Chicago Vocational High School

Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) is located on the far southeast side of Chicago in a middle-class residential neighborhood. The 99.9 percent African-American population of 2,384 come from all areas of the city. We offer the kind of personalized education the "one size fits all" approach of many American high schools cannot accommodate. We have redesigned our school into eight "mini-schools" to continually address the educational needs of our student populace. We are committed to creating a school culture which fosters intellectual inquiry, academic/vocational/technical excellence, as well as the spirit, will and preparation for continued learning.

The MacArthur Foundation has taken a keen interest in the extensive restructuring that Chicago Vocational has conducted over the past seven years. The foundation has been very supportive as Chicago Vocational High School stakeholders collaborated to implement a variety of reforms to improve teaching and learning. Through a MacArthur Challenge Grant, Chicago Vocational High School has been able to offer an on-going staff development program designed to improve the pedagogical skills of teachers so that the curriculum can be delivered in new and innovative ways. With the MacArthur funds, teachers have received monthly training in authentic instruction and assessment. As a result, students are presently enjoying a variety of inquiry-based projects that extend learning beyond the classroom.

The School Change and Inquiry Program is assisting Chicago Vocational High School in Tell Its Own Story via a digital portfolio. Chicago Vocational High School is conducting a self-analysis in the areas of teaching and learning practices at the school, student learning, progress and achievement, and Chicago Vocational High School as a learning community. Some specific topics our digital portfolio will include: Student Work...Student as a Worker...Peer Coaching...Interdisciplinary Units...Vocational Majors...Senior Final Exhibitions...Utilization of the Nine Common Principles of the Coalition of Essential Schools...Local School Council...Mini-Schools...Freshman Academies...Block Scheduling...Special Education Programs...Teacher as Coach...Awards & Accolades...Sports Programs and Community & Business Partnerships.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Betty Despenza-Green, Principal
Chicago Vocational High School
2100 E. 87th St.
Chicago, IL 60617
773-535-6099 (Tel)
773-535-6633 (Fax)

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