Wolcott School

                                    Spring 2015 

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A great opportunity for you to make a difference!

Learning, In and Out of the Classroom
Wolcott's Spanish Class and Vocal Ensemble attend 'Tales of Spain' at Northeastern Illinois University

Wolcott's Biology Class at The Field Museum

Wolcott's FCCLA Club visits the Lincoln Home National Historic Site while taking a break from the 2015 State Conference/Competition

Biology teacher, Ms. Elliott, introduces students to shark dissection

Wolcott Welcomes
Chad Solomon
Assistant Head of School

Chad Solomon is a National Board Certified Master Teacher and is in the final stages of earning a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science from Northeastern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Education from National-Louis University. Prior to joining Wolcott, Mr. Solomon was a teacher leader at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. Most recently, he has been the Academic Principal of a north suburban middle school. Outside of school, Chad teaches motorcycle safety, loves to read, roots for the Cubs, and spends as much time as possible with his family.

Tony Stec
Director of Finance and Operations

Tony Stec grew up on the northwest side of Chicago in Jefferson Park. He received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Dayton and his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Tony spent the last 8 years running the Financial Planning and Analysis Department at the Jewish Community Center of Chicago. Tony enjoys swimming, playing water polo and guitar, and spending time with his wife and two-year old daughter. 
Faculty Summer Spotlight
Congratulations to one of our talented faculty, English Teacher Claire 
Walter, who is a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  As part of the grant, Ms. Walter will spend the summer in Rome developing ways to use art as a primary source when teaching students rigorous and challenging texts. She will also be presenting at the 2015 National Council of Teachers of English about using works of American art as a vehicle for argumentative writing. 
 Head of School Happenings

It is amazing to think that Wolcott is nearing the end of its second academic year. As we transition to summer and look forward to family-time, relaxation and the pursuit of non-academic interests, I cannot help but reflect on one of Wolcott's great successes - helping our students find a healthy school-life balance during the academic year. Through years of experience, I have seen how the limits of time can so often be a challenge for students with learning differences. Whether it be the extraordinary amount of time spent on accessing extra help, toiling away at homework, or just lost in frustration, the end result is often to rob students of both the opportunity to feel successful in school and to meaningfully pursue outside activities. In preparing our students for success in college and beyond, Wolcott has changed that paradigm so that time is on our students' side and a healthy balance is achieved in their lives.


We know our system is working not only because of the academic growth that we see, but also because of our community's tremendous achievements in activities inside and outside of school. Some of our students' recent achievements are:

*   Two students competed in Chicago's 'Louder Than A Bomb' Youth Poetry Festival

*   Two students are traveling to Washington, D.C. this summer to present their entrepreneurial ideas at the FCCLA national competition after winning at the Illinois state level

*   One student finished 5th in his division at the 2015 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships

*   Two students participated as panelists at the Everyone Reading Illinois April Conference.

*   Other students have been able to showcase their talents by performing with the Chicago Children's choir, landing a lead role in a community theater performance, writing a grant to help build the computer science lab of their dreams, and receiving honors for community service and academic achievement from the Future Educators Association


I am so proud of the achievements of our students and faculty this year. I look forward to next year and many more Wolcott milestones, including celebrating with our first graduating class. At Wolcott, we will be here all summer and encourage you to stay connected.


Wishing you a great summer, 


Dr. Miriam Pike
Head of School
From the Admissions Office

June is the perfect time to take stock of the past academic year. While the experiences of the school year are fresh in mind, what better time to evaluate your student's growth in and out of school, academically, socially and extra-curricularly? As the head of admissions, I watch our students closely as the year comes to a close and note how they have become more confident as learners, more engaged as friends, and more immersed in the Wolcott community.


One key to Wolcott's success is our dedication to helping students learn how they learn best. Are they auditory learners? Visual learners? Kinesthetic learners? Teaching to each student's strength is not just an end to itself, it is a stepping stone to creating a community of engaged and active learners with genuine interests and balanced lives. We know firsthand that when learning is productive, so much else falls into place. Homework becomes manageable. Home life becomes pleasant. Students have time to pursue non-academic interests. At Wolcott, we value the big picture. It is an integral part of our mission.


Applications are still being accepted for the 2015-16 academic year in grades 9, 10 and 11. Contact Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions, for more information or to schedule a tour at rspiro@wolcottschool.org or 312-610-4925

Student Spotlight
FCCLA Springfield, IL
Students compete in Springfield at the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Competition
Students from Wolcott's Business and Entrepreneurship Class compete in the Magnetar Academy Team Challenge
Music club opens the 2015 Spring Showcase 

Wolcott students accepted into the 2014-2015 Future Educators of America (FEA) Honors Society

Tyree Center Summer Events:
June 23rd - Chicago Grand Neighborhood Association (CGNA) presents the 2015 Community Leaders Summit at Wolcott School
July 20th through July 23rd - 2015 ISACS New Teachers Workshop at Wolcott School
August 22nd - Wolcott hosts the 2015 Chicagoland Conference Teaching With Comprehensible Input (TCI)

The James Tyree Center develops outreach programming and leading research on adolescent educational development and learning differences.

College Corner

Marybeth Kravets' Tips for Parents:

How to Help Students Stay Balanced During the College Application Process 
  1. Be supportive and a good listener. Recommend that your student use the support networks available to them, whether it be a college counselor or someone familiar with the process. Rely on your experts.
  2. Encourage your student to get enough sleep, eat well, stay connected to family and friends, and de-stress through exercise and physical activity. 
  3. Remind your student to use the tools in place to help them manage the process. For instance, Wolcott students should refer frequently to the application checklist and tracking plan which breaks down the process into manageable pieces.
  4. Let your student take ownership of the admissions process by guiding without steering. You can help by reviewing the application and essays, but not doing the work. Remember, you are not applying. 
  5. Don't talk about college applications at the dinner table or let your student designate another family time or place as a 'college free zone'.

One Book, One School 


This year, Wolcott will launch a 'One Book, One School' program. Over the summer, all students and staff will read Blake Mycoskie's, Start Something That Matters, a book about the power of service, generosity, and passion, authored by the founder of TOMS shoes. Beginning this fall, Wolcott will come together to discuss the book and develop programs in service learning and entrepreneurship, consistent with the themes of this book. 


  Wolcott School524 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622  WOLCOTTSCHOOL.ORG