Author: Kalyn Belsha

Kalyn Belsha is a Chicago-based reporter who specializes in writing about education, youth, race and poverty. Her work has appeared in Catalyst Chicago, The Chicago Reporter and the suburban Chicago Tribune. She was a 2019 Spencer Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism.

Sandoval Elementary Steps Up Bilingualism and Gets Results

When Wilma David became principal of Sandoval Elementary School three years ago, she knew she needed to make some improvements. The neighborhood school in Gage Park had fallen to a Level 2+ — a mid-tier rating in Chicago Public Schools — so David and her staff got to work. Teachers were asked to look more closely at how individual students…

“We Keep Moving:” How Faraday Elementary Went from Probation to Top-Rated

Principal Tawana Williams knows how people in the East Garfield Park community used to perceive Faraday Elementary School.  “They felt that Faraday was the dumping school,” she said. “They thought, for a very long time, that this was a ‘bad’ school.” For many years, Faraday was on academic probation. The school struggled to deal with student fights and gang involvement.…

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