About Natasha Smith

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So far Natasha Smith has created 37 blog entries.

A “Seal” of Approval for CPS Students

By | June 2nd, 2016|

Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. These are the 11 languages CPS students mastered to earn this year’s State Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal signifies that these students have mastered the speaking, reading and writing of one or more of these languages – an accomplishment celebrated this week, when families, educators, and community partners gathered to recognize the second class of CPS students to earn the Seal. In 2015 – the first year of [...]

CPS Celebrates College Signing Month

By | May 19th, 2016|

May is College Signing Month at CPS. It's a chance for our students, our parents, our educators, and our larger school communities to celebrate the next steps of our graduating seniors.  We are so proud of these fantastic accomplishments!   DeShawn Adams DeShawn Adams, senior at Austin/VOISE Academy has been named both a Gates and Posse scholarship recipient.  DeShawn is a student in the CPS Cooperative Education Work Study program where he has an internship in his senior [...]

CPS Boasts 35 Gates Scholars – Most in the Nation

By | May 13th, 2016|

If you’re a high school senior at CPS, you’ve probably heard of the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program. For seven of the past eight years, Chicago has boasted more Gates Millennium Scholars than any school district in the country. The credit goes to our students, but also to the counselors and post-secondary coaches who believe in their potential and refuse to let finances get in the way of their students’ dreams. We talk about Gates at our family scholarship sessions. [...]

Student Artist a Two-Time Champion

By | May 12th, 2016|

For nearly a decade, COUNTRY Financial has challenged CPS high school students to create a dynamic design for the reusable canvas bags handed out at Chicago’s Farmer’s Markets – connecting creativity with nutrition and environmental stewardship. This year, David Paredes became the only student ever to win the contest twice, receiving a $1,000 scholarship from COUNTRY Financial and having his artwork displayed on the reusable bags that will be handed out to patrons during the Farmer’s Market season. Elizabeth Sosa [...]

CEdO Janice Jackson Visits Sherman Elementary

By | May 10th, 2016|

When I visited Sherman School of Excellence, I was truly impressed by what I saw. A former turnaround school, this West Englewood campus is now rated Level 1 – proof of what can be achieved with the right combination of leadership and teacher talent.   Principal Mellodie Brown has a background in mentoring teachers, and it shows. When she came to Sherman four years ago, her goal was total collaboration and transparency. It wasn’t enough to have pockets of teachers [...]

Learnstorm: Challenge Accepted

By | May 5th, 2016|

Math anxiety? Not at CPS. Not when 66,000 students in 400 schools just conquered the LearnStorm Challenge. We celebrated this accomplishment today, with Mayor Emanuel congratulating the nine elementary schools that topped the leader board during this online math challenge: Harvard, Addams, Lee, Lenart, Bridge, Mary Lyon, Esmond, Turn-Drew, and Clinton Elementary.  These schools will proudly display the LearnStorm pennant they received today – proof of their success in conquering this year’s LearnStorm   Challenge. LearnStorm does more than ask students [...]

A Thank You Note to CPS Teachers

By | May 3rd, 2016|

I’ve been out of the classroom for a while now, but like many of the administrators at CPS – I’m still a teacher at heart. My first teaching job was at South Shore High School, and I remember thinking that students were going to love my class. I was passionate about History, so imagined my students being inspired by my knowledge and enthusiasm and falling in love with the subject too. I learned quickly that teaching was not that easy. [...]