Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bennett-Shedd LSC: Principal selection and other issues...

Bennett Elementary School

I like to talk about about what goes on at Harlan's LSC, but I rarely talk about Bennett-Shedd's LSC here. It's not like there's much going on to report at Harlan anyway. Although it's great to hear them trumpet some of there accomplishments at Harlan as far as the students go.

Basically the main thing going on at Bennett-Shedd is that they're just now starting their search for a principal. The process might have started at either the April and certainly the May LSC meeting when they wanted to draft a statement to announce their opening at the elementary school.

If you haven't been particularly familiar with Bennett-Shedd, the original principal was Barbara Ellis who passed away in January of this year. In honor of her legacy Bennett School's library was named the Dr. Barbara J. Ellis Media Center. On the next Monday after the May 2011 LSC meeting there were some events scheduled to commemorate the dedication of the library which was under renovation.

In any event, there should be a posting out there for the Principal vacancy for Bennett-Shedd Elementary School. It should be noted that that the assistant principal, Roberta Fields, announced at the May LSC meeting that she planned to apply for that position . She could be an interesting choice and provide a certain amount of continuity.

So, I've been attending these LSC meetings since October 2010 when Mrs. Ellis was still principal. Of course in the wake of her untimely passing it was noted - mainly by the LSC chairman Mr. Cartman - that Mrs. Ellis took care of a lot of things that LSC was supposed to have taken care of. Now that she's gone they have to take care of business now.

Since about February or so, the LSC meetings have been attended by a CPS representative who breaks in to give the council pointers on how to conduct their meetings. It could be on parliamentary procedures, on how the LSC needs to stay focused, taking the roll such as noting who's not physically in the room, in addition to urging LSC members to start their meetings on time. Yesterday's meeting was close to 30 minutes overdue!

It's safe to say that during the months when it was time to start a principal search, there are some things that need to be done differently. At that hopefully the sooner they start searching the sooner that Bennett-Shedd will find and offer a contract to the best candidate for Principal. This would definitely be a case of staying focused.

Another thing noted is that the CPS representative wants the LSC to be sure that they publicize the date of their next meeting on the agenda that's passed out at every meeting. They could also announce that date during the course of the meeting. While I did have a list of dates for LSC meetings during the 2010-2011 year sometimes they would change the scheduled dates. In fact there have been some specially called meetings and I would have little idea until I either see the board at either Shedd or Bennett or notice the agendas of other meetings that were missed.

Well I believe it was noted at this month's regular meeting that there will be a special meeting called and that should take place on Monday @ 4:30 PM. The LSC went into a closed session near the end of the meeting to further discuss the Principal vacancy. The main point of this meeting was to have parents give feedback on the process but only one parent showed up and she was involved with the Parent Advisory Council. In addition they wanted to create surveys for not only teachers but for parents. They also wanted to possibly offer a survey for the surrounding community as well.

There is a question that should be asked by all concerned about the Principal vacancy. What are they looking for in a new Principal? That would be my question, shall report on the answer!

FYI: Bennett School is located at 10115 S. Prairie Ave and its Shedd School branch is located at 200 E. 99th Street.

EDIT: Had to fix the address for Bennett School sorry about that!

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