Homework is busy work, and minimally helpful, and the children are shamed, by having to stand up and change their behavior card from green, which is good, to yellow, which is a warning. It's demoralizing and hurtful, not to mention the teacher uses a behavior chart for homework processes
My daughter is finishing up 1st grade, on the heels of a horrendous kindergarten experience. Her teacher, who claims she must keep her "strict" reputation, has all but crushed my daughter's passion for education. The teacher is mean, the administration (and teacher) are dismissive and disrespectful, the school is unbelievably filthy - we routinely visit our pediatrician due to rashes and infections from the toilets, there has not been a language teacher or curriculum all year, and the resulting stress on my daughter and the family is not what I had read about or planned for a start to my young child's educational journey.
I am disappointed in the behavior of the principal of South Loop. Several friends in the neighborhood have spoken with her and have been met with less than enthusiastic responses from the principal when inquiring about their child attending the school. One incident in particular, she was not very nice to a friend that lives in the neighborhood who wanted to register her grandson because he lives with her. She almost insinuated that my friend was lying about the child living in the zone. She then asked her several questions which I felt was inappropriate. During their conversation, A Caucasian man came in and the principal's whole attitude changed with him. It is sad that she may be showing parents signs of reverse prejudice against her own race. I would really hope that is not the case, but my friend was very offended. South Loop overall seems to have a good reputation, but the principal may need to check her attitude/prejudices at the door.
I live in the neighborhood and have children in both the Gifted and Neighborhood programs. The teachers and atmosphere in both programs throughout the school are excellent and individualized for students' needs. The parent community is involved and the administration is helpful. As the school transitions to an all neighborhood school, South Loop will continue to improve as the caliber of parents and students attending is very education-minded, high-acheiving and engaged.
My experience as well as my child's experience at this school has consistently been sub-par. The Administration needs an intervention asap. Smiles to your face but can be rude and has poor follow-up. Huge bullying problem amongst students and staff. I have witnessed Administration yelling at children. Academic and social enrichment is important amongst this age group. Unfortunately, this school is greatly lacking social/emotional support of the students.
We have a child in Kindergarten. Teacher is pleasant, friendly. Administration not pleasant, dare I say rude? Defensive? Kid has fun, but there is no challenge -- homework seems preschool level and uninspired -- all workbook pages, no differentiation...cookie cutter. Kid is not challenged to exceed normal Kindergarten levels which we feel is a waste of time, kid has much more potential than this. Having to supplement from home. Disappointed. We expected a better experience and better academics.
South Loop is a wonderful school. From the parents, most teachers, programs and after school options - all wonderful. As a working mom, I appreciate that my child is able to participate in many activities such as drama, Choir, dance, band, piano, yoga, and even cooking classes. South Loop has something for everyone. Rather than feeling guilty about leaving her in after-school, I'm grateful that she is gaining exposure to experiences( cultural, academic, and extracurricular) that will help shape her in to a responsible, independent, and open minded adult. I'm confident that my child is receiving a quality education while being exposed to real life diversity and cultural differences. As for the negative comments on Ms. Shelton, I don't get it. She is always approachable, knows my daughters name, grades and has taken an interest to make sure she is challenged. I'm really not sure what more could be expected.
I believe this is one of the best all around school in the city because of its academic and after school programs. They have something for everyone. The teaches really cares about the children and each other. When I was in school it was not like this, I believe my children can be what they want to be.
There are so many outstanding qualities to expound on about SL. The principal has an open door policy and is visibly present on a daily basis. Parental involvement is superb. The diversity is a major plus, especially in the city of Chicago. Teachers are engaged, enthused, and supportive. DNA Info Chicago, recently featured the 5th grade Science teacher, Mr. Kacena, in a Teacher of the Week article. (My son absolutely loves Mr. Kacena's Science class.) I could go on; but, instead, I'll just point folks to a recent Chicago Magazine article that ranked SL among the top schools in Chicago. Enough said.