This school is one of the hidden gems in our city. I think the principal does a great job of continually pushing the school to improve. The most noticeable way she does that is by making great hires. I have been so impressed with each new staff member we've received, including the full-time Specials teachers who are motivated and clearly love their job. We started 5 years ago in the English preschool with Ms. Torres who is organized and great at communicating with parents. We have since switched to the Spanish immersion track and I can not say enough good things about it. My first grader is now fluent in the language and reads and writes in Spanish as well! I have three children in the school, so we have gotten to interact with several teachers and my husband and I are always impressed. The teachers on the Spanish track are very collaborative and there is such a variety in the student's day. We are so glad we found this school!
This school was once great for a Chicago neighborhood school. Under the direction of Principal Bahenas, the school has become disorganized, unsafe, and has evolved into an overall poor environment for learning. Although the information states that the student:teacher ratio is 17:1, there have not been fewer than 35 students in any of my son's classes over the past 5 years (no aides or student teachers). Teachers are uninspired, teach begrudgingly, & pay no attention to students as individuals. The school administration is unequipped to deal with the needs of students with learning, cognitive, or mental disabilities nor do staff seem interested in preparing themselves to do so. Communication by administrators and teachers is entirely inadequate and they are also unresponsive to parent concerns. Unfortunately, I have nothing positive to say about Talcott. I am so disappointed that I cannot find another option for my son. Since he has special needs, he is unable to qualify for schools with academic entrance tests, and we haven't yet "won" a lottery for another school. It's a terrible situation in which to be. I advise parents to keep their kids out of this school if they can.
We switched to Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy from another nearby "small" CPS school this year and absolutely love it. Ms. Mendez is an awesome Kindergarten teacher and is very organized and supportive with the kids. She works with each child at their own level and pushes them forward while involving the parents. School activities are well planned and well communicated in ADVANCE to the parents. Administration is straight forward, open and honest and actively seeks continuous improvement. There is a great sense of community, parental involvement and school spirit here. Talcott offers numerous afterschool activities and a dual language program. Talcott is a Fine Arts and Museum Academy so they have partnerships with most of the museums and offer a choir, art class (2 art rooms), a music class, band and much more.
Don't be fooled by the test scores! This school is an amazing school with a very dedicated staff! My son is in preschool and I am extremely happy with everything I have seen him exposed to. Last year, the preschool team put together a huge Art Gallery and the teachers encourage parents to be involved through various events. This school is definitely worth checking out! Give them a call, they would love to let you visit the classrooms during the day!
Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy now has openings in the Preschool for All Program (free!) This year, they have begun a Dual Language Program (Spanish) in one of the two preschool classrooms. Both classes are 1/2 day from 8-10:30 am and 11:15am-1:45 pm. They have: Fine Arts Integration (Drama, Music, Visual Arts); Museum Partnerships with the Art Institute and Field Museum; Fun and Engaging Activities; Innovative, Interest-Based Project Learning; Early Writing Experiences; Annual Art Gallery; Highly Qualified, Experienced Teachers who are dedicated and grant winning. Last year, Mrs. Dayna Darby won the Kohl McCormick Early Childhood Teaching Award. All of the teachers are committed to excellence and possess post-graduate degrees and endorsements and are national Board Certification candidates. My daughter is now in her second year of preschool at Talcott. We chose Talcott. It is not our neighborhood school.
Talcott Elementary has excellent teachers, curriculum and staff! I've been at the school for several events and it's bustling with creative and intellectual energy. The students are truly engaged and the teachers' strong dedication and deep involvement with students is clearly visible.
Ms. Cone is an excellent teacher. She has made students at Talcott excited about the arts. Her school productions have been outstanding!
Why do you love Talcott Elementary School? We are the only school that aligns a Museum curriculum and a Fine Arts curriculum to core subject areas. Our students successfully completed the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and even appeared on Channel 5 news for a segment honoring William Shakespeare. We have an exceptional staff and two administrators that support life long student learning. We have great parental involvement and fun loving students!
I am the mother of two students attending Talcott FAMA Elementary School and I couldn't be a happier. Being a former student of Talcott myself, I have seen this school through the bad & excellent times. I'm proud of their groundbreaking accomplishments, such as the newly installed Solar Energy Panels; as well as their partnership with our beautiful Chicago museums. I look forward to being a part of the excitement , growth and accomplishments that the future is sure to bring.
It's a very good school !!! The teachers help them by doing projects . it also is a museam school and they take them to many fieldtrips to learn about more cultures... the principal is great he always cares of the kids .. there is many afterschool actavitie such as : reading, math, soccer,drama ,and music ..
the school looks run down and needs major improvement and has needed them for years. it does not boast many extra-curricular activities the personnel including the principal are rude and I personally dont feel the children are being challenged. the standards i feel have been lowered dramatically as far as school assignments go.
Talcott boasts a plethora of extra-curricular activities! To name a few--a soccer team that has a connection to the Chicago Fire, and Mexican Folkloric Dancing. There are many, many more activities available as well. For a more complete list of these kinds of activities, speak with Principal Craig Benes!
The school is in need of major improvements. Take a closer look. What extracurricular activities are there? or a better question is 'Where is all the money going into'?
This school has made great strides in the right direction this last year, there is ,much room for improvement. The school has amazing art programs and relationships with many Chicago museums. My children have participated in designing and making a beautiful mosaic that adorns the central hall of the school, a school-wide art exhibit, and a performance with Yo Yo Ma in Millennium Park. In my oppinion, in day to day disciplining of children, the focus is still more on rules and punishment than on initiative and encouragement. However, the school has award ceremonies in which many children receive medals for 'Principal's Scholar', 'Peace Maker (my favorite), and 'Perfect Attendance.'
In my opinion, this is one of the best schools in the city. It's clean, safe, and the principal is very involved in programming. Parent involvement is high, as well!
This school is a fine art and museum academy, each class is paired up with a chicagoland museum and the students go on tons of field trips or the museums come to the school for a hands on experience. The school also offers alot of after school activities such as cheerleading, computer, choir,etc. The fine arts are not implemented in the overall curriculum. The school also offers many opportunities for parents to volunteer. The class sizes tend to be quite large but overall the school seems as though they are making progress for the better. The school is undering knew leadership which is making successful gains through the new team.
This is a really good school, it offers a bilingual class (spanish and English), classes for parents-ESL, parenting, stress management, etc. They offer a lot of opportunities for parent involvement. The staff are all friendly and helpful and really care about students. The school offers alot of afterschool activities for students like sports, cheerlaeding, chorus, computers, etc.
The school has just become a performing arts academy and museum school. This new program makes it more interesting for the children to learn.
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