(formerly) Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Public Schools

and Have a Heart school for Public Schools supply drives

FoHPPS is a subcommittee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee.
Contact the Schools Committee at nbbaum@sbcglobal.net or hpkcc@aol.com

DONATE TO THE FALL 2012 SUPPLY DRIVE NOW - online at http://www.hydepark.org/programs/schools.html or as below
Printable flyer

This page is a service of Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference

Schools Committee home and navigator to subpages. LSCs. Afterschool resources home.
hydepark.org (HPKCC new website homepage- always for the latest!).
Hyde Park Record (home and link page of this neighborhood HPKCC website).
Hot Topics. Schools Hot Topics.

To ABCs of CPS meeting report, November 15 2013.

HPCARES school group still exists as a listserve. Most of its activities have migrated to Raise Your Hand Illinois.

STATE OF HPK SCHOOLS DECEMBER 2014 CPS PRES. TO THE CAC. (It is 8 MB and one slide may have error).

Dyett RFP issued by CPS Dec. 19 2014- link is in Schools-Educ. News. Dyett background and up to date is in Schools.

HPKCC Schools Committee, followed by the Board April 2 2015, sent letters to CPS backing the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School as a neighborhood, open enrollment, district-run school. See HPKCC letter.

CAC WEBSITE IS http://hydeparkcac.blogspot.com. email hydeparkcac@gmail.com.
Community Action Council (CAC)- September 22, Tuesday, 6 pm. at Jackie Robinson School, 4225 S. Lake Park Ave.
Carl Hurdlick of CPS FACE writes: Our first CAC meeting for the year will occur next Tuesday, September 22nd @6pm at Jackie Robinson Elementary (4225 S. Lake Park Avenue). Besides a spotlight on Robinson and other school updates, the meeting will include break-out sessions in which participants will discuss and report back on our asset mapping project, the 2015-16 CAC calendar and topics, and our outreach & marketing efforts. We hope to see you then.

HPKCC Schools committee meets tba.

See flyer from Raise Your Hand on CPS plan to vote on 12 new charters and 12 new alternative schools in October and planof Ald. Sawyer to introduce moratorium resolution in City Council.

HYDE PARK-KENWOOD COMMUNITY ACTION COUNCIL FOR SCHOOLS has formed, elected interim officers, is submitting a short-term goals action plan for our schools, and set 4th Wednesdays, 6 pm for its meetings which move around.

CACs work to empower the community they serve to lead the improvement of local quality education. A CAC consists of 25-30 voting members who are directly involved in developing a strategic plan for educational success within their community. CAC members can include all interested parties such as: parents; elected officials; faith-based institutions; health care and community-based organizations; Local School Council members; business leaders; educators and school administrators; staff members from Chicago's Sister Agencies; community residents; and students.

There will be two tiers: those who wish to fill out applications for serving on a 22-25 member steering council, and those who wish in other ways to be involved and informed. (Council members will have to submit to a CPS background check).
And start on setting priorities for our schools.

People who feel they can make the commitment are encouraged to attend. We strongly encourage parents of children in the schools to come, since they are the primary stakeholders.

DYETT (which HPKCC sought to keep open as an open enrollment neighborhood school with high quality programs: October 24 2014 CPS announced it would put out in December a RFP for community proposals for Dyett High School as an open enrollment neighborhood school. The program will be finalized in fall 2015 and the new school open for the year 2016-17. This represents a substanial community victory and reversal of the decision four years ago to phase out the school.

July 28 2014 Ald. Burns held a public meeting at King Prep on the future / repurposing of Dyett. He said this was to gather input in breakouts on what people would expect if it stays open as a school, and any proposals. Breakouts were preceded by Tim Black on who Captain Dyett was and why his memorial matters and CPS charts sort of implying that if the school were lost, there are 24 high schools within 3 miles that are sort of not too bad and coming up. (What the number of potential students shows was not said.) There was much objection to "starting over" on planning for the schol since groups spent two years researching and preparing a proposal that is ambitious but can be modified. Burns said he didn't have other proposals - that was what the meeting was for and not supporting any at this time.
The largest breakout was in the auditorium. Nancy Baum of HPKCC read the Conference letter giving reasons schools should not be shut and why Dyett had the potential to be a great, focused school. This was well received. Many students and alumni gave testimony on the abandonment and collapse of programs during the school's 4-year phase out and the great programs it had before disinvestment. The Coalition to Save Dyett described aspects aims of their proposal. Many but not all expressed enthusiasm. As the evening wore on the meeting broke down into loud accusations and political rally chants.



10-year facilities plan:
If you would like to read some of the draft document, the section about Hyde Park schools starts on p. 194- http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/Policies_and_guidelines/Documents/CPSDraftEducationalFacilitiesMasterPlan.pdf#page74
For more information: Adrienne Garner at CPS: awgarner@cps.edu or HPKCARESgroup@gmail.com

Feedback: facilitiesplan@cps.edu.

The Friends group has disbanded. They remain as HPCARES (Hyde Park Community Area Residents Empowering Schools) and some work also with the HPKCC Schools Committee and other schools active groups.

To be involved with the HPKCC Schools Committee, contact Nancy Baum, nbbaum@sbcglobal.net.

CLOSINGS- see full and updated in Schools/Educ. News. Includes HPKCC Resolutions and link to HP Cares' detailed Case for Canter.

Here are statements informally approved by HPCARES;


The Case for Keeping Canter Middle School Open

Executive Summary

A thorough examination has been undertaken by the Hyde Park/Kenwood community. Based on the best and fullest quantitative and qualitative data available, a strong case for keeping Canter Middle School open has emerged. Based on this analysis, the recommendation is not only to allow Canter to remain open, but also to fully support this building, which is uniquely poised to take on the mission laid out by the mayor and the CPS CEO. The following nineteen-page document lays out that case in great detail; the most salient points are highlighted immediately below.

Non-Compliance with State Law
State law (105 ILCS 5/34232 new) requires that notice of all school actions be given to affected schools and families by March 31, 2013. Well after this absolute deadline, all notifications about the Canter-Ray-Bret Harte action failed to make any mention of the current sixth grade students at Shoesmith Elementary. If Canter is closed, these students will need to find another place to attend school. No plan was put in place by the required deadline. If CPS moves forward with this action, CPS will place itself in legal jeopardy. For this reason alone, it is strongly recommended that CPS cease and desist with this proposed action.

Poised for the Future (Common Core)
According to the CPS Board and Mayor Emanuel, the primary goal of CPS is to prepare our students for college and careers. Canter is one of a handful of schools that was chosen to be an early adopter of the Common Core State Standards, which CPS is using as its main lever to promote college and career readiness. Canter has done much work in this area and is better situated than most schools to move forward with this agenda. In fact, for years Canter has sent its graduates to selective enrollment high schools and, from thence, to institutions of higher education. Canter appears to be highly competitive in regards to this primary mission; indeed, CPS may be closing one of its most effective schools. Unfortunately, CPS has not provided the relevant data to fully judge this claim. In the absence of this data, it is strongly recommended that the Board err on the side of caution when considering these school actions.

Miscounted Utilization
One of the primary arguments for closing Canter is underutilization. CPS’ formula puts Canter at 58% ideal utilization. That assumes 30 students per classroom and 13 available classrooms. However, if we closely follow federal law in regards to special education and counseling services, then there are only 12 such classrooms. Furthermore, only 25 middle school students (bigger bodies!) can safely fit in such rooms. The proper calculation, then, is 25 times 12, yielding an expected population of 300 students. With 228 students, Canter is currently 76% utilized—only 4% below the safe-harbor target of 80%. Moreover, Canter’s population has been growing over the past two years. Based on current trends, Canter would reach safe harbor in two years.


Making the case for keeping Canter Middle School open

Canter Middle School is a key school in this community and one among 54 proposed to be closed with very serious consequences for our children. It is clear from teh testimony over the last few weeks that Canter is a school that works--for the students and the other schools in the area. Members of Hyde Park Community Area Residents Empowering Schools (HPCARES) have been working to right CPS's mistake.

Prior to announcing the school closings, members of HPCARES attended the utilization commission hearings, the network meetings, the legally mandated meetings and the final hearing at CPS. No dialogue took place at any of those meetings. In fact, the process seemed designed to discourage rather than encourage input. Questions go unanswered and remain unanswered.

In August, in an effort to have more input, we asked for a Community Action Council (CAC) for our area. We were told that the CAC was no longer a model CPS supports.

Since the announcement, the community--teachers, current students, parents, alumni of Canter and members of the Hyde Park/Kenwood community who care about strong neighborhood schools -- have come together to support Canter and the other schools directly impacted by Canter's proposed closing: Ray, Bret Harte and Shoesmith.

At the CPS hearing, HPCARES put forth a strong case for Canter, addressing the misperceptions concerning utilization and performance. Further testimony spoke to the lack of transparency in the process and the utter lack of a cohesive plan--particularly for Shoesmith, the unnamed school in the action--and the importance of middle schools. We submitted written evidence covering multiple reasons Canter should stay open.

HPCARES proposed a concrete plan to ensure Canter is fully utilized: make Shoesmith a K through 5 school and Canter a 6, 7, 8 middle school. This would allow Shoesmith to have two kindergarten clauses instead of just one kindergarten class and two classes at all other grade levels. (This year, Shoesmith had more than 40 kindergartners enroll at the school, which forced the school to have one kindergarten class and two split K-1 classes to accommodate for the large number.) If Shoesmith could become a K though 5 school, it would become a more balanced school with the same number of classes in each grade level.

Canter's enrollment would increase. Families would have access to schools for children at every grade level within a three-block academic campus. Children could continue to benefit from teh Shoesmith/Canter/Kenwood continuum that has served the community well for generations.

We have m et with our elected officials a number of times. But the one elected official who truly holds the power here is Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has not attended any community meetings. Disappointed, indeed outraged by thee inaction of our elected leaders*, and above all, the deafness of our mayor, we will continue to act on behalf of our neighborhood schools.

The closing of Canter would be an injustice to students, families and to Chicago's communities. With a family atmosphere, a strong educational experience, solid pedagogy nd a committed team of administrators and teachers, Canter is helping its students achieve great things. Canter is a safe school in a safe neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Canter should remain open.

*See the statements by officials above. All but Ald. Burns (the alderman of Canter) too strong positions against closing Canter.


Link to a petition asking city council to vote on a moratorium on closings http://www.democracyforamerica.com/petitions/94-the-chicago-city-council-should-vote-on-the-moratorium-on-charter-schools

November 15, The Schools Committee and Friends hosted THE ABC'S OF CPS- at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club- very well attended and run. The evening began with a chance to meet at tables local elementary school principals (and their representatives) then a brief presentation by principals of the approach and special programs at their schools, then a short presentation on the process for elementary school options in CPS (regional gifted, classical, magnets, charters) by Michael McGehee, the CPS Burnham Park Network Family and Community Engagement Manager. The extended, probing Q and A was most informative. To ABCs of CPS meeting report, November 15.

Website/blog- HPKpublicschools.wordpress.com (maintained by Hannah Hayes). Email HPKQualitySchoolDay@gmail.com.


Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference received in September 2012 from Harper Court Art Foundation a generous $1,000 check for the Schools Committee's School Supplies Fund and Drive, and a very gracious letter. Thank you. Over $2,000 raised.

There was a wonderful appreciation dinner by HPKCC for outgoing and incoming LSC, PTA, PAC, principals on May 3 2012 at Kozminski School. Dr. Charles Payne of U of C was a terrific speaker, new and outgoing principals shared their vision. All LSC members and PTA/PAC chairs were given certificates.

And a networking dinner Oct. 1 with Camille Farmington of UEI Consortium on how to build mindsets for success in life.

The fight over an unfunded 7.5 hour day vs. a quality day (with some wanting as short as 6.5 vs. present 5.45) has now morphed into a 7 hour day for elementary and 7 1/2 for high schools (with 75 min early release for hs once a week) supported by the Mayor (April 10)-- but what can be done about the funding and quality with huge deficits looming. Here is what the city release says about details of increases in both school day and instruction year: To press release: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2012/april_2012/mayor_emanuel_cpsannounce7-hourdayforelementarystudents.html?cq_ck=1334075550471#.T4R9rRnxk6k.email

Elementary Full School Day:

•Students will receive 52 additional minutes of instructional time each day.
•Students will receive 6 hours of instruction and 45 minutes for recess and lunch.
•Students will be in school for 7 hours each day, an increase of 75 minutes.
•Teachers will be in school for 7 hours and 40 minutes, an increase of 85 minutes.
High School Full School Day:

•Students will receive 46 additional instructional minutes four days a week.
•Students will receive 6 hours and 8 minutes of instructional time four days a week.
•Students will be in school for 7 1/2 hours a day, an increase of 36 minutes four days a week.
•One day per week the day will end 75 minutes early.
•Teachers will be in school for 7 hours and 40 minutes, an increase of 39 minutes.
The Full School Day will provide significant benefits to all students across the district, including:

•Elementary students will receive an additional 207 hours of instruction each year, and high school students will receive an additional 116 hours of instruction. Principals will no longer have to choose between reading, math or science because of limited time in the day.
•Additional time will create opportunity to add more intervention to ensure students who are falling behind in math and reading can get up to speed with their peers.
•Elementary students will have time for lunch and recess every day to relax, re-boot and return to the classroom ready to learn.
The Full School Day was structured with an eye toward providing teachers with adequate professional development and prep time to support their practice. Benefits of the Full Day include:

•Elementary teachers will have almost two additional hours of prep time each week.
•Elementary teachers will have self-directed prep time in the mornings, as well as additional prep time throughout the day to meet with parents informally, prepare for their lessons and supervise students who arrive at school early.
•Both elementary and high school teachers will receive an average of 75 minutes for professional development each week.

April 9 Chicago Parents for Quality Education coalition (Raise Your Hand and 15 community organizations) issued a white paper and a petition they intend presenting to Mayor Emanuel April 13 4pm. The White Paper
http://www.scribd.com/doc/88575339/Best-Not-Longest-FINAL, petition-
Here is what they want:

1) A curriculum for all in addition to reading, math and science that includes regular physical education, arts (visual, drama, dance), music, recess, language acquisition, social studies and civics, and integrated technology led by a teacher.

2) Better supports in the schools from social workers, psychologists, nurses and other developmental supports that address the needs of the whole child.

3) Early childhood education and class sizes in primary grades that are manageable and allow kids to get the attention they need to learn and grow.

4) Facilities upgrades. Many of our schools are in dire need of repair and upgrading.

5) Our children have been stuck in a punitive culture of test prep and over-testing. They are being measured and assessed constantly at the elementary level, cutting into valuable learning time.



Letter from Friends and the Committee in the Herald, February 29, 2012

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee thanks the Hyde Park-Kenwood community for so generously supporting its recent "Have a Heart" schools supply drive.

Thanks to our community's generosity eleven public elementary and high schools which serve more than 5,000 students, received boxes of supplies consisting of copy paper, notebook filer paper, notebooks, pencils, crayons, dry erase markers, markers, disposable cameras, pens and colored pencils and tissues.

Special thanks go to Laura Schaeffer of the Op-Shop for meeting space; George Rumsey of Computer Resources for technical support; and the following businesses, churches, synagogues and schools that hosted supply boxes: Office Dept, Hyde Park Art Center, Augustana Lutheran Church, Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer, Rockefeller Chapel, Congregation Rodfei Zedek, Akiba-Schechter, Ancona, Bret Harte, Murray, Ray, Shoesmith, and University of Chicago Lab Schools.

Nancy Baum, Joy Clendenning, Beth Herring, Sara bigger, Victoria Long, Eva Nielson, Sabrina Jackson, Josephine Sanders. Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Public Schools.

Herald feature February 29, 2012. By Daschell M. Phillips- HP-K CC schools efforts get results

The Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference received great community support during its "Have a Heart" school supply drive. The supplies were given to local neighborhood schools. After surveying schools in the area, members of the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference Schools committee (HP-K CC) and a group of about 15 parents with school-aged children, who recently joined the schools committee and have taken the name The Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood (Public) Schools, have found that all the schools in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area were in need of more schol supplies to get through the second term of the school year.

To help solve the problem, the group put collection boxes with red and pink hearts on them at several school and churches in the neighborhood. "Since there's not many events happening this time of year we thought it would bed a great time for t he drive," said Joy Clendenning, a member of the Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Schools who has four children that attend public school. "We called it have a heart because of the Valentine's holiday."

During the supply drive, which took place Feb. 9 to Feb. 21, the committee collected 136 notebooks, 100 packs of pencils, 82 reams of copy paper, 46 packs of filler paper, 41 boxes of crayons, 18 packs of marker, 12 boxes of tissue and 11 packs of dry erase markers, according to Elizabeth Herring, a member of the Friends of Hyde Park-Kenwood Schools, which spearheaded the supply drive. "This list only includes the items that we specifically requested as donations," Herring said. "We did receive a considerable number of other items such as pens, colored pencils, folders, glue, post=its and folder dividers, etc."

The school supplies were divided evenly and distributed to Robinson (, dyett, Price, Canter, Bret Harte, Kenwood, Kozminski, Murray, Ray, Shoesmith, and Reavis.).

Myron Hester, principal at Kozminski, said the supply drive was a great plan. "The Kozminski Family appreciates [the] hard work adn efforts to help students and teachers be successful in school," Hester said.



From Nancy Baum, Schools Committee Co-chair:

The Schools Committee of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC) has been making efforts over the last several years to engage with all the schools in Hyde Park and in Kenwood. The list of schools that you see on the Have A Heart School Supply Drive flyer are the schools that have, over the years, responded to our efforts to reach out to them. The ways in which we have tried to reach out include the following:
1. Annual networking dinners with principals, assistant principals and LSC chairpersons (usually in September of each year in various school cafeterias).
2. Bi-annual thank-you celebrations for LSC chairs, PTA/PTO chairs and other educational leaders from our local schools, again, held in various school libraries and cafeterias.
3. Occasional forums featuring speakers from various educational groups, such as training for new LSC members, grant-writing, after school programs, etc.
Very recently, a group of parents in Hyde Park who send their children to Hyde Park public schools have joined the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. Their voices have been very welcome and have injected a new kind of spirit into the Conference's efforts to find ways in which the community can be useful to our schools. They are the ones who initiated the "Have a Heart" drive.
We would welcome any and all of the local schools into our HPKCC fold and indeed, see this as our mission. Our energies have been focused on the schools on the flyer, because these are the schools who have consistently recognized who we are. We have in previous years reached out to HP Career, Carnegie, King, Woodson, Ariel and NKO and hope to have more involvement from and with them.

We hope that those sharing our goals can join us in our effort to make our local schools the kinds of places to which every parent would be proud to send their children.
Our next Schools Committee meeting will be at 9:45 AM on Thursday, March 8, 2012, at the United Church of Hyde Park, corner 53rd and Blackstone, Blackstone entrance. Please join us!

Friends of Hyde Park Public Schools and Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference launch school supply drive
February 9-21 2012

From Release in the Hyde Park Herald February 8, 2012, by Daschell M. Phillips.

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools committee is launching a school supply drive for local neighborhood schools. Nancy Baum, member of the HP-K CC schools committee, said a group of about 15 parents with school-ages children recently joined the schools committee and identified school supplies as a need for local schools.

"This is an idea that parents have had for a while," Baum said. "We are helping them with money for materials for th the drive/"

The "Have a Heart for Public Schools Supply Drive" will take place Feb. 9-21. Drop boxes will be placed at several institutions in the neighborhood. The supplies collected will be distributed to public schools in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area.

Joy Clendenning, who has four children that attend public school, said the group has been looking for ways for schools in the area to effectively share resources. "One thing all schools have in common is that they always need more school supplies," Clendenning said. "Teachers often have to pay for supplies out of their own pockets and parents are asked to contribute, but by the middle of the year schools are low on supplies."

Clendenning said the idea came out of a brainstorming session of a group of parents, who refer to themselves as Friends of Hyde Park Public Schools. "We know that different schools in the area have different levels of parent participation," she said. "We wanted to do more than just talk about issues of equality. We wanted to do something about them." Clendenning said the group wants to provide more support to principals and teachers and make sure that all public schools in the neighborhood are considered great schools.



(if more are added, they will be put here)


For more information, e-mail haveaheart2012@gmail.com.

THE ABCS OF CPS. A meeting convened November 15 2012 by HPKCC Schools Committee and committees, Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, with CPS and University of Chicago Neighborhood Schools.

From the Hyde Park Herald, November 21, 2012, by Daschell M. Phillips

Hyde Park parents received information about public schools from a Chicago Public Schools official and a few of their peers at the "ABCs of CPS" meeting last Wednesday hosted by the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Schools Committee and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.

The meeting, which was geared toward parents whose young children wil be starting school soon, began with a meet and greet with principals from elementary schools in Hyde Park including Bret Harte, 1556 E. 56th St.; Carnegie Regional Gifted Center, 1414 E. 61st; Kozminski, 936 E. 54th St.; Murray Language Academy, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave.' Ray, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave., Reavis, 834 E. 50th St. and Shoesmith, 1330 E. 50th St.

Michael McGehee, CPS Burnham Park Network's Family and community Engagement Manager, provided an overview of the choices within CPS and the process for enrolling in each type of school. Then McGehee joined a panel that included Ray parents Michael Scott and Eva Nielson, who is also a member of the Friends of Shoesmith, and Bret Harte parent and local school council member, Beth Herring to answer questions from parents in attendance.

McGehee explained the difference between a magnet school and an open enrollment school."With a magnet school if you live in the district you can go to the school but if you do not you have to apply for open enrollment," McGehee said. "With an open enrollment school all you have to do is have proof of residency in the area and your child can attend the school."

Scott said that deciding on which school you want your child to attend begins with thinking about your family's personal ideals. "Our search started with the idea that we wanted to walk our kids to school," said Scott, who said that one decision narrowed his family's choices down to Shoesmith, Murray and Ray. After visiting the schools and narrowing down the choices to Murray and Ray, Scott said "the fact that Ray had a full school day and recess, before it was mandated for all schools, was the deciding factor."

Herring said being able to walk to school is a valuable part of her family's daily routine. "You're able to gather with neighbors and find out how to get involved with programs in all the schools in Hyde Park.

Nelson, who in addition to having a child in Ray has one child at Leonard Magnet School in Berwyn and another at South Loop School, said she feels her children miss out on socializing with other children in the neighborhood because they don't walk to school but her children do get a chance to connect with other students from the neighborhood who also travel outside of the school area to attend school. Nielson also spoke o parents who had questions about testing to get their children into magnet schools and other schools that offer classes and programs for gifted students. The child would have to be able to take a 20 to 30 minute exam without a parent in the room, sid McGehee.

He said if the child qualifies, the family can chose from a list of schools and CPS would let the family know which school has selected the child. " if you decide not to take the spot offered your child will go back into the system to be reconsidered for other schools," said Nielson, who said when her two oldest children were certified as gifted students but were not accepted to Ray or Murray, she chose to sent her children to magnet schools outside of the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Herring answered questions about Preschool for All and tuition-based preschool. Preschool for All, which is offered at Bret Harte, Ray and Kozminski, is a half-day instructional program for children ages 3-5. Tuition-based preschool, which is also offered at Ray, is a full day instructional program for children ages 3-4 that costs $11,650 per school year.

[also present were other officers of the Burnham Network and representatives from U of C Neighborhood Schools Program.]