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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Behind the scenes at the Shedd Aquarium

This IL Channel segment was produced almost 4 years ago about the Shedd Aquarium. Other than Shedd School a namesake to John G. Shedd.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Higher education headlines

Tough times drive up community college enrollment - Southtown
Illinois Community College Board spokesman Steve Morse said that trend is in line with what he's been seeing.

"People coming out of high school are choosing community colleges because it's more affordable," he said. "Many will go for a year or two instead of going to college right away."

Final figures aren't available yet for this semester, but a national group representing community colleges says the average increase from spring to spring is dramatic and similar to enrollment bumps Southland schools are experiencing.
Word of advice don't let anyone encourage you from going to a community college, especially if your goal is to go to a four year school and get your bachelor's. There's nothing wrong with going to a community college. NONE!

More students a two-edged sword - Southtown
An influx of students means tighter quarters. Some community colleges around the state are opening up lab sections on weekends, while others have met their quota of students per section and simply don't have enough room or teachers to offer another class, Morse said.

"They have to say, 'You can't take that English class this semester,' " Morse said.

Complicating the issue is a dip in state funding, Morse said. Illinois' system of 39 community colleges has complained that state aid has not kept pace with rising enrollment, and in fact, has been dwindling.
Northwestern approaches $50,000 - Sun-Times
Facing a steep drop in its endowment, Northwestern University says its tuition, room and board will rise 3.6 percent this fall, -- to nearly $50,000.

But a Northwestern spokesman said the school has no plans for salary cuts or major layoffs and described the tuition increase as its smallest in 40 years. Scholarships will increase by 10 percent to $86 million.

Northwestern said its endowment has fallen to $5.6 billion, a 24 percent drop from its high of $7.4 billion last April. The school plans to cut operating expenses 3 percent and put off $90 million in construction projects.
Precisely why students who are looking towards college should never turn down any alternatives such as going to a lower-cost school or a community college. If $50K is considered a modest increase then I'm scared to know what full tuition would otherwise be.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So what's the point of this place

Well for the most part I have fond memories of this place. The recesses and the friends I made and probably the education received.

I saw one day that the school wasn't listed on the CPS site although I checked later and I couldn't find any listings for any schools at all. In any case I wrote a post at the Sixth Ward blog earlier in February to make a mention since the blog is read by those in the know. Perhaps there was an oversight or perhaps there wasn't a need to list this school if it has a connection with a larger school.

Indeed if I went to say the Tribune website to look at schools for a particular neighborhood, I still couldn't find Shedd and I just know that in the past if I was looking in the papers I would see test scores for Shedd and Bennett as well.

Anyway, I can't keep talking about Shedd School for long so what I'd like to be able to do is talk about other educational issues as I come to them. Wouldn't mind talking about funding or at least how best to insure that our children will be educated. Especially if our students don't come from families who could afford to send their children to private school.

Let's see how things go.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What about this Bennett School?

Since Shedd School is a branch of Bennett what about this school?

Here's some info on

To start that school has been around since 1927. See this picture the surrounding neighborhood had yet to be built around this place. So the next question: For whom is this school named?
Frank Ira Bennett was born on October 17, 1858 in Galva, Illinois and educated in the Chicago Public Schools. In 1884 he became a member of Bennett and Higgins, a law firm that specialized in real estate transactions. In 1892, members of the firm brought a case before the United States Supreme Court and Justice William C. Goudy decided in their favor. In addition to practicing law, Frank I. Bennett served as a Chicago Alderman, the Vice-Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission, Assessor of the Town of Hyde Park (1888), director of public works for the State of Illinois, a member of the Chicago City Council (1907-1909) and a member of the Chicago Board of Education (1909-1912)

Mr. Bennett and his wife Anna had two sons, Ira F. Bennett and Lewis C. Bennett. Frank I. Bennett died in his home on Chicago’s South Side on December 20, 1925. He is buried in Oak Woods Cemetery.
There's even a nice campus park that was built at the site of the school. You can check it out over at the Public Building Commission of Chicago.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Who is this John G. Shedd anyway?

John Graves Shedd (July 20, 1850 - October 22, 1926) was the second president and chairman of the board of Marshall Field & Company.

Born on a New Hampshire farm, Shedd arrived in Chicago, Illinois in 1871 and began working as a stock clerk for Marshall Field. By 1901, he had worked his way up to a vice-presidency and took over as president upon Field's death in 1906. Field himself described Shedd as "the greatest merchant in the United States," and, indeed, under Shedd's presidency Marshall Field & Company became the largest store in Chicago and the largest wholesale and dry goods company in the world.

Shedd was a civic leader and founding member of the Commercial Club of Chicago who played an active role in the city's turn-of-the-century efforts to become a world class metropolis. One of Chicago's major philanthropists, he contributed extensively to Chicago charities, universities and museums, and in the early 1920s he provided $3 million to build Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, as a complement to The Field Museum (founded in 1892 as a part of the World's Columbian Exposition and renamed in honor of Marshall Field in 1905) and The Art Institute of Chicago (whose current building was also a product of the 1892 World's Columbian Exposition). Completed in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium remained the world's largest aquarium for most of the century.
He has two namesakes, Shedd Aquarium and John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts.

I vividly remember when students at Shedd School took a field trip the the Aquarium. I believe the whole school went and incidentally one year it was the only field trip my class took that year.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Building a sustainable and enhanced community

Originally posted at The Sixth Ward on May 16, 2008 this is a description of the neighborhood surrounding Shedd Elementary and Harlan High School is only around the corner on Michigan.

From the March 2008 issue of the Roseland Heights Community Association newsletter. I really like how this piece has some history written into it:
For years we were here, growing, taking pride in our neat, safe homes, building a community based on common values, traditions and dreams for our children. We were here before Harlan High or Shedd Elementary schools were built, bot schools of quality and harmony. The Dan Ryan was built: we saw a terminal erected; Chicago State came and took root. We were striving, hopeful, growing, looking forward to, we thought, a stronger more viable community. But circumstances of time and changes in urban living and the state of the economy have brought about some harsh realities.

We face the changes of foreclosures, neglected homes, and a denser population of people has arrived. While passing through some are looking for opportunities to commit crime, litter, peddle, loiter, or exhibit inappropriate and unacceptable behavior-some of these activities are evident within our community as well. We find our community faced with a few families at a loss, lacking in social skills, uninterested and disrespectful to our way of life predicated on a higher standard. Some of our youth are restless, without positive direction, spirit and uninterested in pursuing an education. Our children are in harms way, victims of gang intimidations and violence.

Thought discouraging to acknowlege, what goes on in our community affects everyone, because anywhere and at anytime "we" or a neighbor can become a victim. Yet, all is not lost or hopeless, We need not become another black community lost. We have the opportunity to work for change, to holdfast to the belief that there are some things we can do, beginning with standing up for our community. There is no one else. It is our responsiblity.

As a community we should come together with purpose and spirit, mindful that we have integrity borne of history and tradition. You have made an investment here. Why allow your property value to decline or accept a lesser quality of life? Together we can make this community what it has always been and was meant to be with a legacy we must pass on. Know that where there is will, there is grace. RHCA represents all that the community stands for: community values, concerns, and making things better for all of us since 1957. You can contribute to the effort by attending our next meeting, joining your community association bringing your check or money order payable to RHCA.

Gloria Offord, President
A good call to action don't you think. Apparently she took over for the previous association president who retired apparently during the middle of his term. I suppose this is Ms. Offord's inaugural address of sort. According to the newsletter she was just elected in February.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More pics around Shedd School

Originally posted on May 20, 2008 at The Sixth Ward.

The first two pics you've already see on this blog. The flag pole for the first post on this blog and the front of the school with the name of the school you see as the header image.

A flag pole and a sign out in the front of Shedd School on 99th Street.

I wish the trees weren't in the way here otherwise I would get a nice shot of the signage on the school. This should be the auditorium/gym.

Apparently this should correspond to a room number at the school. Shedd is a very small school housing students only from Kindergarent to 6th grade. This might be where students will line up before they go to classes for the day.
The backdoors of the school.
Once upon a time the Shedd lot was home to basketball hoops but obviously they're long gone now!Looking towards Prairie Avenue. Shedd takes up most of a city block and is largely surrounded by single family homes on all sides.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In the backlot at Shedd Elementary School

Originally posted on May 16, 2008 at The Sixth Ward.

I was at John G. Shedd Elementary on Tuesday to check out this school. It only houses or at least in the past it did Kindergarten thru 6th grade. It is considered a branch of Frank I. Bennett Elementary where Shedd students go for 7th and 8th grade is located across the Calumet Expressway on 101st and Prairie. Needless to say it's a very small school with a large lot.

You know the lot at Shedd has a baseball cage. You would only see this in most Chicago parks and there would be a circle of dirt. If it's used at all the students would play kickball during gym class.

Now these pictures of bottles were found in the grassy part of the lot closer to the school itself or at least the backdoor of the school. I almost consider this desecration of sacred ground. Isn't there somewhere else a person could either have a drink or dispose of this bottle? I could just act like some young child could hurt himself playing with this bottle treating it as a toy. Very sad!

BTW, I will provide more pictures of Shedd as I either take them or as I might find in my own personal collection.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shedd School omitted from official school listings

Originally posted at The Sixth Ward.

I've been perusing both the CPS website and the CPS alumni websites and I discover that John G. Shedd Elementary doesn't have a listing. I understand that Shedd, located at 200 E. 99th St, is only a branch of Bennet Elementary located 10115 South Prairie Avenue. Does that school not have a distinct history or identity different from it's much larger counterpart just down the street.

If anyone from CPS is reading this, I think to leave off Shedd only because it is a branch of much larger school is a huge oversight that should be corrected.