Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: December 3 – December 9, 2022

ITW David Speer Academy Picks Up STEAM

By The Noble Schools

“This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life. ITW David Speer Academy is Noble Schools’ first STEM campus that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. However, Speer has been increasingly incorporating more Art Education courses to transition from a STEM to a STEAM school. Students at Speer take a variety of challenging courses and electives to explore their interests in STEAM fields. At Speer, we offer a multitude of courses ranging from Physics, Aquatic Science, Civil Engineering & Architecture, to Computer Science, Media Arts, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts, just to name a few. In these courses, our students gain hands-on experience participating in inquiry and project-based learning and are exposed to rigorous academic courses similar to college.”


Relatively low COVID-19 rates this fall mean a cautious ‘normal’ for Chicago schools

By  Nereida Moreno for WBEZ 

“Students at the Chicago High School for the Arts in Humboldt Park are taking extra precautions ahead of their upcoming winter dance showcase, a new spin on the classic ballet “The Nutcracker.” Many dancers wore masks to rehearse on a recent Monday at the public school. Opening night is just around the corner, and junior Hayley Alexander says they’re being cautious because COVID-19 cases tend to surge around the holidays. “It’s optional, but we just want to make sure that there’s not a spike in cases,” Hayley said. “You don’t want to have to [miss] the show because you’re sick. That would suck.”


Chicago school board Vice President Sendhil Revuluri steps down after three years

By Mauricio Peña for Chalkbeat

“Sendhil Revuluri is stepping down from the Chicago Board of Education at the end of the month, opening a spot for another mayoral appointee. In announcing his departure Wednesday, Revuluri lauded fellow board members for their work navigating the pandemic and the current road to recovery. At the same time, the board vice president rang alarms about the financial solvency of the district and its future as it begins transitioning to an elected school board in 2025. “We have to be honest about the facts,” Revuluri said. “Sometimes we have to make hard choices. We have to take a system-level view because higher responsibility is to follow 300,000-plus students across the city and we can’t be bound by ideology that can’t be practically executed.”


New policy would change when Chicago students are held back, eliminates test scores as factor

By Mila Koumpilova for Chalkbeat

“Chicago Public Schools could change when elementary school students can be held back a grade and plans to stop using test scores as a factor.  The district did not hold back any elementary  students during the first two years of the pandemic in a nod to COVID’s academic and mental health toll. Last year, it revised the policy for promoting students to drop a test that schools were no longer required to give.  Now, the district is proposing to end the use of test scores in promotion decisions permanently, according to a draft policy shared with principals last month and obtained by Chalkbeat. It would also shift the grades in which a student can be held back, from the third, sixth, and eighth grade to the second, fifth, and eighth grade.”