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Old 12-11-2014, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,520 posts, read 11,970,918 times
Reputation: 3820

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
Chet, you are not being helpful. I understand your concern about our state's finances. But a person came on here asking about specific programs at specific school districts, and it was NOT the time for one of your rants. And calling things like sports and foreign language programs "fantasies" is pretty ridiculous. The amount of recreational offerings for kids in most Chicago suburbs is pretty staggering.

MOST states have sports for elementary-aged kids as part of the Park District. There is nothing unusual about this.

And the truth is that schools in Wilmette and Oak Park have plenty of money for various enrichment programs. A bigger issue is that realignment with Common Core standards is eating up most of the school day, which is too short to begin with (which is an Illinois problem for sure). But this is not a funding issue. If foreign language starts in fifth grade for most elementary districts, it is because this is when it make sense to offer it for that particular district. I personally have my kids taking Spanish in first grade as part of their regular school day. I can't imagine we are the only district that offers this.
The one elementary school in Oak Park that I am familiar with offers Spanish immersion in elementary school also.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:05 AM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,919,335 times
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If you choose to call the factual info a rant that perhaps says more about you than me.

The simple fact is the OP asked about SCHOOLS offering athletics and I stand by me statem nt that this just does not happen in Illinois. The additional cost / time hassles of asscessing Park District or YMCA type offerings is a real concern for two income families.

Further it is extremely rare for public schools in Illinois to offer foreign language in elementary schools. Research shows that the earlier kids start a foreign language they better they do.

Funding and schedule issues work against this in Illinois.

BTW -- if funding is not an issue why was the proposed pool for your town of Glen Ellyn so soundly defeated? Glen Ellyn voters reject tax hike for pool - Chicago Tribune
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:09 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The simple fact is the OP asked about SCHOOLS offering athletics and I stand by me statem nt that this just does not happen in Illinois. The additional cost / time hassles of asscessing Park District or YMCA type offerings is a real concern for two income families.
No, the OP was asking about AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS that offer these things. This is one thing we liked about Glen Ellyn. The after school programs offered by the Y and Park District bus the kids from school for no extra cost. I think this is a bit more rare closer in to the city.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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While I happy to hear that Glen Ellen coordinates transportation between school / park district / YMCA this still ADDS COST and, as the links I shared earlier show, these things are already NOT CHEAP.

Factoring in the considerably higher COL in this region the OP needs to evaluate these costs.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:56 AM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Factoring in the considerably higher COL in this region the OP needs to evaluate these costs.
Of course they do, but that's not what they asked about.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:59 AM
 
7,323 posts, read 8,981,942 times
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This need for "architecture/engineering" offerings for elementary school kids is just a wee-bit pretentious IMO...

Many elementary schools do offer athletics, but usually at grades 7-8, occasionally 5-6. However, this need to have everything "arranged" beforehand is getting out of hand. Whatever happened to going out play baseball at a field with neighborhood kids, without the parents getting involved? Does everything have to be micromanaged?
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:22 AM
 
145 posts, read 150,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
This need for "architecture/engineering" offerings for elementary school kids is just a wee-bit pretentious IMO...

Many elementary schools do offer athletics, but usually at grades 7-8, occasionally 5-6. However, this need to have everything "arranged" beforehand is getting out of hand. Whatever happened to going out play baseball at a field with neighborhood kids, without the parents getting involved? Does everything have to be micromanaged?
If both parents work or if one is a single parent, it's a wee bit difficult to let your kids just run and play with their friends after school. Who is going to watch the eight-year-old? Should one hand them the house key and pat them on the head and tell them to have a good day? Make your own dinner? Don't mind the child endangerment laws regarding leaving kids alone?

If, for whatever reason, a parent needs childcare, then after school programs that have activities that are fun and interesting are one solution. One of the after school programs in Oak Park offers an architecture program where local architects come in and work with kids, so that is why it was brought up in the first place. Many after school programs across the county have an engineering component such as Lego Engineerz.

Thank you to the posters who explained how the after school activities work for your schools and the park and rec systems. Always helpful to know.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:46 PM
 
11,972 posts, read 26,849,693 times
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I think most "After School Programs" are on site or provide transportation. They are specifically designed for working parents.

Here is one in Oak Park:

School's Out Programs - Popular Activities | The Park District of Oak Park

Lincoln and Longfellow Elementaries have this on site, and other students must have their own transportation for this particular program.


Here is a similar option in Wilmette:

http://www.wilmettepark.org/early-ch...d/after-school


They provide transit to/from ALL public and parochial schools in Wilmette.

Also check the YMCA's. And call the schools. They know where most of the kids go since they are helping load them on the buses each day, or perhaps even have something on-site.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:47 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,919,335 times
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Default Here is the deal...

I agree with MassVt that the "engineering/architecture" thing is, if not 'fantasy' than at least "pretentious" AND this is coming from not just some regular-Joe, but somebody that WORKED AS A SCIENCE TEACHER...

Further my own kids, that did need "aftercare" as my wife and I both worked full time when our kids were in elementary school, WALKED across the street from their elementary school to the NAYCE approved childcare facility that was in the basement of a local church. It was not overly burdensome in either cost or time but neither was it something provided by the school, and that means EXTRA EFFORT up front to figure these things out (which is NOT EASY FOR RELOCATION SITUATIONS and of course all the hassles of budgets / taxes / fundraising for a PRIVATE facility). Don't get wrong, it was excellent. The kids were supervised in all kinds of "standard" age appropriate things, like play on swings in good weather / practice bicycle riding and such as they got older, and even had a semi-supervised "homework time" as they got closer to middle school (which generally was when kids "aged out" of the NAYCE programs...). IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICER TO BE SPONSORED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT! Heck for folks looking for "bank for the buck" you kind of need to factor in your total economic outlay, and the reason that folks tend to tolerate higher property taxes and such is that when it comes time to do your federal income tax return it is often advantageous for folks whose "on paper" income makes them ineligible for pretty much any "tax breaks" save for deductiblity of LOCAL TAXES the light bulb sorta goes off and you realize that the "class warfare" is not really being waged against the 1% but by folks that benefits from pitting the urban underclass against everybody else...

Look, I appreciate what the OP is asking and BELIEVE ME ILLINOIS IS WELL BEHIND THE CURVE in such offerings. Back when I was working as full-time classroom teacher I worked with other teachers that TRIED VERY HARD to leverage the resources of places like Argonne National Labs and Fermilab to get higher quality science education for all kids. The roadblocks that exist are not JUST FUNDING but it is a huge part of the issue -- the DOE has a very limited budget to help schools, and of course they are NOT going to direct resources at affluent areas to the exclusion of needier areas. The structure of overlapping layers of potential "funding sources" is bewildering -- HeadStart is another example of "great idea that kinda sorta helps needy kids but excludes not-by-any-stretch "rich" but kids whose parents make way more than the cutoff"...

Smart, thoughtful people that really understand how derelict Illinois is in fulfilling its OBLIGATIONS ought not to sweep these things under the rug:
Quote:
The State shall provide for an efficient system of high
quality public educational institutions and services.
Education in public schools through the secondary level shall
be free. There may be such other free education as the
General Assembly provides by law.
The State has the primary responsibility for financing
the system of public education.
Illinois Constitution - Article X

Last edited by chet everett; 12-11-2014 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:49 PM
 
70 posts, read 65,058 times
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I am the parent of an OP elementary school student. The school offerings are not as deadly dire as Chet makes them out to be (at least in OP) - pension funding and property taxes are a whole other kettle of fish, but OP taxpayers do highly value their schools and the park district, which partially explains our astronomical property taxes.

One elementary school does offer Spanish immersion; the others typically have Spanish instruction around 4 days a week. Your child will not become fluent outside of the immersion program but they'll have a lot of exposure to the language; some schools have additional opportunities for other languages as well. The art / music / PE programs are fairly robust. Most schools offer a selection of after school activities for students that you can register for, ranging from dance to lego robotics to clay to theater to yoga, etc. - there is a fee that varies based on the class offering, but it's usually reasonable (imo). The Oak Park Park District and library programs and facilities are really quite good with the exception of the swimming program. My son's class sizes ranged from 18 - 20 kids (18 in K).
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