CPS Office of School Turnarounds:
"This is a tremendous opportunity to bring new leadership and a new culture of excellence to all of these schools," CPS Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins said. "Our turnaround office and the other educators who are a part of this effort are committed to working hard and doing everything we can to serve these communities well."
In addition to transforming underperforming schools, the CPS administration has proposed closing or consolidating 16 other schools because their buildings are severely underutilized or their facilities are outdated.
The five elementary schools that are proposed to be closed for low enrollment all have a utilization rate below 40 percent. They are the following:
One school-Las Casas, 8401 S. Saginaw Ave., a special education high school-is being recommended for closure because of the condition of its facilities. The school is currently housed in a leased Archdiocese building, which requires extensive repair. The CPS administration believes the school's students would be better served in other programs. All students would be enrolled in other specialized facilities close to where current Las Casas students live.
Four elementary schools and one high school are proposed to be consolidated into other nearby schools, again due to under-enrollment. These schools are also severely underutilized, with Abbott operating at only 11 percent of its capacity. The school with the highest utilization rate is Schiller, at 21 percent. In a consolidation, the school's teaching staff generally move with the students to the receiving school. The following schools are proposed for consolidation:
Four elementary schools and one high school are recommended to be phased out for low enrollment. All students currently enrolled in these schools will be allowed to graduate, but the schools will not take any new students. The utilization rate ranges from 23 percent at Carpenter to 41 percent at Best Practice. Staff will be determined by enrollment each year in accordance with union regulations. The schools proposed to be phased-out are the following:
A series of public hearings and community meetings will be held on these proposals, beginning Jan. 26 and continuing until the middle of February. (A list of hearing dates and locations is attached.) After considering input from the hearings, the CPS administration will present its plan to the Chicago Board of Education for its consideration. The earliest that the Board of Education could vote on any of the proposals is its Feb. 25 meeting.Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 405,000 students in 650 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.