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Where Excellence Is a Tradition

Vanderpoel students are provided with opportunities to grow and develop both academically and personally. We offer a high quality instructional program through a Common Core State Standards aligned curriculum.

Because we value Fine Arts, as an Arts Magnet school we have partnered with the Beverly Arts program to provide students with many opportunities to participate in Fine and Performing Arts programming. This is in addition to students taking courses in Spanish, Music, Physical Education, AVID, and 21st Century Technologies. We encourage you to find out more about our academic and athletic programs.

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Holiday Break - No Classes
Date: Today
Local School Council Meeting
Date: Dec 8
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Location: John H. Vanderpoel Humanities Academy 9510 S. Prospect Ave Chicago, IL 60643 Media Center
Kids Identification Program
Date: Dec 10
Location: Library
Winter Vacation Begins
Date: Dec 21
School Resumes After Winter Vacation
Date: Jan 4
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Digital Backpack

This digital backpack is a part of our ongoing commitment to reduce the amount of paper we use. Please click on the links below to access the latest information from our school.

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News & Announcements

Quarter One Wrap Up!
Dear VHA Friends and Family,

I would like to express my gratitude for affording me the opportunity to set the foundation for a successful first quarter as Vanderpoel Humanities Academy's interim principal. My leadership team and I have aligned our cursory work to the school's mission, vision, and values. We have all come together to create a culture of achievement and high expectations where all students are valued. Over the past 10 weeks we have:

• Recruited, selected, and placed aligned staff based on strengths, not just tenure;
• Aligned and skilled staff are identified and developed as leaders;
• Meetings are focused on student achievement data and building Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) members to be instructional leaders;
• Protocols are used during leadership team meetings; and,
• School has clear professional learning plan that includes trainings, cycle of lesson observations, and peer coaching.

My team and I have determined the focused priorities for the current school year and the next three years. I present VHA's one-year strategic plan and priorities aligned to the urgent goal of making dramatic student achievement gains. This strategic plan includes milestones and benchmarks for student outcome progress - including specific targets for student priority groups, as well as grade-band cohorts. Our plan is based on:

• Curricula and balanced assessments aligned to the Common Cores State Standards;
• Consistent and quality classroom practices, routines and instructional strategies;
• Utilization of diverse student level data to drive instructional advancement and improvement; and,
• Address early indicators of academic risk and social-emotional learning needs to close the achievement gap.

I have worked with the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) to create a daily/weekly schedule aligned to strategic priorities and focused on student needs. The school calendar and schedule has been adjusted to match learning priorities, meet adult professional learning needs, and address on-going District and Network priorities and initiatives:

• Staff and teachers meet multiple times per week for teachers to plan together
• Developed clear class schedules, literacy blocks, math clocks, push in/pull out schedules
• Maximized instructional time in school day for core subjects

We conducted comprehensive review of all existing resources. This resulted in the strategic reallocation of resource to match priorities, such at the VHA Fine and Performing Arts Academy. A criteria was established to review existing community partnerships and decide to maintain, replace, or eliminate based on initial cost-benefit analysis, focusing on key areas that will have high impact: academic tutoring, after-school co-curricular activities, and students/family interests. All partnerships and programs actively advance the VHA's progress towards achieving key goals.

My team and I have developed a plan to communicate with families and key community members to share school through our school website http://www.vanderpoelelementary.org. Structures are in place to ensure that all stakeholders have multiple opportunities to engage in a dialogue with members of my team/staff or myself. Overall, family and community participation is evident and appreciated in all aspects of the school.

I consider it a privilege to serve the Vanderpoel community and look forward to continuing the “Tradition of Excellence” with you this year.


Kia R. Banks
Selective Enrollment Process
PowerPoint of the Selective Enrollment Process, how to apply and how to configure students' points.
Scholastic Classroom Library Makeovers
Vanderpoel Students will be thrilled with the 'Big Reveal'. Vanderpoel is the recipient of a Scholastic Classroom Library Grant. Our classroom libraries will be made over with hundreds of books! Each classroom has adopted a book character theme and our Art Club Students have created pumpkin masterpieces to polish off the look. Please volunteer to assist with the setup, Tuesday, October 20th, 3PM-6PM and return Wednesday, October 21st, 7:30AM for the 'Big Reveal'. We will begin with a Read-Aloud from Principal Banks and follow up with NBA Referees and Scholastic Representatives reading to our students. Each student will receive two new books for their home libraries.
Parent Portal, Why Sign Up?
Information on the benefits of utilizing CPS' Parent Portal.
Greetings, Friends and Families of the Vanderpoel Humanities Academy,
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! We hope that you enjoyed your summer and are rested and rejuvenated. As a school community, we are committed to providing EVERY student an Excellent and Equitable education. Our mission is provide a nurturing and supportive culture that integrates Fine and Performing Arts throughout the curriculum. Most importantly, prepare students be globally competitive and resilient. Our students will engage in enriched, rigorous instruction, leadership opportunities and will graduate prepared for College and Career success.
Please join me as we endeavor to continue Vanderpoel’s “Tradition of Excellence”!
CPS Volunteer Form
Volunteers enhance the effectiveness of our students' learning paths, in addition to sharing their knowledge or expertise with young bright minds. Perhaps you'd like to dedicate mornings, afternoons, a few days a month or an hour a day. Any time you donate is appreciated. Parents please use the link to complete CPS' Volunteer Form.
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Photo Albums

  • Scholastic Classroom Library Event 10/21/2015

  • Science Projects