Kellogg Elementary School

Kellogg Elementary School, in North Beverly, was rated a Level 1+ school in the Chicago Public Schools School Quality Rating Policy, the highest rating possible and a step higher than last year’s Level-1 rating. (Review photos).

Kellogg Elementary School received the highest rating in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) School Quality Rating Policy (SQRP) reports for 2016-17, which were released on Oct. 6.

Kellogg was rated a Level 1+ school, moving up from last year’s Level 1 rating.

The ratings range from Level 3, which puts schools on a warning list, to Level 1+, with Level 1, Level 2+ and Level 2 in between.

According to CPS, the ratings are based on student growth, performance, school culture and climate, graduation rates, and attendance rates, among other criteria.

On Oct. 10, 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea said that he was removing Kellogg, located in Beverly, from a plan that would overhaul several local CPS elementary schools. Under that plan, Kellogg would have merged with Sutherland, which is also in Beverly, and Keller Regional Gifted Center, located in Mt. Greenwood, would have moved into the Kellogg building. Mt. Greenwood Elementary School would have used the Keller building for its students and become a two-campus school. Esmond, in Morgan Park, would also receive a significant amount of $20 million from a CPS capital plan for major structural improvements.

O’Shea cited decreasing enrollment at Kellogg and Sutherland, as well as crowding issues at Keller and Mt. Greenwood Elementary, in announcing the plan in early September. At meetings held since, many residents emotionally voiced their opposition to the plan.

O’Shea’s plan was not formally presented to the Chicago Board of Education.

Among other schools in the proposal, Sutherland moved down to a Level 2+ rating after a Level 1 mark last year; Keller and Mt. Greenwood Elementary maintained their Level 1+ ratings, and Esmond moved up to a Level 2+ mark after a Level 2 rating last year.

Kellogg Interim Principal Cory Overstreet said in celebrating the rating, he emailed parents to congratulate them for the hard work that they put in to help the school.

“It’s not that easy. The bar’s been set high,” Overstreet said. “We need to work together to continue to improve and maintain that rating.”

Overstreet said he remains focused on the current school year and keeping Kellogg at its high level.

Attendance is strong, he said, and he wants to improve student growth in subjects such as reading and math, as well as subjects for diverse learners.

He also said he congratulated students for the rating, visiting classrooms and informing them that they attend one of the best schools in the city.

“It’s really cool,” Overstreet said, “and it’s just exciting to be rewarded for the hard work that they did last year.”

Elsewhere in the ward, Vanderpoel Humanities Academy received a higher rating, moving up to a Level 1 school after a Level 2+ mark last year.

Cassell Elementary School’s rating moved down to Level 2+ from a Level 1 mark.

Four high schools maintained their Level 1+ ratings: the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Whitney Young High School, Lindblom Math and Science Academy and Jones College Prep. Morgan Park High School again received a Level 2+ rating.

Green Elementary and Lenart Gifted Center remained Level 1+ schools.

Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center, a school for students with special needs, does not receive a rating.

According to CPS, school ratings as a whole improved this year. There are 202 Level 1+ schools this year—32 more than last year—to go with nine Level 3 schools—14 fewer than last year.

In a release announcing the ratings, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said recent trends are encouraging.

“Every significant piece of performance data calculated in recent months has shown that our students, teachers and principals are pushing CPS schools to achievement levels never before seen in the district,” Claypool said. “Our SQRP ratings make it clear that the district is moving in the right direction, and we will act on this data to implement necessary supports that further improve the quality of our schools.”