School’s Back in Session Tomorrow

2 Jan


Happy 2013!  I have been very happy by the number of visitors to the blog, but not so happy about the number of posters.  If you post on the blog, I have to approve it and after you’ve had one post approved, you no longer need approval.   I figured this is the best approach to avoid spam and still allow people to avoid a lot of verification for every single post.

Students and teachers return tomorrow.  I’m really curious to see how many people show up.  I don’t think most parents who had travel plans decided to cut them short.  It does make the break a bit short for teachers who were planning to use the break to get errands done, It wouldn’t be too bad if both Christmas and New Years weren’t midweek.  I personally got a lot done during these two weeks, but failed to get my car in for service or get my windows measured for treatments.

CPS Procurement Strategy Nets $23 Million in Savings

“Active review of all CPS contracts and engagement with vendors has allowed the District to identify the savings. Over $15 million of these funds will have a direct impact on Fiscal Year 2013, bringing the District halfway to its FY 13 procurement savings goal of $31 million.”


Charters Ring Up Fines and Additional Funding

“Marsha Godard, a parent at Chicago Bulls College Prep, says she has paid close to $2,000 in fines and fees to keep her son in class at the West Side school”.

“There is a direct relationship between Chicago’s education and poverty crises. Students living in or experiencing childhood poverty are much more likely to face significant unaddressed obstacles to classroom learning than their middle- and upper-income counterparts, and this impacts educational outcomes. In fact, data shows that family income is now the most significant predictor of academic success among students in the U.S.”

9 Responses to “School’s Back in Session Tomorrow”

  1. CPS Teacher January 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    Oops! would like to be a BIT more anonymous than my full name. Could you delete the last comment?

    • cps299 January 2, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

      Happy to do that. I approved this post from you so that I won’t have to approve your comments anymore.

  2. Polly Pereguin January 2, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    I’m glad to see CPS is saving money through better negotiation of contracts, but the cynic in me is distrustful. I’d like to think this is on the up and up, but I have a hard time believing that someone isn’t profiting nefariously from this process.

    • cps299 January 3, 2013 at 2:51 am #

      I know what you mean. I don’t think it’s some nefarious theft, but clever bookkeeping and shifting columns wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

  3. DZV January 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Another New Year and another mess by CPS. I’m not looking forward to going back. Recess has been a joke in our school. It’s been too hot, too cold, or too wet for the kids to go outside. There’s no playground. My eighth graders are ready to riot. They ask everyday, “Why aren’t we outside?? What’s the point of making us stay in school longer for recess, when we live in Chicago and it’s too cold, hot, or wet to go out. Can’t we just go home early?”
    The state has been doing audits and our school got nailed for being out of compliance on tons of issues, especially special education. We can’t fix our problems since Clark Street won’t give us more teachers or paras, so what are we to do?
    NWEAs are coming up. Once again, slow, crashing computers, itty bitty bandwith. Not enough computers, too many students (42 in my room). This will take more time than needs be. I won’t be teaching, just testing, juggling students, broken computers, indoor recess.
    How’s it at your school????

    • cps299 January 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      We have some of those same problems DZV. My kids like recess when the weather’s good, but feel like it’s torture when they’re inside. We have decent computers, but they still crash and we lose the library and computer labs, plus we lose art, library, and computer classes during testing.

    • Rod Estvan January 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      DZV if your principal has filled out the CPS PARF forms for additional special education staff and has been denied those positions this information should be forwarded directly to ISBE. If ISBE’s special education audit made a direct finding relating to staff shortages for the failure of your school to provide required services established in IEPs then your school is in a strong situation to get additional staff if your principal formally pushes ISBE’s buttons.

      Most principals are team players and they will not turn on CPS by going to ISBE with an issue like this. If the ISBE’s findings are driven by paper work compliance additional staff may do little good.

      It is very difficult for a teacher in a school to get the complete picture of special education non-compliance unless you have the compliance letter sent to CPS by ISBE for your school. If you or other staff do not have the actual document and are operating on oral reports I strongly recommend that you and other teachers get a copy of the actual ISBE report or letter. This report can be obtained via FOIA from ISBE if your prinicipal is not sharing the report with staff.

      Parents of students with IEPs at your school also may have a basis for litigation against CPS based on the ISBE findings if they were denied services.

      Rod Estvan

      • DZV January 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        Dear Rod,
        Thank you so much for your insight. You rock! I love reading your posts every where. Our principal shares with us by email, so yes, we have the actual letter from ISBE. As the motto goes: “PARF til you BARF”. So CPS did get the letter. Ironically, the BOARD was nice enough to cut this position at the end of last year, so now they will be nice enough to give it back. But as we joke, they’ll also probably take it away again in June. Not to mention it will take awhile to go through the whole process of getting someone(budgeting, posting, interviewing, etc.), so maybe we’ll be lucky enough to find someone before ISATs. Meanwhile our SPED teachers have way too many students to effectively implement IEPs, let alone actually do any teaching.

  4. Xian Barrett January 3, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    I think you bring up a really good point. I never have any time to do basic life maintenance during the school year, and I really only got most of what I needed to done by scheduling it the last couple of days of break. I imagine it would have been super hard if I wasn’t on track E.

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