Comings and Goings

SCHOOL CLOSING Albert Einstein Elementary in Oakland will close at the end of this school year due to declining enrollment. The drop in student population is the result of a shift in nearby public housing stock from high-rise to low-rise structures, which caused many residents to relocate, says Principal Solomon Humphries. Future Commons High School, a charter school, is slated to move into the school. Future Commons Principal Constance Montgomery says both parents and teachers have expressed concern about the move because of the gang activity in the area. The move is pending a June meeting with CEO Paul Vallas.

Content varies

Here are some of the variations:

To help raise reading scores, Austin High has incorporated a “Drop Everything and Read” program into advisory lesson plans. Academic Resource Teacher Katherine Haney says advisory helps the schools “satisfy many goals.”

At Tesla Alternative, a school for pregnant teens, advisory is used to give students health and medical information, as well as to discuss abstinence.

At both Bowen and Hyde Park, a news channel is piped into the classrooms to expose students to current events and issues.

Schools get creative in scheduling advisory

Most schools have rejected the board’s model and requested waivers so they can go with locally developed schedules. Their concerns about the board’s schedule are twofold: It trims time on academics and could be in violation of the state’s requirements for daily teaching time. Under the board’s model, a class period would last 45 minutes instead of the current 50. Further, three days a week, the official school day would amount to only 284 minutes, 16 minutes short of the state requirement for 300 minutes.

Helping teenage moms stay in school

Launched in 1997 at 20 high schools, Cradle to Classroom now provides 41 schools with a family advocate to help teen moms stay in school and raise healthy babies. Pregnancy is the No. 1 reason teenage girls drop out of school in Chicago.

Schools sacrifice services to keep managers

Of the 22 schools contacted by Catalyst in April, 17 were juggling their budgets to retain their operations or business managers, and one was closing the position but planning to hire the operations manager in another capacity. Operations managers at two schools said they would not be retained; they cited less-than-sanguine relationships with their principals as the reason. Two schools were undecided.

Education technology resources on-line

Teacher Zone

Teacher Zone helps elementary school teachers and principals assimilate technology into their lesson plans with suggested lesson plans, tips for technology planning and funding, classroom Internet resources and more. This award-winning site also provides links to more education technology sites.

Electronic School Online Magazine

Electronic School is an award-winning technology magazine published quarterly for K-12 school leaders as a supplement to The American School Board Journal. Through quality articles, public forums, news updates and product reviews, the site meters technological change in the classroom and offers advice on implementing technology in schools.