Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Car Wash Fundraiser to support Bret Harte 8th Graders' Trip to Washington DC on September 30

The 8th Graders at Bret Harte are washing cars on Saturday, September 30 to raise money for their class trip to Washington DC this spring. (Rain Date is October 7.)

To support this great cause just bring your car to the driveway of Bret Harte Elementary at 1556 E. 56th Street between 9am and 11am.

$7 per car; $10 per truck.

Click here for the flyer.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Eat at any Chipotle location on September 21 before 10pm and raise funds for CPS

If you eat at any of the Chipotle locations in Chicago on Thursday, September 21 before 10pm, they will donate 50% of the proceeds from your purchase to Chicago Public Schools.

Bring in the attached flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Chicago Public Schools.

Please share the flyer with your school and community contacts.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Improv class for teachers at The Revival in Hyde Park

The Revival has partnered with a number of schools in the Hyde Park community and they are announcing a new class for teachers - Improv for the Classroom!

This on-your-feet workshop engages participants in basic improv exercises that can be used in the classroom to: 
  • Encourage group bonding
  • Improve communication skills 
  • Promote critical thinking

It’s also fun!

Dates: Thursday, 10/5 & Thursday, 10/12
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Location: The Revival (1160 E. 55th St.)
Cost: $50 total for 2 sessions

Please direct questions to classes@the-revival.com

Hyde Park-Kenwood CAC letter regarding new online enrollment system (GoCPS)

At our August meeting, the HPKCAC unanimously agreed to send the letter below regarding the new online enrollment system to CPS's Department of Education Policy and Procedures.

August 24, 2017

Mr. Tony Howard
Department of Education Policy and Procedures
Chicago Public Schools
42 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL  60602

Dear Mr. Howard:

The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council acknowledges the need for a more streamlined and timely application system for public high schools with regards to planning, budget, and programming at the local level. We support our principals and staff and do not want to undermine school leadership and the needs they have for a better system for enrollment. That said, we have some concerns about the new single application for high schools (GoCPS).

Broadly speaking, the introduction of a single application offers an opportunity to address some of the inequities that have plagued our schools for decades. For example, the algorithm could be used to match students with schools in a way that addresses effects of the long-standing problem of segregation in Chicago. As you know, the enrollment at CPS selective schools does not match the racial make-up of CPS students: while about 10% of CPS students are white, the percentage of white students at selective enrollment high schools is often much higher. For example, in 2014 Natalie Moore reported that nearly a quarter of the students in selective enrollment high schools was white. We ask that your office take a step towards improving equity by adjusting the algorithm in such a way that it increases Black and Hispanic students’ access to selective enrollment programs.

Relatedly, we are also concerned about the disparity in resources for selective enrollment schools vs. neighborhood schools. The inequities of the current two-tiered system will be further exacerbated with a single application unless CPS makes a concerted effort to better support its neighborhood schools. Further, if you refer to “top-ranked schools” in the application, parents who have not been made aware of the strengths of their neighborhood schools will rank selective enrollment schools above other schools that might serve their children well. In so doing, many may allocate their top ranked positions to schools they do not have a good chance of getting into. The end result is that many students may end up not being served well by the new system. In a student-based-budgeting world, enrollment numbers matter more and more. In light of the closing of 50 schools four years ago, we fear that some in CPS will use decreased enrollment numbers resulting from this single application an excuse to close even more neighborhood schools. We ask that you change the language of the application so that neighborhood public schools are portrayed as a fair option and not the lowest option.

We are also concerned about the issue of marketing: many charter schools have paid staff to market their schools; neighborhood schools largely do not. It is not fair to ask the principals of neighborhood schools to take on this task when they already have so much on their plate. We ask that you provide quality marketing for neighborhood schools in order to inform the broader community about their strengths and special programs.

Lastly, we are disappointed by what we view as a lack of general community engagement prior to having the system developed. We understand that the Chicago Community Trust has provided one million dollars for outreach so we are puzzled by the lack of communication and solicitation of feedback regarding the new system. The CACs were created to serve as a point of contact between CPS officials and communities. We ask that you use the CACs as a forum for hosting outreach regarding the proposed system and that you make the necessary adjustments based on the feedback you receive.


Katie Gruber, on behalf of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Action Council


Next HPKCAC meeting on Wednesday, September 27 at Dyett HS

The next meeting of the HPKCAC will be held on Wednesday, September 27 at Dyett High School from 6-8pm. Please enter from the back of the school, by the parking lot.

The focus of the meeting will be the last stages of planning for the Jane Averill Community Reading Day which is set for October 6. We're so grateful for the $500 donations from both the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and the Neighborhood Schools Program at the University of Chicago. That plus many donations from individual donors will allow us to purchase a copy of We All Sing with the Same Voice for every child we visit that day. 

Please come with updates about how the year is starting off at our neighborhood schools!

Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Family-friendly bike ride through Bronzeville on September 9

There is a family-friendly side-by-side bike ride through historic Bronzeville on Saturday morning, September 9. Meet at Dyett High School to register and enjoy some light refreshments. The ride starts at 10am and ends at noon.

Bring your bike and helmet!

For more details, click here for the flyer.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Donations and Volunteers Needed for HPKCAC's Jane Averill Community Reading Day on October 6

The HPKCAC is organizing the Jane Averill Community Reading Day on October 6th!  

We are asking for donations and volunteers from the community to make this event happen. 

This community reading event is named after Jane Averill, a beloved preschool teacher at Ray School, a fighter for public education and social justice, and a member of the HPKCAC. 

On October 6, 80-100 volunteers will read a favorite book of Jane Averill's, We All Sing with the Same Voice, to PreK or Kindergarten students for 15-20 minutes; after that, volunteers will be taken on a tour of the school.

We are envisioning this taking place at the beginning of the school day/pre-k session, but the exact time may be different for each school, and there are afternoon pre-k classes as well. In the coming weeks, we will confirm the start time with each school and liaisons will reach out to volunteers with the time that their school has said is the best time. (Most schools start between 8am-9am.) 

We would like to raise $2500 to make sure each child gets a copy of the book to take home. We hope that the experience of getting inside our neighborhood schools will encourage community members to find ways to support our neighborhood schools in the coming year.

There is an online link to volunteer: https://goo.gl/jbDnjZ

We are so grateful to 57th Street Books for partnering with us! They will be collecting donations to cover the cost of the books. Donations can be accepted online or in the form of cash or check.

To donate online: https://www.semcoop.com/jane-averill-community-reading-day

If you mail your check, please make it out to 57th Street Books.

You can send a check to:
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th Street
Chicago, IL  60637
Attn: Kevin/Manager

If you'd like to print out some flyers for the event to pass out to friends and neighbors, click here.

If you'd like to print out a donation form to pass out to someone who might make a donation, click here.

The Hyde Park Herald published an article about it which you can read here.

Thank you!