High Schools and Level 1 Schools Removed From Consideration As Part Of District’s Efforts To Address Its Utilization Crisis 


CPS Announces Dates and Locations of 28 Public Meetings As Part of Second Phase of Community Engagement

 

January 18, 2013

 

Today, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced in her formal response to the Commission on School Utilization that high schools and Level 1 high-performing schools will not be considered as part of the District’s efforts to address its utilization crisis, except in rare cases where a school may pose a life/safety threat to students and staff. These were among several recommendations embraced by CEO Byrd-Bennett after she reviewed the report issued last week by the Commission, which she formed to evaluate the District’s utilization challenges and engage the community around this issue.

 

“The safety and security of our students must be a top priority in this process, in addition to ensuring that we keep our high-performing schools available as an option for every family in our District,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “By taking high schools and Level 1 schools off the table, we best maintain our ability to meet these priorities.”

 

Over the next few weeks, CEO Byrd-Bennett and her team will be working to define the remaining recommendations made by the Commission, which demand additional time and effort to determine how CPS will apply them. These include, among others, the Commission’s recommendations not to close schools that are close to efficient utilization, not to close underutilized schools that have recently experienced a significant school action, and not to close underutilized Level 2 schools that are “on the rise.”

 

“My team will work with me to define the Commission’s remaining recommendations to design a concise and consistent process that helps to identify schools that will remain under consideration as we engage with our communities,” CEO Byrd-Bennett added. “We cannot release schools on a piecemeal basis. Our school communities deserve better than that and we have an obligation to be thoughtful and deliberate in creating a list of schools so they can provide specific feedback as part of our engagement process.”

 

A copy of the CEO’s response to the Commission’s report on school utilization can be found by visiting cps.edu/qualityschools.

 

CEO Byrd-Bennett announced last week that CPS will launch a second phase of community engagement to provide parents and school communities with additional opportunities to give feedback about individual schools on a Network-by-Network basis as part of this process. Each school Network will host two community meetings, which will be moderated by independent facilitators, taking place January 28 through March 4.

 

The first series of meetings (beginning January 28) will include a presentation of high-level information and metrics on all schools at the Network level to glean feedback from the community. Information gathered at these meetings will help CPS lead a more school-specific discussion at the second series of community meetings.

 

At the second series of meetings (beginning February 13), CPS will provide a list of schools Network-by-Network based on the Commission’s recommendations as defined by CPS. This will allow communities to provide feedback and input on schools that remain on the table in their neighborhoods. While this list will not represent the final set of recommended schools that will go before the Board, it will give communities the opportunity to give CPS critical feedback on individual schools to better inform CEO Byrd-Bennett of final recommendations she will make to the Board in March.

 

School communities will be notified of the community meetings via a variety of communication methods, including robo-calls, letters mailed home, by email, via cps.edu, social media and at individual schools. Below is a list of the dates, times and locations of each community meeting.

 

Last December, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the formation of an independent commission, the Commission on School Utilization, to evaluate the District’s utilization crisis. She created this Commission in order to jump start a lengthy community engagement effort to get feedback from school communities at the front end of this process. CPS faces a very real and daunting utilization crisis due in large part to a significant drop in population in Chicago over the last 10 years. CPS currently serves 403,000 students, but has space for 511,000. The District simply has too many buildings and too few children, which is stretching its resources much too thin. Today about 50 percent of CPS schools are underutilized and nearly 140 are half-empty. By right-sizing the District, CEO Byrd-Bennett will be able to better redirect resources and invest them in programs so that all children can benefit from a well-rounded, high-quality education.

 

DATE NETWORK TIME LOCATION
1/28/2013 Ravenswood-Ridge 7:00-9:00pm Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson
1/29/2013 Midway 7:00-9:00pm Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski
1/29/2013 O'Hare 7:00-9:00pm Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
1/30/2013 Lake Calumet 7:00-9:00pm Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn
1/31/2013 Austin-North Lawndale 7:00-9:00pm Friendship MB Church, 5200 W. Jackson
2/2/2013 Englewood-Gresham 11:00-1:00pm Kennedy King College, 6301 S. Halsted
2/4/2013 Burnham Park 7:00-9:00pm

St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan

2/5/2013 Garfield-Humboldt 7:00-9:00pm Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson
2/6/2013 Pershing 7:00-9:00pm Fuller Park Field House, 311 W. 45th St.
2/6/2013 Pilsen-Little Village 7:00-9:00pm

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

2/7/2013 Skyway 7:00-9:00pm Our Lady of Peace Rectory, 7851 S. Jeffrey
2/9/2013 Rock Island 11:00-1:00pm

Metropolitan Family Services, 235 W. 103rd St.

2/11/2013 Fulton 7:00-9:00pm

First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington

2/11/2013 Fullerton 7:00-9:00pm Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie
2/13/2013 Austin-North Lawndale
NEW LOCATION!
7:00-9:00pm Greater Galilee Baptist Church, 1308 S. Independence
2/14/2013 Lake Calumet 7:00-9:00pm Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn
2/16/2013 Ravenswood-Ridge 11:00-1:00pm Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson
2/18/2013 Englewood-Gresham
NEW LOCATION!
7:00-9:00pm AFC Center auditorium, 7859 S. Ashland
2/19/2013 Burnham Park 7:00-9:00pm St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan
2/20/2013 Skyway 7:00-9:00pm South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr.
2/21/2013 Pershing 7:00-9:00pm Fuller Park Field House, 331 W. 45th St.
2/23/2013 O'Hare 11:00-1:00pm Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
2/25/2013 Rock Island
NEW LOCATION!
7:00-9:00pm Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1257 West 111th St.
2/26/2013 Fulton 7:00-9:00pm First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington
2/27/2013 Garfield-Humboldt 7:00-9:00pm Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson
2/28/2013 Fullerton 7:00-9:00pm Armitage Baptist Chuch, 2451 N. Kedzie
3/2/2013 Midway 11:00-1:00pm Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski
3/4/2013 Pilsen-Little Village 7:00-9:00pm Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

 

About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

 

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Page Last Modified on Thursday, March 21, 2013