How to Walk to School by Susan Kurland
Blueprint for a Neighborhood School Renaissance

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When two gutsy moms ventured inside Nettelhorst, their neighborhood's underutilized and struggling public elementary school, the new principal asked what it would take for them to enroll their children. Stunned by her candor, they returned the next day armed with an extensive wish list. The principal read their list and said "Well, let's get started, girls! It's going to be a busy year . . . "

How to Walk to School is the story—from the highs to the lows—of motivated neighborhood parents galvanizing and then organizing an entire community to take a leap of faith, transforming a challenged urban school into one of Chicago's best, virtually overnight.

The fate of public education is not beyond our control. In How to Walk to School, Susan Kurland, Nettelhorst's new and entrepreneurial principal, and Jacqueline Edelberg, the neighborhood mom, provide an accessible and honest blueprint for reclaiming the great public schools our children deserve.

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About Susan Kurland

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Jacqueline Edelberg has been the driving force behind the Nettelhorst School's dramatic turn around, a story that has been featured on Oprah & Friends, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, 60 Minutes, Education Weekly, and in the local Chicago media. A writer, artist, and community activist, Jacqueline blogs about education reform for the Huffington Post. She has consulted for school districts, civic groups, foundations, universities and parent organizations on how public schools and reformers can galvanize communities to improve public education. Before devoting herself to art, community organizing, and cutting the crusts off bread, Jacqueline taught political science at the University of Osnabrück in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. She earned her bachelor's degree and doctorate from the University of Chicago. Susan Kurland left Nettelhorst to form City Schoolhouse, LLC, a consultancy that advises school communities on best practices. As CEO, she helps principals, parent leaders, and universities develop instructional leadership teams, channel community resources, and formulate health and wellness policies. Currently, Susan is the educational director of Gallery 37, an organization that provides arts opportunities to Chicago's youth. She has consulted on behalf of the University of Illinois, the Chicago Public Schools, and the Community Schools' Initiative for the Chicago Community Trust. Susan earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the City University of New York, and her doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago.
Published October 28, 2009 by Rowman & Littlefield. 224 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Parents living in the Chicago district served by the notoriously run-down Nettelhorst School-not necessarily failing, but with an unshakeable reputation for it-faced a too-typical dilemma: try to get their children into ultra-competitive magnet schools?

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