Support Stockton School

Notice on Status of Stockton School

While we are working to support Stockton School in the Uptown community, it has come to our attention that some of our communications may have been unclear and/or misinterpreted. Stockton School is in no greater danger of closing than any other “underutilized” CPS school. CPS has listed 330 of its 680 total schools as “underutilized.” Information presented on this site has been collected from the noted sources and news outlets, including publicly available CPS data. At this time, there is no publicly acknowledged list of schools that have been targeted for action by the CPS Board of Education. Our purpose is solely to provide support for Stockton School and prepare for the possibility that it could be targeted for such action. We have no inside data regarding the intentions of the CPS Board of Education towards Stockton or any other school. It is still vitally important that we show our support for this institution in our community to make sure our voices are heard in the decision making process. We apologize for any confusion.

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Key Meetings this Friday and Monday!

The final Uptown meeting with the CPS School Utilization Committee that will occur before a school closure list is announced has been set. We will be having a planning meeting this Friday to decide how to address our concerns. The details are:

Planning Meeting-
Friday, Jan. 25th, 3:00pm
Stockton School, 4420 N. Beacon St. (at Montrose)

Meeting with CPS School Utilization Committee-
Monday, Jan. 28th, 7:00pm
Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave. (at Broadway)

If you can only attend one meeting, PLEASE COME TO THE MEETING ON MONDAY. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for us to have a large turnout. Bring family, friends, children, neighbors, and anyone else you know. Also, be sure to WEAR STOCKTON BLUE (navy) so that it is obvious why you are present. We have come so far, but we aren’t done yet. Thank you so much for showing your support for Stockton School!

Final Hearing

Today is the final hearing for Ravenswood-Ridge schools.  Please come out to Truman College at 11:00 to show your support for your children, your schools, and your community!

Meeting this Friday at Stockton School

We will be meeting this Friday (Jan. 25th) at 3:00pm to discuss our action for Monday’s meeting with the CPS School Utilization Committee. As Monday appears to be the final opportunity in Uptown to show solidarity and express our concerns before a final school closure list is announced, it is imperative that we have a clear, concise, and unified message concerning any pending actions. We invite any parents, students, staff, and community members who are concerned about how these actions may affect Stockton School to attend.

When: Friday, Jan. 25th, 3:00pm
Where: Stockton School, 4420 N. Beacon St. (at Montrose)

Even if you cannot attend, it is vitally important that you are at Monday’s meeting at Truman College. Please wear Stockton blue!

January 28th May be the Last Opportunity to be Heard

As a follow-up to the previous post, I just received this information:

CPS may still close high schools; no list till February of schools facing action

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 10:18 AM PST

CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett agrees with the recommendation of her hand-picked Commission on School Utilization to include school performance among the criteria for school closing decisions, but she may still close one or two high schools and could veer from other recommendations.

The commission’s interim report,  released last week, said the district should not shut down any high schools because of safety concerns as students cross gang boundaries traveling to new schools.

Byrd-Bennett also said the list of schools that could be shut down won’t be announced before the first set of community hearings on the closings. Last week, she had said the list would be published before the hearings started.

 At the first round of community hearings (two to be held in each network), CPS officials will present “high-level” information about the schools in the community. The first hearing will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 28 at Truman College. After that, they take place nearly every day through February.

By Feb. 13, the list will be complete and the second round of community hearings will take place.

If I am reading this correctly, this will be the last meeting in our area before a final list of schools is released.  This only reiterates how important it is to be at Truman College on the 28th!

CPS School Utilization Feedback Meeting at Truman College- January 28, 7pm-9pm

From the official CPS website:

CEO Byrd-Bennett announced last week that CPS will launch a second phase of community engagement to provide parents and school communities with additional opportunities to give feedback about individual schools on a Network-by-Network basis as part of this process. Each school Network will host two community meetings, which will be moderated by independent facilitators, taking place January 28 through March 4.

The first series of meetings (beginning January 28) will include a presentation of high-level information and metrics on all schools at the Network level to glean feedback from the community. Information gathered at these meetings will help CPS lead a more school-specific discussion at the second series of community meetings.

 

 

School communities will be notified of the community meetings via a variety of communication methods, including robo-calls, letters mailed home, by email, via cps.edu, social media and at individual schools.

The first of these meetings is for the Ravenswood-Ridge network and will be at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson.  It is very important that we have a strong showing in support of our Uptown schools!  While there is a second round of meetings scheduled, the decision making process is already underway.  It is vital that we let them know early and often how much our schools mean to us.  We hope to see you all there!

The full list of meeting dates and locations is:

DATE NETWORK TIME LOCATION
1/28/2013 Ravenswood-Ridge 7:00-9:00pm Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson
1/29/2013 Midway 7:00-9:00pm Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski
1/29/2013 O’Hare 7:00-9:00pm Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
1/30/2013 Lake Calumet 7:00-9:00pm Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn
1/31/2013 Austin-North Lawndale 7:00-9:00pm Friendship MB Church, 5200 W. Jackson
2/2/2013 Englewood-Gresham 11:00-1:00pm Kennedy King College, 6301 S. Halsted
2/4/2013 Burnham Park 7:00-9:00pm

St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan

2/5/2013 Garfield-Humboldt 7:00-9:00pm Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson
2/6/2013 Pershing 7:00-9:00pm Fuller Park Field House, 311 W. 45th St.
2/6/2013 Pilsen-Little Village 7:00-9:00pm

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

2/7/2013 Skyway 7:00-9:00pm Our Lady of Peace Rectory, 7851 S. Jeffrey
2/9/2013 Rock Island 11:00-1:00pm

Metropolitan Family Services, 235 W. 103rd St.

2/11/2013 Fulton 7:00-9:00pm

First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington

2/11/2013 Fullerton 7:00-9:00pm Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie
2/13/2013 Austin-North Lawndale 7:00-9:00pm Greater Galilee Baptist Church, 1308 S. Independence
2/14/2013 Lake Calumet 7:00-9:00pm Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn
2/16/2013 Ravenswood-Ridge 11:00-1:00pm Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson
2/18/2013 Englewood-Gresham 7:00-9:00pm Liberation Christian Center, 6810 S. Ashland
2/19/2013 Burnham Park 7:00-9:00pm St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan
2/20/2013 Skyway 7:00-9:00pm South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr.
2/21/2013 Pershing 7:00-9:00pm Fuller Park Field House, 331 W. 45th St.
2/23/2013 O’Hare 11:00-1:00pm Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
2/25/2013 Rock Island 7:00-9:00pm Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted
2/26/2013 Fulton 7:00-9:00pm First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington
2/27/2013 Garfield-Humboldt 7:00-9:00pm Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson
2/28/2013 Fullerton 7:00-9:00pm Armitage Baptist Chuch, 2451 N. Kedzie
3/2/2013 Midway 11:00-1:00pm Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski
3/4/2013 Pilsen-Little Village 7:00-9:00pm Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

CPS CEO Proposes 2013-2014 School Calendar

To give credit where credit is due, this seems like a much more reasonable calendar than we’ve seen in past years.  It seems that parent and teacher concerns have actually been taken into consideration when scheduling holidays and professional development.  Let’s hope that this is a sign that Barbara Byrd-Bennett really is a bit different than her predecessors and is listening to people in the communities instead of just the mayor’s office.

 

As we move ahead into the second semester of a new year, we know our families are anxious to find out what lies ahead for next year’s academic calendar. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been working collaboratively with the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) to build a new, single calendar for school year 2013-2014 and we are excited to share the newly designed calendar with you.
 
This proposed calendar does away with the District’s two-track schedule and gives all students the same start and end dates and days off.  The new unified calendar also provides a balance of uninterrupted student learning days and reflects input gathered from parents, students, teachers and principals in order for families to easily plan work, childcare and vacation schedules.

To design the calendar, representatives from CPS and CTU discussed parameters and CPS launched an online survey to gain your feedback on what you would like the calendar to look like.  More than 13,000 parents, students, teachers and principals completed our survey and the results were invaluable.

Some highlights from the survey results include:

  • ·         First Day of School: 51 percent of parents and students and 80 percent of teachers preferred a calendar that started sometime in August. All students will now begin school before Labor Day on August 26, 2013. In the past, Track E schools started in early August, while Track R schools began the day after Labor Day.
  • ·         Three-Day Thanksgiving Holiday: Many stakeholders responded that they wanted a fall break. The best way to offer a fall break with minimal disruption to student learning was to lengthen the Thanksgiving holiday, accommodating travel plans and allowing more time with family. In SY 13-14, schools will be closed for three days during the week of Thanksgiving starting Wednesday, November 27, 2013.
  • ·         Removal of Half Days: 62 percent of parents and students and 61 percent of teachers preferred that professional development occur on full days of non-student attendance instead of half days. To make planning easier for work and childcare, there are no scheduled half days in the SY 13-14 calendar.

In addition to aligning all schools with start and end dates as well as vacation time, a unified calendar will allow for far better planning among principals, teachers and families and support a better structure for implementing a more rigorous curriculum and supports for students in need.

More specific changes to the new calendar include:

  • ·         First and Last Days of School: The first day of school for all students will be August 26, 2013 and the last day of school will be June 10, 2014.
  • ·         Holidays: Schools will be closed to observe Labor Day, September 2, 2013, Columbus Day, October 14, 2013, Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2013, Thanksgiving, November 27-29, 2013, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 20, 2014, Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12, 2014 and Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.
  • ·         Parent-Teacher Conferences: Formerly known as Report Card Pick-Up, Parent Teacher Conferences will occur on the same day for elementary and high school students and will occur on November 12 and April 7. Parent-Teacher Conferences are days of non-student attendance.
  • ·         Winter Break: December 23, 2013 to January 3, 2014.
  • ·         Spring Break: Schools will be closed for Spring Break from April 14 to April 18, 2014.

The proposed calendar is being released today, but will go before the Chicago Board of Education for approval on Wednesday, January 23. 

I would like to thank all of our parents and our stakeholders for taking the time to complete our online survey. Your feedback was central to the design of the new calendar. Attached is a copy of the new single-track calendar for school year 2013-2014. We look forward to beginning the next school year together, on one unified calendar.

 
Sincerely,

Barbara Byrd-Bennett
CEO, Chicago Public Schools

There are signs of progress regarding the relationship between the new CEO and members of the public to be found here.  I only hope that they continue.

Thank You for Helping to Canvas Our Community!

Just a quick note to say thank you to Northside Action for Justice and Chicago Teacher’s Union for organizing the canvassing of the Uptown community today! It was wonderful to get to meet so many people who are concerned about our children’s future and want to be involved in making sure that our neighborhood schools remain as integral parts of the community. As a part of today’s effort, we have added our “Business Supporters” page with businesses who said they would like to be listed as supporters of Stockton School. We would like to thank these businesses for being a part of the future of Uptown and helping to preserve our beloved school. Be sure to patronize these local establishments and tell them how much you appreciate their support and involvement in our community! Also, thank you to all of those who volunteered to gather signatures petitioning for a moratorium on CPS school closings and also for an elected school board at CPS. Additionally, thank you to all of those who signed the petitions today. With your support, we will be able to ensure that we are there to be a guiding light to the children of our community! The hard work is not over yet, but it is reassuring to see what what a difference we are starting to make!

Jan. 19, 2013- Community Action to Support Stockton School

What: Community Outreach to Save Our Schools

When: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 11:00am-1:00pm

Where: Stockton Elementary, 4420 N. Beacon St. (Beacon at Montrose)

In cooperation with Northside Action for Justice and Chicago Teachers’ Union

Join CTU members, parents, students, and other allies in reaching out to our communities to SAVE OUR SCHOOLS.

Honor Dr. King’s Legacy.  Speak out for quality public education.  Speak out for a voice in our communities.  Speak out to save our schools.

The Mayor and Board of Education have closed or taken over dozens of schools every year, targeting Black and Latino neighborhoods.  These closings take resources that our students deserve, destabilize our neighborhoods, and increase racial inequalities at CPS. The Board of Ed is now planning to close dozens more schools, taking even more from the communities that have lost the most. They plan to close schools in part to pay for corporate handouts and more privatized “charter schools” controlled by the Mayor’s supporters-taking away our community’s schools, jobs, and VOICE.

Join CTU members across the city in spending a few hours of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend fighting for our communities, our students, and our schools.

Information transcribed from flyer distributed by CTU Organizing Department.  They may be reached at 312-329-6227 or at organizing@ctulocal1.com.  

Events will also be held simultaneously at the following locations:

-Albany Park Neighborhood Council office, 4749 N. Kedzie Ave., 2nd Floor (continues until 2pm)

-Blocks Together office, 3455 W. North Ave.  (begins at 10am)

-Lewis Elementary, 1431 N. Leamington Ave.

-Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, 4242 S. Cottage Grove

-Ruggles Elementary, 7831 S. Prairie Ave.

-Fenger High School, 11220 S. Wallace St.

 

Charter Schools Ring Up Fines, More Public Funding

From DNAinfo.com

An illustration of how “open-enrollment” charters pick-and-choose their students, all while claiming to serve students of every need.  This statement from the comments section is enlightening:

If there were any doubts in your minds that charter schools are selective AFTER accepting students, as well as beforehand, there shouldn’t be any more.
Is the mother guilty for failing to adequately discipline her son? Maybe. We can’t know without knowing whether or not the boy has any outstanding mental issues, etc. But that’s not the point. The point is that soon, the Chicago Bulls Charter School will no longer have to deal with him causing trouble in its classrooms and bringing down the averages on its standardized test scores (assuming it even has to deal with those — the latest charter scandals seem to involve charters wriggling out of the same sort of “accountability” measures advocated by the same people who push for more charters). When that day comes, the school can put on a look of doe-eyed innocence and assert that it didn’t kick the boy out, his mother CHOSE to withdraw him — and it was powerless to stop her!