Don't believe the hype! Coonley has a lot of resources the neighborhood has become very affluent so it lacks diversity The teachers are excellent. But the community is not supportive or friendly.I was in a meeting with teacher,principle, and parents,the main concern was that the special needs kids and that they these kids were ruining their child's educucation?No acknowledgement of the contribution these kids made or empathy and acceptance learned. I will not include the derogatory adjectives.The principle said nothing to even convince these parents of the value of diversity, instead he listened and went along with their biggotry.I witnessed a parents berating poor kids because they needed breakfast.The venom directed at any type of program for needy children was alarming.The bullying is appalling no violence, children ganging up to make sure no one will talk to him today!No bruises but the psychological wounds last a lifetime.Coonley has a lot of bells and whistles but are material things like Interactive whiteboards in every classroom necessary?Emotional support acceptance and fairness are not. It is unfortunate.I guess ownership and pride are synonymous with exclusion.
Most of the teachers at Coonley are good educators. I am concerned about the leadership at Coonley. The principal runs it more like a business than what is best for the children. There is a strong emphasis on having more money. Which is great but I think having more money and using it wisely is more important. For example don't get rid of perfectly good computers and waste more money on new ipads, (10,000+) just incorporate the existing computers in classrooms and put them to better use when educating the students, especially when you need to raise something like 13million dollars to expand the school. This is a school with options kids, neighborhood kids and special needs kids. However, there is a lot of coddling with the options students. It's great they are so smart, but remember there is a neighborhood program and a special needs program and I would think for a school so diverse they would split up the attention fairly and equally. If you go visit this school ask a lot of questions about your child's best interests make sure you get a honest answer, not a politically correct one. Stay out of the parent involvement if you don't want drama.
I am a student at Coonley Elementary. I've been there since first grade and now I'm in eighth grade graduating. Throughtout the time I've been at Coonley I think its an excellent school. We dont have fights or any kind of violence/bullying. Many students are very friendly. Teachers make themselves avalible for students if any student needs help. We d not work ALL the time. Teachers try to make things fun & we have projects. We have many afte school programs and Coonley really tries to prep students for high school.
I used to go to another school but I left there because the teachers and students were always harsh and stuck-up. This is my 5th year at Coonley and my last. All of the staff is very helpful and nice. They really care about what you think and your feelings.
I am a student and I think this school is okay. But with the bullying going on the principal and vice principal always look the other way instead of finding ways to solve the discipline issues. People in the classes don't respect the teachers and other students. We are always taking tests instead of learning things that really matter. I think with the way this school is, it makes me frustrated - I don't feel like I am learning enough. I feel like all we do is take tests and I never remember all the information they throw at us. And the gifted kids judge the neighborhood kids - it is very frustrating and sad to see and hear this.
What a great school where teachers and parents come together to improve the education our kids will receive. From the moment you walk into Coonley you can feel the energy that drives the kids, to excel at levels above standards. The principal has a knack for including, he is welcoming with strong goals towards challenging our children. I am very happy to be able to say that my child attend's Coonley.
We are in our second year at Coonley and I have to say, I am thrilled with the education our son is getting. The teachers are excellent, creative, and passionate about their work and committed to the students. I absolutely love the principal. Earlier this year, my son was having some separation anxiety, and Mr. Z not only noticed, but took the time to talk to him and help him to feel better. My son loves him. He knows every student's name, and cares what the parents think. He is fantastic. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this school!
my daughter is in the 1st grade options program at coonley and we a re very happy. coonley is a great community of parents and teachere led by Mr. Z. I cannot comment specifically on how Z interacts with the teachers, but he is on the playground every morning and knows the kids by name and seems to have a genuine concern for all the kids. I have seen Mr. Z sit in on a class for a while and he was sat right next to the students and engaged with them, and they were not at all afraid. We love Coonley and so does our daughter.
Hi! We have been through 4 CPS schools and Coonley is the best by far. Is it perfect no but what CPS school is? What makes Coonley great is a combination of great parents, great teachers and great administration. I am very involved with Coonley and have met with and dealt with teachers and administration at length. I have found them very caring and also open to new ideas. As a parent you can not ask for more. Mr Z. and Mr. Lazlo work at least 12 hours a day and you will always see them walking around and helping people. For the reviewer who had issues with Mr. Z, that is an anomaly not the norm. We feel really lucky to be part of the Coonley community.
The community around coonley is very nice and most of the parents have been great to be around. The teachers are excellent and the gentrification of the area ensure that there are lots of resources. As a parent of a child in the options/gifted classes I have to agree that all they do is teach the kids a grade ahead and they pile on the homework. But he is learning well. I have spoken to more than one parent who is not pleased with the principle Mr. Z and his leadership style with the teachers leaves a lot to be desired not much of a partnership. Some have described him as tyrannical. My son is terrified of him luckily he has never had to meet him for disciplinary reasons. If we were in a better financial position I would certainly chose a different school but we are fine and our son is doing well. The school is doing so well because of the work the of the parents teachers and the leadership of the previous principal. Mr. Z sometimes seems more like a politician than a principal but as long as our son is doing well and treated well we won't make any waves.
My daughter is first grade in the options program at Coonley. We have had such a great experience here from day one. From the teachers , super involved parents, to Principal Z and Mr. Lazlo, everyone makes us feel so at home , even though we are not from the neighborhood. Any concerns we have had as a group , the principal and teachers have worked out with us in such a positive way. I love this school simply because my daughter is so happy here. She tells me all the time . She has already made such great friends and I have connected with so many parents there from all walks of life, both in the options and neighborhood programs. Other than all wonderful things my daughter is learning and excited about , my favorite thing to do at Coonley (when the weather's nice:) is hang out after school in the beautiful playground / garden . The kids just play there and have such a great time , so naturally , like when I was a kid. What a great school!
Coonley has been nothing but a positive experience since my son started in PK with Ms Nancy and Ms Paula and now will enter 3 rd grade(,neighbourhood program) .He had been accepted to a Gifted program outside Coonley but we declined because of our wonderful experience at Coonley and don't regret a minute of it .Every teacher he has encountered has been a great mentor for my son and proud to see they have brought him to a straight A Honor Roll ... Thank you Coonley and continue the great work
I've never seen a more committed, caring and highly motivated staff than what we have at Coonley. Mr. Z, is an amazing principal who has a wonderful bond with the kids, parents, staff and community We've found it to be an incredibly nurturing environment. Regarding the Options Progam, having been in the program since its inception (3 years now)--this is absolutely a program that is all about critical thinking and depth of learning. My child loves learning b/c of all she gets from Coonley. Also the after school programs are fantastic!
When you compare Coonley to Chicago Public schools it is definitely far better. It is however, a public school where the classrooms are over crowded and the education is cookie cutter one size fits all and there is no room for outside the box behavior or thinking. The options program is not truly a gifted program where the children are taught critical thinking and in depth learning. It is merely accelerated where they throw large amounts of material at them to get them to be a grade or two ahead. The new principle can definitely get things done but I do not like his interaction with the children. My son did not find that he could fit in and the administration attempted to label him with all kinds of disabilities despite that thousands of dollars in psychological testing said he was absolutely normal. Just a little outside the box. He was severely punished for this and it has affected the outcome of this entire year. The teachers have so far been fabulous but the environment does punish anyone who isn't one of the masses. I wish our experience had been better and we tried but this place is not for us. We would rather a more progressive environment.
Students are supported and have a positive environment where students are supported and have great experiences!
The principal and vice principal are phenomenal, very dedicated and involved in the daily events with the students. It is an extremely supportive community or educators and parents.
Very active PTO and LSC and Friends of Coonley group. Wonderful administrative staff. Parents and neighbors volunteer when needed. My kid loves it there!
The options program is really a an accelerated reading and math program. There is science and social studies but the real emphasis is on reading and math. Not much critical thinking or differentiated instruction within the program. Just go, go, go. We were told the program was a 'what if' program, kids could problem solve and ask questions. I haven't seen this. The real emphasis is on pushing kids two grades ahead. No time for developing at your own rate or developing deep thinking. Is this really a gifted program?
Coonley is a neighborhood CPS school that has undergone a fabulous transformation under the guidance of the principal, Kennedy-Karthaiser, and the Vice principal. Coonley provides that rare mix of a nurturing environment that is attentive to its students emotional, scholastic and developmental needs. I truly believe that Mrs Kennedy-Karthaiser knows each of the 300+ students by name and strives to ensure that each one is given the opportunity to reach their optimum potential. We are so lucky to have the good fortune of having our son attend Coonley and are keeping our fingers crossed that the sibling match will allow his younger brother to benefit as well.
We love Coonley! My daughter is in the Kindergarten for the new Options (gifted) program. It's a wonderful program! The classroom is large, warm & inviting & the teacher is fantastic with the kids. My daughter comes home from school every day excited about learning!! The school day is full of activity -- French, Science Lab, Gym, Art, Music, Recess (a rare find in CPS!). Parents are highly involved in the school and Coonley has a great non-profit (Friends of Coonley) that raises funds for much needed extras (like Spanish for the neighborhood program). Coonley is on it's way to being a top school in Chicago!!
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