Members of Noble Street's Rowe-Clark Campus rugby team practice inside their gym in March. Noble founder Michael Milkie says students often asked him about playing on sports teams. Now he makes sure each campus has about $65,000 to spend on sports.

Noble takes up rugby

In an odd twist, rugby, the national sport of Ireland, has become one of the most popular sports among Noble Street campuses. All of the 16 campuses have boys’ teams and most have girls’ teams as well.

Coonley Elementary School hosted a fundraiser at the DANK Haus in Lincoln Square  in April. The bidding for auction items started anywhere between $100 and $1,000 for items such as getaways for two in Acapulco Bay or a fitness trainer for a year.

The price of fundraising

For a select but growing group of schools in wealthier communities, parent fundraising has risen to new heights. In just a decade, the number of parent groups that raise more than $50,000 a year doubled to 41; 30 schools brought in more than $100,000 and eight raised more than $200,000. Altogether, these 41 schools raised roughly $7.6 million in one year.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

City Colleges scholarship has benefits, drawbacks

Since City Colleges began taking applications for a plan widely advertised as “free college” by a campaigning Mayor Rahm Emanuel, more than 1,000 students have applied for the offer of waived tuition, books and school fees. But research shows that City Colleges are not the best post-secondary choice for high-achieving students who will benefit from the Star Scholarship.

Urban Prep "college signing day"

Charter schools stress college-going support

College counseling has become more important to high schools since CPS now rates them on the college enrollment and persistence of their graduates. It's an area in which charters sometimes have a distinct advantage.

Black Chicago under Rahm

Black Chicago by the numbers

When Rahm Emanuel ran for mayor four years ago, African-American voters pulled him across the finish line without a run-off. He won about six out of every 10 votes cast in predominantly black wards—largely on the say-so of his former boss, President Barack Obama. But as the February mayoral election nears, Emanuel’s approval ratings among the voters who carried him to City Hall have tumbled, according to aChicago Tribune poll. 

Kelvyn Park High School students have differing opinions on how the school should deal with drug use. One says suspension just gives students more time to get high. But another says the staff should be more strict so students will be deterred from using. [Photo by Bill Healy]

Quick to punish

Students caught with an ounce or less of marijuana are more likely to be arrested in school than a student who starts a fight or steals. Hundreds of teens are arrested each year for drug offenses involving pot—offenses that may warrant only a ticket for adult Chicagoans.

After pleading guilty to a battery charge, Anthony Martinez must report to a juvenile diversion program located in the basement of a church in Little Village. On some afternoons, the teens just play video games and shoot pool. On others, they participate in workshops. [Photo by Bill Healy]

Life after being arrested at school

Anthony Martinez was one of thousands of CPS students led away in handcuffs from school by police. He’s hoping to get a fresh start when he starts high school in the fall.

Jesus Velazquez got involved with a group fighting against suspension and expulsion after he went through an expulsion hearing for having a marijuana pipe. Instead of being expelled, he was sent to an intervention program. [Photo by Michelle Kanaar]

Threatened with expulsion

CPS says it wants to lower expulsions. But a new policy allows schools to send students threatened with expulsion directly to alternative schools, even before a legal hearing.

Field Elementary School Principal Brian Metcalf sits in on Saul Rodriguez’s fifth-grade reading class. Last year, Rodriguez and one of his colleagues suggested they split the students into all-girls and all-boys classes. Metcalf was hesitant, but tries to treat his teachers as professionals, so he let them give it a try. [Photo by Marc Monaghan]

Keeping a faculty whole

Principal Brian Metcalf didn’t try to clear the decks when he took over Field Elementary. Instead, he jumped in the trenches to work with teachers instead of showing them the door.