When the new Local School Council at Burley Elementary, 1630 W. Barry Ave., convenes following next month’s election, its first order of business will be to hire a new principal.
During Tuesday’s LSC meeting at the school, Principal Barbara Kent announced her plans to retire at the end of the school year. Kent has spent 16 years at Burley, 10 of them as principal. Friends of Burley president Darcy DeWolfe was at the meeting and said attendees were shocked. ”She didn’t give any specific reasons,” said DeWolfe. “She just said she’s been in education for 40 years and it’s time. We’re quite disappointed she’s leaving.”
This is the latest in what’s expected to be a wave of CPS principals leaving the district. Kent’s departure also comes just as the school is preparing for a CPS-mandated longer school day, something DeWolfe said parents in the Burley community are apprehensive about. She pointed to a recent survey of parents that suggested most were opposed to the CPS plan for a seven-and-a-half hour instruction day, favoring instead a school day of between six and seven hours.