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.
September 11, 2017 Blink
September 1, 2017 Blink
Back To School Reminders Blink
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.
Volleyball tryouts for girls in grades 5 and 6 will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) at 3:30 p.m. Tryouts for girls in grades 7 and 8 will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4:30 p.m. Please see Ms. Manuel if you have questions.
Sign up for the 6th-8th grade debate team is outside of Room 304. Please make sure to sign up by Friday.
Cross country sign ups are outside of Room 308 this week for grades 5-8. Please sign up by Friday.
There will be an informational meeting for all boys in grades 5-8 who are interested in soccer tomorrow (Wednesday) after school in the gym.
Girl Scouts will be starting soon. More information will be forthcoming to all grade levels.
If you have any questions about these activities, please contact the main office.
Bell School Spirit Wear is now available for purchase online:
Activate Your GoCPS Account
Before School Starts Next Week
It’s almost time for the first week of school, and for our 8th grade
families, this also means that high school application season is right around
the corner. There is so much to do before then, including reviewing the
programs to which you are eligible to apply. You can access this program
eligibility information now by Activating your GoCPS account.
Don’t miss out on valuable research time. Activate your account now!
To begin the account activation process, visit this page: http://go.cps.edu/activate
Activating vs. Applying
Keep in mind that “Activating” is not “Applying.” Applications will not be available until
October 2, 2017, but by activating now you can complete important application
preparation steps like viewing your student’s program eligibility, requesting
edits and updates to missing or inaccurate student records, and saving your top
programs as favorites.
If you have misplaced or did not receive your Activation Code, please
contact the Office of Access and Enrollment’s call center from a telephone number on your child’s CPS student information
file to have it reissued. The call center can be reached at 773-553-2060 from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Adding Students to Your
Whether you are applying for a current CPS student or a new one, make
sure to follow the correct path when adding students to your account. When you
are on the screen that asks “Is your child new to the Chicago Public Schools
If you are applying for a student who was enrolled in CPS in the
2016-2017 school year, click “no.”
If you are applying for a student who was not enrolled in CPS in the
2016-2017 school year, click “yes.”
If you have any questions about the activation process, contact the
Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday
Over the years, we’ve heard from
families about the importance of having a choice in selecting which high school
provides the best match for their child’s needs. We’ve also heard that applying
to high school can be frustrating and confusing. So this year, Chicago Public Schools has
completely revamped its high school application process for students that will
be freshman in the 2018-19 school year with the launch of GoCPS, a new website where students and
families will be able to:
Review school and program options in one
Rank these school and program choices based
on their preferences
Be matched with their highest possible choice
for high school
The new application process will feature five
key phases, the first of which, “Subscribe,” launched this week.
Subscribe (May – June 2017): Sign up to receive important
updates and announcements
Research (June – July 2017): Conduct detailed research to find
the best school for your child
Activate (August – September
2017): Create an
account and access your student’s eligibility
Apply (October – December 2017): Complete applications with one
system and one deadline
Match (January – June 2018): Get matched and receive high
Each month, CPS is planning to open access to the
new features listed in the dates above. This will lead up to August 2017, when families
will be able to able to begin using the application functions of the site and
October 2017 when high school applications will become available.
But before then, there’s still a lot to do, so current
seventh grade families are encouraged to visit Go.CPS.edu as soon as possible to start reading about the new application
process and to subscribe to the GoCPS mailing list. This will allow them to receive important
instructions, announcements and advance notifications that are critical to
completing the application process.
Activation Codes will be delivered to
school counselors between June 8 and June 14, and they will be distributed to
students to bring home. Delivery date ranges for Activation Code letters are
estimated based on the schedule of the CPS Warehouse and actual delivery dates
will vary by school. Please save this Activation Code in an easy-to-find
location until August.
With GoCPS, Chicago Public Schools
wants to empower all students to attend the school with the best
environment, programs and activities for them while creating an application
process is that is more equitable, transparent and simple for everyone. Stay
tuned for more updates to come.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.pdf
Spanish NWEA and Performance Policy Parent Letter.pdf
Download the CPS Reason for Absence Note or Nota de Razón de Ausencia.
The Many Benefits of Bell School’s Junior High
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:PARCCAchieve the CoreCouncil of Great City SchoolsInside Mathematics - MARS Tasks, Problems of the Month, Math Talks, Videos, etcCommon Core Illinois - Provides parent-friendly information and videos about the move to the CCSS
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.