Nathanael Greene Elementary School provides instruction for neighborhood children from 3525 S. Honore St., Chicago.

Greene Elementary Lands Top School Rating from CPS

Published November 6, 2018

Nathanael Greene Elementary School, which serves McKinley Park neighborhood students, has achieved a coveted 1+ rating in the latest school data released from Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The rating, which is the highest awarded by CPS, places Greene in the top tiers of high-performing public schools in Chicago.

"I'm very proud of the teachers and the parents and the students," said school Principal Shelley Lugo-Cordova. "It was a team effort. We have very strong community involvement."

Lugo-Cordova, who is currently serving her second year as principal at Greene, transferred from Phillip Armour Elementary School in Bridgeport after serving as its principal for 15 years. She noted the significant academic gains at Nathanael Greene and said that the school's great parent community made teachers' jobs much easier. "We really focused on building morale," she said.

The CPS school ratings are part of the district's annual release of detailed performance information about each school, which breaks down as 1+, 1 and 2+ ratings for schools considered to be in "good standing." Schools rated a 2 are marked for "provisional support," and schools with the lowest ranking of 3 will qualify for "intensive support."

The CPS ratings were released alongside new school data and ratings from the Illinois State Board of Education, the first time the board has provided state-wide school report cards. In this rating, Greene is considered to be a "commendable" school that is operating well. In the state board ratings, the top 10 percent of schools statewide are labeled "exemplary," and schools with identified issues are labeled as "underperforming" and "lowest performing."

Also serving McKinley Park neighborhood students, Edward Everett Elementary School at 3419 S. Bell Ave. received CPS and state board ratings: Everett ranked as a 1 for CPS ratings and as "commendable" by the state.

Namaste Charter School, which serves area Kindergartners through eighth graders from its home at 3737 S. Paulina St., received a 2+ rating from CPS, and was named as "underperforming" by the state board.

Evergreen Academy Middle School, serving grades 6 through 8 from 3537 S. Paulina St., received a level 1 rating from CPS, but was tagged as an "underperforming" school by the state board.

The Horizon Science Academy - McKinley Park charter school is governed by the state charter school board, and as such is not ranked by CPS. It received a "commendable" rating from the state board of education.

Some of the things that helped make the difference for Nathanael Greene were new academic programs, Lugo-Cordova said, including two new music programs, a new art program, a new science program and restructured math instruction. She said teachers have focused on identifying students' target areas and helping them make improvements.

Lugo-Cordova hopes to build on the success at Nathanael Greene by upgrading it to a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) school. She has applied with CPS to get this designation approved for next year, which will bring more resources and more science and engineering classes to the school, she said.

Click to download 2018 report cards for McKinley Park neighborhood schools as issued by the Illinois State Board of Education:

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