Academics

Our School Environment

Be prepared… As you step inside the hallways of Blaine, and take a look around the classrooms, art room, music room, gymnasium, and offices, you’ll begin to notice a common pattern: Hard-working students, and a dedicated community of faculty, staff, administration, and parent volunteers, all striving for excellence. At Blaine, we share your commitment to providing a top-notch education that will help prepare your children for success in high school and beyond.

 

Fine Arts

The fine arts—dance, drama, music, and visual arts—are fundamental ways of learning and thinking. In addition to their intrinsic value, the arts contribute to children’s development.

Our Art Department has developed a newsletter which provides information about the connection between art and the Illinois State Goals. Our yearly Fine Arts Fair, assemblies for families and community, and culminating dramatic production make our school unique.

Recognizing the bond between music and academic achievement, Blaine continues its commitment to musical instruction at all grade levels.

The Suzuki-Orff School for Young Musicians provides exceptional arts education programs that reach nearly 4,000 Chicago-area young people and their families each year.  Students in pre-kindergarten through  first grade build vocabulary and learn the rhythm of words through music by participating in Sing, Clap, and Read.   Children from first through eighth grades may be instructed in violin, percussion, piano or guitar.

The Illinois Learning Standards are followed by all teachers to ensure appropriate concepts are taught throughout each grade level.

Visit the Fine Arts Programs page for more details.

Language Arts

Daily language arts instruction at Blaine School takes place through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The goal of our language arts program is to develop literate students who can communicate on a high level in both verbal and written form.  With the help of programs such as Links to Literacy, and the Accelerated Reading program in the Blaine School Library Media Center, students are reading and enjoying more books than ever before. We also participate in the Young Authors and Junior Great Books programs. Our entire staff and many of our parents have received comprehensive training with the Great Books Foundation. We are the Chicago demonstration and showcase school for this technique.

The “Battle of the Books” program has also promoted reading among our students. This program assembles a team of 4th – 8th grade students who discuss books, and prepare for CPS’ annual Battle of the Books competition in the spring. Click here for more info on the CPS Elementary Battle of the Books Program.

The Illinois Learning Standards are followed by all teachers to ensure appropriate concepts are taught throughout each grade level.

Math

Everyday Mathematics, developed at the University of Chicago, is used to teach students in kindergarten through 5th grade real world mathematics concepts. Highlights of the program include problem-solving for everyday situations, basic number facts, reinforcing arithmetic skills, and underpinning basic algebra concepts. Communication skills are essential components of the program and are developed through class discussion and written exercises. Everyday Mathematics is rich in mathematical language, and filled with thought-provoking challenges.

Students in 6th – 8th grades use Connected Math.  This program is divided into 24 units containing four to seven investigations for students to explore in class.   Connected Math emphasizes significant connections among mathematical ideas and between mathematics and other content areas.

The Illinois Learning Standards are followed by all teachers to ensure appropriate concepts are taught throughout each grade level.

Science

The aim of science education is to develop a rich and full understanding of the inquiry process; the key concepts and principles of life sciences, physical science, and earth and space sciences; and issues of science, technology, and society in historical and contemporary contexts. Science classes emphasize hands-on learning through experiments and projects in the classroom and the science lab.  Students are given the opportunity to further develop their independent scientific inquiry skills through participation in the annual Chicago Student Science Fair.

The Illinois Learning Standards are followed by all teachers to ensure appropriate concepts are taught throughout each grade level.

Technology

Blaine School features Internet access throughout the school, and a computer-cart lab that rotates throughout the school on a regular basis.

Plus, nearly every room is equipped with a state-of-the-art Promethean Board — an interactive whiteboard that incorporates the benefits of an overhead projector and an audio/visual system with the technologies of a computer.

Social Sciences

The Blaine School Social Sciences Program seeks to broaden each student’s awareness and knowledge of the world in which he or she lives. Starting locally and expanding to include our global neighbors, students learn valuable skills such as identifying and examining problems, formulating opinions, and making decisions. Blaine students participate in an annual Social Studies Fair that allows students to explore and learn about the various cultures of our world. Teachers and students present an assembly with songs, dances, and information about a country.

The Illinois Learning Standards are followed by all teachers to ensure appropriate concepts are taught throughout each grade level.

Library Media Center

Curl up with over 1,200 square feet of books! The Library Media Center is host to the Accelerated Reader Program, Links to Literacy, Young Authors, and Junior Great Books.

Plus, there is an entire Primary Room that has big books, a puppet theater, computers, and even a rocking chair for reading many great stories aloud.

Physical Education & Family LIfe

The Physical Education classes emphasize wellness, fitness, and team-building skills.

Children in Pre-K – 3 will learn and continue to refine skills and concepts centered on the following themes:
-Body Awareness (body parts and body shapes)
-Spatial Awareness (moving through space by self and with others; moving in different directions)
-Effort (Moving with variations in force, speed, and smoothness/control)
-Relationships (with self and objects; to partners; to groups)
-Locomotor Movements (walk, run, hop, skip, jump, gallop, slide, leap)
-Jumping and landing (with jump ropes; from different heights, for distances)
-Rolling, Balance, and Weight Transfer
-Chasing, Fleeing, Dodging (skills used in tag and other group games)
-Dribbling with the Hands
-Kicking and Punting
-Throwing and Catching
-Volleying
-Striking with short and long handled implements
-Fitness (Heart Health)

Activities above are put into the contexts of appropriate games; dance and rhythms; and educational gymnastics.

Activities for children in grades 4-8 will focus on having students work on combining the basic skills and concepts on this page together into more advanced and dynamic activities. Once again, these are centered on games, dance and rhythms, and educational gymnastics. Our focus will be on the success and learning for all students, rather than winning and competition, as their focus.

Chicago Public School requires that Family Life is taught in elementary school and in high school.

K-4 Topic Areas:
Anatomy and physiology
Reproduction
Health relationships
Personal safety

5-8 Topic Areas:
Abstinence
Medically recommended contraceptives
Transmission and prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV
Healthy relationships, which includes informed decision making
Sexual orientation
Personal safety

Instructional materials can be made available upon request.   State law allows you to remove your student from comprehensive sexual health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education. If you do not want your student to participate in the comprehensive sexual health or HIV/AIDS prevention instructional program, please give a note to your student’s teacher.

The goal of a comprehensive sexual health education program is to help students learn the facts and to make good decisions now, and later in life.

Team Sports

Blaine School has a variety of sport and intramural teams offered to students in 5th-8th grade.

Early Childhood Programs

Blaine School proudly offers Chicago Ready to Learn Pre-School for three and four year olds.

For more information check out our Preschool page by clicking here.

After School Programs

The tuition-based afterschool program is offered five days a week, from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm on regularly scheduled school days.  The program does not meet during professional development and in-service days. In addition, no after school care will be provided when school is not in session due to a holiday, snow day, emergency dismissal day, or during school vacation.

Separately, students can also sign up for a variety of physical, academic, and creative after school. In recent years, the following classes have been offered:
-Broadway Kids
-Chess with Iron Rooks
-Chess Team
-Chinese (Mandarin)
-CircEsteem
-Dream Big Performing Arts
-Global Explorers Kids
-Go Get Your Smock
-Hip Hop Yoga
-Lego Engineering
-Mad Science (Hands-on science activities)
-Magnificent Mosaics
-Merit School of Music
-Spanish
-We Got Game Basketball
-Young Rembrandts (Visual arts)

Unity through Teamwork – Safety through Respect – Achievement through effort