Skip to content

These CPS principals are speaking up

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


In the wake of reopening negotiations between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union, we heard a lot from teachers, parents, and students. 

Now principals are speaking up.

Schools are not OK, Seth Lavin, the principal at Brentano Elementary Math & Science Academy, wrote in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed

The Logan Square school doesn’t have enough teachers in classrooms or enough food in the cafeteria, he said. The district still faces an ongoing bus driver shortage. 

Food insecurity was one of the greatest challenges John M. Palmer Elementary School in Albany Park faced early in the pandemic, principal Jennifer Dixon told Chalkbeat Chicago

From reallocating funds to searching for resources, both administrators have taken steps to address the pandemic’s mental toll on staff and students

Lavin re-budgeted mid-year for a conflict resolution specialist and brought parent mentors into classrooms. Dixon added a kindness curriculum to their social-emotional learning and brought in a chicken coop to incentivize kids to come to school.

And it’s not enough, Lavin wrote, because the crisis will persist after this latest surge fades

👉 Check out mental health resources for students and staff. Sign up for the Stigma app.


Cabrini-Green has an infamous reputation as violent, run-down, and overcrowded. But the public housing development on the Near North Side was also on some of the most lucrative land in Chicago — and politicians and developers knew it. 

Beginning in the early 1990s, city leaders announced plans to tear down the high-rises and row houses for new mixed-income housing, promising thousands of residents new homes. That didn’t happen.

WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore and former Cabrini resident and housing activist Willie “J.R.” Fleming lay down the history of the community.

City Cast Chicago is partnering with the Better Government Association for their investigation “A History of Broken Promises.”

Learn about Cabrini’s history virtually Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Register now.


▪️ A 27-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy have been charged with fatally shooting Melissa Ortega, 8, in Little Village Saturday. [WTTW]

▪️ Another local testing chain is under investigation for failing to produce COVID-19 test results to customers in a timely manner — if at all. O’Hare Clinical Lab got $186 million from the feds. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ City Council approved two of Chicago’s biggest police misconduct settlements, both connected to disgraced Cmdr. Jon Burge [WBEZ]

▪️ With Ryan Poles officially the new Bears general manager, the search for a head coach is heating up 👀 [Bears Wire]

▪️ Want a taste of the country? Go to Hegewisch. [Chicago Magazine]


City Cast is a growing network of nationwide newsletters and podcasts. We’ll soon be in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Columbus, Philly, Portland (Oregon), and the Research Triangle (North Carolina). 

Sound cool? Work with us! And tell friends and fam we’re coming to their city. 

P.S. Wondering what other existing cities talk about? Here’s a taste. 

⛰️ City Cast Denver: The Marshall Fire was undoubtedly a climate fire.
🚀 City Cast Houston: Black Towns Matter started in H-Town.
🥤 City Cast Salt Lake: Dirty sodas are a delicacy of the Utah capital. 
⚙️ City Cast Pittsburgh: Being Black and sober in the Steel City is lonely.

City Cast Chicago is up for the Chicago Reader’s best newsletter and podcast in the city. If you like what we do around here, please give us a vote! 

Update: This page has been updated to include teacher-specific mental health resources.

Not subscribed yet? Fix that 👇

Group 12 Copy 2