Top Education Stories You Don’t Want to Miss: September 17 – September 23, 2022

After a pandemic break, teens at a West Side high school are warriors for peace once again

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ

“In stuffy classrooms, community centers and churches this summer, a group of West Side high schoolers wrestled with the idea of nonviolence. Most said they yearn for peace, but aren’t sure it’s realistic in the world they live in. One young man said his brother committed suicide after being bullied relentlessly at school. Another talked about his best friend’s murder on his grandma’s porch. This same boy said a cousin was shot and then, just this summer, another friend on a bus. “That be putting me in my little moods,” the teen, looking down, said during a recent session at a North Lawndale community center. A third teen shared how his brother was hit by a car and he saw him bloodied, laying on the street. His brother was still in pain a year later when their father died. “I will laugh at some jokes,” the young man said. “And then I will get right back to the sad, depressed state because I think about all the tragic stuff that happened in my life.” These teens are being trained in a powerful set of principles of nonviolence inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They are learning from their peers at North Lawndale College Prep, a charter school network. The trainers are called Peace Warriors.”


What’s New at DRW College Prep?

By The Noble Schools

“We will aspire to inspire excellence.”  Our rally cry this school year at DRW College Prep has set the tone for how our staff will inspire our Cheetahs to display excellence in and outside of our building. As part of that, we’re kicking off the 2022-2023 school year with a ton of new and returning things. Check out some of the new, exciting updates at DRW.”


“When I Grow Up, I Want to Be…”: Back to School Fun at Noble Street College Prep

By The Noble Schools

“This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life. As Noble Street College Prep students filled the halls on the first day of school this year, excitement bounced all around with greetings and hugs. The beginning of the school year is always a refreshing moment when students get to showcase their new kicks and share their summer highlights with their friends and teachers.”


The number of students in Chicago Public Schools continues its decade long slide

By Sarah Karp for WBEZ Chicago

“Enrollment in Chicago Public Schools has fallen for the 11th consecutive year, leaving extremely small schools with dwindling student populations bracing for continued funding cuts. Long the nation’s third-largest public school system, CPS lost around 9,000 children this year, bringing the district total to about 321,000 pre-K to 12th-grade students, according to preliminary data published on CPS’ website this month. This data includes both district-run and charter schools. Chicago has lost about 82,000 public school students over the past decade, including about a 3% decline in each of the past seven years. The steady drop means CPS could lose its title as the third-largest district to Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, which saw its enrollment increase to 325,000.”


Illinois eases COVID testing requirements for unvaccinated school employees

By  Samantha Smylie for Chalkbeat

“Illinois’ unvaccinated school and child care staff are no longer required to test for COVID infections weekly – a policy change officials attributed to an uptick in vaccinations. The move comes as more young children in the state are getting vaccinated against COVID-19. “Vaccination continues to be the most effective tool we have against COVID-19,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday evening in a press release, “I’m proud that millions of Illinoisans have taken advantage of these life-saving vaccines — they have given us the ability to adjust these requirements.”  Throughout the last school year, school employees who weren’t vaccinated were required to test at least once a week until they could prove that they were fully vaccinated. Some local school districts, including Chicago Public Schools, started this school year with fewer COVID-19 restrictions for school employees and students.”