About Natasha Smith

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So far Natasha Smith has created 33 blog entries.

2017 All-City Visual Arts Senior Portfolio Exhibition

By | January 12th, 2017|

This week, some of the most talented student artists in the District saw their work displayed at the All-City Visual Arts Senior Portfolio Exhibition. This event was hosted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and featured drawings, paintings, photography, video, and digital art from 64 high school seniors.  

Parents Unite for Healthy Schools

By | January 10th, 2017|

All parents want their children to eat healthy and stay active. But some in the CPS community are going further than just asking kids to eat their vegetables. Dr. Janice Jackson addresses the Parent Leadership Summit Last month, hundreds of CPS parents made time in their busy schedules to attend a conference on healthy living. They learned about the value of nutrition education, and the correlation between physical activity and improved academic performance. Mostly, they learned how to [...]

Inspiring Educators: What the Hollyhock Fellowship Did For Me

By | January 6th, 2017|

CPS teachers work hard in their classrooms to deliver impressive educational results, and we want to make sure they have the chance to apply for a unique and rewarding fellowship. Since 2014, Stanford University has offered high school teachers from across the country an outstanding professional development opportunity called the Hollyhock Fellowship. Since its inception, CPS has had more teaching teams than any other district in the nation participate, with our teachers bringing back valuable insight and inspiration. The deadline [...]

Students Decorate Holiday Bus

By | December 19th, 2016|

Building on the success of its holiday train, the CTA dispatches a festive bus to cruise the streets of Chicago during the holiday season. Each year, students from one CPS school use their artistic talents to transform that bus into a virtual winter wonderland. The teachers at Wacker know how valuable art is to their students’ academic experience, so they integrated this project into their daily curriculum. Students at every grade level were given tiles to decorate, working on them [...]

CPS Takes Action on Wrongdoing

By | December 14th, 2016|

CPS takes wrongdoing very seriously, which is why we’re especially disappointed that the Chicago Tribune’s misleading story today ignored the actions we’ve taken in cases of wrongdoing. Here are the missing facts that Chicago families need to know and that weren’t reported: Last year, CPS took the important step of recalculating graduation rates because questions had been raised about a handful of schools improperly coding students who dropped out as transfers. CPS took this step to ensure transparency and public [...]

Skinner North Named National Blue Ribbon School

By | December 12th, 2016|

After years of hard work, Skinner North Classical School students and staff earned a slot in the upper ranks of schools nationally, when they formally joined the ranks of National Blue Ribbon Schools at a ceremony in the nation’s capital. The National Blue Ribbon Award recognizes schools that have achieved exemplary academic excellence, or made major strides in closing the achievement gap. Skinner is one of just 329 schools nationwide to receive the honor from the U.S. Department of Education [...]

Arts Education on the Rise in CPS

By | November 29th, 2016|

This blog was authored by Paul Sznewajs, Executive Director of Ingenuity, a national leader in arts data collection and mapping that has partnered with CPS to track the quality of arts education in our schools. This week, Ingenuity released its 4th annual State of the Arts in Chicago Public Schools report, with data covering more than 90 percent of CPS students. Since we began collecting data in 2013—the year CPS created its first comprehensive Arts Education Plan—there have been significant [...]

What I Learned This Thanksgiving

By | November 22nd, 2016|

By Isabella Garcia-Ding This blog post was authored by Isabella Garcia-Ding, a 10th-grade student at Roberto Clemente Community Academy who organized a Thanksgiving food giveaway for her school community. The Give 3k Food Pantry and Turkey Give Away this November 17th was a success. My experience as a student organizing this food drive was unbelievable, because I was able to make a small idea turn into a charity event for Roberto Clemente Community Academy. I started Give 3k as an assignment [...]

Many Districts, One Mission

By | November 21st, 2016|

This week, Chicago hosted the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) annual conference, so I had the privilege of meeting fellow school board members from all over our state, and providing welcoming remarks to kick off the annual Chicago Schools Tour that was presented in conjunction with the conference. The tour included four schools with an arts focus, and showed our visitors how CPS is prioritizing arts education, even in challenging fiscal times. Some of the School Board members I [...]

A Veterans Day Tribute

By | November 11th, 2016|

Veterans Day is a time for our country to recognize the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.  On this Veteran’s Day, CPS is recognizing one Army veteran in a very special way. This afternoon, CPS  joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, and the Southwest Middle School community to announce a proposal for this school to be named in honor of Sergeant Robert J. Richardson – a beloved CPS teacher and [...]