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Claire Wapole
Born and raised in Chicago, Claire is the mother of three children attending Chicago Public Schools. Claire received a bachelors of science in Broadcast Production Management and spent her pre-mother days working in the television industry. Claire is married to a musician and works with the Raise Your Hand Coalition, advocating for the parent voice and fair funding in public education.

Entries by Claire Wapole

Vote a Wish

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 5:48 PM

A week ago, I had the Illinois General Assembly meeting streaming in live on my computer. I wanted to follow the life of HB306, the bill that would bestow upon Illinois parents, the legal right to speak on behalf of their children when it comes to opting out of standardized...

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Not So Simple Machines

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 1:56 PM

My second grade daughter has lived through an extreme fixation on the study of simple machines at school. My sixth and eighth grade kids also studied simple machines when they were in second grade, but it involved a few worksheets and a classroom project designed to catch a leprechaun. My...

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Hazard for Whom?

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 5:01 PM

My second grader brought a test home from school, some sort of comprehension test, reading and vocabulary. I noticed she got a couple of questions wrong, so I wanted to look them over to see what exactly she was not comprehending, not understanding. What follows is the actual conversation I...

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No Lovin' Feeling... for Science Fair

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 12:57 PM

Hard to believe, but at one point in my life I was actually eager for my kids to participate in the Science Fair. So help me, it's true. I loved being in the Chicago Public School Science Fair when I was a kid. One year I even won my school...

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Bully/Jerk -- It's Not the Same

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 2:21 PM

When my kids were little we would play a game called "Degrees". I would throw out a topic like "hunger" and we would list words that described hunger by degrees... peckish, hungry, famished, starving... like that. For "rain" it might be mist, drizzle, shower, downpour. It was no Dodge Ball...

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A Good Evening Spoiled

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2014 | 5:51 PM

A few weeks ago, my oldest child walked out the front door and headed straight for eighth grade. He wore a Chicago Black Hawks t-shirt, but I remember when he sported Lightning McQueen as he headed towards his first day of kindergarten. I also remember that I had a sinking...

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The 9 Kids You Meet on a Field Trip

(9) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 1:05 PM

After three kids and eight years of chaperoning field trips, I have come to expect and recognize a few classic characters will be a present on every excursion. While most students assigned to parent chaperones happily go along with the field trip flow, the following list of archetypical personalities keep...

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The Fear of Opting Out

(2) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 4:16 PM

There was a lot of controversy in Chicago surrounding the recent Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT). All sorts of opinions were offered regarding whether or not parents should or should not opt their kids out of taking the ISAT. The articles and editorials in the papers provided the perspective of...

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Turning 13

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 4:18 PM

My eldest child, my son, turned 13. When a young child has a birthday, it's pretty common to hear the parent say, "My baby isn't a baby anymore!" or "I can't believe my little one will start school next year!" or "He's getting so grown up!" Over the years, I...

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Thirty Minutes Tops

(97) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 3:40 PM

The new school year has begun! Kids in Chicago Public Schools are going on year two of the mayor's longer, fuller, most bestest day ever! The seven-hour school day has resulted in the shortest, most truncated school night ever. My kids have just slightly over four waking non-school hours to...

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Where Were You A Decade Ago?

(4) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 5:21 PM

In the largest action of its kind in U.S. history, Chicago Public Schools are closing over 50 schools at once. This is such a huge undertaking that it has made national and international news. I believe that there are some schools in the city that are legitimately under unrolled, but...

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CPS: All Testing, All the Time

(2) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 12:49 PM

Keep pulling up plants to check on the roots, and the plants will never grow. This statement is completely logical and yet the powers that be in the Chicago Public School system believe otherwise. CPS insists that its students be incessantly checked via standardized tests, to see if they are...

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Not a Good Feeling for Parents

(6) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 4:35 PM


I've been a Chicago Public School parent for several years, having a sixth, fourth and kindergartener in the system. I just lived through my seventh "Back to School" experience of my parenting career, and while my kids might be settling in, my feeling...

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