School Spotlight: Bateman Elementary School
Community Pitches in to Provide Supplies for All Students


The school year is quickly approaching. CPS Newton Bateman Elementary School (Bateman) is trying to help their students be prepared for whatever this school year may bring by providing free school supplies for all 1,008 prekindergarten – 8th grade students. In a recent email Principal Georgia Davos-Vetas and Assistant Principal Kate Klopper informed families.

“We are writing to you today from a lens of empathy and support. Parents, we know you have been juggling a tremendous amount – even more so than normal – and many families have been impacted financially throughout the past several months. With so many unknowns about the upcoming year, we would like to take one potential area of stress off of your plates.

For the upcoming school year, whether we are teaching and learning together in person or remotely, you will not need to purchase any new school supplies. All supplies will be purchased through the school so that there is no concern about cross contamination of supplies and your family will remain safe by not going to a store to buy supplies.

The pick-up/distribution of the supplies replaces the need for families to trek to stores and helps them to avoid the spread of COVID-19. An added bonus, staff members and teachers will hand out the supplies during a specific time period where students and families can socially distance and be welcomed back to school, even as learning will be remote.

Principal Davos-Vetas says, “Bateman prides itself on being family oriented where teachers, staff, and parents lean on each other.” She described how when the pandemic hit, teachers and staff looked for ways to minimize the disruption to children’s learning and support families where members fell ill to COVID-19 or lost jobs. The school supply effort is just an extension of the effort that started back in March 2020. Assistant Principal Klopper noted, “The three core values that the community decided on three years ago, be empowered, be inclusive, and be kind, are behind all of the decisions they make.”

Bateman isn’t just giving back to students this fall. They are proud to support the greater Irving Park community. With a $5,000 grant from Cahn Fellows Advisory Board, the school staff and families will create more than a dozen ‘lending libraries.” The boxes will be designed by local artists and placed around the community. They will be filled with books and possibly other necessities such as canned food, facemasks, and more. Principal Davos-Vetas stated, “we do all of this because we are in it together, we are a family.” She believes it is important to “lead with you heart and do what you would want for your own child.”