This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Blaine Elementary School5
Posted February 23, 2015
- a teacher
After reading the review regarding Blaine's Science Teacher. I felt compelled to share a note I receive from a parent. I just want to say thank you for all you are doing for the kids.Repeatedly, I hear stories about your class and how much my daughter loves having you for a teacher. I have been meaning to send you a note for several weeks because I truly think you are extraordinary! I always say that I could never be a teacher so I am very appreciative of your profession in general. Since she is my oldest, I continue to learn how to spot a good teacher. I have to tell you a story that I have since told anyone who asks about our fifth grade experience:A few weeks ago, I told Kara that I would help her study for her science test. I started asking questions and was astonished at how well she knew the detailed material. I told her I was so proud of her and that she was clearly paying attention and studying. She told me that she knew the information 'because my teacher' and continued to elaborate that '...she prepares her students so well...'. You make my daughter want to be a better student and she truly wants to do a good job for you. I cannot thank you enough.
In response to the parent who wrote "celebrate the teachers" on February 19: we would have said the same thing through 4th grade. In fact, we had most of the same teachers. But middle school is an entirely different story: the quality of education is sub-par (don't get me started about 5th grade math lack-of-instruction)... the administration is unreceptive to parents' concerns (and at times outright deceptive)... the amount of homework ridiculous and well beyond recognized standards. Talk to parents of 5th and 6th graders -- you'll find the experience is quite different. I feel badly that our daughter won't be back next fall since she's made "lifelong friends" as well -- but many of her former classmates have already switched to other CPS, private or suburban schools. I'm pretty sure you'll be saying the same thing too...
Let's celebrate all the wonderful teachers at Blaine. Our children have been BLESSED by their education. Ms. Suzuki taught my daughter the foundation she needed and how learning can be fun. Ms. Kelsey taught her how to be an above average reader and passed on her enthusiasm for books. Ms. Sinanoglu made sure she learned how to be independent and responsible. My daughter has made life long friends at Blaine & I too have become friends with many of these parents. If your child clashes with a teacher, it's provides your child with a valuable life experience. Let's look at the positive. We have a safe, high level school a few blocks from our homes.
Is this truly the best non-selective enrollment grade school in Chicago? If so, guess I see a house in the suburbs in our near future. Although the instruction in lower grades was fine, middle school is truly awful. I've seen othera talk about the quality of math education (and rightfully so). But what about science: my daughter pointed out that her 5th grade science teacher hasn't taught a lesson in over a month. On a typical day, the students independently read their text books in class, do worksheets in small groups, then review and grade their own papers. Not exactly a quality, vital learning environment.
In response to the January 27th post, it should be noted that of the 6 parent reps on the LSC, 4 live within the Blaine attendance area. The LSC works hard with no compensation. To suggest that they are not acting in the best interest of the school is irresponsible.
Best choice I made was not sending my child to Blaine, but taking him out. When problems arise, do not bother the network chief. That office will not mediate any problems and I don't know why we pay our tax dollars for all these echelons of administrators that don't have a function because as long as the test scores are high, they could care less about anything else. Thank you for letting me pull my child out in the middle of the year! My kid not only knows what a semi colon is, but he understands gerunds, infinitives, appositive phrases, and even participial phrases!!!
Why so much negativity written in these reviews? Parents should focus on the good things. Yes, the principal holds a book club once a month, it is a way to find out the way Blaine works, teaching methods and discussion on education in general. It is a good thing that the school has these social meetings, you get to know the school better. Parents criticize having a second assistant principal...again, I think it is a good thing..more involvement in the classrooms. I had my kids in this school for the past 10 years, the changes in good are tremendous, parents should appreciate an active principal, who speaks up for all children, who makes an effort to bring better ideas to the table. Teachers are helpful, I respect and I am proud of this school.
I think the principal should send out an email telling the parents he can't run the school because he needs to advance his political career. He was complaining there is no money and now he has 2 vice principals. How does the school board allow this? CPS should look at all the children leaving this school for other local CPS schools.
This school has been a struggle from the start. I am wanting to switch my child out so bad. Any child with an IEP is not supported at all. This school, specifically the principle, is very focused on status and political agenda vs growing strong successful children that are set up for success. They may talk that their focus is the children, I wish it really was.
As a parent with children attending middle school at Blaine, I find the quality of education to be fantastic for a Chicago public school. There are definately areas that need to be improved, such as the large class sizes, and lack of communication skills of some of the teaching staff. The parental support, committment, and volunteer service at this school is outstanding! Not elitist. I admire these parent volunteers very much, as I work full time and can not commit as much time as they do. Bravo to the Blaine parent volunteers! I must admit, I am a bit perplexed by the two March 19 reviews (who are obviously by the same person, using the strange phrase "raving reviews" multiple times).Sentences such as "having a seventh grader is bad enough," should raise a red flag. Is it possible that it was not the school that failed this parent's seventh grader, but the parent? I strongly agree with this March 19th reviewer on finding actual Blaine parents to speak too. You would get a much better idea of the quality of the school.