School News

Sutherland Student is Beverly Library’s Top Reader  

Nora Rogozinski, a 4th grader at Sutherland School, read over 1500 minutes over the summer, earning her the title of highest Summer Learning Challenge Reader at the Beverly Branch Library.    

Because she is a Chicago Public School Student and visited the library on a regular basis to report her progress over the summer months, Rogozinski won a Shedd Aquarium field trip for her entire class. 

(Photo Nora Rogozinski with Arlene Gottardo, the Children’s Librarian)  


Illinois Bicentennial Inspires Young Imaginations at PLAID Academy 

A giant map from National Geographic has given students at PLAID Academy a chance to “visit” sites across the state, combining history, geography and fun as Illinois celebrates its bicentennial. 

PLAID (an acronym for Positive Learning in an Atmosphere for Individual Development) uses a comprehensive curriculum centered around the social sciences and developed around a theme. The theme for this academic year focuses on the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. The independent school was able to borrow the room-size map from the Geographic Society of Chicago, and students have been using it to research places and events starting well before Illinois statehood in 1818.  

Students have learned about Cahokia Mounds, thought to be the oldest earth works in North America, and “traveling” along the paths of early explorers have made those quests more relatable.   

PLAID employs a project-based curriculum, integrating academic subjects into the annual theme. While studying the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, students made connections with local, national and global current events. PLAID Academy is located on Longwood Drive at 110th Place, so students could see first- hand how ancient glaciers carved out the local landscape by just stepping outside the doors of the school and looking up the hill.  

Midterm elections provided the perfect context for classes in government and the Illinois State Constitution.  

Currently serving grades 3 though 8, PLAID Academy is opening a primary room for grades K through 2 in 2019. Current students are looking forward to welcoming the new students and sharing their experiences of the school.  

“At PLAID Academy, all students are valued for their individuality and become invested in their education,” said Principal Jean Altman. “Students are enabled by an atmosphere that faculty carefully balance with an assessment of individual needs and strengths. It is within this setting that PLAID students become life-long learners and life-long friends.”  

Now in its 25th year of serving area families, PLAID Academy is a non-religious, independent, non-for-profit school recognized by the State of Illinois Board of Education. For an appointment to visit the school, additional information about the curriculum and availability of tuition assistance for eligible families, call 773-238-2603 or 773-238-2609  


Selective Enrollment School Applications Due Dec. 14 

Applications for Chicago Public Schools Selective Enrollment and Choice Programs are being accepted through Fri., Dec. 14. Applicants may apply to up to 6 Selective Enrollment Programs and 20 Choice Programs. Applications may be submitted online at or by mail to the Office of Access and Enrollment, 42 W. Madison St., Garden Level, Chicago, IL 60602. Entrance exams are required for Selective Enrollment Programs. Applicants must select a test date as part of their application. Find test dates, times and locations at or 773-553-2060. 


Esmond, Sutherland Rate 1+ 

Esmond and Sutherland elementary schools have attained a Level 1+ rating, the highest possible rating, under Chicago Public Schools (CPS) 2018 School Quality Rating and Policy rankings. The most significant increase was seen at Esmond School which jumped two full ratings while serving a student population that is over 95% low income. Construction is currently underway on a new annex and artificial turf field at Esmond, a $20 million investment in the community. Sutherland School rose from Level 1 in 2017 to level 1+ this year. Other 1+ local schools include Kellogg Elementary and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.  



Latest News

Get Your Garden and Trees Ready for Spring  

 By Mary Jo Viero  As winter slowly relinquishes its grip, gardeners across the community are eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring.  However, preparing your garden for the upcoming season requires