The historic closing of 49 elementary schools in Chicago left many parents bitter and feeling left out as they try to get involved in new schools. Yet parent engagement is essential for school improvement, and principals are faced with the challenge of building trust at schools that scored poorly on surveys of parent involvement.
Comings & Goings
Moving In/On Yolanda Knight, former assistant director of CPS postsecondary education, will oversee education grantmaking at the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. ... Phylicia Lyons, currently a candidate for a master's degree in public policy at the University of Chicago, was named executive director of the Illinois School Choice Initiative, a project of The Heartland Institute that will identify and mobilize support for school choice.
Principal Contracts Assistant principals Claudia Halsey at Warren, Janice C. Keeley at Canty and Joyce Nakamura at Stone have been awarded principal contracts at their schools. ... Assistant Principal Scott Ahlman at Inter-American has been awarded a principal contract at Hibbard and Assistant Principal Carol Friedman at Hawthorne has been awarded a principal contract at Franklin Fine Arts. ... Acting Principal Rebecca McDaniel has been awarded a contract. ... Principal Shirley Talley-Smith at Bouchet was named principal at Lafayette. ... The following principals have had their contracts renewed: Carolyn T. Baldwin, Guggenheim; Ginger V. Bryant, Sexton; Ruby L. Coats, Hurley; Deborah C. Heath, Fernwood; Christine T. Munns, Sauganash.
At Clark Street Pamela Hughes-Randall, previously interim superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools, was named special assistant in the Office of High School Programs, a new position. ... C. Allison Jack, previously a senior policy adviser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is now strategic adviser for New Schools, a new position. ... Principal Arthur Slater of Kenwood High School was named Area 23 Instructional Officer, replacing Nathaniel Mason, who is retiring. ... Dale Moyer, previously of Loyola University in Chicago, was named CPS director of compensation management.
Scholarships Three seniors from CPS high schools won National Merit Scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 annually for up to four years. The winners are Sophia F. Darugar and Ian R. Feldman of Lincoln Park High; and Lucas H. Culler, Whitney M. Young Magnet High.
New school A new facility will be built to relieve overcrowding at Albany Park Multicultural Academy, a school for 7th- and 8th-graders now based at Von Steuben High. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2006, the new facility will accommodate 700 students and will cost $20 million.
AP Expanded CPS received a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to expand Advanced Placement courses and programs. Six high schools—Crane, Corliss, Dunbar, Gage Park, Kelvyn Park and Sullivan—and 18 feeder elementary schools that serve them will receive the funds. Each high school will be able to add at least two additional AP courses to serve more than 12,000 students.
Libraries get grant The Laura Bush Foundation gave $20,000 to one CPS elementary school, Ryerson, and three high schools—Austin, DuSable and Chicago Agricultural Sciences—to buy more books. Each school gets $5,000.
Houses for Teachers A program that provides mortgage assistance to CPS teachers was recently expanded through a funding partnership between the district and the city's Department of Housing. Teachers who are purchasing homes in mixed-income areas where public housing is being redeveloped are eligible.