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Students First: Principal Michael Kuran, Chicago Math & Science Academy, Shared His School’s Success During COVID-19 Closures with CPS Board Members

Posted on: June 25, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, schools could not provide in-person instruction towards the end of the school year. It was a very unusual ending to the year and it was not easy for anyone involved – students, teachers, parents, school leadership. But remote learning was a “must” and it saved a lot of our students’ lives. It also helped us educators touch their lives on a different level. For example, Chicago Public Schools provided homeless students with wi-fi hotspots or smart phones with data plans so they could maintain their e-learning.

At my school, I have a senior who lives in a temporary living situation and the district sent her a smart phone.  Apparently, our counselor told her that the principal had arranged a smart phone for her. You know how she responds? “How did Mr. Kuran know that my phone service would end in 2 days?” You know, I didn’t know it. And I know that the district leadership did not know it either. However, we all did the right thing by meeting the needs of our most vulnerable students.  I share my gratitude to Dr. Jackson and Dr. McDade for their leadership during remote learning. As a charter principal, I always feel supported and my school’s needs are being met during this crisis. I receive ongoing communication and quality guidance. Now that the school year is over, I want to congratulate my students, teachers and our parents for a strong ending.

Today, I am a proud principal whose school was able to maintain 85-to-95% student engagement during the remote learning. Also, 99% of CMSA seniors were able to graduate on time this year. More importantly, everyone has a post-secondary plan ready thru the Learn.Plan.Succeed initiative. Finally, 72 seniors raised more than 10 million dollars of scholarships this year, including two full ride scholarships to Northwestern University. After a difficult time passes, we usually forget the pain we felt and remember the beauty. I’ll forever remember the beauty on how our school pulled together to support our students during this time.