As our teachers and students break for the holidays, I thought it was a good time to recap some of the activities taking place at our local schools. The schools covered in this email are the nine schools located in the new 49th Ward boundaries. Of course, many 49th Ward’s families send their children to schools outside our ward, such as magnet, classical, and parochial schools, but my emails will focus on those schools which are physically within our boundaries.
I hope that this will be the first of regular emails, updating you on the great work and activities in our local schools. In the future, not every school will necessarily be included in every email, depending on their latest events, but all are an important part of our community. Please celebrate their accomplishments with me!
In case you missed my email earlier this month, all the public schools in our ward received some very good news. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released its annual comprehensive school quality ratings, and five of the seven Rogers Park schools that were rated last year saw their scores INCREASE and no school experienced a decrease. And three of our schools received a Level 1 score or better!
For my report on the school quality ratings, CLICK HERE.
Chicago Math and Science Academy; Aydin Kara, Principal
This fall, CMSA opened its new Community Technology Center (CTC), funded through a $50,000 grant from Lumity. Serving both youth and adults, the center is open to the public and offers self-paced courses from Microsoft’s IT Academy. An instructor is also present in the center to help users learn basic computer skills. The Center is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The CTC will remain open for at least a year, with the possibility of receiving the same grant next year.
Field Elementary School; Adrian Dobbins, Principal
Field has been all about soccer and art this fall. This year’s 5th and 6th grade boys’ soccer team made it to the citywide championship game this year! The team did not lose a single game in the regular season. They went on to win all three of their playoff games, 2-1, 1-0 and 4-3, before losing the city championship game by a score of 2-0 and taking home the silver second place plaque. Back in the art world, the school partnered with the Heartland Café to present an art exhibition of beautiful butterfly paintings and pastel drawings. Curated by Jeremy Parker, Field’s art teacher, the work of 24 students will be on display at the Heartland through January.
Gale Math & Science Academy; Cassandra Washington, Principal
Gale students with perfect attendance as well as students on the honor roll were rewarded at Gale this semester. Through a partnership with Horace Mann Insurance and Sprint, about 50 students with perfect attendance in the first quarter received a Samsung tablet. Also, over 80 students were able to attend an incentive field trip to the AMC East Theater in mid-November, to celebrate being on the fall honor roll.
Jordan Elementary Community School; Ashley Peterson, Principal
This fall, Jordan Community School hosted a Jordan Family Dinner for parents and staff, featuring guest speaker, Deloris Jordan, Michael Jordan’s mother and founder of the James Jordan Foundation. With about 50 parents in attendance, Mrs. Jordan spoke to families about the importance of being involved with their child’s education and being an active community member. “It won’t happen unless you tell them they can do it. It starts with you at home,” she said. Several students described their own dreams and how they plan to accomplish them. Principal Peterson encouraged students to dream big, by saying, “If your dreams don’t scare you, you aren’t dreaming big enough.”
Kilmer Elementary School; Jean Papagianis, Principal
Health and warmth have been central to Kilmer’s activities lately. More than 50 percent of the students received free dental check-ups and cleanings, while more than 60 percent of the students received vision screenings, where every student who required glasses based on the test, received a free pair. In mid-December, the Coat Angelscame to Kilmer to provide every kid in need with a coat, gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Principal Papagianis and her staff are also looking forward to the development of a sensory room for their students with sensory needs, with the help of a $5000 grant from the Glencoe Education Foundation.
New Field Elementary School; Carlos Patiño, Principal
New Field this fall renewed its emphasis on family and community involvement, and it’s working! Ninety-three percent of New Field parents attended Report Card Pick-Up Day. They met with their child’s teacher to share academic progress, learned how to access their child’s grades through the Parent Portal, and received free flu shots courtesy of Walgreen’s. New Field also enjoyed high parent attendance at its Parent Advisory Council meeting and its annual Literacy Day, where parents learned about the Common Core State Standards and ways to support their children.
Sullivan High School; Chad Adams, Principal
Last month, Sullivan High School held a grand opening for its new career and college center. Funded through a grant from Capital One and The Heart of America Foundation, the new center includes 35 new iPads and 1,500 books and is designed to help students learn about and prepare for careers and colleges. On the center’s new iPads, the school plans to host web-based college tours with students. The center also compliments the new job center (a satellite of the Evanston Job Center) that opened in September.
UNO Rogers Park Elementary and High School just celebrated the holidays with their winter performances and tree lighting festival. Featured was the debut of the UNO Rogers Park High School Symphonic Band. The high school uses a fine arts academy model, where students participate in all types of fine and performing arts including visual, dance, vocal, and instrumental. The winter concert also included grade level choir performances from UNO Rogers Park Elementary School. Hundreds of family and community members turned out to enjoy the festivities.
Chicago Waldorf School; Luke Goodwin, Director
The Chicago Waldorf School believes that children are strengthened and more open to learning when outdoor exploration is part of their day. The Chicago Waldorf School takes this seriously by bringing their young children to the beach year round. Even 1st and 2nd graders go to the Hartigan Beach at Albion Street beach every day after lunch. They play, they build, and they exercise as they grow. The beach is a magical place, even in the snow. It provides opportunity for observation not possible within the walls of a classroom. The 49th Ward hosts the largest Waldorf School in the Midwest.
Let’s give a big cheer for all our local schools!