CPS Principal Uses Power in Leadership to Drive Change at Walter H. Dyett High School
From Protest to Prosperity, Chicago's South Side Principal turns Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts from Disparity into a Dream Multimedia Arts School
Since the notorious 2015 Hunger Strike (the 34-day hunger strike at Walter H. Dyett High School that garnered national media attention) this Bronzeville CPS neighborhood high school has done a 180 degree change to make Walter H. Dyett High School an arts-focused curriculum that enables students in urban areas to receive the same quality education as children in the northern and suburban areas. But all of this would not have happened without the help and leadership from Beulah McLoyd, an 18- year educational veteran that has had a proven track record in transforming high school schools, obtaining recognition in increasing enrollment and providing preparatory education.
Prior to the reopening of Walter H. Dyett High School, the school only had 13 students enrolled as seniors. And as a result of that, the high school was slated to close, causing the infamous Hunger Strike. In 2016, Beulah McLoyd stepped in and stepped up as the new principal and began to make major changes that would transform not only the school but the community surrounding it.
Since the inception of Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts, McLoyd has been able to make the school a level one neighborhood CPS high school that serves Black children in the greater Bronzeville community. She has also been able to increase the attendance rate dramatically, making their attendance rate at an all time high of 92% (8% higher than neighboring high schools in the surrounding area). In addition, she has been able to have its Freshman on Track rate at 97% and offer college courses and credit to students.
In becoming a transformational leader, McLoyd did not seek to do this alone. Instead, she sought to get additional training through the New Leaders program,which is a principal preparation program that provides intense training around transformational leadership in schools. Prior to Walter H. Dyett High School for the Arts, McLoyd previously turned around Michele Clark High School, getting it off of probation and obtaining recognition from President Obama for the school's Early College STEM program.
"The news arts programs and facilities, including our state-of-the art, Black Box, dance studios, and recording studios, ensure that students are fully engaged in the curriculum on a daily basis. We have been able to leverage that engagement and transform it into tangible, academic outcomes. We are excited about our students' future!."
Studies have shown that art programs have had a positive impact on education. Specifically, it increases literacy skills. And, that is why McLoyd has relentlessly and strategically implemented arts-related programs to help students achieve the maximum educational experience they deserve. Just recently, McLoyd implemented a recording studio for rising musicians at Walter H. Dyett High School, continuing to increase and exercise their artistic abilities to help them receive a scholarship at a performing arts college or possibly land a record deal. McLoyd definitely sets the bar high in her students achieving the ultimate success wherever she goes.
To learn more about Beulah McLoyd and how she has been able to turn a high school from protesting to prosperity, visit www.beulahmcloyd.net.
Page Updated Last on: Jul 10, 2019