Comings and goings

MOVING IN/ON Richard Laine, formerly executive director of the Chicago-based Coalition of Educational Rights and finance analyst for the Chicago Panel on School Policy, has been named director of education policy and initiatives by the Illinois Business Roundtable. For the past four years, Laine was associate state superintendent of education. … Laurel Spitzbarth, coordinator in the Department of Information and Technological Services, retired after 38 years with the Chicago Public Schools. … Patricia Harvey, former chief accountability officer for CPS, is a finalist for superintendent of St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools, which enrolls some 50,000 students. Harvey currently is director of urban education and a senior fellow at the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, D.C.

PRINCIPALS The following interim principals received four-year contracts: Victoria Ford, Calhoun North, and Lester Gaines, Curtis. … The following assistant principals have been appointed interim principal: Annie M. Camacho of Avondale to Logandale, Yvette Curington of Marconi to Goldblatt and James Felton of Randolph Magnet to Randolph Magnet.

NEW NAME The new Tonti/Peck Elementary School, 5534 S. St. Louis, has been named Socorro Lorena Sandoval Elementary School, after a Nightingale Elementary School teacher who was killed in a car accident in February 1998.

IN WASHINGTON D.C. In January, Lisette Martinez, the mother of two children enrolled in Chicago public high schools, testified in Washington D.C. in support of President Clinton’s proposal to triple federal funding for after-school and summer school programs. Joining Reform Board President Gery Chico, she explained to U.S. education officials and advocates meeting at the White House how such programs benefited her teenage daughter.

JANUARY BOARD ACTION The Reform Board voted to grant high school credit for 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled in high school level courses at regional gifted centers, which include Bell, Beasley, Beaubien, Edison, Greeley, Keller, Lenart, Orozco, Pritzker and Pulaski.

The board also amended the Uniform Discipline Code to extend the use of the SMART Program (Saturday Morning Alternative Reachout and Teach) as an alternative to expulsion. Students who commit non-violent, non-threatening offenses that don’t involve guns are now eligible upon principal referral. The SMART Program provides drug rehabilitation and counseling; students must attend for at least seven weeks to avoid expulsion. The board also amended the code to require schools to notify police of a variety of offenses, including gambling, forgery, drug use and possession of a weapon; it also prohibited possession of laser pointers in school.

OPERATIONS MANAGERS Beginning in July, the board no longer will pick up the tab for operations and business managers at schools on academic probation. The board created the positions two years ago to give principals at probation schools more time to work on instructional programs. Schools that choose to keep the positions will have to fund them with their own discretionary money.