Wolcott School

                                    Fall 2015 

Open House 
For Prospective Families
Sunday, November 1 at 2pm 
RSVP to rspiro@wolcottschool.org or 312.610.4900
Quick Links
In and Around Wolcott
Wolcott's Girls Volleyball Team

Studying energy flow in a system in Physics I 

Recruiting for the Robotics Club at Wolcott's Activities Fair

Student Ambassadors representing Wolcott at a local high school fair
College Corner

Parents frequently ask me for specific advice as to where their child should attend college or, in some cases, high school. My answer is always the same: Where would your child be the most successful? Or, as I prefer to say, What is the best match, fit, and choice for your child?

At Wolcott, I am delighted to be working with our first graduating class of seniors. They are busily preparing their applications, having had a chance over the past years to meet with representatives from a variety of colleges, identify their personal best 'match' and 'fit', and familiarize themselves with the college application process. Productivity was high for our many seniors who attended our College Essay Writing Boot Camp this summer. That energy continues as our seniors work towards completing our College Guidance Curriculum and our freshmen begin the journey.
Wolcott junior along with Wolcott's Director of College Counseling, Marybeth Kravets (left) and University of Michigan Representative, Shantelle Cavin (right)

Some of the colleges visiting this quarter:
Lynn University (Boca Raton, FL)
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
University of Denver (Denver, CO)
Muskingum University (New Concord, OH)
Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)


Rickey Harris

Three cheers for our new Director of Student Life and Dean of Students, Rickey Harris. Rickey holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and M.S in Educational Administration. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from DePaul University. Rickey has spent the past 20 years in parochial and public, elementary and secondary schools, including St. Sabina Academy and Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. He has served as teacher, dean, assistant principal, and principal. As he continues his journey as a lifelong learner, Rickey's main objective is "to make an impact in this world one child at a time". When Ricky is not focusing on enriching student life and school spirit at Wolcott, he spends his free time cheering on the Chicago Bulls, teaching master dance classes around the world, and exploring new restaurants around Chicago.
Wolcott Faculty Abroad 
What do Augustus, Vitruvius, Cicero, and Verdi all have in common? A warm welcome into the Wolcott English IV Honors and Vocal Ensemble curriculums!  

Through the generosity of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Claire Walter conducted educational research this summer in Rome, Italy, to develop an approach for analyzing rhetoric through the visual rhetorical strategies employed in ancient architectural forms.  

Kirsten Leslie, Wolcott's Vocal Ensemble instructor, lived in Florence and Vicenza, Italy, this summer while studying with a world-renowned maestro, perfecting her Italian language skills, and performing private concerts throughout Italy.
Theater and Instrumental Music students attend Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Wolcott's Amazing Raffle
Winner Update
 Bryan Segal won the chance to caddy for PGA Professional Ryan Palmer at the BMW Championship held on September 16th at Conway Farms Golf Club. Bryan represented Wolcott School wearing his Wolcott polo. 



I am thrilled to announce that Wolcott, in partnership with the University of Chicago Outlier Research & Evaluation team, has been awarded a significant grant from the National Science Foundation. Our winning proposal is entitled, EBP: Bringing AP Computer Science Principles to Students with Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD: The Hidden Underrepresented Group. This is a two-year study that aims to expand participation in computer science by ensuring that students with 'learning differences' (students with learning disabilities and/or an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)) can successfully participate in computer science courses in general, and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) courses in particular. The total grant award, to be shared with the University of Chicago, is nearly $600,000. 
We are confident that our findings will not only broaden the participation of students with learning differences in computer science, but will also increase the accessibility of course material to all students, regardless of their learning style. This grant is once again evidence that the work we do at Wolcott impacts well beyond our student population. 
In other news, Wolcott's third academic year is in full-swing, and it promises to be a fabulous year of firsts. 
For the first time:
We have all four grades in the school.
We have our first class of graduating seniors.
We have Illinois High School Association (ISHA) recognized sports teams. Our girls volleyball team has 20 players on its roster!
We launched our first One Book-One Wolcott initiative, reading Blake Mycoskie's, Start Something That Matters, and started our year-long exploration of social entrepreneurship and service learning.
We celebrated Wolcott family night on a Wrigley rooftop with 250 students, families, and faculty members. 

Wolcott is alive with activity as we celebrate so many firsts as well as establish new traditions. As always, feel free to reach out to me to learn more about Wolcott, our exciting new grant, or any other area of interest.

Dr. Miriam Pike
Head of School
From the Admissions Office
Autumn - - What a lively time of year! The buzz of students meeting each other, meeting their teachers, familiarizing themselves with their new routines. I always enjoy transitioning into the new school year and watching our community grow. 
And grown, it has!
We have 60% more students this year than last. Our freshman class joins us from 15 different neighborhoods and 23 schools, including one family that moved from Colorado. We also welcomed a number of upperclassmen transfer students from around Chicago-land, including Francis Parker, De LaSalle, Mt. Carmel, Chicagoland Jewish, Oak Park River Forest, and Lincoln Park high schools.
As our numbers grow, so do opportunities at school. Whether it be the girls volleyball team, morning media club, or senior internships, Wolcott is dynamically evolving to match the interests of our students.

Incoming freshman class of 2016-17, with limited spaces in grades 10 and 11
Priority Application Deadline: December 18th
Save the Dates

Sunday, November 1
Open House for Prospective Families

Tuesday, November 10
Informational Breakfast for Prospective Parents

For either event, please RSVP to rspiro@wolcottschool.org or 312.610.4925
The best way to know Wolcott is to visit us. Feel free to contact me for more information or to schedule a tour.

Rachel Spiro, Director of Admissions, 
Wolcott Celebrates the Freedom to Read

In celebration of National Banned Book Week, Wolcott faculty and staff's most beloved banned books will be available in the Claire Walter/Ben Franklin Lending Library at Wolcott School. 
One Book-One School 
 Social Entrepreneurship Curriculum:
School-Wide Shark Tank and Bicycle Building Event

This past summer, the Wolcott community read 
Start Something that Matters, by Blake Mycoskie, founder and CEO of TOMS Shoes. The book serves as a springboard into our year-long exploration of social entrepreneurship, one component of our service learning curriculum. 

Our First Shark Tank
For our first initiative, we hosted our own Shark Tank. Led by a panel of Chicago's leading social entrepreneurs, students developed and pitched business solutions designed to alleviate Chicago's most prevalent social issues. Thanks to Krista Andraska, Store Manager, and Adriane Battilana, Assistant Store Manager of TOMS Shoes, Matt Hepfinger, Production Services Director of Method, Steven Dymne, Co-Founder and CEO of Flowers for Dreams, and Ann-Louise Haak, Executive Director of First Slice, for serving as panelists, instructors, and role models to our students.

The winning Shark Tank ideas: From the freshman and sophomore classes, a business plan for 'Mr. Green's Compost', a composting company that donates part of its product to nourish rich, sustainable gardens in food deserts. From the junior and senior classes, a self-sustaining coffee shop/art center with after-school and evening programming to reduce gun violence.

Wolcott student introduces Shark Tank panelist

Team Building-Bike Building 
Our next initiative was a school-wide team building event led by Rob Jackson, President, Magnovo Training Group. Upon successfully completing specific team-building challenges, students were given the parts needed to assemble bicycles. The fleet of assembled Huffy mountain bikes was donated to kindergarteners at nearby Talcott Elementary School. 

Stay tuned for more exciting service learning projects throughout the year.

Students work as a team to build bicycles for students at Talcott Elementary

Tyree Center Upcoming Events:

Friday, October 2nd, 8:30-9:30am
Alyse R. Siegel, MEd., Timely Advice
An informal, informational presentation and discussion for parents. For more information or to RSVP, click here

Friday, November 20th, 9:00am-3:30pm
Dr. Nancy Mather, Understanding Dyslexia: Assessment and Intervention
For more information and to register, click here.

Friday, November 6th, 8:30-9:30am
Jane Herron, MEd., Student Advocacy 
More information to follow. 

The James Tyree Center develops outreach programming and leading research on adolescent educational development and learning differences.
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  Wolcott School524 N Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622  WOLCOTTSCHOOL.ORG