FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, December 4, 2017
CPS Office of Communications
To further expand access to high-quality school options in all parts of the city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools today announced a plan to transform three neighborhood schools into magnet schools through a $15 million federal grant and open two new classical schools to help meet demand for rigorous elementary programming.
“Chicago Public Schools students are leading the country in academic gains, and these new STEM Magnet and classical schools will help continue to grow that record progress,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Across Chicago we are expanding quality school options, ensuring every student has access to a world-class academic experience and providing every family with a range of quality options for their children.”
“The path to college and a rewarding career begins at a young age, and high quality programs like the ones announced today will help our students realize their vast potential,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “Every family in Chicago deserves accessible, high quality options, and these investments will help make that a reality for even more of our families.”
New STEM Magnet Schools to Enhance Quality and Diversity
CPS is transforming three neighborhood schools into magnet STEM schools after being awarded a five-year, $15 million Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Each of the new magnet schools will offer innovative STEM curriculum while promoting diversity and ensuring students gain critical 21st Century skills. The following elementary schools have been selected:
- William H. Brown Elementary School
- Claremont Academy Elementary School
- Joseph Jungman Elementary School
“Magnet programs can turn good schools into great schools and increase diversity by opening schools up to new students from a variety of backgrounds,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “Through this $15 million grant, we will build stronger schools that are accessible to students from all parts of our great city.”
CPS magnet schools specialize in specific subject areas and accept students from throughout the city via a computerized lottery irrespective of student test scores. The goal of STEM programming is to develop students into literate citizens with a solid foundation in math, science, technology and engineering to prepare them for a successful future in the 21st Century economy.
“The new magnet program at Brown will build on the school’s existing STEM programming and create an even stronger elementary option for families on the near west side,” said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr.
“Claremont Academy is one of the many excellent elementary schools in the 16th Ward, and the new STEM magnet program will provide even greater opportunities for our families,” said Ald. Toni Foulkes.
“STEM curriculum will provide our elementary students with a strong foundation for future success, and we know our current and future students at Jungman will benefit tremendously from these new resources,” said Ald. Danny Solis.
In order to fulfill the grant’s goal of encouraging racial and socioeconomic diversity within school communities, Brown and Claremont will become citywide magnet schools, while Jungman will retain its neighborhood boundary and offer available seats through a magnet lottery. Brown and Claremont each have the capacity to serve more than 350 additional students while Jungman has capacity to serve an additional 200 students. There is sufficient available capacity at all three schools to accommodate both students living within current school boundaries and students living in other areas of the city, which will allow the schools to remain vibrant parts of their local communities while attracting students from other neighborhoods. Students who are currently enrolled at the schools will be able to remain at their schools and incoming students who have already applied for the schools will be guaranteed admittance next year.
CPS will be scheduling meetings in each of the school communities in the coming months, and the proposed boundary changes will be presented to the Board of Education for a vote in February.
New Classical Schools Proposed to Meet Growing Demand
CPS is also proposing a plan to open two new classical schools — one in Bronzeville and one on the Southwest side that will also incorporate a STEAM magnet program — to meet growing demand for classical programs and establish programs in parts of the city that do not have classical schools. Currently, CPS has five high-demand classical schools throughout the city, but more than 1,000 students who qualified to enroll in a classical school this year did not receive an offer. By creating two new classical schools, more students will have the opportunity to receive a rigorous education in their area.
“The new classical school in Bronzeville will provide our highly qualified young learners with an opportunity to attend a selective elementary in their neighborhood that will prepare them for a successful future,” said Ald. Pat Dowell.
“The combined classical and STEAM magnet program will make selective and magnet programming far more accessible for our families and create a new high quality option in the Southwest area,” said Ald. Marty Quinn.
Classical schools have accelerated, highly-structured academic programs designed to foster strong achievement in literature, mathematics, language arts, world language and the humanities. Classical schools do not have boundaries and require an application and minimum test scores to enroll. The proposed Bronzeville Classical School and the classical program within the proposed Southwest Elementary School will have citywide boundaries.
The STEAM magnet program at Southwest Elementary will have a STEAM focus, which is similar to STEM but also integrates art as a learning tool. The magnet program will use a lottery to prioritize students living within a 2.5 mile radius and provide offers to students outside of the radius if seats are available. Both schools will serve grades K-2 in September 2018 and a grade will be added each year thereafter until the school serves grades K-8.
CPS will present the classical school recommendations to the Board of Education at its December 6th meeting. If approved by the Board, both classical schools will be added to GoCPS for families to apply to for the 2018-19 school year.
Additional information about the new school proposals can be found below:
Southwest Elementary School
: West Elsdon
Former St. Turibius Elementary School Facility, 4120 W. 57th Street.
Estimated Open Date:
Classical (citywide boundaries; testing requirements) and STEAM Magnet (Lottery prioritizing students within 2.5 mile boundary and others if seats are available; no testing requirements)
Bronzeville Classical Elementary School
Former Hartigan facility, 8 W. Root St.
Estimated Open Date:
Classical (citywide boundaries; testing requirements)
Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.
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