April 4, 2011
Chicago Public Schools will hold a series of public hearings beginning this week on proposed school consolidations.
The planned two-hour sessions will provide an opportunity for independent hearing officers to receive testimony from CPS officials supporting the consolidation proposals and from interested members of the public who want to comment on the proposals.
Sign-up for persons wishing to speak at the public hearing begins an hour prior to the start of each hearing. Speakers are asked to limit their oral comments to two minutes to maximize the number of people who want to provide verbal testimony. Written testimony will also be accepted at the hearings.
Following the hearings, the hearing officers will provide a summary of testimony and their findings to the office of Interim CPS Chief Executive Officer Terry Mazany.
The hearing officer reports will help inform final consolidation proposals the Interim CEO is expected to make to the Board at its April 27 meeting. No final action can be taken on any of the proposals until that meeting.
The public hearings will take place in the Chicago Board of Education chambers, 125 S. Clark, 5th Floor.
A series of community meetings with affected school communities has been ongoing and will continue this week, officials added.
The hearing schedule, and the consolidation proposals, follows:
- Wednesday, April 6, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Consolidate all small schools at Bowen Campus, 2710 E. 89th St., into New Millennium High School. Bowen was split into four small schools - New Millennium, BEST, Chicago Discovery and Global Visions - in 2002.
- Thursday April 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Consolidate Hans Christian Andersen, 1148 N. Honore St., into LaSalle II, 1148 N. Honore St. (the two schools already share one building).
- Thursday April 7, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Reassign kindergarten boundary of George W. Tilton, 223 N. Keeler Ave., to Guglielmo Marconi, 230 N. Kolmar Ave., and Laura S Ward, 410 N. Monticello Ave.
- Friday, April 8, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Consolidate Philo Carpenter, 1250 W. Erie St., into Mancel Talcott, 1840 W. Ohio St.
- Friday April 8, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Consolidate George Schneider, 2957 N. Hoyne Ave. into Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, 3149 N. Wolcott.
- Monday, April 11, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Consolidate Jacob Beidler, 3151 W. Walnut St., into Willa Cather, 2908 W. Washington Blvd.
- Monday, April 11, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Consolidate Avondale, 2945 N Sawyer Ave., into Logandale, 3212 W. George St.
Community meetings between CPS representatives and parents, guardians and other stakeholders began last week and will continue this week.
Community meetings already have taken place at Tilton, Marconi and Beidler schools. Today, meetings are scheduled at Cather (at 9:30 a.m.), and Tilton (6:30 p.m.); tomorrow, meetings will take place at Andersen (9:30 a.m.), with a second meeting scheduled for Marconi (6 p.m.). On Wednesday, a meeting is scheduled at Carpenter (9:30 a.m.) and on Friday a meeting is planned at Avondale (9 a.m.).
Pending are meetings at Schneider and Bowen.
The meetings provide an opportunity for school communities to interact with CPS representatives. The community outreach should help further clarify the reasoning behind the proposals and allow additional feedback from those affected by these proposed actions.
Chicago Public Schools serves 409,279 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.