CPS is reorganizing its regional office structure to provide more supervision and support to schools. Six regional offices will be subdivided into 24 area instructional offices. An area instructional officer (AIO) will head up each new unit and will be responsible for providing academic support to schools and principals and principal evaluations. Each office will also be staffed with a management support director, who will handle transportation and interaction with parents, and an instructional support team comprised of specialists in reading, math and science, technology and special education.
SAME OLD, SAME OLD In the 1970s, the district had 27 subdistricts. In cost-cutting moves over the following two decades, the number first was reduced to 23, then to 11 and, most recently, under Paul Vallas, to six regions.
FANS Many educators applaud the demise of oversized regions. “The regions were too large for the region officer to do much other than get bogged down in the bureaucratic minutia,” explains Principal Janice Ollarvia of Fenger High. Under the new structure, area instructional offices with a concentration of high-poverty communities are assigned fewer schools. There are six offices for high schools and 18 for elementary schools. Charter schools are assigned to a separate area.
SKEPTICS Some veterans are wary of yet another organizational overhaul and wonder whether this one will stick. “A new administration will come in, and they’ll get rid of this saying, ‘Look at all the money being spent,'” one principal predicts.
COST School officials describe the reorganization as “revenue neutral,” but they could not readily say which central and regional office positions had been cut or reconfigured to save money. Twenty-four area instructional officers each will earn $117,000 a year, and another 24 management support directors will get $92,000 annually.
NEW HIRES The new elementary AIOs and their former positions are: Area 1, Janice Rosales, principal, Peirce; Area 2, Jeannie Gallo, principal, Smyser; Area 3, Melovee Williamson, principal, Hayt; Area 4, Olga La Luz, principal, Chase; Area 5, Flavia Hernandez, CPS deputy budget director; Area 6, Nancy Laho, principal, Burley; Area 7, Nancy Carter-Hill, principal, Pirie; Area 8, Rollie Jones, executive assistant to the chief accountability officer; Area 9, Marietta Beverly, Region 3 education officer; Area 10, Diane Zendejas, director, Teachers Academy for Professional Development; Area 11, Rebeca de los Reyes, principal, Orozco; Area 12, Emil DeJulio, principal, Swift; Area 13, Yvonne Womack, principal, White; Area 14, Jim Murray, principal, Joplin; Area 15, Virginia Vaske, principal, Murray; Area 16, Joyce Bristow, Region 7 education officer; Area 17 Audrey Cooper-Stanton, Region 3 administrator; Area 18, Lee Brown, Region 6 education officer.
Following are the new area instructional officers for high school districts: Area 19, Linda Pierzchalski, Region 1 education officer; Area 20, Richard Gazda, principal, Von Steuben High; Area 21, Johnetta James, principal, Kilmer; Area 22, Norma Rodriguez, acting director, Teachers Academy for Professional Development; Area 23, Donald Pittman, principal, Marshall High; Area 24, Cynthia Barron, principal, Jones College Preparatory High.
MOVING ON Two region education officers, Garland Cleggett (Region 5) and Jose Rodriguez (Region 4), were not hired as area instructional officers. They will provide support to new area offices during the transition, pending reassignment within central office, says Eason-Watkins.
INTERVENTION PRINCIPALS Principals at three of the five high schools on intervention have been replaced. Gloria Archbold of DuSable is now providing principal instruction and curriculum support in the Area 14 instructional office. Carol Briggs, principal of Partee Academic Prep Center, replaces her. Leon Hudnall of Orr has returned to Morse Elementary as principal. His replacement is Alphonso Carrington, assistant principal of Payton College Prep. Larry Thomas of South Shore has returned to Coles Elementary as principal. He is replaced by Leonard Kenebrew, assistant to CEO Arne Duncan. Principals Fausto Lopez of Bowen and Diane Dyer-Dawson of Collins will continue in those posts.