Mr. Phillips

7th – 8th Grade Mathematics

Mr. Phillips

About me

I have taught at 3 different schools in CPS for the past 13 years. After receiving my masters in education from DePaul University, I began my teaching career as a middle school math teacher at Uplift Community High School in the Uptown neighborhood. I then spent the next 10 years teaching middle school mathematics at Tarkington School of Excellence in Marquette Park, on the city’s Southwest side. While at Tarkington, I achieved National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Mathematics in 2012. The 2017-18 school year is my first year as a math teacher at South Loop.

I am married with 2 sons/I taught social studies for 2 years/I love music


Coming Soon.


Yearbooks Available for Pick Up |A Few Reminders

The yearbooks are here and available for pick up for those who pre-ordered. At this time, no additional yearbooks are available for sale. You can pick up your child’s yearbook at the middle school building daily from 8:30am-1:30pm.

Also, any 6th graders (incoming 7th) who have not picked up their Outdoor Ed refunds can do so in the main office from 8:30-1:30.

8th Graders (Class of 2020 graduates) who did not participate in the Graduation Parade must pick up their graduation packets.

Any students who are not returning to South Loop next year, and still have any school tech, textbooks, or materials, please return those to the school.

2020-2021 School Supply Lists (PreK List Added)

*Updated August 11- PreK Remote Supply List Added*

Below you will be able to download supply lists for the 2020-21 School Year. Please note there is a supply list for “In-School” learning and a list for “Remote” learning. We suggest that you purchase any supplies that are used for both models now, while items are on sale for ” back to school” specials.

Some additional notes regarding school supplies:

  • In addition to your child’s school supply list, we are asking families to donate a bottle of sanitizer, a container of disinfectant wipes, and one can of disinfectant spray to the school.
  • Specials Classes’ Supply Lists will be added once classroom pods are created.
  • Also, as stated in the Reopening Plan you received last week, students will not be required to wear school uniforms or gym uniforms. Please refer to the Reopening Plan for details on the dress code.
  • Due to a limited amount of technology devices in K-4, students may bring their own tablet or laptop device. Please make sure that devices have a chrome browser (chrome browser app for tablets) to easily streamline and monitor their CPS/Google Accounts.
  • 4th-8th Grade Students have an additional Science Home Lab list listed in their remote learning supply lists. Science Lab Supplies do not need to be purchased right away. Your child’s teacher will notify you when those items will be needed. Additionally, 6th and 7th graders should not purchase lab materials until they know who their science teacher will be.
  • For 8th Grade Science- science lab supplies will be provided to students each quarter for pick up (in the event of Remote Learning only)

The yearbooks are here and available for pick up for those who pre-ordered. At this time, no additional yearbooks are available for sale. You can pick up your child’s yearbook at the middle school building daily from 8:30am-1:30pm.

Also, any 6th graders (incoming 7th) who have not picked up their Outdoor Ed refunds can do so in the main office from 8:30-1:30.

8th Graders (Class of 2020 graduates) who did not participate in the Graduation Parade must pick up their graduation packets.

Any students who are not returning to South Loop next year, and still have any school tech, textbooks, or materials, please return those to the school.


The yearbooks are here and available for pick up for those who pre-ordered. At this time, no additional yearbooks are available for sale. You can pick up your child’s yearbook at the middle school building daily from 8:30am-1:30pm.

Also, any 6th graders (incoming 7th) who have not picked up their Outdoor Ed refunds can do so in the main office from 8:30-1:30.

8th Graders (Class of 2020 graduates) who did not participate in the Graduation Parade must pick up their graduation packets.

Any students who are not returning to South Loop next year, and still have any school tech, textbooks, or materials, please return those to the school.

By Penny P., 5th grade

Everybody crowded in the room and took a seat. The competitors were fierce. The teams took out their files and one started reading. The room intensified. The heat was on! Another great performance by South Loop School!

We hosted the Feb. 15 debate tournament and it was very intense! I am pleased to say that they did an absolutely tremendous job! This tournament was very special because it was championship rounds! If you are not familiar with championship rounds, they are the top eight scoring teams that debate against each other (even on the same team if the coach approves) the lower team can take the higher teams place they are going against.

I’ll start off with novice. Coming in first place for novice were Ruhi A. and Brandon B.! Moving on to the varsity teams. Maya A. and June S. came in 3rd place! Coming in 2nd place for novice speaker awards, Ruhi A. and in 6th place her partner Brandon B! And last but not least the last speaker award in 14th place Sinan A! Now moving on to the varsity speakers. We have Maya A. coming in 4th place for varsity speaker awards!

We have one more special shoutout given to June S! The judges described her as calm and certain.

All debaters in this tournament worked extremely hard to prepare for this competition. Round of applause to all debaters! This was a very tough, intense, solid debate tournament. If you didn’t win an award that is fine. Keep trying and keep the hard work up. Thank you all South Loop debaters for representing South Loop. If you would like to join the debate team contact Coach Rishi at Debate team always has P.R.I.D.E.! GO Lions!

As Black History Month winds down, education continues at DuSable Museum of African American History. Through the month of March, the museum will host the “The March”— an amazing virtual reality exhibit that takes you back in time to be part of the 1963 march on Washington and hear Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic “I have a dream” speech.

Tickets are $12.50  for Chicago residents and $9.00 for students. Age appropriate for kids 10 and up but a parent suggested it’s a unique experience for any age, and a very cool learning experience!

Book tickets here:
(Button on the upper right corner of site)

An excerpt from the website:
“TIME and executive producer Viola Davis invite you
to experience, a groundbreaking immersive exhibit that re-creates one of the most iconic moments in American history, the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Become one of the 250,000-plus people who came
to participate that day—and witness firsthand as
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his iconic “I Have
a Dream” speech—in a genre-pushing virtual reality experience that draws on the personal stories of organizers and demonstrators who were there.”

Good morning LION PRIDE!

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. 

Meal pick-up will be available at all CPS locations. Up to six meals per child will be provided each day between the hours of 9:00am and 1:00pm. 

Distance Learning
Hopefully some of you have gotten off to a great start with your home learning activities!

If you haven’t already, please visit our RESOURCE PAGE, where you can download student assignment packets and find suggested resources. Visit daily because more resources and packets may be added.

Be sure to continue checking teacher’s classroom pages (ClassTag, Google Classroom, etc.) for specific updates from your child’s teacher.  Some teachers will also begin offering “virtual:” office hours or mini-lessons through video conferencing and messaging (students may receive notification to download the ZOOM app, or join Communication with teachers will also always be available via email. Teacher contacts can be found in the teacher’s and staff page under resources.

Just to add a little humor to your day 2….

Homeschooling TIP OF THE DAY: If you can’t get your child to sit still and complete the assignments, have them put on their school uniform and give them a quiet area to work alone.

For the most reliable information and updates, please visit CPS FAQ PAGE, or For school-specific updates, visit If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health & Wellness at or by calling the Healthy CPS Hotline 773-553-KIDS (5437).

Principal Shelton

Hello Lion Pride!

As we finish our fifth week of the school closure and social distancing, I personally have been thinking about things I’m grateful for and the new opportunities I have had to connect with loved ones. I send my friends “self care” challenges each week that involve journaling, meditating, vision boards, and goal setting. We spend time talking about these experiences. I am enjoying the meaningful connections through a phone conversation or FaceTime events (such as virtual dance party , work our session) and not just texting. We may be apart, but we are also finding ways to be closer together.

All this has allowed me to be more reflective in my role as a school leader, directing my focus on the things that matter most- our students. I truly miss hearing a student say “Mrs. Shelton, can I talk to you?” multiple times a day. Every day.

I am also incredibly proud of the perseverance of our students and families to engage in Remote Learning. I have heard from many of you that it is not easy being your child’s teacher, and I believe it. I’m sure wine sales are doing great right about now… I think we can all agree that teachers face many challenges and this remote learning experience is a challenge that we are ALL going to grow and reflect from. Parents, if you haven’t heard it yet since this started, YOU are doing a great job. Thank you for your persistence and support.

Our school community is grateful for our local businesses who always support our yearly fundraising/ school events. The great thing about a strong community is we support each other. If you are able, please remember to support our neighborhood business during this difficult time:

  • Aurelios Pizza-South Loop
  • Reggie’s Music Joint
  • The Weather Mark Tavern
  • Asian Outpost
  • Chef Lucianos Kitchen & Chicken
  • La Cantina Grill
  • The Burger Point
  • Fatpour Tap Works
  • Half Sour
    Kroll’s South Loop
  • Molly’s Cupcakes South Loop
  • UMAI Japanese Restaurant
  • Kurah Mediterranean
  • Mercat a la Planxa
  • Chicago Waffles
  • Yolk South Loop
  • Sumi – Sumi Japanese Restaurant*
  • Niu B – Niu B Sushi & Noodle Bar*

*Parent owned South Loop Restaurants

Here’s something I read recently that put a positive spin to this crisis…

There’s nothing like self care during uncertainty. I hope you’re taking time to focus on your mental, emotional and physical health . This is why I think it’s important to have students journal/ draw about this experience to support their emotional health. If you or anyone in your family is in need of mental health support due to covid19, depression, isolation, anxiety, etc. please text “talk” to 552020. A mental health specialist from the Illinois Mental Health hotline will respond within 24 hours .

We are so proud of our South Loop Girl Scout Troop! They donated leftover cases of Girl Scout cookies to Chicago Area Hospitals. Since they were unable to continue to sell the cookies, they knew this would be the next best thing. Read more about it HERE.

Share your photos to our SLS Surviving School Closure Album

Principal Shelton

There will be no face to face instruction or office hours tomorrow, April 17th.

Access our RESOURCE PAGE here or directly on the homepage beneath our photo banner.

Still need internet? Find out how to get it HERE

*As always, for the most reliable information and updates, please visit CPS FAQ PAGE, or For school-specific updates, visit If you need help locating medical care, please reach out to the CPS Office of Student Health & Wellness at or by calling the Healthy CPS Hotline 773-553-KIDS (5437).*

Beginning after spring break, on April 13th, CPS will roll out Remote Learning for our students. Later today, you will receive a ClassTag or Google Classroom message from  classroom teachers detailing the Remote Learning plan for your child’s class. Middle School will receive information from each content area teacher. 

The plan will include daily instructional hours for your child,  daily office hours for contacting teachers, weekly times for special teachers to meet with students, and times when the Diverse Learner,  MTSS and ESL teachers will provide support for targeted students. Remote Learning instruction and materials can be accessed by smartphone, tablet, and/or a computer.

Below we have provided the office hours for teachers and staff. These are times when you can reach out with questions and get support from teachers. Our MTTS, ESL, Diverse Learners, Social Emotional (Social Worker and School Counselor) teams are also available during school closures. These teams will also connect with students weekly to provide support.  Also, continue to visit our RESOURCE PAGE.

Mrs. Brewer, the school counselor is available daily 12:00 – 2:00 pm for counseling support and direct support for 8th graders high school acceptance and transitioning. Ms. Tapia, the school social worker is available daily 10:00 – 11:00 am by email  for  direct servicing and additional social emotional support if needed.  Mrs. T. Chan, the lead MTSS teacher is available throughout the week various daily to provide intervention support to specific students. Mrs. Kendt, the lead MTSS teacher is available daily 12:00 -12:30 to provide intervention support to specific students.  Ms. Barnlund, the lead ESL teacher is available 11:00 – 12:00 to provide second language support to identified students.

Also, just a reminder that South Loop School will be closed during Spring break (April 6-10). Please remember to visit the designated food sites referenced in our Day 13 Update

Remote learning is new uncharted waters for us all. We understand families will experience hiccups along the way and will do our best to work with you. We also appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through the resources to provide the best and most effective instruction for our students. 


Principal Shelton

Hello Parents,

Please fill out this important SLES Reopening survey by Friday, July 31st.

The latest information on the CPS reopening plan is on the CPS website. I don’t have any more information other than what is published there. At this time, this plan still will not answer or possibly address most of your concerns. I will update you when I receive new information I can share.

-Principal Shelton

Mr.Madel is a 5th grade social studies teacher at South Loop School. It is his second year at South Loop, but his 14th year teaching overall. One of the biggest projects he does is History Fair.

History Fair is “an opportunity for students to showcase stuff in history,” Mr. Madel said. Students have to follow a topic, which this year is “Breaking Barriers.” This means the students have to do their projects about someone or something that broke barriers.

History Fair is for grades 5 to 8. Mr. Madel says South Loop has been doing History Fair for at least 10 years. In it, children learn to cite, research, and present. Fifth graders can only make tri-fold boards to present, but other grades have more options, which are websites, a documentary or a report.

Mr. Madel’s favorite part of History Fair is when he gets to look around and see everyone’s presentations. Other grades will see the kids’ projects as well. The way Mr. Madel prepares students for History Fair is the Aztec/Inca/Maya project. This is a project in which a student picks two of those ancient civilizations and compares them in five categories that they pick.                                   

8th grade parents,

We hope this email finds you safe and well.  While this year has brought some unprecedented challenges our way, it’s still our goal to provide a memorable and safe graduation experience for our 8th graders.  The virtual graduation will be held on June 15th at 9:00am. We will send the invite link on Friday, June 12th.

Please read the following carefully to ensure a smooth graduation parade on June 15th at 12 pm at the PRIMARY BUILDING. We will begin lining up cars at 11:00 am to collect school items and hand out the graduation packets. The parade ceremony will begin promptly at 12pm. Decorate your cars. Make signs. CELEBRATE! We hope other families will help us in celebrating our graduating class!

Textbooks, Chromebooks & Chargers: Tape a Label on all items with the student’s full name 

  • 8th graders can return textbooks, novels, instuments, chromebooks and chargers Monday, June 8th – Friday, June 12th.
  • Cracked screens: cash payment for repairs $100
  • Broken Chromebooks: cash payment for repairs or replacement $200
  • Lost/Broken chargers: cash paymnet for replacement $35
  • Lost textbooks: cash payment for replacement $50

June 15, 2020  at 11:00 am

Luncheon fees will be issued via a school check on June 15th 

Traffic Flow:

1. Enter on 14th St. & State St.

2. Head west on 14th St. to Federal St. 

3. Turn right and head north onto Federal St.

4. Stay on the east side of the street, pull forward to parking lot entrance  (Do not leap frog.) Stop at the entrance of the parking lot until parade begins at 12pm.

5. Continue to pull forward and turn right into the parking lot. Drive slowly 

6. Turn right onto Plymouth Ct. Drive slowly 

7. Head south to 14th Plymouth Ct. Drive slowly 

8. Turn left onto 14th St. Please adhere to the following for the safety of all:

  • -Stay in your cars  
  • -Wear a mask 
  • -Keep pulling forward once the parade begins 
  • -Drive slowly 
  • -Do not stop or park on Plymouth Court or Federal street 
  • -Be careful if graduates will lean out of cars

*South Loop staff will  continue to collect text books , instruments, chromebooks and chargers (11am -11:55am)

For those unfamiliar with the layout of the primary building and surrounding community, please refer to the following guide:

By South Loop Scoop staff

South Loop’s Around the World Night was a rousing success! So many cultures were proudly represented, so many performances were offered and so much delicious food was eaten! From India to Pakistan to Hungary to Holland to Cuba to Mexico to Greece to Italy to Chicago’s Black Heritage (just to name a few), the displays were informative and filled with history and color. 

Mexico: The booth that I am going to be talking about is the Mexico booth. This booth had paper mache lifesize statues (homemade) that you could take pictures with. At the Mexico table, you could spin a dreidel and win a colorful, fun, decorative prize bag with multiple little prizes inside. The Mexico table had many unique dolls, none that I have seen before and was very fun, decorative and informative. The Mexico booth was very well done! — Penny P., 5th grade

Hungary: Although Hungary may be far away, they are responsible for some inventions that all of us use day to day! The ballpoint pen was invented in 1838 by Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian-Argentine newspaper editor. The other one is the Rubik’s Cube! It was invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik, a Hungarian architect. The Hungarian alphabet has 44 letters, almost double the English alphabet. The table also featured a family photo album showing relatives who grew up in Hungary before they moved to the United States. — Will S., 5th grade

Thailand: Another unique booth that I visited was Thailand. This table was very fun and unique. I thought the information was great and the props were very interacting. Thailand had a trolley that you could put your head through. (The younger kids loved it! ). Thailand also had a very interesting and unique dessert. This dessert was made up of mung bean paste glazed in agur agur. Then it was shaped to look like fresh fruits and vegetables. Thailand also had a performance where Prissara (a person from Thailand table ) played a piece of classic Thailand music on an instrument. The Thailand table did a wonderful job! — Penny P., 5th grade

South Korea: The South Korea display had a lot of interesting facts. Here are some of them: If you fly to Seoul, South Korea, it would take you 14+ hours! Can you imagine being on a plane for 14 hours and when you get there, it would be 29 hours after you left? Their alphabet has 24 letters, 14 consonants and 10 vowels. There are 3,358 islands of South Korea. How could you choose which one to go to? — Anabelle J., 5th grade
Greece: Tia Angelos ran the Greek table. She told me that the Greek flag represents a few things: the blue is the sea, the white is the sky, and the cross is because the majority of the country is Christian. The booth also had a replica of a Spartan helmet. Greece has some famous buildings including the Acropolis and Parthenon. Greece is famous for its statues and temples. Did you know that the Olympics started in Greece? Did you know that you speak Greek everyday? Some examples are pedia in pediatrician means kid, cardio in cardiologist means heart, and podi in podiatrist means foot.  — Oliver G., 4th grade

Pakistan: I learned a lot about Pakistan at Around the World. Did you know that Pakistan is in South Asia? Pakistan’s capital is Islamabad. One sport that people play is cricket. Religions that are popular are Islam (the most popular), Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism. There are also many languages spoken there including Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Pashto. One of the coolest things I learned is that Malala Yousafzai, the girl who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, is from Pakistan. — Eloise G., 4th grade

Peru: Peru is home to the famous Nazca Lines. The flag of Peru represents freedom, pride in culture and heroism. They have a population of 32,000,000. Their capital is Lima. However, probably the most famous site in Peru is Machu Picchu, which is one of the seven wonders of the modern world. — Ben S., 5th grade

Panama: Panama is on the border of the Americas. It is the only place in the world where you can see sunrise on the Pacific and sunset on the Atlantic. Besides the U.S., it was the first country to have Coca-Cola. It also has the most bird species of any country in the world. The Panama Canal is 48 miles long, and connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Richard Halliburt even swam the canal. — Ben S., 5th grade

Taiwan: There are some things that we would think of as different in Taiwan. According to those running the Taiwan table, garbage trucks would play “the music that ice cream trucks do.” The main transportation is motorcycles. In Taiwan, they invented boba milk tea. While the island of Taiwan is less than the size of Lake Michigan, it holds 23,000,000 residents. — Ben S., 5th grade

The food: The food was incredible. There was food from many parts of the world. There were plantains from Cuba, arroz con pollo from Mexico, tiramisu from Italy, samosas from India, spanakopita from Greece. Many of these dishes were made by school parents. There was a long line the entire time because everyone wanted to try the foods from different countries. I tried a lot of food and yet I didn’t even try one quarter of all the food that was there! –Alessio C., 5th grade