The Sweet Smell of Success- Bell, Audubon, Blaine & Coonley

April 12, 2012
By

Four excellent schools, Bell, Audubon, Blaine and Coonley, form the foundation for what could become an educational renaissance in this city. Each of these schools is a neighborhood school. And each is being led by a principal assigned within the past two years. The Local School Councils at these schools must protect the legacy of excellence. Second, these four schools have strengths and weaknesses. We encourage the LSCs to engage in open and constructive dialogue aimed at maintaining the strengths and addressing the weaknesses. But because new principals have been assigned, metrics from past years may not be adequate to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the new executive. It should be a mission of the LSCs to guard the legacy here. And, at the same time, address the few weaknesses each school has. AudubonBased on the Chicago Consortium report:

  • Teachers report “we have so many different programs in this school that I can’t keep track of them all.”
  • Teachers report that professional development at Audubon did not “include enough time to think carefully about, try and evaluate new ideas.”
  • Teachers report that professional development at Audubon did not include “opportunities to work productively with teachers from other schools.”
  • Students report that in math class they were not asked to write a math problem for other students to solve.
  • Students report in English class they did not rewrite a paper or essay in response to comments.

What are we to make of this? The LSC should be suggesting changes in the area of professional development and programming to fully inform the staff of the various programs at the school and to provide more opportunities for integrating professional development with the classroom.

Read the Illinois School Report Card for Audubon

Read the CPS Performance Policy Report for Audubon

Read the School Progress Report for Audubon  en español w języku polskim in Chinese

The No Child Left Behind (AYP) Report

Audubon School School Improvement Plan (SIPAA)

Explore the Chicago Consortium/ University of Chicago/ Urban Education Institute report on Audubon

Go to the Audubon School Web Site

Go to the Audubon School FaceBook page

View the School North Attendance Area Map

Review the Audubon LSC records on The Bulldog’s Document Cloud

BellBased on the Consortium report there are several themes for the new LSC. First, students are asking to be challenged. Second, students are describing a situation where feedback, whether from teachers or peers, is not offered. Third, teachers are reporting some issues with the team; discipline duties are not shared, responsibilities for the team is not being shared. Here are the areas of weakness expressed by the Consortium’s report:

  • Teachers report the (previous) principal did not press teachers to implement what they learned in professional development
  • Teachers report they did no follow up on new programs to be sure they work
  • Teachers report the special programs at the school came and went
  • Teachers report other teachers did not help maintain discipline
  • Teachers report other teachers did not feel responsible to help each other do their best
  • Teachers reported that there were not opportunities to work productively with teachers from other schools
  • Students reported their teacher did not give specific suggestions on how to improve their work in the class
  • Students reported the classes did not challenge them
  • Students reported the classes did not require them to work hard to do well
  • Students reported that in math classes they were not challenged to write a few sentences to explain how they solved a math problem
  • Students reported they did not have to write a math problem for other students to solve
  • Student report they did not rewrite a paper or essay in response to comments
  • Students report they did not work in English class to improve a piece of writing as a class or with partners
  • Students report they did not learn a lot from feedback on work

Another area of concern here is bullying. Additional programs to address bullying may be needed at the school. Jane Rickard, a co-owner of The Bulldog, is a full-time employee at Bell. Rickard did not contribute to this report.

Read the Illinois School Report Card for Bell

Read the CPS Performance Policy Report for Bell

Read the School Progress Report for Bell  en español w języku polskim in Chinese

The No Child Left Behind (AYP) Report

Bell School School Improvement Plan (SIPAA)

Explore the Chicago Consortium/ University of Chicago/ Urban Education Institute report on Bell

Go to the Bell School Web Site

Go to the Bell School FaceBook page

View the School North Attendance Area Map

Bulldog coverage of Bell School:

Bell school raises $137K for wish list– Mar 19, 2011

LSC Candidate statements:

Anne Lokken (parent)

Irv Gorman (parent)

Jessica Ekern (parent)

Julie Coffman (parent)

Kathryn S Reuther (community)

Matthew Zaute (community)

Ellen Rosenfeld (parent)

Ross Silverberg (parent)

Mary Ann Merikoski (parent)

John Martin (community)

Theresa Martinez (parent)

Alexander Dee (community)

Review the Bell LSC records on The Bulldog

BlaineThe Bulldog was unable to attend any LSC meetings this year at Blaine. As a result there is limited intelligence to share about the situation the LSC needs to address. In addition to the limited on the ground intelligence, Blaine staff did not cooperate with the Chicago Consortium in sufficient numbers for meaningful results. As we have with schools that are struggling, we urge the LSC to use its bully pulpit to encourage the staff at Blaine to participate in the Consortium’s study. That said, there are limited recommendations available to the LSC and to voters. Based on the Consortium results there are a number of weaknesses to explore for the school:

  • Students reported that in English class they did not rewrite a paper or essay in response to comments
  • Students did not think they were being asked difficult questions on tests

And in the School Performance Policy Report, the metrics for value added growth in math and reading are of concern. Jane Rickard, a co-owner of The Bulldog, was an employee at Bell. Rickard did not contribute to this report.

Read the Illinois School Report Card for Blaine

Read the CPS Performance Policy Report for Blaine

Read the SchoolProgress Report for Blaine  en español w języku polskim in Chinese

The No Child Left Behind (AYP) Report

Blaine School School Improvement Plan (SIPAA)

Explore the Chicago Consortium/ University of Chicago/ Urban Education Institute report on Blaine

Go to the Blaine School Web Site

Go to the Blaine School FaceBook page

View the School North Attendance Area Map

CoonleyCoonley has really been blessed. For some years Northcenter Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garrett FitzGerald sat on the LSC. It may have been coincidence that in addition to the vision of FitzGerald, the school was also the beneficiary of substantial charitable contributions from the chamber’s Rib Fest activities. The neighborhood gained as real estate values in North Center are stronger than other areas. The LSC has an interest in keeping close to the chamber. It is a key to the success of this school. We are confident that the new principal, Gregory Zurawski, gets it. Recently the school hosted the chamber at a luncheon. Are the rest of the schools paying attention to how one hand washed another to the benefit of both? The Chicago Consortium report does note the following issues to follow-up on:

  • Students report they did not have the opportunity to provide constructive feedback to their peers and teachers.
  • Math Instruction was criticized in answer to three questions:
    • Students report they did not have the opportunity to write a few sentences to explain how they solved math problems
    • Students report they did not write math problems for other students to solve
    • Students report they did not apply math to situations in life outside school
  • In English class, students reported they did not improve a piece of writing as a class or with partner
  • Students report three areas of Academic Press that need work:
    • Students report they are not receiving tough questions on tests
    • Students report they are not receiving tough questions in class
    • Students report their classes are not a challenge
  • Students report they did not receive feedback on their work
  • The adults in OUR neighborhood do not know who the local children are

Read the Illinois School Report Card for Coonley

Read the CPS Performance Policy Report for Coonley

Read the School Progress Report for Coonley  en español w języku polskim in Chinese

The No Child Left Behind (AYP) Report

Coonley School School Improvement Plan (SIPAA)

Explore the Chicago Consortium/ University of Chicago/ Urban Education Institute report on Coonley

Go to the Coonley School Web Site

Go to the Coonley School Alumni FaceBook page

View the School North Attendance Area Map

Candidates statements:

Clayton Jirak (community)

Fares Zanayed (community)

Jeremy Custer (community)

Marisa Kurk (community)

Timothy P Gibbons (community)

Tsann-Yang “Johnny” Song (community)

Allison W Freedman (parent)

Beneen Prendiville (parent)

Catherine E Marchese (parent)

Doug Mulderink (parent)

Heather Murphy (parent)

Jason S Blum (parent)

Jeff Jenkins (parent)

Ron Schwartz (parent)

Samuel Holloway (parent)

Tamiko Acevedo (parent)

Thomas J Okon (parent)

York M Chan (parent)

Eileen T O’Hara (teacher)

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