Welcome to February

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

We hope everyone stayed warm through our historic low temperatures this past week. While it hasn't been made official yet, the district will likely make up the lost two days at the end of the school year. 

Party like it’s 19(99): We are less than a month out from our Spring Benefit! Get your tickets here so you don't miss the party of the year. This year we are celebrating 125 years of Ravenswood: our Past, Present and Future! Tickets are offered at various price points so we can have as many people there as possible. See you March 2nd at the Dank Haus!

Day of Service: Looking for a great family activity February 9th? Join us at the school from 9:00 to noon for our annual day of service. We will have a variety of improvement projects around the school suited for a variety of ages and skill levels. Help make Ravenswood a great place for our students to learn and grow! Did we mention there will be a chili cook off at noon? All veggie? Chicken with white beans? Meat-only-no-beans? All is fair in love and chili. Bring your slow cooker and your secret family recipe (cough, "Siri give me an award winning chili recipe...") and come compete for the golden ladle! Everyone is welcome to stay for lunch whether you brought a chili or not. 

Have a great week, everyone. 

Best,

Mr. Manaen and Ms. Karrel

Nate ManaenPrincipal Letter
Weather Update January 28

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

CPS has announced that due to inclement weather forecast for this week, the district will take the following action:

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019:  After-school activities including sports competitions will be canceled.

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019: Chicago Public Schools will cancel classes and all school buildings will be closed. To ensure students do not miss out on valuable instruction, a student attendance day will be added to the CPS calendar for Wednesday, June 19, 2019 pending approval from the Chicago Board of Education.

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019: The district will provide an update to families by noon Wednesday on the status of school opening.

Regardless of these closings, Ravenswood will not turn away any student who comes in need of warm shelter.

For the latest updates, please visit the CPS website, or follow Chicago Public Schools Facebook,  Twitter, and Instagram.

Thank you for your patience with these updates. We’ll continue to keep you posted.

Mr. Manaen & Ms. Karrel Ravenswood School

Nate ManaenPrincipal Letter
Weather Update January 28th

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

 As you are likely aware, this week’s forecast is calling for severe winter temperatures. It is always the district’s intention to open schools on time in order to minimize disruption to student learning, but for the latest information on potential school cancellations, please follow the district’s social media feeds (Chicago Public Schools FacebookTwitter, and Instagram) and sign up for emails on the CPS website. In the event school is cancelled, Ravenswood social media accounts will also post information as soon as we are able. Either way, our building will be open to any students who show up this week. An update on the district’s plans will be provided by Tuesday at noon when the district has greater certainty about Wednesday’s anticipated temperatures. If classes are cancelled, all after school programs and before care with BASA will also cancelled. Additionally, our Showcase will also be rescheduled. 

If you are concerned for your family's safety in these cold temperatures, please contact the school ASAP so we can assist you and your families with shelter, food, water, clothing etc.

A few notes below:

 Thank You: A huge shout out to our incredible facilities and security team (Ms. Arzuaga, Mr. Ramos, Mr. Hodzic) have been hard at work ensuring safe entry ways, that heating systems are working properly and that snow and ice are being cleared from walkways as fast as possible. If you see them out and working, please thank them for their hard work!

Arrival/Dismissal: We will post orange flags if we are holding indoor arrival (anticipated for most of this week). Students can enter through the main doors as soon as they arrive. If you are running late for pick up, please call the office as soon as possible so we know where you are and can coordinate care for your child in the interim. 

Traffic: We know the road conditions are crazy. Please don't add to it by double parking and leaving your vehicle. If you are asked to move your vehicle by school staff, please do so promptly. Give yourself plenty of time to get to and from school.

Recess: We will hold indoor recess any day the weather is below 15 degrees windchill and/or the playground has unsafe conditions.

Stay warm and safe, Ravenswood.

Best,

 

Mr. Manaen and Ms. Karrel

Nate ManaenPrincipal Letter
Happy New Year!

Dear Ravenswood Families and Friends,

One thing I like about the timing of the school year is that we really get two new starts to the year- the first in September and than again in January when the calendar rolls over. Happy New Year to you and we hope you're feeling refreshed and empowered! We are so excited to welcome back your student to class this Monday! Additionally, we have three very different but really exciting events to share with you happening this January at Ravenswood. We hope you can make it to all three, but either way know that we are incredibly optimistic about what the second half of this year holds for our students, school and community, and invite you to participate as you can! In upcoming order:

47th Ward Aldermanic ForumJoin Friends of Ravenswood Thursday, January 17 (7PM) at Ravenswood as they host an education-focused candidate form for the 47th ward aldermanic candidates.It takes an entire community and city to ensure equitable, ambitious outcomes for all students and families, and Friends of Ravenswood will facilitate a discussion to learn more about the 47th ward candidates' visions for education and equity in the ward and city. All community members welcome and no RSVP needed! 

RamPage Dodgeball TournamentIt's that time of year again. Somebody topple the (other) staff team! Break out your best costume, stretch your throwing arm and fine 9 other buddies to join you in an epic night of fun competition, community building and chucking foam balls as hard as you can at other people. Who dares wins! Tourney will take place on Friday, January 25 in the evening.  

America to Me Screening and DiscussionOn Wednesday, January 30 at 6:30PM, 2 Ravenswood parents will be facilitating a screening and discussion of the first episode of Steve James' "America to Me". Filmed at Oak Park River Forest High School, this docu-series explores race, equity, identity and education from a thoughtful, honest lens. All students, families, staff and community members are invited to join us for this critical experience! As a school working to do better at being an integrated school and community, we believe this is part of a larger, critical and ongoing conversation we need to have as a community and hope you can join! No RSVP needed.

Have a great week, everyone.

Best,

Mr. Manaen and Mrs. Karrel

Nate Manaen
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. 

Best,

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.

Best,
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.

Best,
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:

Parking
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.

Walkathon
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.

Attendance
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.

Best,
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