AT CLARK STREET Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins hired Sharon Ransom to oversee the new Department of Standards Based Instruction, which will work with schools to align curricula with Illinois Learning Standards. Previously, Ransom worked with schools on literacy and standards-based instruction as a director in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. … Carlos Azcoitia will resign his position as deputy chief education officer to return to Spry Elementary as principal, where he will shepherd the school’s conversion into a pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade program.

MOVING IN/ON Thomas Avery, former principal at Carnegie, was hired as Area Instructional Officer for Area 18. …Two graduates of New Leaders for New Schools, an alternative certification program for principals, have moved into new jobs. Kelly Wilson, a former teacher and television producer, is executive director of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, a teacher training program for career changers. Kathleen Harris, an assistant principal at Ariel Community School, is the executive director of the Illinois Network of Charters, a new statewide organization that promotes and supports charter schools.

CHARTER SCHOOLS In June, CPS will begin accepting proposals to fill 12 slots for new charter schools. A new state law increased to 30 the number of charter schools that may operate in Chicago. Groups interested in opening schools in fall 2004 have until mid-October to apply; decisions will be made by December. … Meanwhile, the board has approved three new charter schools: KIPP Ascend Academy, a college preparatory middle school; Chicago Children’s Choir Academy for 4th to 8th grades; and Passages, which serves immigrant children in pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. The latter two schools, previously operated under a charter granted to Global Village, will now become independent.

CONTRACT TALKS Negotiations between the Chicago Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union began May 6. Representatives from both sides are meeting twice a week and expect to finalize a new contract for the district’s 35,000 teachers and paraprofessionals before school opens this fall. The current 4-year contract expires on June 30.

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTS Four interim principals have been awarded contracts: Judy Adams, Shoop; Carolyn Epps, Canter Middle; Connell McFarland, Doolittle West; Juanita Saucedo, Kanoon. ….Velma E. Cooksey, assistant principal at Wadsworth, was named contract principal. …. Principals whose contracts were renewed are: Bruce M. Allman, Chappell; Frank Allocco, Palmer; Jacqueline Anderson, Young; Alan L. Berger, McKay; Lionel Bordelon, Kozminski; Catherine F. Bushbacher, Reinberg; Eduardo Cadavid, Cooper; Joronda Crawford, Foster Park; Sally Culhane, Taylor; Irene Damota, Clemente High; Voyia Davis, Parker; Patrick Durkin, Goudy/Jose Marti; Lloyd M. Ehrenberg, Prussing; Warren R. Franczyk, Bethune; Donald Fumo, Moos; Rita C. Gardner, J. Shields; Elizabeth Gearon, Greene; Robert A. Guercio, Bell; Geraldine Haller, Jahn; Barbara Jackson, Cook; Joyce E. Jager, Eberhart; Hulon Johnson, Bradwell; Terri Katsulis, Holden; Patrick M. Keating, Dirksen; Constantine Kiamos, Steinmetz High; Carl L. Lawson, Sr., Price; Diane Maciejewski, Edgebrook; Barbara J. Martin, Holmes; Kevin M. McCann, Jamieson; Sandra McCann-Beavers, May; Charles McGehee, Sherwood; Frederic W. Metz, Medill; William G. Meurer, Norwood Park; Gary Moriello, Gladstone; James C. Pawelski, Falconer; Louise H. Perez, Key; Linda D. Randolph, Carver Primary; Jacqueline A. Robinson, Emmet; Edward J. Ruyack, Coonley; Donald Schmitt, Ryerson; Melver L. Scott, Crane Tech; Graciela Shelley, Darwin; Mary M. Silva-Vera, Mireles; Alvin N. Solomon, Budlong; Doris Spivey-Tompkins, Mahalia Jackson; Marlene Szymanski, Manierre/Ferguson; Alfonso R. Valtierra, Galileo; Nancy L. Wallace, Volta; Denise Winter, Stone.

NEW SCHOOLS/ADDITIONS To relieve overcrowding for nearly 6,000 CPS students, CEO Arne Duncan announced a $53 million project to build additions or new facilities for three schools and install 80 modular classrooms at 17 others. The project calls for a new facility for Field Primary, and additions to Goudy and Moos, all of which will be completed this fall. (The existing Field building will continue to house 4th through 8th grades.) The district will also lease and remodel three closed Catholic schools to serve as elementary schools and a fourth to house some students from Payton College Prep for one year.

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