excited to come to work each day!

  • 7. Sped Mom  |  November 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    How does special education work at Lindblom?

  • 8. Lindblom Principal  |  November 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Special education works this way:
    We have two different programs at Lindblom. One is the LRE III program (students who used to be considered SPH and Autistic) who are placed by the central office. We have four such classrooms and do rotational classes for them. Many of them are with the other LRE III students; some are included with “regular ed” students (PE, art, music, best buddies colloquium).
    The other group of students are those who test in with accommodations. Students are fully included, have accommodations based on IEPs, MAY have a resource period if it is called for, often have inclusion teachers in class.

    Does that answer the question?
    Alan

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  • 10. cps Mom  |  November 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

    @6 – Mr. Mather, thanks for that info. Your scheduling is an attractive feature of the school. I gather your shorter colloquium days offer extra learning options described above plus track E school year would make the comment that “Lindblom has a 5 hour 45 min” day very misleading.

    The open house will be an excellent chance for parents to talk to teachers and students and get a real feel for the school. I talk to so many people that wait till 8th grade to do this kind of research and then problems come up trying to schedule with conflicting school and personal events. It’s really an important step in the school selection process.

    All the best for Saturday Lindblom.

  • 11. Two-sided Mom  |  November 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Hi, Alan: You report that the “other group of students are those who test in with accommodations. Students are fully included, have accommodations based on IEPs, MAY have a resource period if it is called for, often have inclusion teachers in class.”

    Could you address this type of student and how your school supports students with education-impairing ADHD as well as depression and other mental illness? How do you confirm that minutes are being delivered in the “inclusion” setting, where I’m told that the sped teacher generally supports the general class students, but direct services for the sped student are inadequate.

    Perhaps this problem does not exist at Lindblom. If not, I’d love to know how you have been able to ensure that it does not. (Perhaps other schools could borrow a page from you!)

    Also, could you further explain “resource period”?

    You also might have insight about this same issue from your previous school, and could speak to that.

    Many thanks for your work on behalf of students with disabilities.

  • 12. JKR  |  November 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Two-sided Mom: a resource period, (at Jones at least) is a period where the student with an IEP meets with LD specialists and receives services needed and in accordance with his IEP. There are other IEP students in that same period. The resource period takes the place of either art, music or foreign language. Usually the student does not do this all 4 years, as he/she must fulfill the art/music/foreign language requirements in order to graduate. But it can be a great opportunity for LD students to adjust to the rigors of high school and prepare for college.

  • 13. Two-sided Mom  |  November 6, 2011 at 11:24 am

    @12 – How is Jones with implementing a student’s IEP? The Jones website seems to indicate that it delivers a good support system. I wonder what parents and students involved with an IEP think. I wonder about the graduation rate and persistence of the students there with an IEP (students in the mainstream, not the profoundly handicapped track.) Would the principal track that at Jones?

  • 14. Lindblom Principal  |  November 7, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Two-sided Mom,
    Thanks for the question. I don’t think there there is any one way to support students who exhibit certain behaviors. The IEP team and parent(s) get together to determine strategies and to support students who need it. As I’m sure you know, different strategies work with different children.

    In terms of inclusion, JKR has that down.

    With resource, some of our students are in for all four years. Because our students are offered seven classes, they can fulfill all graduation requirements and receive resource for those four years; they just have fewer options for electives.

    BTW, we had our Open House this Saturday. It was a great turnout, high energy. I know at least one lurker was there (because she announced that she read about our event here.) If more of you came, I’d love to hear your perspective.

    Go, Eagles!
    Alan

  • 15. Former Teacher  |  November 8, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wow–I am surprised white kids go to Lindblom. That’s a relief, that Chicagoans (white Chicagoans in particular) are being less hesitant to send their children to a diversity of schools.

  • 16. cps Mom  |  November 8, 2011 at 10:10 am

    @15 – not shocking considering the program and the opportunities that are made available to all. People come from all over the city.

    @13 regarding IEP’s. It’s best to attend the open houses and ask to speak specifically to the special services department. They are available to speak to you about your specific situation. Some hold private conferences by just walking in. Ask specific questions including – Is there a separate resource room? How is the resource period handled and what goes on in that period? Are there multiple resource periods (this provides flexibility in scheduling)? What accommodations other than those in the IEP do you provide (tutoring, aides, technology etc)? What accommodations are you unable or unwilling to meet (eg. some schools are very strict about providing latitude in extending deadlines for homework and projects)? How flexible are the teachers in situations that fall outside the literal letter of the IEP? If you have a 504, what accommodations apply? How is the IEP meeting handled, what happens, how soon will I get a meeting?

  • 17. IEP kid  |  December 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Do I IEP kids get to use calculators on the enrollment test??

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  • 19. kyra c  |  February 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    My son is graduating from the academic center at Lindblom this year. I must say we were hesitant to send him initially, but it turned out to be the best decision. He has grown so much in the past 2 years. The teachers and administration are phenomenal. They really want your child to succeed and they go to great lengths to ensure they do. My son loves the school and so do we.

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