Posts tagged ‘Lakeview High school’

Get to know the North Side High School Initiative group

Not sure if anyone remembers my New Year’s resolution for 2011: To get in touch with the North Side High School Initiative group to see what they’re up to/about. As January came to a close I hadn’t yet made a move, nor had I been flossing more often (other resolution.) But as luck would have it, someone from the North Side HSI got in touch with me. Not sure the dental floss is going to make quite the same effort.

So here is the lowdown on this group:

The group was formed by some parents whose kids are in a parochial school together, but like all of us, are looking ahead towards high school and wondering how we can expand some options. The parents who founded the group are in the Lake View high school district. As we know, there’s been some renewed emphasis on that school lately. The city has hired the ex Bell principal as a consultant to help LVHS flourish and find a way to attract a greater share of neighborhood kids (in particular, those who don’t get into a selective high school or might not prefer the rigor of one of those schools or might not want to travel across the city to get to school.)

So currently, there are parents in the Lake View district who are starting to connect with the school to see what some next steps are to increase community involvement (which as many of have learned is often correlated with a school’s success.)

The NSHSI group hopes to act as a central hub of parents from a range of neighborhoods who might also be working to improve their neighborhood high schools. Or possibly parents who might want to try to get another SE high school added to the north side (as a note, this is not their current objective) But the beauty of the idea is twofold:

Information-sharing
It makes total sense for parents of multiple schools to work together to share ideas and options and resources, etc rather than having each school reinvent the wheel. It feels a bit daunting a job to undertake but the more schools can learn from each other, the better.

Power in numbers
There are some efforts that may require a lot of parents lobbying CPS together, so a “central group” would be vital in organizing these efforts.

The group is currently waiting for the new mayor and CPS admin to be put in place to plan their next move. But I’m hoping that we can have some discussions here about some ideas, issues, suggestions, etc that might help the group to grow and figure out how to make an impact.

I think it’s important to point out that they’re not a group of parents who are here to “fix things” or do all the dirty work for us. I see them as more of a central hub for parents of schools around the north side (or other parts of the city) to connect.

I’ll have some more posts coming soon where we can discuss some possibilities for how/if neighborhood high schools can be made more appealing to a wider range of parents and what steps might need to happen to get the ball rolling.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to Like their Facebook page. The more parents who are members will show the new mayor that a lot of parents are concerned about this issue.
NSHSI Facebook Page

More to come….

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March 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm 26 comments

Lakeview High School (Guest Post)

A new high-school-related post from guest writer, HSObsessed:
North Side High School Initiative has posted on its Facebook site news from Alderman Waguespack’s office. (Full copy below.) It looks like he is responding to their pressure to increase resources for Lake View High School by getting funding for a STEM program to be put into LVHS. From what I could read, there is quite a bit of STEM  funding available at the federal level through the US Dept of Ed in an effort to lift American students’ achievements in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
From my limited research, it looks like only one other Illinois high school has this in place so far, Wheeling High School in the northwest ‘burbs. Their website seems to suggest it’s a program that is aimed at all students and is not an honors-type program, but provides offerings that range from AP Physics and AP Statistics to Medical Terminology and Machine Technology.
The question is whether this will be enough to satisfy northside parents whose children don’t get into selective enrollment schools. It seems that most people are looking for a “test in” program, and a general program like this — even with additional funds and classes — might not be enough. Or maybe it will be?
Here’s the NSHSI post:
Neighborhood high schools have not been well regarded on the north side and have been neglected by CPS for years.  Alderman Waguespack has been demanding that attention be paid to their improvement.  With Aldermen Tunney and Schulter, Alderman Waguespack is working towards making Lake View High School a top notch, highly desirable neighborhood option.  Together, they have pressured CPS to allocate more resources to LVHS beginning in 2011.  The current LVHS science and math program would be enhanced with the introduction of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.  This would be the first STEM program within CPS and only the second in Illinois.  This highly desirable program would include upgrades to all LVHS science labs.  Enrollment in the STEM program would begin in September of 2012.  Many more capital improvements would take place over the next three to four years.  The opportunity to attend an enhanced LVHS will be a valuable option for 32nd Ward families.  Once the value of these changes has been demonstrated, Alderman Waguespack is confident that the model will be extended to other high schools serving 32nd Ward residents.

January 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm 40 comments


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