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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ninth graders allowed at Schneider Elementary next school year

Interesting. You know I wonder if Chicago would be better off instituting a program of junior high schools instead of just keeping 9th graders in elementary school. That almost seems unholy!

Chi-Town Daily News:
Despite protests and complaints about a lack of communication, the Chicago Board of Education yesterday approved allowing 9th graders to take up residence at Schneider Elementary School next school year.

Schneider, on the city's near northwest side, usually houses students up to 8th grade.

The 9th graders will be the freshman class of a new Alcott High School for the Humanities, which will open in the fall of 2009 and ultimately expand to include 10th, 11th and 12th graders at its own campus location. Currently, Alcott is an elementary school, about 2 1/2 miles from Schneider.

The 9th graders at the new high school will be at Schneider for at least one school year, after which the Board of Education will reevaluate the situation, says CPS spokesman Frank Shuftan.
Hey this wasn't what I thought it was about!

Still why not just house these students at another high school until they have a home ready for them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fewer Neighborhood Schools Exist in CPS

Throughout the city, many Chicago Public Schools are getting education makeovers. Failing or under-enrolled schools are being closed and new ones opened, sometimes even within the same building. The Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to vote tomorrow on where next fall’s new schools will open up. But the whole process leaves some parents and education activists questioning the correlation between urban planning and school planning.
Here's more:
Still, the district is closing Abbott for low enrollment. So Michael will now be sent to Hendricks Elementary, an underperforming school several blocks away.

Jim Dispensa is head of demographics and planning for Chicago Public Schools.

DISPENSA: The direction that we go in depends on a lot of things including where we are budgetarily and the outcomes of this continuing discussions with community groups. It’s premature to say where we are with transition plans.

But Andrea Lee doesn’t buy that argument. Lee is with the Grand Boulevard Federation, a neighborhood nonprofit. The group argues closing Abbott is short-sighted. That’s because Abbott’s enrollment would have gone up, Lee says, as soon as families started moving back into nearby Wentworth Gardens. The recently rehabbed development is only 63 percent occupied right now.

LEE: One of the most concerning things is that CPS isn’t doing any balanced facilities and community planning. Meaning as the public housing and they close schools that are under-enrolled or low performing they are giving their school facilities away.

Lee and others have been fighting to get the district to create a task force that would examine how families like Tanya Whitehead’s are impacted by the lack of coordination between school closings and urban development. There’s a bill currently in Springfield that would do just that.
Read the whole thing!

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