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Alexander Graham Bell School

School News

expand After School Mandarin Classes Beginning in November Published: 11/7/2017

Mandarin classes for students in grades 5-8 will begin after school on Thursday, November 30th. Classes will be hosted from 3:30-4:30 p.m.  Anyone interested in participating should contact OST coordinator, Mr. McCabe. Mr. McCabe can be contacted via phone (773 534 5159) or email  ejmccabe@cps.edu. Classes will run though May.​

expand The State of The School Video Published: 10/13/2017

​The State of the School presentation by Bell Principal, Katie Miller, from the October 12, 2017 Local School Council meeting.


View the video here.

expand Bell School Blink 10/16/17 Published: 9/20/2017

The Bell Blink is our electronic newsletter that is typically distributed once/week throughout the school year and periodically during the summer months. The Blink is intended to provide current school wide news and free community offerings. See the most current Blink here.


October 9, 2017 Blink


October 2, 2017 Blink


September 25, 2017 Blink


September 18, 2017 Blink


September 11, 2017 Blink


September 1, 2017 Blink


Back To School Reminders Blink





expand Bell's Strategic Planning Committee Published: 9/12/2017

​Do you want a role in shaping and influencing Bell's future? Do you like collaborating with others to address important issues? If so, we have a great opportunity for you to apply those interests to benefit Bell School.


The Bell Local School Council has formed a Strategic Planning Committee to help the LSC and Principal Miller address some bigger picture issues such as enrollment, the parent survey, and the "three programs-one school" model that has made Bell so unique.


The first meeting of the SPC is this Thursday, September 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Bell School. Please join us either to learn more about the SPC or to volunteer to be part of the SPC. For more information, please click here.

expand Kiss & Go Reminders Published: 4/2/2015

​Each morning we need to get over 1000 students safely into Bell. Many students walk, some ride the bus and others are driven to school. The recent construction on Western Avenue has increased the challenge of this morning ritual. If you are driving and use the Kiss 'N Go lane on Grace Street, please keep in mind the following:

Kiss N' Go Reminders:

  • Please pull your vehicle all the way forward
  • NO double parking at any time
  • Do not block any crosswalks
  • Do not turn off your engine in the Kiss N' Go lane. This slows down traffic flow.
  • Do not talk on your cell phone in the Kiss N' Go lane. We need your full attention while dropping off and exiting the lane.
  • Please have you children exit the car on the sidewalk side. Do not let them exit onto the street.
  • Have backpacks ready to exit the vehicle versus storing it in your trunk. Do not exit your vehicle to unload backpacks.

    Thank you for your help!!


expand Helpful Information for Head Lice Published: 3/27/2015

​Head lice is a periodic issue at all schools. Please click here​ for some helpful hints for dealing with this should it become a problem in your household.

expand New CPS Physical Education Policy Published: 1/23/2014

The new Chicago Public Schools (CPS) five year strategic plan, entitled The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children, recognizes the need to prioritize physical education as a core subject. Recent studies illustrate that high-quality physical education can have a profound impact on both student health and academic achievement. Benefits include:  

  • Improved Brain Function: Physically active students score higher in reading comprehension with just 20 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • Improved Test Scores: Active students score higher on standardized tests.
  • Improved Behavior: Suspensions and disciplinary action decrease by 50-60% when PE is offered five days a week.
  • Improved Health: Regular physical activity leads to lower incidence of disease and improved mental health.

In addition to these benefits, the Illinois School Code requires that students receive daily physical education in both elementary and high school. At the high school level, CPS has maintained a state waiver for 11th and 12th grade students since 1997. As a result, the majority of our high school students only receive physical education in grades 9 and 10. This waiver will expire in June 2014 and will not be renewed.


Specifically, the policy requires that elementary and middle schools provide students in grades K-8 with 30 minutes of daily physical education or the equivalent of 150 minutes per week. Additionally, high schools must schedule all students in grades 9-12 in a daily physical education or health course in the same time increments as other core courses. Health education can satisfy the physical education requirement in grades 11-12. Health education can be counted for up to 60 minutes of the weekly requirement in grades 5-8. 

Physical_Education_Policy_Overview[1].pdfPhysical_Education_Policy_Overview[1].pdf

expand Promotion Policy Assessment Changes Published: 12/20/2013

​Please see the attached letter from Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett with changes to the CPS promotion policy as it pertains to the use of standardized assessments.

NWEA and Performance Policy - Parent Letter.pdfNWEA and Performance Policy - Parent Letter.pdf

Spanish NWEA and Performance Policy Parent Letter.pdfSpanish NWEA and Performance Policy Parent Letter.pdf


expand Absence Note Procedures Published: 8/25/2013
​Please call the attendance office (773-534-5157) each day that your student is absent. The first day an absent student returns to school, the parent/guardian must provide a signed “Reason for Absence Note” that identifies the reason and date for each student absence. E-mails cannot be accepted as a signature is required. CPS attendance policies have been revised since our Bell School Parent Handbook was printed.
 
There are only 6 valid reasons for excused absences:
  • Student’s illness
  • Observance of a religious holiday
  • Death in the immediate family
  • Family emergency with explanation
  • Circumstances which cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for child’s safety with explanation
  • Other situations beyond the control of the student with explanation

Download the CPS Reason for Absence Note or Nota de Razón de Ausencia.

expand Benefits of Graduating From Bell Published: 8/25/2013

The Many Benefits of Bell School’s Junior High

 

For those parents considering transferring their students to an academic center for junior high, the decision involves a delicate weighing of pros and cons in the context of the individual student and family. It’s not an easy process and sometimes the choice feels like it’s too close to call. If you would like to speak with Ms. Caudill about your particular situation, please feel free to contact her. Otherwise, here are a few of the many reasons you might choose to keep your student at Bell.


Bell School’s 7th and 8th grade program, led by experienced teachers, aims to provide students with a challenging and rich curriculum that enhances students’ prospects for admission to the city’s selective enrollment high schools and prepares them for the rigors of high school. Many of our graduates attend the city’s most selective high schools and succeed--in good part because Bell offers students in the upper grades a program that addresses the social, emotional, and educational needs of junior high students. The more intimate and nurturing setting of the grammar school compared to the high school provides benefits:
    • Students have close relationships with teachers, staff, and classmates, developed over years in the building.
    • Upper-grade students have the opportunity to serve as leaders in the school--directing fine arts productions, running the student council, exploring themselves and the world through the 8th grade Legacy Project, serving as buddies to lower-grade students, participating in special classes such as before-school art history, and competing as senior members of the school’s sports teams, academic teams, and clubs.
    • Overnight field trips, an emphasis on inclusion, and the preparations for graduation bind the members of each class to one another.
    • There’s recess everyday and the chance to play with friends.
    • Bell’s counselor helps families manage the high-school admissions process and provides individual attention and guidance for those families who seek it. Bell’s veteran parents are a valuable resource for families as they navigate the high-school decision-making process; they have connections to and insights about the region’s high school options.

    Bell School has a long tradition of preparing students for life beyond elementary school. Consider having your student remain at Bell through 8th grade and enjoy the benefits of staying part of this caring community.

     

    expand Common Core Standards Published: 8/25/2013

    ​In June, 2010, the Illinois State Board of Education adopted new learning standards known at the Common Core for students in grades K-12.  Development of the Common Core standards is a national effort developed to better prepare our students for college and career readiness.  Currently, 45 states have adopted the Common Core standards and are transitioning now.  As a result of the new standards, there will also be a new standardized assessment.  PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers) is the new assessment that is being developed now and will officially replace the ISAT in the 2014-2015 school year.  For more information about the Common Core Standards and the PARCC assessment, please visit the following websites:

    PARCC
    Achieve the Core
    Council of Great City Schools
    Inside Mathematics - MARS Tasks, Problems of the Month, Math Talks, Videos, etc
    Common Core Illinois - Provides parent-friendly information and videos about the move to the CCSS

    expand Parent Portal Guidelines Published: 8/25/2013

    ​The administration and staff at Bell School work very hard to develop open lines of communication with parents, particularly regarding student progress. The Parent Portal can be a helpful tool for monitoring student grades. It does not replace direct parent and student communication with classroom teachers or a student’s responsibility to accurately fill out the assignment notebook. The first and most important method for monitoring student progress is to speak directly to the classroom teacher when concerns or questions arise. Bell School utilizes the portal as an online viewable grade book, not a real-time representation of a student’s current academic status, as assignments are entered at the same time as grades. Teachers work very hard to enter information in a timely manner, and parents are always encouraged to contact teachers if they have questions about the Parent Portal.  Additional information about the technical capabilities of Parent Portal is available in the main office. Please contact the main office if you have any further questions.

     
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