By Tina Jenkins Bell
BAPA School Liaison
Do you see it? The light at the end of the tunnel. As I write this column, Americans were notified that we have an authorized, recommended vaccine to prevent COVID-19. For Beverly/Morgan Park schools and families, the news of the vaccine is music for the soul. As we see more schools welcome students back for in class learning, we must be vigilant and patient. The schools your children left last spring will not be the exact settings to which they return. Classrooms may look different. Daily routines will include mandatory health screenings and other processes. The transformation from remote learning to in class may occur in stages.
CPS Schools Open as Early as January
Chicago Public Schools announced most of their students, primarily kindergarten through 8th grade, would have the option of returning to in class learning as early as January. There will be changes and additional steps school families will need to take to ensure the overall safety of their children and everyone with whom they interact. The number of hours CPS students spend in the class as well as the number of students in their immediate learning communities may change as well. Initially, instruction may be a combination of in class and remote learning. Therefore, parents can expect to continue their roles as instructional aides and should keep their home classrooms intact. For more information, review the CPS reopening Parent Guide at cps.edu/reopening2020.
Christ the King Willing Worker Named School Hero
Bob Berk was recently named a school hero (#schoolhero) by the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools. COVID-19 has impacted all schools adversely. Knowing his parish school, Christ the King, could use his help, Berk, a retired forensic scientist, inquired about ways he could assist, and became the school’s lead custodian. He has received numerous accolades since becoming a part of the staff. “There is nothing like hearing the preschoolers and kindergartners yelling out ‘Hi Mr. Bob’ whenever they see him and calling him over to chat with them,” a CK teacher offered. A parent added, “Bob has God at his side in all that he does. He is patient, kind, giving, and selfless. His calm disposition and kind smile bring peace to teachers and students alike.”
St. Barnabas School Tours
St. Barnabas School is offering tours for families interested in the 2020-2021 school year, Jan. 5 to 7 and Jan.12 to 14. Learn more about all St. Barnabas has to offer, including the new Education Center, opening in fall. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time.
Sutherland Art Featured on Office of Equity and Racial Justice Website
Sutherland School has long been admired for its sidewalk art and murals. One of the murals, created by Damon Reed and friends and presented to Sutherland as a gift from the class of 2020, is featured on the City of Chicago Office of Equity and Racial Justice website as part of their “Together We Heal” initiative. To see Sutherland’s mural, go to Chicago.gov and click on Together We Heal.
MPA 6th Graders Share Pandemic Stories
Five Morgan Park Academy (MPA) students gathered online with children from dozens of schools in the United States, India, England, and Mexico to share and discuss their pandemic experiences. Emily Fitch, MPA’s 6th grade humanities teacher, said she was proud to hear students display an awareness of and empathy for “the economic ramifications of COVID-19 and the impact it had on families and communities.” Fitch added, she was “hopeful for our future because these will be our leaders moving forward.”.
Kellogg Newly Elected Student Council
The Kellogg school community recently elected a new Student Council. Each candidate created a Google website during electioneering week to share their reasons for wanting to become part of the student council and their plans for helping the school and student body. Elected to the student council were Morgan Puchalski, President; Rani Barnes, Vice President; Ajani Liddell, Secretary; Lucy Doherty, Co-Treasurer; Aislinn Taylor, Co-Treasurer; and Zuri Norman, Parliamentarian. One of the Council’s first goals was to create a Spirit Week leading into the Winter Break and coming up with fun activities to build community.