There are plenty of projects, beginning at an early age, to teach kids how to manage a large project over a span of time. I've had friends at other schools who complain that their 5th grader moves on to 6th grade and hasn't ever had to develop those skills, which sets them up for failure and struggles. At Coonley, these skills are developed from the very beginning.
Coonley truly is a great school! The principal and assistant principal are very involved and approachable, waving to kids in the hallway, calling them by name. I haven't seen any bullying, as one poster mentioned, and I feel like any incidents with discipline are reported to parents very quickly and taken seriously. The level of parent involvement is great, and it makes this big city school feel like a small town. The teachers know kids who aren't even in their classes, and the communication with the school from the administration and teachers is very clear and organized. I love that the kids all play together at recess, they develop bonds with kids in their classrooms, all of that makes the school and the community around it really shine!
I am very happy with this school and the community. The only downside is class size, but that is a CPS issue. Parents are very involved in working with the principals and administration in making curriculum suggestions. It is true that Coonley is a fundraising machine, which makes it a little unfair for those who cannot afford to live in the neighborhood. But really Coonley is a model that could be used throughout the city if CPS as a whole could ever get its act together and not so poorly manage its resources. But I am getting off on a tangent . . . Both my kids are in the neighborhood program and I feel great about the education they are getting and the supportive emotional environment. Friendly and involved parents in both classes. Great gen ed teachers too. My older son is special needs and he loves it and knows everyone in the school. The IEP team and his special ed resource teacher have gone through leaps and bounds, long hours, and lots of meetings, to make his experience there a good one. My special needs son was previously at another CPS school for pre-k and environment and leadership make all the difference! I am so happy we are where we are now.
Simply said this is a amazing school. Mr. Z is a great principal and there is a high level of parent involvement. The only downside is space or lack thereof which will be rectified when the addition is completed in Sept 2014.
So pleased we bought a home in this neighborhood!!! Coonley has an amazing community filled with parents who are very involved and kids who want to learn. We are very lucky to have Mr. Z [rincipal] and Mr. Laslo [vice principal] as part of Coonley - they work so diligently to create an excellent learning environment. It was hard to obtain a house in the area, because it is so sought after, but it was well worth the wait.
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.