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The Story Of One Welcoming School: A Work In Progress

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Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) – We are three months into the new school year, and Chicago parents are getting an idea this week of how their kids are doing. Reports cards are out.

But how are the dozens of welcoming schools doing? They took in thousands of kids from the 49 Chicago Public Schools buildings that closed.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov visited one of the welcoming schools – DePriest Elementary.

DePriest Elementary school principal Minnie watson watches over her classrooms, her hallways and her students’ well-being.

The school received about 124 students from the now-shuttered Emmet Elementary alone. Among them was 12-year-old Darvell McReynolds.

“I like it,” he says.

Darvell says he has lots of friends now but admits he was the outsider on day one. His fifth-grade sister still is and has struggled, he says.

Watson says a social worker is on hand four days a week now to help address issues like those. She says tolerance and family involvement are her two biggest challenges three months into the year.

“We’re shooting for ‘great,’ but it’s been ‘good,’ the principal says.

Darvell’s mom says, despite some conflict, her three DePriest children are thriving. She credits the teachers.

In all, DePriest received about 200 new students this school year, bringing the student body up to about 730 kids, from 530.

This, of course, is only one school’s story. As the principal says, it’s a work in progress.

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