Fixing Schools, Boarding Kids, Elections.

Principal and Parents Unite to Transform a School WBEZ
A former Chicago Public Schools principal talks about how she and a group
of parents turned around a neighborhood school in a new book.

Educators take first steps toward opening Chicago's first public boarding school
Catalyst
Leah
Marshall feared the worst when one of her students, Jermaine, became
homeless his senior year. As a teacher on the South Side, Marshall had
seen even the best and brightest of students fail classes or drop out
when faced with difficulties outside of school.

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Suit: Teacher denied CTU election ballot spot Tribune
Attorneys
for teacher Jackson Potter on Monday filed a lawsuit against the union,
President Marilyn Stewart and its financial secretary Mark Ochoa.

Man charged in burglary of South Side school Tribune
Thomas,
a previously convicted burglar, appeared for his bond hearing today
before Circuit Judge Laura Sullivan, charged with burglary for
allegedly breaking into the Ada S. McKinley-Highland School on the
South Side.

New Eco-Friendly North Lawndale School ChicagoTalks
The
massive brick building at 931 S. Homan Ave. once housed a power plant
to provide electricity and heat for the adjacent Sears & Roebuck
headquarters. Now the building powers the minds of young people in
Chicago.
In September, Henry Ford Power House Charter High School opened its
doors.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup

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  • Most Nettelhorst parents have massive amounts of discretionary money and free time to focus on school development. A mom picked up the phone and called Nate Berkus; he's going to redesign their kitchen. How many southside parents could do that?

    To present that school as a model does a disservice to the district.

  • i don't know the whole story, but i don't think nettlehorst was like that when things started out. i'm not saying it was ever a deep ghetto neighborhood (just made that term up) but it wasn't like it is now. good lessons in there for other gentrifying neighborhoods -- things to do and to avoid.

  • I did the PR for Nettelhorst for 5 years (pro bono) and was involved from the beginning of the turnaround. It wasn't about discretionary money, and I'm not sure where the "massive amounts" comes from. We have lots of working parents in this neighborhood who need good safe after school care for their children. The Nettelhorst story is one of parents willing to commit to whatever it took to making their neighborhood school one where they would send their children...cause not a lot of people were. Fresh paint on walls. Murals donated by area artists. Calls to neighborhood merchants for donations of time (hands to paint) as well as products. Hours of meetings to plan next steps. Nate Berkus visited the school and loved it but he's not putting in a new kitchen. The Nettelhorst story is one that can be used as a model for other schools that aren't working. The commitment on the part of the parents (coupled with a principal who was willing to listen and work with them) is what drove this success story. And the mom who led this turnaround is more than happy to share how they did it with others.

  • On another subject, I dropped by McNair today on the southwest side, Doing the Santa helper thing and this school is Track E (I take it) so stuff needed in by tomorrow.

    I was fairly impressed by the appearance of the school and the campus. Anyone know anything about this school?

  • wHAT WOULD HAVE MADE NETTeLHORST a caring school story was if the new gentrified yuppy parents there ALLOWED the poor studnts who were bused in before they took over, to stay at the school, while their privilaged children and $ came in. Instead, they chased the bussed students out without a thought. You can run, but you cannot hide. Your push out will be a push in against your children when they grow up.

  • doesn't this normally happen when a school suddenly has neighborhood children? That if there's a bussed in population it is phased out as the new population starts attending? I don't think it has anything to do with yuppies, in this case.

  • Jackson Potter lawsuit denied. Court says Potter did not pay union dues while on leave. As specified in CTU Constitution and Bylaws, failure to pay dues constitutes a break in service.

  • well cermak, yes it does--they could have given the option for those 'poor' students to stay and graduate from the school--but they were kicked out. These students could have integrated the school, but they were kicked out. Plus this school has always had room for 'poorer' students, but does not allow them in...

  • could someone -- by name -- remind the rest of us of the nettlehorst story -- were kids really kicked out before they graduated? are poor kids really excluded? was there any news coverage that you can link to? otherwise it's just anonymous attacks without any substantiation.

  • Since the CTU leadership have not actively served us in any way for their entire term, does that mean they are ineligible.

  • Just look at the test scores alexander--when it was a busing school for over flow school and then became an exclusive neighborhood school. racial ethnic surveys from this time will be enlightening too as well as poverty rate. Even the LSC changes color....

  • According to jacqueline edelberg at your old blog http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/RUSSO/index.php/entry/1940/
    the existing class was allowed to graduate.

  • When I was there about four years ago, substituting regularly, the upper grades were well integrated. The lower grades, however, had many children from the neighborhood and there were not as many African Americans. I think that was a reflection of the changing neighborhood and new families whose children were entering the lower grades. The upper grades had many children who started and stayed from the bussing period or had lived in the neighborhood before it gentrified. Their parents made arrangements for their children to get to school whatever way possible so they could graduate from Nettlehorst. They were good kids.

  • Nettelhorst parents ARE very privileged vis-a-vis the rest of the district. And, yes, they do have access to money which is massive compared to an area 14 school, for example. Nettelhorst is a yuppie model -- which is fine. But to extrapolate their methodology without considering that major characteristic is to show a blindness-as-cliche.

  • I am a Nettelhorst parent and can address these statements. First, no one was kicked out. There are still many students that were part of the school in the days before the "transformation". It is hard to pin point the exact grade, but I'd say the 5-8 grades still have many children from the early days. Our parents are not all yuppie parents-nor are they privileged. That is a biased statement. We should all know how dangerous it is to lump a whole population together and give them a label. I know many families that are living in small apartments in the neighborhood just so their children can attend the school. The school remains diverse in many ways. I am saddened that people must tear down the hard work that has/is taking place a Nettelhorst instead of recognizing it as a great partnership between the parents, staff, and community.

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