The Normal Park Museum Magnet works because the parents and other community members CARE enough to do what it takes. One of the previous bloggers mentioned that some of the poorer parents cannot volunteer due to working various jobs and not having transportation. Then how to they get to work or do anything? The rift is cultural, not economic. Normal Park draws kids from a pretty diverse group, and they are not generally bluebloods. That crowd tends to send their kids to other schools, such as Bright School. 5 days or less is a rather miniscule amount to ask parents to volunteer, considering the importance of their children! Some of the bloggers give a lot of credit to the "miracle worker" Principal Levine (which may have been sarcastic; I could not tell) but she would be the first to say that it is PARENTS FIRST, then quality teachers (it sounds like some deadwood was eliminated from the schools, but usually some good teachers get caught in such a pogrom, unfortunately) who administrators LET TEACH! Last, Normal Park does not "pick" their students but must allow all those zoned to attend. The out-of-district magnet students are not "picked" but selected by lottery- all it takes is MOTIVATED PARENTS. Hopefully, the parents who recently fought for and won attendance (the Hill City ones and others) will join with existing parents to continue the excellence. All of us in the education community have been stunned and thrilled by the success of Normal Park. We wish that parents in other areas would have the same fervor to help their children. The more parents who come to the school to volunteer, the better. You don't have to have any special skills or education- just show up to let the kids know you care about what goes on in the school!