Urban Initiatives aims to motivate Chicago’s children to improve their academic performance, physical fitness, health and character through our sports-based youth development programs. Through the Work to Play Program, Urban Initiatives collaborates with teachers, school staff, parents and principals to make sure the youth we serve take ownership and pride of their commitment to being student athletes. Our program and organization would not be successful if we did not have such an amazing support system at each of our school sites.
Given the commitment we make to our partner schools, nothing is better than hearing about their successes. Recently, Krish Mohip, Principal at Walsh Elementary, sent us amazing news about the progress students have made at Walsh. Here is what he had to say:
Friends of Walsh,
You have been a good friend to Walsh Elementary School, and your contributions have helped make us the school we are today. 5 ½ years ago when I took over as the Principal of Walsh, I looked to you and great people like you to help support me as I set out to improve the education being offered to the students.
In my time there thus far, we have revolutionized the after school programming, keeping 65% of the kids after school for 2 hours per day. We restructured our ELL programs and SPED programs, and drastically changed the way our teachers taught their students on a regular basis. We grew our list of partners from 2 to over 50, and the lead partners like Chicago Run, Urban initiatives, WITS, the YMCA continue to evolve with Walsh and help to an even greater extent each year.
As the ISAT’s scores came out today I am thrilled to tell you that we have made some great gains. We did so well in fact, that we find ourselves outperforming the district by 11 times the average gain. We are one of the top schools in the city in regards to the amount of gains made (10 full percentage points). We also broke into the 80’s for our over all composite score (Reading, Math, and Science combined). Our Reading Scores soared to 82.2%, Math rose to 84.6%, and science increased 28% to 85.9%. We are now the highest performing school in Pilsen, surpassing a school with a Magnet program. 5 ½ years ago Walsh was ranked 354 out of all the Elementary Schools. Today we are ranked 140.
While I am so excited to share this news with you, I still know that we have a long way to go. I could not fully enjoy this moment without reaching out to you and thanking you for all you do for Walsh School, as well as for all the children in the City that you serve in your own unique way. Your contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of children and families at Walsh.
We thank Krish for sharing this incredible news of progress and thank the teachers, school staff and parents of the Walsh community for committing to the advancement of our youth. We are lucky to have Walsh amongst the incredible schools on the Urban Initiatives team.