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26 04, 2017

Mexico Trip 2017

By | April 26th, 2017|Parent News|0 Comments

Reflections from Oaxaca

Every Spring our 8th Grade students travel to Oaxaca, Mexico. At the end of their trip students reflect on their experience abroad. Here are some of their stories:

“This was my first time out of the country and I definitely think it has greatly changed my world view. I will never think of language the same way, people the same way, Chicago the same way and even the world in the same way…I am going to take my new world view to Chicago with me and hopefully use it to do good in my community. Even if it is something as seemingly small as clarifying a stereotype or telling stories of the things I saw and did in Mexico. ” –Valerie

“The first part [of the trip] was tiring but after I got into the swing of things I really had a feel for what was around me. I have never felt so comfortable speaking Spanish in my life.” – Malcolm

“[From the trip, I got] a new understanding of Mexico and Latin-American culture. You are only used to how things work in the U.S. but the history, the people, the culture is so different it really makes you think about what “normal” is. I will also be bringing back one of the greatest experiences of my life…and a sun burn.” –Loren

“My [home stay] family was by far the best part. They treated me as if I was one of their own. They also tailored meals just for me, which I really appreciated.” –Breanna

“This trip showed me how much I take for granted and it showed me how I should take every opportunity I get to improve myself.” –Ethan

“In Oaxaca I was able to see so many different lives and atmospheres. I was able to appreciate life even more. I saw Oaxaca as expressing yourself through color, music and hobbies.” – Ruby

23 03, 2017

Curriculum Connection: Legos, Water Conservation and STEAM

By | March 23rd, 2017|Parent News|0 Comments

Third and fourth-graders marked World Water Day with a STEAM session in which students paired up to create water-moving machines. This activity connected a unit on simple machines with the current social studies unit, Africa. Students remembered their enjoyment of the pulleys and levers used in the well and shaduf at the Field Museum. After a discussion of the water cycle, students learned that 1.8 billion people today are drinking water contaminated with human waste. Two students wrote about the experience and collected quotes from their classmates about their contraptions.

-Janet Gray-McKennis

Working with Legos

By Ella and Delphine, 3rd Grade

Hello, here at Ancona the 3rd graders are working with Legos. Yesterday, March the 22nd  was world Water Day! Our teachers decided that we should look through all the things we can make with Legos that can move water in different  directions. Last Week, we went to the Field Museum and saw a water pulley in the Africa section. In the Ancient Egypt section we saw a shaduf, they use it to move water in a similar way that the pulley does.

These are quotes from us and our classmates about the creations that we have made:

“Our machine paddles the water. It also lifts up a bucket that lifts up water.”  – Jonah

“A bucket brings water up to a paddle machine and dumps the water into a water truck.”

– Delphine

“The water spinner will take the water and pour it into lakes so it can have new water.” – Ella

“When we press down water comes up. -Kinzie

“Turn it to make it move”- Xavy

“The thing we made is a water pump and it was a good pump” – Byrionna 

“It brings water to and from the plant part. When I bring it there, the transporter then puts into the the well bucket which stores it. We used gears, wheels, and string. The gears turn pushing the water into the bow which carries it off”.- Alice

“The water invention is a cool contraption when you turn the axle on the wheel it spins the wheel up or down. I like how the gears turn it looks cool . The hard thing is to make the wheel, so yeah”.- Evangeline

“What I was trying to do is put both axles together with a pulley”.- Gabrielle

“The name of the thing is called “the picker upper” and it picks up water from the well, but more than one person can pick something up from the well. It picks up water from the well by have a person pull on the end”.-Cosima

“The machine moves the water in a direction and then picks up the water”.- Laurens

“It turns water”-Kanayo

“I made the well bucket that would pull up the water”.- Dante

“It gets water from the bucket the water turns”-Aaron

So now you’ve got some of the quotes about how we work our machines, you should probably try it out, to

2 03, 2017

5th Annual Diversity Symposium

By | March 2nd, 2017|Parent News|0 Comments

Ancona’s 5th annual Diversity Symposium explores empathy. We welcome you to a variety of workshops activating you on this crucial ingredient to strengthen and change society.

After a welcome coffee reception, the day will begin with a keynote presentation by Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director, Southern Poverty Law Center. Following her talk, attendees are invited to breakout sessions and a lunch followed,  by a roundtable reflection on the day’s topics and actions we can take in the future.

Ancona welcomes educators, parents, school leadership and community members interested in multicultural education.

Featuring Breakout Sessions on…

Presidential Anxiety, American Civil Liberties Union

Student-Led Presentation of Climate Change Data, Facilitated by Sylvia Glassco

And more!

Click here for the full list of sessions and to buy your ticket >> 

30 01, 2017

Town Meeting

By | January 30th, 2017|Parent News|0 Comments

Dear Ancona Community,

Peace and justice are the cornerstones of our mission and we are its defenders and promoters. Ancona is a wonderfully diverse community with a history of families, staff, and students who are immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ, span the full political and religious spectrum, as well as represent various economic realities.  We are a community by choice, which means we choose each other.  We, this whole community, are guardians of this mission. But we are challenged to teach about diversity, inclusion, care, and respect when the opposite is being trumpeted by our government, and division is replacing bonds.

The joy of community is that we can lean on each other in times of trouble. We share in a thirst for empathy and a desire to absorb different perspectives in order to understand our fellow citizens. In an effort to support our community, I would like to invite everyone to attend a Town Meeting this Thursday, February 2 at 5:30pm to discuss what we, as a community devoted to social justice, can and should do in our current environment. The Diversity Symposium on April 29 will further this discussion.

Ancona parents, teachers, staff, and Middle School students are invited to the discussion. Childcare will be provided for our younger students.

Ari Frede

Head of School

When: Thursday, February 2, 5:30-7:30 pm

Where: Ancona Gym


15 12, 2016

2017-2018 Preprimary Program Changes

By | December 15th, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

Dear Ancona Community,

Expect to see some changes to the Preprimary program in the 2017-2018 school year. These changes were made to offer more options to more families. We know that the wide variety of family needs means that Ancona must create programming that is both flexible and abundant throughout the school year.

The major change is that all Preprimary classrooms will only offer Half Day and School Day and parents will have the option to select before or after school care a-la-carte. The All Year and Full Day programs will no longer be offered.

2017-2018 Preprimary Program Schedule

Before School7:15 a.m. - 8:05 a.m
Half Day Ends12:00 p.m.
School Day Ends3:00 p.m.
After School Ends5:45 p.m.
Ancona ExtraConference days, some holidays and breaks (TBD)
  • We’re expanding our Preprimary offerings for Before Care, After Care, and Ancona Extra! All three Preprimary classrooms will follow the regular school calendar.
  • We will continue offering the Half Day Montessori option for P3s and P4s.  Half Day Montessori will run 8:05 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Before School will continue to run 7:15 a.m. – 8:05 a.m. Parents who register can drop off their children any time until 7:45 a.m.
  • A Preprimary After School program will run from 3:00 – 5:45 p.m. Snack will be provided by Ancona. Pick-up can occur any time between 3:00 and 5:45 p.m. Parents can sign-up for five days a week or just the days they need!
  • Our faculty and staff will work hard to create smooth transitions between the regular school day and the Before/After School programs.
  • On some of the days when school is not in session, we will offer AnconaExtra for preprimary students. These days are flexibly programmed with a variety of fun activities, but are separate from our Montessori program. You can register for as few or as many as fits your schedule.
    • Although we haven’t finalized the dates for next school year, we hope to offer AnconaExtra for part of winter break and spring break, parent-teacher conference days, Indigenous People’s Day, and President’s Day.
  • In addition, we will continue to offer a Preprimary summer program. More details to come soon!
  • For families with children in Grades 1-8 the existing auxiliary options will remain the same, with the addition of more AnconaExtra days.

If you have any questions, please contact Head of School Ari Frede gro.l1493276527oohcs1493276527anocn1493276527a@ede1493276527rfa1493276527 or Assistant Head of School Nancy Nassr gro.l1493276527oohcs1493276527anocn1493276527a@rss1493276527ann1493276527

8 12, 2016

Curriculum Connection: Activism and Project Based Learning

By | December 8th, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

PSAs, Ofrendas, and Editorials

Written by Ryann and Thomas, Ancona Students

This year in 7th and 8th grade, we have been working on activism within editorials, PSAs (public service announcements) projects using Imovie , and ofrendas. Some of the projects for the ofrendas (offerings or alters), PSAs, and editorials covered animal cruelty, the environment, war, refugees, racism, sexism, and rights.

With the PSAs, we all took on environmental problems, and researched how to fix them. Some of us got inspiration from the trips that we have taken. We went to Wolf Lake, a forest preserve near Indiana. Then the weekend after that we left for Camp Chingachgook, a camp in the middle of a forest and on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains. We saw a lot of clean water, healthy trees, and beautiful nature. We don’t see that much in Chicago.

And with the editorials, we all chose subjects that mattered to us, and wrote about them, after we spent a month studying them. We discussed a lot of controversial issues, and after making a long list of them we choose our topics. So the two project were very similar. Editorials are basically when you have a two-sided problem and you write about what side you’re on. It’s your opinion backed up with facts.

We also made ofrendas, and some were about pressing issues in our society. Ofrendas come from Mexican history, for Day of the Dead, where people give offerings on a 3 leveled structure, each standing for heaven, earth, and the underworld. The four elements are represented on it. (Earth, air, fire, water). Usually, the offerings have something to do with a loved one that you have lost, or something that has a big meaning to you. Most of the ofrendas we made were about a single subject, or rights. So all of these projects walked hand in hand in our first quarter of school.

In the end we had a lot of fun working on these projects. We all got fired up on topics we grew to care a lot about. We added a lot of information, describing the details, why we chose the topics, and what we could do.

Click below to watch Kelsey and Sophia’s PSA on Littering:

3 11, 2016

The 2015-2016 Annual Report

By | November 3rd, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

We are thrilled to share the 2015-2016 Annual Report with our community. From building the Outdoor Learning Space, to introducing Ari Frede as the new Head of School, 2015-2016 was a big year! Thank you to all the parents, students, faculty, staff and friends that make this school thrive, you make our school shine.

If you have any questions about the Annual Report, please contact Laurie Ortega-Murphy, our Marketing and Communications Manager.

Click here to read the report >>

20 10, 2016

Help Ancona Grow

By | October 20th, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

Dear Friends,

Thank you to those of you who joined us for Ancona Day! We were thrilled to celebrate our wonderful community with over 200 Ancona families and friends.

Today, we ask you to support Ancona’s Annual Fund.

Your contributions make Ancona the remarkable place that it is. Your support allows our students to receive an outstanding progressive education in a school whose commitment to diversity and social justice matches the values you have for your family. Your gifts allow us to hire and retain dedicated, compassionate teachers who nurture and inspire our students in a warm, caring environment.

We are very grateful that our parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty, staff, former families, friends and neighbors support the Annual Fund every year. Over 300 donors make gifts to Ancona every year.

So, what does the Annual Fund do? Annual Fund gifts are directed to wherever the opportunity is greatest, allowing Ancona to pursue exciting options for learning, to provide financial aid for families who need it, and to give the school the ability to respond to unanticipated needs and challenges. The Annual Fund keeps class sizes low, allows our music, art, library and Spanish programs to thrive, preserves awesome traditions like camps, and protects our commitment to economic diversity.

Last year we broke a record for parent participation with 66% of parents supporting the Annual Fund. And for the first time, we beat the national average for schools our size.

Already this year, 75 of our 194 families have given to the Annual Fund. If 53 more families give, we will match last year’s strong performance. If 80 more families give, we would be able to boast 80% parent participation in the Annual Fund.  When we do that, you’ll hear shouts of joy from me and our teachers from blocks away (not to mention that would put us in the upper echelon of all independent schools and would be an extremely powerful recruitment tool)!

If you are able, we respectfully ask that you consider making a tax-deductible gift of $500 or more to the Annual Fund. If that is not possible for your family, please consider making a gift to the Annual Fund at a level that is comfortable to you. As you can see, participation is key! Click here to give now.

Thank you sincerely,

Ari Frede

Head of School

13 10, 2016

Ancona Launches New Curriculum Guide!

By | October 13th, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

Our new curriculum guide gives current and prospective community members an opportunity to look at what we teach, and how we teach, at each of our different grade levels. The curriculum guide provides an aerial view of learning at Ancona in all of our disciplines—providing a clear picture of how teaching and learning is constructed at our school. This guide is intended to be a living document that will evolve with the ever-changing needs of our students. Our commitment to responsive education rooted in the whole child is one of our greatest strengths as a school. Our guide provides an elucidated view of how content and pedagogy intersect to ensure Ancona students are equipped to transform the world around them.

At Ancona, we believe children are innately curious and creative learners, and that the teacher’s role is to help transform the energy they bring to school into a force that can move the world. Because our goal is to empower children to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable world, we keep these values at the heart of everything we do while assuring that children develop the understandings, competencies, and strategies they need to thrive as life-long learners and agents of change.

We maintain that all disciplines of study contribute significantly to the intellectual, emotional and physical well-being of children: engaging in scientific inquiry, developing an aesthetic sensibility, mathematizing the world, being literate in every sense of the word, and leading a healthy lifestyle are all equally important. We also hold that these disciplines are best developed through integrated, contextualized and experiential learning experiences. Through these approaches to learning students become aware of the big ideas that run through the various subject areas and become able to approach real-world problems both critically and collaboratively.

Click here to explore our online Curriculum Guide >>

4 10, 2016

Ancona Day 2016

By | October 4th, 2016|Parent News|0 Comments

October 16,  2016 12 – 3 pm

Come one, come all to our third annual Ancona Day celebration. Students, faculty, administrators, supporters and friends of Ancona are invited to an afternoon of food and fellowship! Barbecue will be provided by Chucks Southern Comfort Cafe, with fun fall activities for all ages. The OLS, including the Farm, will be open.

Ancona Day is free of charge but to help us plan for food, please register for the event.

To volunteer for the event click here. 

Register for Ancona Day 2016

We will do our best, but we cannot guarantee accommodations for all dietary needs and restrictions.