November Wrap-Up & December Planning

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's raffle. Hands, our annually-returning Austrian body-builder-turned-emcee facilitated this year's raffle and was incredibly "pomped opp" by the participation of everyone! Ravenswood runs a tight school budget, and fundraisers like these allow us to do what we do for kids each day. Thanks for joining in through your time, effort and generosity financial support! A special thank you all our parent volunteers and to parent Erin Szott for all her work in organizing this year's raffle! 

Two things to put on your radar and one concluding thought below:

International Club Potluck: Join us this Friday with a dish to share for a school-wide potluck! Bring a traditional dish from you culture or upbringing and enjoy a Friday evening dinner celebrating our diverse Ravenswood community! To accommodate our families with food allergies, please bring a list of ingredients from your dish. 

Supporting Our Community During the Holidays: Every year, we collect gift card donations (Target only, please) to give to Ravenswood families in need over the holiday season. If your family is interested in donating gift cards, please bring them to the office over the next two weeks and we will distribute to families in need before the winter break. 

These next few weeks leading up to break will be packed and go quickly. Please send your children to school every day they are healthy as we have a lot planned for them! Thank you for your unbelievable support and commitment to our students, staff and each other. Ravenswood is a school community like no other and we are grateful for the chance to be part of it every day. 

Have a great week, everyone. 


Mr. Manaen and Mrs. Karrel

Nate ManaenPrincipal Letter
October Wrap-Up

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

This year we are trying out monthly principal letters vs. weekly. If you prefer one or the other, please let me know. Either way, we highly recommend you like/follow/subscribe to our Ravenswood FaceBook Page, our Ravenswood Twitter account and our Instagram account for all things Ravenswood!

That's a Lot of Candles
In light of this being our 125th birthday, Ravenswood held its first-ever alumni celebration dinner this past Friday evening. We enjoyed a very special evening with alumni from across the decades including graduates from last year and every decade back to the 1940's (yes, you read that correctly). We also hosted former staff including former Ravenswood principal Mrs. Donovan! We collected memories, video and photos from alumni showing Ravenswood through the decades and we look forward to sharing these with you soon. Many, many thanks to parent Maria Dimond for taking my call for help in planning this event, and to the dozens of parent and staff volunteers who helped pull this off. A special shout out to Mr. Guidry's student lighting team for their incredible work in transforming our gymnasium, and to Mrs. Reed's dance ensemble for their show-stopping performances for our alumni.  #happybirthdaytous #125looksgoodonyoukid #ravenswoodhasalwaysrocked

Conferences and Repot Card Pick Up
Look. We get it. Ravenswood has a ton of special events. It seems like there is something going on every day of the week either before of after school or on the weekends. But if you can make only one thing this year, please make it for Conferences and Report Card Pick Up on Wednesday, November 14th from 11am-6pm (staff lunch from 2:30-3:15). This is a critical opportunity to connect with your child's teacher about their academic and social progress. Admin will be available for anyone who'd like to meet as well!

Dirty Laundry
We've mentioned this now in a few ways and venues....but it's still a problem. We need to model what we expect of our students. Adults- please do not block people in with your vehicles, please do not double park and leave your vehicle, and PLEASE treat others respectfully outside school grounds at pick up and drop off even when parking is tight. We know how crazy it can get out there, and we also know how important it is to conduct ourselves with respect, responsibility and safety. Thank you!

Ice Cold
As temps get colder, we want to remind everyone that our threshold for outdoor recess is a windchill of 15 degrees. Because fall weather can be variable, please make sure your child has appropriate cold weather gear available every day for recess.

Trick or Treat
With Halloween candy incoming, this is a friendly reminder to please keep food with nuts out of school. We have several students with severe nut allergies, and the less nuts in the building, the less likely we are to have to call an ambulance. That said, all of these candies are still a "full go".

Have a great week, everyone.

Mr. Manaen and Mrs. Karrel

Ravenswood School
Ravenswood is a 1+ School

Ravenswood is a 1+ School

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

We are pleased to share that Ravenswood has achieved a "1+" rating by CPS for 2018-2019 school year, the highest rating an elementary school can earn! This rating derives from a variety of factors including our students' attainment and growth on the MAP assessment (grades 2-8), our student attendance rate, and the student and staff results from the 5Essentials survey. We know and believe that Ravenswood is a great place for students to learn and grow because you, our community make it great. We want to say “thank you” to our incredibly skilled and dedicated staff, our supportive families and generous community for making Ravenswood a great place for our students to learn and grow. 

While we believe the school rating is an indicator of the great things happening at Ravenswood every day, we also know that "success" for our students is measured in so many other ways. We know that student success in school and life requires students to think critically, to show and receive empathy, to advocate for themselves, to organize their work and thinking and to persevere in the face of challenges, and so we will continue to reflect as a staff on what is working well for our students and where we can still improve. Thank you always for your ongoing, amazing support of our students and school. 

Finally, any rating is meaningless unless we are also looking at the success and needs of every single child. Ravenswood is a diverse school made up students from around the city and globe. While we are proud of our progress, we have much work yet to do to become a school of equity in which every single child gets what they need from our community to achieve at high levels and to have doors of opportunity opened to them. We invite our entire community into this share work and vision as we continue to purse excellence for every child. We plan to talk more about this and the strengths, challenges and opportunities that this rating presents at our next LSC meeting. 

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Mr. Manaen and Mrs. Karre

September Wrap-Up

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

Fall is in effect! It's hard to believe the first month of school has already passed...mostly because it's been so good! We've loved seeing your students back in the building and in classes. If you have any questions about your child's progress, please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher or either of us! We are happy to connect. Please see below for admin notes:

Please be a good neighbor. Don't double park, don't park in the handicap space if you don't have the sticker, and definitely don't yell/swear at others while navigating parking.

Medical Compliance
If you haven't already, please turn in your medical forms.

Let's move, people! If you haven't been before, this is an awesome event and I strongly encourage you to come out to cheer your student on! Signage and festive cheering wear (think giant foam fingers) encouraged.

State of the School
Please join for the annual State of the School presentation at our next LSC meeting on Monday, October 15th at 6:30pm. We will meet in room 104.

We can't teach students who aren't here. Please make sure your child is here each day they are healthy! If they are sick, of course please keep them home and send a signed attendance note explaining their absence when they return. 

New Volunteer Requirements
CPS has tightened its volunteer policy to foster safer school environments for students. This means all volunteers must now complete an application process to work in the school, attend field trips, be a guest reader, etc.  Please complete your volunteer application by clicking here. 

When you complete the volunteer application, note that there are two types of volunteers: Level I and Level II. Most parents will want to register as Level II volunteers (less than 10 hours a week at school). When you complete your application, please don't forget to bring in your license to the office so we can copy it for our records. 

Have a great week, everyone.

Mr. Manaen and Mrs. Karrel

Ravenswood School
Notes from CPS Administrator's Summit

[Originally published on Twitter by @PrincipalManaen]

[I] Attended @ChiPubSchools Administrator’s Summit this AM. Left challenged by the powerful call to ownership for equitable schools by @janicejackson and @CPSTeachLearn. In the face of exceptional CPS gains, we still have massive, persistent achievement gaps by race and ethnicity.

 We have a moral imperative to cultivate classrooms and schools where we engage race, racism and equity head on. This is something @RavenswoodRam staff and community have been thinking on for the past couple years, but we have more to do. 

As a mixed race & class school, we have an opportunity and obligation to be a school in which every child, grade and subgroup achieve at high levels academically and socially. We aren’t there yet. In the words of our CEO: “I’m tired of seeing the same damn graph year after year.”

 With that in mind, I’d love to hear from @RavenswoodRam about our next level of work. Up front, I’m committing to the following items for this upcoming school year at Ravenswood:

 o   Forming a parent advisory group and student advisory group focused on race and equity at Ravenswood to give feedback and ideas for how we can get better with our curriculum, offerings, supports, communication, discipline and teaching across grades and content areas

o   Supporting staff book study groups using professional texts focused on holding courageous conversations about race and culturally responsive teaching -regularly reviewing student data from a lens of race and equity and partnering with families to ensure student success

o   Better and earlier HS planning and goal setting to ensure all students are goal setting and exploring the best high schools in CPS… and of course getting into said schools

o   Double down on our partnership with @FacingCHI to explore race, equity, history and ourselves

o   Continually pointing back to this race and equity work and our imperative to be an anti-racist institution during staff meetings, grade team meetings, LSC meetings, Friends of Ravenswood meetings, coffee hours, showcases and everything in between.

I’m proud to be a CPS principal and...and we/I still have lots of work to do. This IS the work in front of us- to continually become a world class school system that honors, elevates and inspires the talented students we’ve been called to serve.

Ravenswood School