About Natasha Smith

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So far Natasha Smith has created 37 blog entries.

Haines Elementary Named National Title I Distinguished School

By | February 15th, 2017|

This was a big week for Haines Elementary. We were honored by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for being named a National Title I Distinguished School in 2017. Check out the video we submitted to showcase who we are: The Title I Award recognizes schools for their consistent academic growth, or for closing the achievement gap among at-risk students. It is awarded to just 100 schools across the country each year, so is a testament to the exceptional work [...]

Going Global at CPS

By | February 10th, 2017|

This week, Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice Jackson spoke to CPS students who will be participating in Global Glimpse – a program that works to build leadership and global awareness among today’s youth. With the help of their CPS teachers, students will spend the second half of the school year learning about diversity, finance, travel, and Latin history and culture, and will then participate in a 15-day immersion experience in one of three Latin-American countries during the summer of 2017. [...]

Celebrating 75 Years of Cavalier Pride

By | January 31st, 2017|

Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson recently joined families, staff and alumni from Chicago Vocational Career Academy, formerly known as Chicago Vocational High School, to celebrate 75 years of excellence in education. Highlights included the renaming of the school’s auditorium in honor of the late Bernie Mac, a former CVCA student, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel declaring December 15, 2016 to be CVCA Day in the city of Chicago. The anniversary event also featured the largest Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the [...]

Rejecting our Comfort Bubbles

By | January 26th, 2017|

A reflection by Brahim A., a member of the CPS Student Advisory Council whose recent civic engagement has included attending the farewell address of President Barack Obama and leading a Student Leadership Conference in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Being able to listen to the farewell address of President Barack Obama, let alone being in the very same room as him, was an experience that will never be forgotten, and having a chance to volunteer at this historic [...]

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 [...]