Schools and Youth Hot Topics

Presented by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, a Chicago neighborhood association since 1949,
Hyde Park's premier website hydepark.org, and the Schools Committee (Chair Nancy Baum).Writer Gary Ossewaarde.
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HPKCC Schools Committee. Contact Joy Clendenning. HPKCC Schools Committee meets 4TH THURSDAY resuming in September, 5:30 pm. Kenwood Academy Media Center, 5015 S. Blackstone. Use parking lot door, right 2 corridors, left, Media center is left in middle of corridor.

August 23, Wednesday, 6 pm. HPK CAC (community action council for schools) meets adt Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell. Election of officers, Jane Averill Reading Day, consideration of draft letter on the Single Application.

ABOUT MEETING HELD NOV 7 2010 ON STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE/HELP AREA SCHOOLS- HYDE PARK SCHOOLS INITIATIVE COALITION. PAGE ABOUT.
Schools Committee and home. Schools News. Schools Directory. Directory/contacts in its own page.
Schools committee meets tba 5:30 pm at 5221 S. Blackstone- tentative.

ABOUT SCREENING OF A RACE TO NOWHERE MARCH 10.
March 10"A Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture," a the thought-provoking film about schooling and child-rearing today, was shown at Kenwood Academy followed by a principals panel. ABOUT. There will be follow ups. The program was sponsored by the HP and K public schools, HPKCC Schools Committee, Hyde Park Schools Initiative, and University of Chicago Neighborhood Schools. Over 300 attended!

HPKCC RESOLUTION ON SCHOOL CLOSINGS MARCH 19 2013 (Oct 2014- Dyet to remain open enrollment neigh school- RFP to be issued.)
HPKCC STATEMENT FOR KEEPING CANTER MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN April 10, 2013
LSC Elections
Community Action Council forming- 4th Weds 6 pm- summer at Hyde Park Art Ctr, fall > Kenwood Academy King Room

HPKCC Schools Committee, followed by the Board April 2 2015, sent letters to CPS backing the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School as a neighborhood, open enrollment, district-run school. See HPKCC letter.
The Dyett proposals-http://cps.edu/About_cps/departments/pages/dyett_rfp.aspx. More coming on June 17 2015 presentation meeting.

See links in School News page to RFP for community proposals for Dyett High School as an open enrollment neighborhood school, issued Dec. 19 2014. . The program will be finalized in fall 2015 and the new school open for the year 2016-17. This represents a substanial community victory and reversal of the decision four years ago to phase out the school.

STATE OF HPK SCHOOLS DECEMBER 2014 CPS PRES. TO THE CAC. (It is 8 MB and one slide may have error).

The Chicago Consortium on School Reform Reserach has isued a study on impacts of the 2013-14 school closings- see in Chicago Research page.

Read HPKCC and Schools Committee letter to Alderman Burns August 2014 concerning lack of input in the decision on reopening Canter for Kenwood Academic Center, supporting the move and offering to work with the prinicipal and alderman to make this work for directly-affected students and for the middle grades of all the HPK schools.

There is an "opt out" of PARCC test working its way through the legislature. HB306.

March 2015. The Schools Committee has recommended to the HPKCC board a letter to teh CPS RFP committee supporting the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett and pointing out our long support for district-run open enrollment neighborhood schools.

Ray school LSC choses Megan Thole as Principal September 18, 2014. Ms. Thole was praised as a communicator, team builder, and leader strongly supported by the teachers and after a lengthy public vetting of the many candidates, according to the Herald. She was introduced to the school community September 23 at a special LSC meeting.

Kenwood Jazz Band and its collaboration with composer-pianist Jason Moran leading to performance of Moran's "Looks of a Lot"at the CSO is subject of a documentary by John Owess for the Tribune, with Howard Reich and photographer Zbigniew Bzdak. The doc will first be shown on Channel 20 WYCC Friday Oct. 3 at 8 pm. This was subject of a 2-page article by Reich in the October 1, 2014 Chicago Tribune Arts and Entertainment section.

CPS 2014-15 budget news. July 17 2014 (hearings were held July 16 at 3 locations). CPS will vote on the budget at its July 23 meeting. There is controversy over reduction to neighborhood schools vs increase to charters party as result of change to stictly per-pupil funding, and over whether there is reduction in special needs funding, plus the use of a one-year taxing device to close next year's funding gap.

This website has a huge amount of information http://cps.edu/budget. Feedback can be given at that site. Spokespersons said they will respond. At the hearings they gave a 3-page handout.

The Catalyst summary:
http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/2014/07/17/66050/budget-critics-air-laundry-list-school-cuts

Here is news coverage of another of the budget hearings:
http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/cps-officials-grilled-over-local-school-cuts-budget-hearing/wed-07162014-941pm

Raise Your Hand website's page with links to the RYH powerpoint about the budget and to a one-pager about CPS school expansion. The powerpoint is the result of some Raise Your Hand folks studying the FY2015 proposed budget very carefully.
http://www.ilraiseyourhand.org/content/presentation-our-714-budget-meeting

HPKCC Schools Committee meets November 20. Usually 3rd Thursday, 5:30, 5221 S. Blackstone. Nancy Baum.

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Great news for Shoesmith- in 2014 it shot up to Tier 1 status. 59% were at the 50th percentile on the NWEA in reading and nearly 55 in math, with 70% of the K and 1st graders exceeding state standards on DIBLES. The gain is 10% overall this year. The school stressed literacy and took ongoing looks and small-group work on students' actual work. It also stresses behavior expectation and works on this like it does on academics- peer on peer, peer on staff, and staff on staff. It's the climate. Achieving the required 95% attendance also matters. Parental involvement has also greatly increased with small-groups. Construction underway will solve ADA issues, exterior attractiveness, heating/cooling , and a new resource room for teachers and tutors. The mobile units will house the now-full-time arts program. Math is next...
August 25- get the school ready day. Sept 2 8:30 open house.
Congratulation Principal Gates and everyone.

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July 28 2014 Ald. Burns held a public meeting at King Prep on the future / repurposing of Dyett.
GMO. Burns said this meeting (mandated by th process for repurposings) was to gather input in breakouts on what people would want and expect if Dyett stays open as an open neighborhood public school school (which he has always said he wants) , and any proposals. Breakouts were preceded by Tim Black on who Captain Dyett was and why his memorial matters and CPS charts sort of implying that if the school were lost, there are 24 high schools within 3 miles that are sort of not too bad and coming up. (What the number of potential students shows was not said.) There was much objection to "starting over" on planning for the school since groups spent three years researching and preparing a proposal that is ambitious but can be modified. Burns said he didn't have other proposals - that was what the meeting was for and not supporting any at this time.
The largest breakout was in the auditorium. Nancy Baum of HPKCC read the Conference letter giving reasons schools should not be shut and why Dyett had the potential to be a great, focused school. This was well received. Many students and alumni gave testimony on the abandonment and collapse of programs during the school's 4-year phase out and the great programs it had before disinvestment. The Coalition to Save Dyett described aspects aims of their Global Leadership and Green Technology proposal. Many but not all expressed enthusiasm. As the evening wore on the meeting broke down into takeovers, loud accusations and political rally chants and asserting t"they" would take over the school and open it as they want it irregardless of CPS. And some left early, whether because of the tone of the meeting was not cler to this observer. There was also objection to "facilitators" scribbling on flip charts to keep up with comments as they herd tem (and sometimes pausing in bewilderment)- audinece members said just read the proposal, and some submitted their own notes. Distrust that the condultant Teska Assoc. of Evanston, CPS, and the Alderman might massage the comments was clear.
Rumors were repeated that Little Black Pearl would be taking over the school-- separately this has been vigorously denied by LBP director Monica Haslip. Also, the leaders of CPS and the Alderman have said (according to media reports) that they need a stronger, more detailed proposal for Global Leadership and Green Tecnology before they could use it as a platform--the BofE President quoted by Sam Cholke of DNAinfo as saying it's up to the Alderman.
Next step is report from the consultant - their faciltators were quoted by Sam Cholke of DNAinfo as saying after the meeting either that they heard that the school shouldn't close but not a consensus on what it would look like, or that the coalition group seemed to think it was enough to put their plan forward for it to be done.

October 24 2014 CPS announced it would put out in December a RFP for community proposals for Dyett High School as an open enrollment neighborhood school. The program will be finalized in fall 2015 and the new school open for the year 2016-17. This represents a substanial community victory and reversal of the decision four years ago to phase out the school.

Alderman Burns wrote to the public July 30 2014:

I want to thank everyone who offered their feedback and ideas at Monday night's Dyett Community Charette. We understand there are Fourth Ward residents who couldn't attend, and that others came, but didn't get the opportunity to have their input heard.

We welcome anyone who has anything further to contribute to the community planning process to send their thoughts and ideas to Teska Associates by emailing dyetthigh@gmail.com.

Teska Associates will compile all the feedback in a report to Chicago Public Schools (CPS). This is an important measure for demonstrating our community's overwhelming support for a sustainable future for Dyett High School.

It's imperative that we continue to work together to show CPS and the Chicago Board of Education how important it is to keep Dyett open and to keep it as a high quality, open-enrollment public high school.

So please, send your feedback to dyetthigh@gmail.com.

__________________________________________________________

In July 2014 Ingenuity, the CPs partner in developing CPS's 2012 Cultural Plan, released a "State of the Arts" (in CPS schools) report. Conditions described mainly were before or as the CPS Cultural Plan were being ramped up, but, Ingenuity said, showed how much far below standard things are. Especially disturbing to many are that funds for new art teachers etc. to schools are only temporary and rapidly go down the next two years and that this infusion is not likely to completely close the gap, especially in arts-in-schools deserts (and poor program, lack of resources and arts partners and in reaching 120 arts minutes and time-equivalent teachers in schools) in south and west side schools. This fits in with the US Department of Education findings that schools of poor and minority students are likely to have 1st year and inadequate teachers. Findings of Ingenuity: only 56% of schools met the 1:350 art teacher per student ratio. To get the report visit ingenuity-inc.org.

CLOSINGS- see full and updated in Schools, Schools/Educ. News. May 6 report 0f the hearing officer recommended proceeding with the CEO's recommendation to close, though citing the strengths of the school and that moving Shoesmith 6th to Canter should be considered. More on proposal to move Kenwood Academic Center into the Canter building is in Canter.

Kenwood Academy Jazz Band performed a 50-minute world premiere of a work by a major composer Jeremy Mason at a packed Symphony Center May 30 2014. The band has been featured in major articles in the Chicago dailies-- more at http://tribune.com/kenwoodacademyjazz.

CPS August budget hearings and links to every school's budget- visit School News page.

LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS in 2016.


HYDE PARK-KENWOOD COMMUNITY ACTION COUNCIL FOR SCHOOLS has formed, elected interim officers, is submitting a short-term goals action plan for our schools, and set 4th Wednesdays (next March 26), 6 pm for its meetings (tent. at Kenwood Academy, King Room).

CACs work to empower the community they serve to lead the improvement of local quality education. A CAC consists of 25-30 voting members who are directly involved in developing a strategic plan for educational success within their community. CAC members can include all interested parties such as: parents; elected officials; faith-based institutions; health care and community-based organizations; Local School Council members; business leaders; educators and school administrators; staff members from Chicago's Sister Agencies; community residents; and students.

There will be two tiers: those who wish to fill out applications for serving on a 22-25 member steering council, and those who wish in other ways to be involved and informed. (Council members will have to submit to a CPS background check).
And start on setting priorities for our schools.

People who feel they can make the commitment are encouraged to attend. We strongly encourage parents of children in the schools to come, since they are the primary stakeholders.

News about the closings Followed by giving principals autonomy over budgeting-- at a much lower level. Also, they reneged on new resources for Harte and Ray which will add 7th but not 8th grades this year.

*RAY SCHOOL OFFERS HYDE PARK'S ONLY FULL-DAY CPS TUITION-BASED PRESCHOOL PROGRAM.
All-day preschool program at Ray Elementary School. 8-6 M-F . Here's their brochure: http://javerill.cuipblogs.net/files/2013/07/Prek-Brochure1.pdf (will be linked when received- administrator)
Link to the program: http://javerill.cuipblogs.net.

Contact: Jane Averil, Tuition-Based Preschool Program javerill@cps.edu.
773-535-0954 (classroom), 773-955-0122 (home)

 

May 22 the Board of Education voted to delay the closure of Canter for one year (keeping current 7th graders (only) at the school for 2013-14 and keeping current 6th graders at their elementary school--still not sure what happens to Shoesmith 6th graders, but they won't go to Canter). Presumably Harte and Ray will get their new resources because they are starting 7th grade. While that is not what nearly all Hyde Parkers interested in the matter wanted, it does keep some students from shifting schools up to 4 times in 4 years.
While word was not yet out, as many as 5 elementary schools were expected to have their actions revoked.

While activist groups continue to seek at least a moratorium on the school closure plan, locals are focused on keeping Canter open (or, following Rep. Currie's suggestion of at minimum keeping the current 7th graders there another year) and on impacts on Harte and Ray. (THE MATTER WAS COMPLICATED BY REMOVAL AND REASSIGNMENT OF RAY'S PRINCIPAL AND ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, with former Ray principal Cydney Fields taking over as chief administrator.)
A LARGE CROWD ATTENDED THE FIRST PUBLIC COMMUNITY MEETING ON THE CLOSURE OF CANTER. These included a large part of the student body (some in tears) and parents. A large suite was given of cogent reasons for keeping this school (and a option for continuity of education in the neighborhood open for Hyde Park ) and it was unanimous.
NOTABLE WAS ALDERMAN HAIRSTON'S STATEMENT: She said she had not been consulted about nor did she approve the school closures. She did meet the previous Thursday with Dr. Byrd-Bennett and Burnham Collaborative Network chief Tom Price, but they had not informed her of the imminent removal of the Ray principal, and held an information and introduction meeting at Ray without the presence of the Alderman, the elected official. She said she and the residence would remember the disrespect she said she was shown and be heard downtown and at the polls.
Alderman Burns came into the gym entrance but did not speak.

3/21: CANTER MIDDLE SCHOOL IS SLATED TO CLOSE - unless.... Reavis and Kozminski will stay open and currently have 7th and 8th?. Ray and Harte as receiving schools )-- will add 7/8 grades. So, kids from Shoesmith(?), Ray, and Harte will be at Ray or Harte for 7 and 8 grades and current 7th graders at Canter can go to Ray or Harte for 8th grade. To complete list. CPS site on the matter is http://www.cps.edu/qualityschools.
Hearings on closure of Canter and impacts on Harte and Ray-
April 8, Monday 5-7, April 12, Friday, 5-7 at Kenwood Academy 5015 S. Blackstone and April 17, Wednesday 5:30-7:30 at CPS 125 S. Clark St.

HPKCC RESOLUTION SEEKING DEFERRAL OF CLOSINGS
http://www.schoolcuts.org has much information about school trends and studies, although its list and evaluation of closing and receiving schools was not the latest (114 v. 61 final) as of March 23. This is not a CPS site.

Rep. Currie cites facts against closing Canter, at least for the next year and maybe altogether

(This is from a Hyde Park Herald Alert that has gone viral in the community):
By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25)

I share the concern voiced by many in the community about the Chicago Board of Education’s preliminary decision to close Canter Middle School. In terms of becoming the first choice for area middle-schoolers, Canter did not completely live up to its hope and its promise. But by all accounts the school is vibrant, academically sound and a credit to the community.

The eighth-graders at Canter will finish school in June and then make their individual ways to high school. But what about the seventh-graders? The current Chicago Public Schools philosophy stresses continuity and likes schools that cover the entire elementary school waterfront, from kindergarten through eighth grade. Middle schools are no longer the preferred model. In looking at the list of Canter seventh-graders, however, it’s clear that closing the school before they enter eighth grade is to consign most of them to a complete lack of continuity. They left their home schools in September. Most will not be returning to those schools for eighth grade. Harte and Ray are the receiving schools for the Canter youngsters, but only 19 of the 105 Canter seventh-graders started out at either Harte or Ray.

The largest number of students — 38 — came to Canter from Shoesmith. Under the current CPS plan, they can’t go back to Shoesmith. Nearly 30 of the youngsters came from schools in Woodlawn, South Shore and other parts of the city. All of these students have one more year of elementary school. They left their home school for a year, they’ve had one year at Canter, most will find themselves in yet a third school before they embark upon a fourth school, the high school they will enter after the next academic year.

This isn’t good for continuity. And I can’t believe that this much disruption will provide these youngsters with the best education our public schools have to offer. I have urged the Chicago Board of Education to keep Canter open at least for the next academic year — and to reconsider the decision to close Canter at all.
Editor’s note: This column will appear in the April 3 edition of the Hyde Park Herald.

Ald. Burns statement end of 3rd week of March:

Burns' statement on 4th Ward closings March 22 2013

 

Today the Chicago Public Schools announced its planned school actions. For several weeks the Bronzeville Community Action Council (BCAC), Alderman Pat Dowell, and I have engaged CPS in a negotiations regarding these planned school actions. Our purpose for negotiating with CPS was to mitigate damage from planned school actions on the community and to preserve and enhance critical neighborhood schools on the mid-South Side. We believe that we have achieved that goal. Of the eleven (11) schools in the ward included on the underutilized list, actions are only occurring at three (3) of those of schools - Canter, Pershing East, and Drake.

Seventh and eighth graders who would have attended Canter will return to their feeder schools - Shoesmith, Harte, and Ray. CPS will convert Canter into a "parent university" to assist parents in participating in their children's education. Drake staff and students will merge with Williams elementary school. Pershing East will merge into Pershing West. The plan will allow for deeper investment at William Reavis and Jackie Robinson elementary schools in the Kenwood and Oakland communities. The BCAC and my office will continue to work with CPS and the community to ensure the best possible transition for children and families to new school communities." -Alderman William D. Burns

"The BCAC had serious concerns about the proposed school actions and we believe that CPS leadership was responsive to our concerns. We will remain diligent and will continue to hold CPS accountable to the community." – Angelique Harris, Bronzeville CAC Co-Chairman

Herald editorial March 27, 2013

If Chicago Public Schools administrators have their way, t his will be the last school year Canter Middle school remains open. It was listed as one of more than 50 schools CPS announced would close last week because of underutilization. CPS is broke, we are told, and maintaining underused buildings will mean fewer programs for the students in them.

There may be school buildings in the CPS portfolio that are nearly empty, but Canter, 4[9]59 S. Blackstone Ave., is not one of them.

Several years ago, Canter was turned into a middle school into which all elementary schools in the neighborhood would feed. In making the case for this dramatic change (7th and 8th grade programs that were popular with many parents had to be closed in these schools), we were regaled with study after study explaining the specail needs of middle school-aged students and the value of an environment tailor-made for them. Local political leadership and public schools officials urged us to trust them.

Some six or seven years later, these students wil now be shuttled to Ray and Bret Harte elementary schools. Apparently, how middle school-aged children learn matters less to the current leadership, or the folks who were making the case when Canter was developed were wrong. Either way, it's a game of musical chairs these students cannot afford to play.

The negative effects of being moved to a new school on learning are so well-documented at this point that it should be a decision of absolute last resort. The network of support that parents, teachers and --most importantly --students develop in their school community is irreplaceable. Over time, new ties will be established, but inevitably teh damage has been done.

Sadly, the priorities of the decision-makers who oversee our public schools are more bottom-line-oriented than education-oriented. At the very least, we would hope that a "do no harm" to students ethos would be a reasonable expectation from education officials. Obviously, that is not the case.

Canter is a school alive with learning, with a dedicated staff of educators committed to making every day rich and rewarding for the children in their charge. We have an obligation as a community to support these teachers, who include our own neighbors and folks who have been teaching in our schools for years and even decades. In short we must fight for Canter.

Plans are presented as a "done deal" so routinely in our city that some residents have come to despair of having any input on important decisions. But careful students of how politics really happen here realize that with enough pressure, noise and press, many decisions are eventually -- often quietly -- reversed that are initially presented as inevitable. Let's make their decision to close Canter one of those decisions.

Then, once we reverse that decision, let's take a good, hard look at a few of our own. This school is slated for closure because its student population of 228 is well below the 390 that CPS thinks should be enrolled there. Setting aside for a moment the contentious issue of class size, we ned to confront the open secret in our neighborhood that m any parents do not see Canter as a viable option for their middle school-aged children. Why is that? And what can we do to rectify it?

We are stewards of the public schools in our community. Our responsibility to them and the children that learn in them is redoubled when CPS administrators try to take an axe to them. Let's treat this as a wake-up call.

Let's fight for Canter.

A local teacher in an accompanying letter said tha the schol as not underutilized and had a good program. There were bad breaks, CPS limited resources and reneging on promises, insufficient support from (in effect the TIF), prejudiced and uniformed parents- plenty of shame to go around. Ant the kids may not get the special attention they need in their receiving schools.

 

 

The 54/61 (some are only consolidated into other schools)

List of schools closing. url to Google map- https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=209430513006857267098.0004d8720e22850bc702f&ie=UTF8&t=m&ll=41.832735,-87.676392&spn=0.358131,0.583649&z=10&source=embed

 

John P. Altgeld Elementary School
Louis Armstrong Math & Science Elementary School
Attucks Elementary School
Banneker Elementary School
Bethune Elementary School
Arna W. Bontemps Public School
Calhoun North Elementary School
Canter Middle School
Roque De Duprey School
Von Humboldt Elementary School
Delano Elementary School
Dumas Technology Academy
Emmet Elementary School
Emmet Elementary School
Fermi Elementary School
John W. Garvy School
Goldblatt Elementary School
Goodlow Elementary Magnet School
Goodlow Elementary Magnet School
Henson Elementary School
Victor Herbert Elementary School
Mahalia Jackson Elementary School
Key Elementary School
William H King Elementary School
Kohn Elementary School
Lafayette Elementary School
Lawrence Elementary School
Manierre Elementary School
Marconi Elementary Community Academy
Mayo Elementary School
Morgan Elementary School
Overton Elementary School
Owens Elementary Community Academy
Paderewski Elementary Learning Academy
Parkman Elementary School
Elizabeth Peabody Elementary School
John J. Pershing West Middle School
Nathaniel Pope elementary school
Ross Elementary School
Ryerson Elementary School
Sexton Elementary School
Songhai Elementary Learning Institute
Stewart Elementary School
Stockton Elementary School
Trumbull Elementary School
West Pullman Elementary School
Williams Multiplex Elementary School
Woods Academy
Yale Elementary School
Garfield Park Elementary
Roswell B Mason Elementary School
Kate S Buckingham Special Education CenterChicago, IL 60617Chicago, IL 60617
Near North Elementary SchoolChicago, IL 60642Chicago, IL 60642
Leif Ericson Elementary Scholastic Academy Chicago, IL 60624

The number of schools potentially to be closed was narrowed February 13 to 129. Three local schools- half are still on the list - Canter, Kozminski, and Reavis, Ray having been removed. Two to the north and in the Schools Committee purview- Robinson and apparently King (in Sun-Times but not Tribune list0 are still on the list-- as well as tons to the north, west, south, and southeast (Woodlawn and South Shore). Final list is due by March 31st.
There is a local meeting at Kozminski 936 E. 54th St. Saturday, Feb. 16, 10 am.

CPS is proposing an August 26 2013 start to and common calendar for all schools.

The Sun-Times published on Sunday Jan. 20 2013 and augmented list of schools that might be considered for closing (excluding those ruled out in accord with commission recommendation)- 193, heavily weighted to the South Side. In this neighborhood they include Canter Middle, Kozminski, Ray, and Reavis. No one is suggesting anywhere near 193 schools will be closed, even using only the underutilized and too inefficient/expensive-to-operate criteria. All of these local schools have been thriving, and Ray excels.
There is an interactive map at http://blogs.suntimes.com/news/2013/01/graphic_potential_school_closings.html and the main article is at http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/17660372-418/193-chicago-elementary-schools-not-safe-from-closing.html. The main article requires free registration; not sure if the map does.
Latest is that the closings commission will recommend to the Supt. that a vastly smaller number, as low as 15, be closed.

Next HPKCC Schools Committee tba, 9:45 am, 5221 S. Blackstone.

HPKCC SCHOOLS COMMITTEE HAD A NEW SUBCOMMITEE, FRIENDS OF HYDE PARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS. To learn about it and its FEBRUARY 9-21 HAVE A HEART SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE, CLICK HERE. It also sponsored a ABCs of CPS forum. The subcommittee has disbanded and partially merged back into the Schools Committee.

Strong electoral support fo an elected school board was show in the precincts where it was on the November ballot. Push wil next be for a citywide referendum.

In December 2012 the student body of King College Prep exploded against new principal Shontae Higginbottom. Many asserted at rallies and sit ins that the principal has not adjusted, in addressing the students and the rules she has imposed, from her career as principal at an elementary school. CPS officials are looking into the matter and seeking a resolution.

Of interest-- media, people and officials are finally waking up to the horrendous truancy problem in Chicago Public Schools.

Whole scattered census tracts in swaths of neighborhoods had adjustments to the weighting "tiers" that determine which kids can get into selective enrollment schools. Two census tracks in HP were downgraded relative to the city average, which does make it a little easier for lower scoring students to qualify to get into s-e schools.

The CTU and allies continued a strong push against any school closures this year while CPS wants any closures to only address underutilization and state legislature permission to delay naming schools under consideration until March. CPS is talking about closing nonperforming charters as well as neighborhood schools. in the future. The rallies and allegations seem to have become a highly personal fight with and against the members of the school board.

July 24, CPS and CTU put to rest (except for finding the money!) some flashpoint issues lurching toward a strike: up to 477 laid off teachers will be hired (recalled) to staff the longer day (they say as a "better day" with arts, PE etc.) with elementary teachers not working longer minutes and a couple of other issues.

Chicago schools take another step this fall in implementation of Common Core State Standards (to be full in 2014-15). Teachers and others are being informed at sessions.

Murray Language Academy kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Luna was among the Golden Apple teachers announced May 9 2012. She was presented the award in her classroom by Gov. Quinn, who called her a "hall of famer and "The best of the best." Luna has taught at the school seven years, applying what she learned from her previous career in restaurant and wine management. Joyce Brown head of the selection committee told reporters Luna works to establish seamless routines for her kids so they understand the processes. Luna receives a tuition-free quarter sabbatical at Northwestern University, a $3,000 cash award, and as a Golden Apple Fellow will serve as a mentor to other aspiring teachers.

Summary 2011.
Kenwood Principal Elizabeth Kirby and Urban Education Institute head Timothy Knowles served on Mayor Emanuel's Transition Team. At the end of 2011, Kirby moved on to served as sw area officer (principal selection was under way at Kenwood), Emanuel appointed Jean-Claude Brizzard as permanent Superintendent, and Knowles organization issued several reports containing skepticism on schools advances over the years and urging more attention to instruction quality, helping teachers become consistently affective especially with diverse population, an to more fully engage parents, community an partners. Emanuel meanwhile appointed a board of businessmen and strongly skewed to moving to replacement of ever more schools with charters. Another report indicated many buildings are underutilized under a new criteria (which drew skepticism). The state passed reforms including over how schools get built or replaced.

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The fight over an unfunded 7.5 hour day vs. a quality day (with some wanting as short as 6.5 vs. present 5.45) has now morphed into a 7 hour day for elementary and 7 1/2 for high schools (with 75 min early release for hs once a week) supported by the Mayor (April 10)-- but what can be done about the funding and quality with huge deficits looming. Here is what the city release says about details of increases in both school day and instruction year: To press release: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2012/april_2012/mayor_emanuel_cpsannounce7-hourdayforelementarystudents.html?cq_ck=1334075550471#.T4R9rRnxk6k.email

 

Elementary Full School Day:

•Students will receive 52 additional minutes of instructional time each day.
•Students will receive 6 hours of instruction and 45 minutes for recess and lunch.
•Students will be in school for 7 hours each day, an increase of 75 minutes.
•Teachers will be in school for 7 hours and 40 minutes, an increase of 85 minutes.
High School Full School Day:

•Students will receive 46 additional instructional minutes four days a week.
•Students will receive 6 hours and 8 minutes of instructional time four days a week.
•Students will be in school for 7 1/2 hours a day, an increase of 36 minutes four days a week.
•One day per week the day will end 75 minutes early.
•Teachers will be in school for 7 hours and 40 minutes, an increase of 39 minutes.
The Full School Day will provide significant benefits to all students across the district, including:

•Elementary students will receive an additional 207 hours of instruction each year, and high school students will receive an additional 116 hours of instruction. Principals will no longer have to choose between reading, math or science because of limited time in the day.
•Additional time will create opportunity to add more intervention to ensure students who are falling behind in math and reading can get up to speed with their peers.
•Elementary students will have time for lunch and recess every day to relax, re-boot and return to the classroom ready to learn.
The Full School Day was structured with an eye toward providing teachers with adequate professional development and prep time to support their practice. Benefits of the Full Day include:

•Elementary teachers will have almost two additional hours of prep time each week.
•Elementary teachers will have self-directed prep time in the mornings, as well as additional prep time throughout the day to meet with parents informally, prepare for their lessons and supervise students who arrive at school early.
•Both elementary and high school teachers will receive an average of 75 minutes for professional development each week.

Greg Mason was granted a new contract at Murray. Hales Franciscan seeks a principal.

Kenwood Principal Selection-

Kenwood Principal Forum was held Feb. 29, LSC voted on Thursday, March 8.

Principal selection 2012 Gregory Jones (Asst Princ. George Westinghouse) was selected.

 

The federal government has issued a report showing a huge discrepancy in punishment of minority students cite for infractions as opposed to punishment meted out for similar instances for white students. At the same time, Voices of Youth in Education issued a similar report locally, including calling for better methods of corrective action and review of what should be considered an infraction.

A serious matter has arisen at Murray Language Academy and entered the mainstream media and blogosphere February 17, 2012. It appears that in a student dispute a racial epithet (the worst one) came up, and one of the teachers attempted to turn it into a learning experience, including on life. Part of the apparently awkward classroom exchange was witnessed by the principal, who subsequently suspended the teacher, the suspension being upheld after hearings by CPS. The teacher is now suing, and there is a growing row over political correctness vs hurtfulness. Various parties are circulating petitions on the matter- here is access to one: http://www.change.org/petitions/principal-murray-language-academy-reverse-the-decision-to-suspend-lincoln-brown-for-use-of-n-word-in-class

The Lab School's Early Learning Center on Stony Island got started and a large donation was received for the arts and performance component of reconstruction of the main campus.

Murray, completing realignment of its grades, received funds for physical upgrades. Its playground suffered arson but was replaced. There was controversy over some policies.

Ray was among several schools changing principals (Shoesmith, Kozminski, Kenwood). New principal Tatia Beckwith received some complaint about stricter parent and volunteer entrance policies.

Shoesmith continues incremental growth to excellence under Principal Gates (former asst. principal) and in conjunction with the volunteer group Friends of Shoesmith (which in turn has spurred an areawide movement for neighbor engagement of schools and more arts and physical fitness). The school was a recipient of grants from SECC for murals and learning gardens.

Kozminski experienced turbulence with principal removal. New Principal Myron Hester is working to upgrade the school. Reavis continues to use its large grant to serve as a wrap-around school though struggle continues.

All the neighborhood's schools have introduced innovation and increased their collaborations, as revealed at HPKCC Schools Networking Dinners. A setback outside the neighborhood was a problematic plan to close/phase out Dyett High and Price upper elementary schools.

Alderman Burns wrote an op-ed in the Jan. 25 2012 Herald opposes immediate closings of Dyett, Price, and Fuller, citing efforts to turn them around. Other controversies swirl around turnarounds, length of school day, an more.

The Conference Schools Committee held a networking dinner Sept. 29 2011 for principals and LSCs, at which each school showed how they are advancing a rigorous and child-centered program. The committee next meets with principals December 7, 9:45 am at United Church (Blackstone entry), 1448 E. 53rd St.

In late November 2011 the board announced that several schools will be closed, phased out or turned around. The key changes near Hyde Park-Kenwood are that Dyett High will be phased out over two years with its students being "invited" to go to Phillips, and low-enrollment Price Elementary will be closed and its students bused to the National Teachers Academy, charter school 4 miles north of Price. (One wonders why at least a grade or two could not go to its partner Robinson School.) In addition, High School for the Arts, and expanding charter, will have several classrooms in Doolittle East. Citywide, most of the students will go to campuses (including Phillips and National Teachers) of a charter system, Urban School Leadership which the Tribune reports is a favorite of the Mayor and from which came the President of the Board of Ed and the new Chief Operating Officer of CPS. (6 other schools were recently handed over to USL.)
With regard to Dyett, a grant this year from the South East Chicago Commission enabled the 100 Suns Native Flower Garden and Mosaic Artworks that was created by the students and Washington Park Conservancy plus another urban farm garden from which the students process and sell the produce to several area stores and farmers markets. What will happen to these gardens and programs with the school to be phased out, just as the 100 Suns garden adn artwork is to have a big community and stakeholder dedication December 9 at 4:30?
from which the students process and sell the produce to several area stores and farmers markets. What will happen to these gardens and programs, with the school to be phased out, just as the garden is to have a big community and stakeholder dedication December 9, 4:30 pm?

The University of Chicago Consortium for School Research came out September 12 2011 with results of a survey ranking the over 600 CPS schools (145,000+ students and 13,000+ teachers) on perceptions of their school re the "5 Essential elements" that matter most-
Instructional leadership, how teachers work together, support from families and community, learning climate, and challenging curriculum. Success in at least 3 correlates with schools being 10 times more likely to make progress over time. The report is in http://www.ccsrsurvey.uchicago. edu. To find out about the Elements and the research behind them, visit Organizing Schools for Excellence and UC Education/Schools Research Findings.

CPS finally came out with a budget in August 2011, but it has much criticism over what was cut and a tax increase.

Ray and Shoesmith were in principal search mode. Ray chose Tatia Beckwith, Shoesmith asst. principal Gates. Kozminski had its second temporary appointed principal in a year before selecting Myron Hester as permanent.

Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center (LBP) is again trying to partner with a school for shared space and program. Options Laboratory Alternative High School (public charter) will occupy c40,000 sf and continue its mission of using the arts to reach at-risk kids aged 16-21. Options is a branch of Youth Connections Charter School, which has 20 schools locally. Options, expected to open Sept. 6, will be designated a Fine Arts and Technology alternative school serving ages 18-20, and is accepting applications at optionslab.org or at LBP for 175 open slots. Principal Shalanda Holmes recently completed the New Leaders for New Schools principal training program at Kenwood Academy (where inter alia she shepherded the showing of "Race to Nowhere" to over 300 residents and parents). She told the Herald she admires LBP Director Monica Haslip's vision to serve students who are out of sync with a traditional curriculum and need to be refocused.
"Arts" as defined in this program includes animation, gaming, music production, painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and glass blowing, plus a business commitment-- all students take a two-year residency with partners such as Nike. The school (presumably through its parent organization and/or LBP) has also partnered with the University of Chicago, St. Xavier University, Museum of Science and Industry, Columbia University, Field Museum, Howard University, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Nov. 2010. Terry Mazany, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust was named interim Supt. of the Chicago Public Schools. Mazany is head of the Chicago Community Trust. He is now being replaced by permanent superintendent Brizzard. Charles Payne of U of C is interim Chief Education Officer.
THE MAZANY-PAYNE REPORT HAS BEEN DELIVERED TO NEW SUPT. BRIZZARD. IT CAN BE READ IN THE CPS WEBSITE http://www.cps.edu.
Highlights according to the May 25 2011 Herald are: Focus on QUALITY OF CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION; HELPING TEACHERS BECOME CONSISTENTLY EFFECTIVE AND ABLE TO SERVE A DIVERSE STUDENT POPULATION; AND ON MORE FULLY ENGAGING PARENTS, COMMUNITY, AND PARTNERS.

Kenwood sets record in number (5) of Gates Scholarships won by a CPS school. See in Kenwood.

The March 26 2011 Woodlawn Summit II schools breakout showed that the Promise Community is going full speed including bringing in neighborhood resources and institutions, and shared some ideas all schools can use, reinforce by a talk by Hyde Park High principal Thomas Trotter. A tragedy is that the kids have to through a gauntlet to get to and from the relative safety of schools.

A Communities in Schools March 29 forum shared many ways to recruit, coordinate and leverage programs available as well as to engage parents.
There is a big fuss in this neighborhood's schools over the breakfast-in-class (BIC) mandate-- pluses and minuses. And the movement to bring back recess is making headway in the city (approval by a majority of the union teachers and staff in a school would be needed). See below.
Hyde Park Day School and the Orthogenic School are building a new campus in what looks to be a new service megaplex at 63rd/62nd and Ingleside. It already has the Harris Recreation and social services complex and the AKArama and is less than 2 blocks from the UC-Woodlawn resources and SSA. And is near the revitalizing Parc Grove complex. And near the L terminus.
Kenwood Academy is still awaiting release of TIF funds and CPS match for new bleachers and scoreboard due to various disagreements about available funds and whether these are capital items (the latter resolved).
Bret Harte School is the only school in the neighborhood to have cuts applied in 2010-- loss of its Spanish program and five teachers, and reduction hours for the librarian.
Shoesmith School is powering up with a new Friends of Shoesmith stepping up to the plate- largely the neighbors who don't have kids in the school. But Shoesmith parents are stepping up also.

June 28: CPS AT THE END OF JUNE BACKED OFF 35/37 CLASS SIZE AND WENT BACK TO 2010 although high schools will still have to go from 31 to 33. Separately, Supt. Huberman wants the teachers to surrender this year's 4% raise (a third of the value of remaining deficit if the following happens). Huberman indicated CPS MIGHT get enough from the state board of ed "categorical" funding (such as special ed) to return to 28 per class for K-3, 4-8th to 31, and high school to go up "only" from 31 to 33 and full day Kindergarten may be restored.
This would be from an additional $57 million plus $18 million in new cuts. For things to really get better, Gov. Quinn would have to sign a bill to pay the $352 it owes CPS and pay future bills on time.
Murray gets 7th and 8th grades back. Implications for a neighborhood school plan? And cuts there and at Ray, Harte are severe. See in School News page.
Kenwood Assistant Principal Michael Boraz has been selected principal of Lincoln Park High School.

The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research and Urban Education Institute have recently put out important findings - see UC Research. and Organizing Schools. Visit ccsr.uchicago.edu.
Find out about running for your Local School Council. CPS phone number- 773 553-1400. Find our the stats and details on any public school at www.cps.edu.
See below what matters of concern could or should be hot topics for parents and the Hyde Park community.
To our Schools and Schools Committee homepage has the navigator to our extensive materials on schools and education and lists key meetings and from there visit our school and education subject material: Local School Councils, Education and School News, News of and from Schools and Kenwood Academy, School and Education Resources in the Community, School Directory with descriptions, Community Schools, Promise Zones, Developmental Asset-Building, Defining Excellence-- and the linked connection guide to After and Out of School Programs including our own Youth Programs Database. Link also to information on school tests scores and rankings and on University of Chicago school and education programs, resources, and research.
To brochure About the Schools Committee's vision and program. To Youth Programs Database page.

(See report on Feb. 23 LSC Ceremony and talk on school turnaround).
Kenwood Academy SIPAAA plan subject of concerned town hall meeting Saturday, May 1, The Council approved on it May 4. Read about in Kenwood page.

The CPS school budget for 2010-2011 is out and it is not a pretty one. Most schools face substantial cuts, and there are battles, likely in each school over the SIPAAA (which they are all racing to finish by May 7) all over Chicago and sometimes pitting teachers vs community, over using as much discretionary school money as possible to minimize loss of teachers and hence unmanageable class sizes. This played out at Kenwood Academy, with a likely compromised being commitment to review after the SIPAAA becomes a living document July 1. See in Kenwood Academy or School News takes on how to deal with the cuts.
For parents and students, their own school has top priority, and only a limited number of people in Hyde Park consider the neighborhood's schools or Chicago schools as a whole to be a "hot topic." Yet having good schools-- and widespread satisfaction with the schools and feeling that our children are respected and have a full suite opportunities to grow into successful adults-- has been shown to be a key prerequisite for strong and sustainable communities. There are in fact some structural and perceptual challenges in Hyde Park School, of which the late 2009 placement of three elementary schools on "academic probation" may be symptomatic. Outside the immediate area there is much more widespread dissatisfaction with many Chicago Public Schools (CPS) policies particularly on school closings and transformation, and hence many activist organizations that seek to hold schools and CPS accountable and provide training and networking services. The Woodlawn Children's Promise Zone program, heavily supported by the University of Chicago, seeks to re-make schools in the area into not just as a network of high-performing schools but as community service and building centers, and create winning strategies that can be scaled throughout Chicago including Hyde Park. Notable among those actively providing and seeking services, programs, tutors, curricula and training is the University of Chicago including, to name three, Urban Education Institute, Neighborhood Schools, and University Community Service Center- involving many student organizations. South East Chicago Commission has an active Schools Committee and many local organizations and institutions have programs in schools.
HPKCC's Schools Committee is among those with a strong interest in promoting high quality schools (- and not waiting for wide reforms to get underway), networking of best practices in schooling and school governance (including promotion of and services to good working Local School Councils), and seeking to rev up a full suite of programs and activities in and out of school across the child development spectrum so each child can grow in the skills, life assets, support, and experiences needed. We hold annual networking and awards dinners for LSCs/PTAs and principals and occasional public forums on schools topics and other informational and schools-support outreach in the community. Thus we continue Hyde Park's long tradition of making education its "mission" and of school (public and private) promotion, defense and activism and the commendable record of the HPKCC Schools Committee from the 1950s until the era of local school councils.
Our Schools Committee believes that while Hyde Park has many very good schools, LSCs and parent support groups, and programs, some schools are struggling and all lack optimum resources and conditions identified by experience and many studies (including from the University of Chicago's Consortium for Chicago School Research/Urban Education Institute). Afterschool and out of school programs are uneven--indeed, the Schools Committee is exploring a consortium to support such programs and a platform for connecting programs, parents, educators/partnering schools (find links to description in the Schools and Schools Committee homepage). A consortium would also continue and expand the above Schools Committee initiatives and education and involvement of the public. Already online is our Youth Programs Database.
Just starting in 2010 and likely to heat up are contests for Local School Councils that hold their biennial elections in April 2010. Learn about elections, what LSC's are and who's on them, and a schedule of their monthly meetings in the LSC page. The Schools Committee strongly encourages parents and community members to run and serve.
Some matters and occurrences that could be considered candidates for a schools "hot topics" list

Herald, others call for schools help, improvements after talk by Jacqueline Edelberg (Nettelhorst turnaround book How to Walk to Schools)

THE RESULT WAS A MEETING NOV. 7- FORMING A HYDE PARK SCHOOLS COALITION AND CONVERATION.
hydeparkschools@googlegoups.com, join at hydeparkschools@gmail.com. More about in School News. View raw ideas.

(The talk was at a Southside Parents Network event at Shoesmith. Ms. Edelberg talked last February at the HPKCC Schools Awards Dinner. Her model was drawn partially from her experiences with Ray School and applied to Nettelhorst on the North Side. After the October talk, the Herald took it upon itself to invite everyone and organizations to a convocation at the Neighborhood Club November 7, 3 pm. Here is the Herald's follow up October 27. For wish lists sent by schools, see News of Schools.)

"Rallying for schools a job for everyone.
Our announcement last week of a forum to discuss the state of our public schools -- an our public elementary schools in particular -- sparked a number of calls to the Herald offices expressing support for the idea. Our assertion that the community should step up in our efforts to support public education in Hyde Park seems to have resonated with parents, local education advocates and other members of the community. We expected no less from a community that so values its cohesiveness.

On the other hand, Hyde Park being Hyde Park, we were not surprised to hear some grumblings. Why now? Why haven't community meetings been held in preparation for the event? Has this been cleared with the various organizations in the community that work with the public schools?

We don't want to overstate the significance of these grumblings; we do not want to ignore any community members who feel they have a stake in the schools already. The fact is that this is part of a conversation that has been going on at least since our parents, teachers and administrators marched last spring in protest of proposed drastic expansions of class size and budget cuts at schools. Even though -- and in a sense, precisely because -- those cuts proved to be a political ploy [Herald interpretation], the buzz among parents and many community members has been around protecting our schools to the best of our ability from having such uncertainty arise in the future.

At the forum, to be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, 5480 S. Kenwood ave., we will make concrete suggestions as to how the community might gird our public neighborhood schools. We will announce a preliminary list of those suggestions -- influenced, in part, by wish lists we are soliciting from local schools and publishing as space permits. (Last week, we published a list from Shoesmith; this wee, Bret harte has submitted a list to be found on page 8. E-mail g.piemo@hpherald.com or d.phillips@hpherald.com to have your school's wish list published next week; deadline is this Friday, noon.) We are also seeking suggestions from the community -- write in and have your say. All suggestions will be published here in advance of the forum. Our suggestions will also be the outgrowth of conversations we are having throughout the community regarding ideas to strengthen our schools.

Meanwhile, the momentum for the event continues to build. The South Side education advocacy group Southsiders United [Organized?] fo Unity and Liberation stopped by the Herald offices last week to discuss involvement in the forum, and the event is officially on the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club's Facebook page. As mentioned last week on this page, the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference's Schools Committee is interested in participating in the event and the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce has expressed support as well. We encourage additional groups and individuals to sign on.

Given the vast potential resources our community has if we come together as local store owners, other professionals with areas of expertise, community organizers, concerned citizens, parents, teachers, members of community institutions an really all Hyde Parkers with our diverse array of backgrounds and abilities, our public schools -- all of our public schools -- should not want for local support as they struggle to provide the best possible education for our children.

Let's get together Nov. 7 and hash our how we translate this abstraction into action.

________________________

Crisis meetings at Kozminski over leadership change, scores drop

According to the Herald, Kozminski LSC meets this Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. But the time was not given. The school number is 773 535-0980.

The LSC had a meeting and CPS presentation aka part shouting match, according to the Herald, last Thursday January 6. Leonard Moore (a 30+ year principal and chief area officer who is now an urban education consultant at DePaul) is ACTING principal and Bordelon is "indefinitely removed" do to an ongoing investigation into (Herald quoting Monique Bond) "based on allegations of improper oversight and reporting mechanisms of corporal punishment." The latter is related tot he April 2009 removal of a security guard and music teacher for allegedly beating students-- all still under investigation.

CPS sent a minimalist letter to parents, saying the principal was replace because of personnel issues, which certainly got parents' attention--they are naturally concerned about a mid-semester change just a few weeks before ISAT testing.

The Thursday meeting had a double agenda-- Ms. Coates made a presentation to parents on Kozminski's declining scores and probation, a presentation she said Bordelon had prevented her from making. The other agenda was the leadership change, but the two got mixed together, and went together in the change decision Coates said. Lots of shouting ensued, including by the Ms. Chantelle Allen, LSC vice chair who said at parents that their focus should be on preparing students, not on change in leadership-- the LSC is supporting CPS because that's the leadership is what's in place.
Mr. Moore said that only a week convinced him that the school needs lot of changes, well beyond scores having gone down from 65% meeting standards to 59%. Others defended the school as "not a disaster school."

CPS breakfast rules one of the touch points of parent concerns. See separately concerns raised in "Race to Nowhere" screening and discussion.

Locals balk at CPS food rules [but not all- suitability of BIC varies school to school. Main concerns are kids getting double breakfast and or picking among foods-- and in some cases this replaces a hot breakfast with a cold one--, loss of classroom teaching time, difficulty of preparing and delivering to discrete classroom esp. in schools without elevators but multiple floor, mess in the classroom, childhood allergies. It also raises structural issues about the large district and its funding when CPS sets policy based on maximizing federal subsidies and on convenience of centralized one-size-fits-all. The decision was partly made because for 3 years CPS was getting money for breakfasts it didn't deliver and was faulted by the feds for it.

By Daschell M. Phillips. the Breakfast in the Classroom program, which was once being offered as an option [but generally before classes] for Chicago Public Schools with a high number of students from low-income families, is now mandatory for all schools. Some local parents have concerns about its enforcement. On the basis of the nutritional and psychological benefits of breakfast improving intellectual, emotional, social and physical development while in school, in January CPS approved the mandate for Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) for all schools.

Parents from schools across the city are speaking out about their concerns. Schools areas with a low number of children who receive free or reduced lunch where the breakfast seems wasteful; nutrition and allergy concerns adn cutting into teaching time in a school district with the shortest school days in the nation are all concerns that have been raised by parents.

Parents suspect that CPS has made the program mandatory because it receives federal money to cover the cost of th program and not for the nutritional concerns of children from low-income families. Last year, CPOS got $33.6 million from teh U/S. Department of Agriculture but only had to spend $23.7 on the progam. This left $9.8 million in additional revenue, according to CPS reports. With the program now being enforced for all schools, those revenue figures are expected to double.

Eva Neilson, parent and member of teh Shoesmith Elementary local school council, said last summer Shoesmith was part of th BIC pilot program, and the school decided it wasn't a right fit. "We already had a hot breakfast program that 80 percent of our students were participating in," Neilson said "between the two options, we decided we liked our hot breakfast program best but now [BIC] is a district-wide mandate.

The loss of instruction time, the use of training time that wil be required from teachers, classroom cleanliness and the possible loss of lunchroom staff are all concerns of Shoesmith, according to Neilson. "[There are] different needs for each school, and the program should have remained optional," she said.

Karen Macklin, LSC chairwoman at Ray Elementary School, said although CPS hasn't presented th program to Ray yet, she can see the benefits and challenges of the BIC mandate. "It could potentially be a good fit because eating at school sometimes is the only food students get," said Macklin, who said a significant amount of students who are on free and reduced-lunch come to school early for breakfast. "Having the food in the classroom may also take the pressure off the teacher having to take kids back and forth to the lunchroom." Macklin said she's not advocating that the program would be a perfect fit for all schools, "but if the principal brings it to us, we will find a way to make it work." "Although it's a district-wide mandate, I'm sure there would be a way to tweak it to fit each school," Macklin said.

Cynthia Brown, LSC chairwoman at Kozminski, said she also sees the pros and cons of the BIC program. "It's not so great that it takes away from learning time but it's a good thing the kids eat in smaller groups so that they can be monitored, Brown said. "Parents think their kids are eating but they are outside playing."

The BIC program is already offered in 199 district schools and will be rolled-out to an additional. 299 elementary schools this month.

Herald Editorial April 6, 2011. What's behind CPS's new breakfast program? Children in Chicago Public Schools are learning a life lesson this semester that many of us discovered a little later in our lives: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or breakfast as teh case m ay be.

A mandatory breakfast program has been introduced to some Hyde Park public schools as part of a new policy that is intended to eventually cover the entire school district. About 40 percent of schools are covered now.., and parent's concerns about such issues as wasted resource, lost teaching time and potential dangers to students with allergies seem unable to slow this latest CPS juggernaut.

Sure, it's a "free" breakfast (assuming we n o longer take account of where our tax money is spent), but are kinder angels inspiring COPS bureaucrats to suddenly ensure that public school children are well fed? In a school system that won't allow kids to eat organic veggies that grow in school gardens because of deals cut with cafeteria food providers, we are more inclined to see dollar signs as a motivating factor at CPS than nutrition.

CPS is getting millions from the federal government to implement this program, which eats into teaching time-- about 45 hours a hear, according to one estimate. Meanwhile, we are being told by parents that a lot of these breakfasts are left uneaten. Given COS' recent track record of putting the bottom line ahead of children's education (remember those inflated classroom sized threatened last year?), we believe that parents' concerns should be addressed before this plan goes any further.

So far, CPS has said nothing substantial in response to parents' criticisms, and we are told that the program is intended to become a mandate in every single public school. Parents need to push back against this apparent indifference. In this period of transition, as one mayor exits and another takes the stage, now is th e time to set the tone for how far CPS can go in implementing policy without parent input and without a clear internal decision-making process. Grabbing at any bucket of federal dollars that comes along will not correct the wayward course our public schools seem stuck on.

It nutrition is a concern, ask parents, teachers, and -- hey, here's an idea-- the children what healthy foods they want and how they should get them. Hastily prepared, mass-produced, mandated breakfast will not go very far in improving educational outcomes and is just another slap in the face to beleaguered parents of students at our public schools.

VOTE in the 2016 LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL (LSC) ELECTIONS
APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14
Elementary Schools: Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Polls open at each school: 6am – 7pm
High Schools: Thursday, April 14, 2016. Polls open at each school: 6am – 7pm
All members of the community, ages 18 and up, may vote.
You may vote for up to 5 candidates.
You may vote at the elementary school in whose boundaries you reside. You may vote at any magnet school in whose election boundaries you reside. You may vote at the high school in whose boundaries you reside. Bring an ID to confirm address. To find out schools' boundaries go to the CPS school locator http://cps.edu/ScriptLibrary/Map-SchoolLocator2015/index.html and enter your address.
At the LSC Elections, there will be a list of parent representative candidates and a list of community representative candidates. You may vote for up to 5 candidates total from the two lists.
Local School Council members serve for two years and are responsible for approving how funds and resources are allocated, developing and helping to implement the school Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP), and evaluating and monitoring the school’s principal.
Support local control and democracy in our schools
VOTE in the LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS, APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14


VOTE in the 2016 LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL (LSC) ELECTIONS
APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14
Elementary Schools: Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Polls open at each school: 6am – 7pm
High Schools: Thursday, April 14, 2016. Polls open at each school: 6am – 7pm
All members of the community, ages 18 and up, may vote.
You may vote for up to 5 candidates.
You may vote at the elementary school in whose boundaries you reside. You may vote at any magnet school in whose election boundaries you reside. You may vote at the high school in whose boundaries you reside. Bring an ID to confirm address. To find out schools' boundaries go to the CPS school locator http://cps.edu/ScriptLibrary/Map-SchoolLocator2015/index.html and enter your address.
At the LSC Elections, there will be a list of parent representative candidates and a list of community representative candidates. You may vote for up to 5 candidates total from the two lists.
Local School Council members serve for two years and are responsible for approving how funds and resources are allocated, developing and helping to implement the school Continuous Improvement Work Plan (CIWP), and evaluating and monitoring the school’s principal.
Support local control and democracy in our schools
VOTE in the LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS, APRIL 13 AND APRIL 14