MIDDLE SCHOOLERS DEBATE Twenty students from six schools—Alcott, Brighton Park, Kellogg, Smyser, Owen Scholastic and Lincoln—participated in the first After-School All-Stars Chicago Middle School Urban Debate on Nov. 17. After-School All-Stars (an organization that supports after-school programs), the CPS Office of Extended Learning Opportunities, the CPS Office of High School Programs, the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues, and the Chicago Debate League sponsored the competition. Additional debates are scheduled for Dec. 15 and Feb. 2; the championship competition will be March 8. For more information, go to www.cpsafterschool.org/OASCSPmanual.06.pdf and see pages 18-19.

SCIENCE INITIATIVE The district’s new Science Resource Center, geared toward kindergarten to 5th-grade CPS teachers, will provide teacher guides, supplies and materials (such as beakers, seeds and bugs) free each quarter to approximately 100 teachers. Teachers will have to complete professional development. For more information, visit http://cmsi.cps.k12.il.us/ and search keywords “Science Resource Center.”

MAGNET MAKEOVER Ten of the district’s lowest-performing schools will be turned into magnet schools—five of them focused on technology—with $21.8 million in federal funds. None of the schools has been identified yet. CPS says none of the magnet schools will be selective-enrollment; each will either accept students citywide or have neighborhood attendance boundaries.

HEALTH CENTER A new school-based health center has opened at Little Village Lawndale High, 3120 S. Kostner Ave. The clinic will provide pediatrics, primary care and health education services for students and residents of North Lawndale and Little Village. The center was opened in conjunction with the Little Village Community Development Corp. and funded by a $400,000 grant from CITGO.

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Gail Baker, interim principal at Ronald Brown, has been awarded a full contract. Contracts for Darlene Pollard at Carnegie, Suzanne Velasquez-Sheehy at Clissold, Joronda Crawford at Foster Park and Shirley Dillard at McNair have been renewed.

AT CLARK STREET Jodi Dodds Kinner, acting director of the Office of Elementary Literacy, has been named director of the Office of Literacy. … Chandra James, former elementary science manager, has been named acting director of the Office of Mathematics and Science.

TEACHING ARCHITECTURE The Architecture Handbook: a Student Guide to Understanding Buildings, a new curriculum developed by the Chicago Architecture Foundation in conjunction with architects and teachers, will serve as the official curriculum for CPS 10th-graders enrolled in drafting courses. The 400-page book follows the foundation’s K-8 curriculum, Schoolyards to Skylines: Teaching with Chicago’s Amazing Architecture, winner of two national awards. For more information, visit www.architecture.org/education.html.

AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM Chicago Youth Centers has launched the McCormick Tribune Language Arts Media Center at Centro Nuestro, 3222 W. Division St. The center provides instruction and resources to help children ages 3 to 18 build literacy and critical thinking skills. It was funded by a grant from the McCormick Tribune Foundation.

TEACHERS COUNCIL Twenty-four teachers who won the CPS DRIVE (Delivering Results through Innovative and Visionary Education) Award will receive $2,500 each, plus $1,000 for their school and membership on the Teacher Leadership Advisory Council, which meets with CEO Arne Duncan four times each year. Winners are: Kelly Hinds, Stock; Nikki Krieger, Nettelhorst; Chuck Leatherwood, Sayre; Wendy Jackson, Yates; Lilli Reyes, Talcott; Charlene Clay, Rudolph Learning Center; Rudolph Coutain, Lawndale; Nayram Adadevoh, Williams Prep; Delfino Guerrero, Castellanos; Judith O’Hare, Blair Early Childhood Center; Alexandra Coffee, Claremont Academy; Michael Brownsteing, Mollison; Brandi Whitfield-Lewis, Johns; Catherine Tanner, Pershing East Magnet; Kimberly Owens, Keller Regional Gifted; Rona Simmons, Ninos Heroes; Sherri Bradford, Owens; David Rivera, Kelvyn Park High; Carol Williams, Marshall High; Timothy Ruby, Community Links High; Kimberly Enck, Harlan High; Jeanne Walker, EXCEL Academy; Virginia Hiltz, Andrew Jackson; and Martha Mulligan, Northside College Prep.

MAPPING EARLY ED The Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map, which collates data on state-funded pre-k, Head Start, licensed child care centers and birth-to-age 3 programs across Illinois, is now available online at http://iecam.crc.uiuc.edu. The interactive map also shows where daycare services are available.

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