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.
New middle school for Southwest Side
OVERCROWDING RELIEF A new Southwest Side middle school, slated to open this fall at 53rd Street and South St. Louis, will take in 6th- through 8th-graders from overcrowded Sandoval and Tonti elementary schools. The new school has not yet been named. Teachers from Sandoval and Tonti can reapply to teach at the new school, but are not guaranteed jobs. Sandoval and Tonti will restructure to serve kindergarten through 5th-graders.
PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Granzlee Banks, interim principal at Bass, has received a full four-year contract. ...Jo Easterling-Hood of McDowell and Yvonne E. Jones of Drake have had their contracts renewed.
ELSEWHERE Electronic surveillance cameras to curb violence in high schools, an end to out-of-school suspensions to help keep kids engaged in school, and a “Parent Academy” are among the ideas proposed by Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, according to the Washington Post. Rhee’s proposal for a Parent Academy, which could be launched as a joint venture with community groups, includes adult literacy classes, parenting skills training and other programs to teach parents how to participate in their child’s education.