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Amundsen LSC Appoints Two New Parent Reps

By Meryl Williams | Thursday, October 11, 2012

Amundsen High School. Credit: Mike Fourcher

Two parent rep openings were filled at Tuesday evening’s Amundsen High School Local School Council meeting.

Steven Johnson and Darinka D’Alessio were both elected to the LSC after a closed session discussion by current members.

Johnson, an Evanston native and the father of an Amundsen freshman in the school’s IB program, has a public relations background, which he hopes to use to benefit the LSC wherever possible.

“I want to help take Amundsen from being a great school to being a well-known, great school,” said Johnson.

D’Alessio is the mother of an Amundsen sophomore and senior. She said her goals for her kids are for them to enjoy learning, ideas, and research.

“I want their voices and actions to make a difference and foster dialogue,” said D’Alessio.

An open teacher rep position is slated to be filled at the November meeting.

A community open house for the school, was also announced at the meeting. The open house will start at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17. with an open invitation for anyone in the community to tour the facility, whether they are parents of students or not.

“We want our neighbors across the street to come in,” said Principal Anna Pavichevich. “They should see what we’re all about.”

She added that she hoped this could work toward one of her chief goals, which is improving the public’s perception of Amundsen.

“There is a misconception about [Amundsen] being an unsafe school,” she said.

Pavichevich, appointed by the previous LSC to her new position last June has launched a number of new initiatives including hosting the school’s first homecoming spirit week for homecoming in several years; creating a group of new student activities and organizations to keep students engaged; hosting more professional development opportunities for staff and establishing specific academic and attendance requirements for school athletes.

Athletes will be required to boast attendance records of at least 98%.

“We are bolstering our sports program by having more accountability measures in place to ensure athletes are physically and academically prepared to go out on the field,” said Pavichevich.

Additionally, starting in two weeks, the student body will be given BAG reports, which keep track of their Behavior, Attendance, and Grades. Students will be given feedback in these reports by their teachers and they will be assisted in classes in which they need extra help.

New activities this year at Amundsen include, in addition to student council, a student advisory committee, as well as cheerleaders and pom pom girls, teams for which over 100 girls tried out, said Pavichevich.

Spirit week for homecoming will include awards for those showing leadership in school spirit and student participation as well as academic achievement, rather than just for athletic merit. A parade of athletes will be held as well as a decorating competition.

For teachers and staff, a two-day professional development event is in the works, in partnership with Northeastern Illinois University, said Pavichevich.

In other business, Virginia Reising, adolescent health coordinator for Erie Family Health and staff member in Amundsen’s on-site health clinic, gave a presentation about what the clinic has to offer.

“We are a fully-functioning health center and we can provide school and sports physicals, immunizations, asthma treatment, family planning for students, and health promotion and education,” said Reising.

The clinic assists students with and without insurance in getting health, dental, and vision care. The dental van that services Amundsen will be at the school next week, and a traveling eye doctor visits twice a year to get students fitted with eye glasses and contact lenses. The clinic charges $3 to students without insurance, and Reising said last year the clinic collected $75. It is located in Room 307, and is a classroom that has been retrofitted to look like a clinic.

“This is not something that most other schools do,” said Pavichevich.

The next LSC meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at Amundsen.

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