CPS receives grant to expand mini-campus program

  • By Paul D. Bowker
  • Education reporter
  • July 08, 2008 @ 7:31 AM
Four Chicago high schools will use a $5.2 million federal grant to create mini-schools on their campuses beginning next fall.

The grant, announced yesterday, is part of the U.S. Education Department's smaller learning communities program. It's designed specifically for high schools with enrollments over 1,000.

Under the program, the four schools will create groups of 140 students focused on themes like business and leadership. Teacher teams will closely monitor attendance and academic progress.

The grant covers a five-year period.

The four schools, selected by Chicago Public Schools, are: Foreman High School, 3235 N. Leclaire Ave.,  Kelvyn Park High School, 4343 W. Wrightwood Ave.,  Manley Career Academy, 2935 W. Polk St.,  and Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave.

"Focus and personalized instruction is what works for our students, in our smaller learning communities," CPS chief Arne Duncan said in a statement. "We're thrilled that beginning this fall, we'll be adding more schools-within-a-school."

More than a dozen CPS schools have participated in the federal program since it began in 2000.

Nationwide,  some students in the program have fallen short on reading tests. But graduation rates at schools with SLC grants have risen to nearly 90 percent.

Paul Bowker, a Chicago-area journalist with 25 years of experience, covers Chicago Public Schools for the Daily News.