On May 16 of this year, eight folks sat around a long conference table in a windowless room – except for the windows to the hallway – of a high school in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. The sky was clear and, if you squinted hard enough down East 35th Street, you could catch the glint of Lake Michigan lapping against the south shore of the city. Bringing their focus to students, affiliate center directors from the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), flying in from both coasts and cities in between, convened at Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), college-preparatory and training program for dance, music, theater, and the visual arts started in 2009. ChiArts is also a CES affiliate school.
CES affiliate centers provide technical assistance to schools that have embraced the Common Principles. Each CES center is an independent organization with the autonomy to create services appropriate for the schools it serves. Directors and staff from CES centers meet regularly to exchange ideas and share resources. CES centers intentionally describe themselves as affiliate centers rather than regional centers, reflecting the capacities that they have not only to focus within a region but also to provide technical support to schools and school systems elsewhere.
“I’m so glad to be rooted in a school this time. It’s such a good way to stay grounded in our practice,” said Mary Hastings at the start of the day. Coming from Maine, Mary is a Senior Associate with the Great Schools Partnership in New England and has done extensive coaching with schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Timothy Sermak, part of the academic faculty team teaching social studies at ChiArts, sought out Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, to discuss his interest in Continue reading…