Piccolo Elementary — in the news today for the parents who occupied the school overnight.
Since last summer, Chicago Commons has been involved at Piccolo when a good new principal was hired by CPS. We started parent classes and after-school activities at Piccolo this Fall.
In December, CPS announced a proposal for Piccolo to be “turned around”, which means replacing all staff with new staff including the principal. The Board of Education votes on this proposal next week.
Here is our perspective on the protest: Piccolo has been struggling for years, but when CPS fired the previous principal and hired a new principal last summer, they created positive energy among parents. That is why we are even at the school. If it weren’t for CPS hiring the new principal, it is unlikely the parents would have even organized this type of protest. So, in a way, the protest itself is a product of CPS’ own successful effort to improve the school last year.
Chicago Commons supports a community council counter proposal to delay turnaround at Piccolo for one or two years… monitor the outcomes (i.e. test score data) and then do a turnaround (with parent/community support) if no real progress is showing at that point. So far the Mayor and CPS leadership have not responded to this idea. We shall see what happens next week.
Regardless of outcome, Chicago Commons is committed to supporting improvement at Piccolo however we can.