Fifteen new city high schools and five new elementary schools would be opened in the next two years, according to a plan announced yesterday by Chicago Public Schools chief Arne Duncan.
The proposal is a part of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Renaissance 2010 initiative and includes 14 proposals submitted by CPS teachers and personnel from existing schools.
Nine high schools would open in fall 2009 with another six to follow a year later.
“We need to keep creating great new options for our families -- especially high school options -- across the city to allow our families to find the school that best fits their child’s needs,“ Duncan says in a statement.
Included in the proposal is the addition of Social Justice High School-Pride Campus, which would be an LGBT friendly school open to all students. A final public hearing for Social Justice High School was held last night, attracting about 100 people.
“We are absolutely thrilled,“ says Chad Weiden, assistant principal at the Greater Lawndale Little Village School for Social Justice. “This is a historic day for Chicago. …They really have put the children first.“
Eighteen of the 20 new school proposals will come in front of the Chicago Board of Education for approval Oct. 22. The other two, a new high school and new elementary school in Gage Park to be run by United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) Charter Schools, were approved in September.
Duncan announced that Victory Schools, Inc., and Chicago RISE, a subsidiary of Chicago International Charter Schools, will join the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) as management firms for turnaround schools in 2009. They will be involved in up to six turnaround projects in fall 2009, CPS officials say. Another four to six turnaround schools will be managed by CPS‘s Office of School Turnarounds.
None of the turnaround schools for 2009 have been identified or voted on by the board.
The district currently has eight turnaround schools, five of them run by AUSL.
Proposed new schools, 2009-10
- Alcott High School for the Humanities, location TBA: Would offer a college-prep curriculum with an international focus. The school is an outgrowth of Alcott and Ogden elementary schools.
- William B. Ogden High School, location TBA: Like Alcott HS, it would offer a college-prep curriculum with an international focus.
- Urban Prep Academy for Young Men, East Garfield Park: New contract school based on the existing model at Urban Prep Charter Academy. It would offer a college-prep environment through strong academic support.
- Career Academy for Advanced Technology, location TBA: Would offer college-prep and career-prep tracks with a focus on careers and majors in advanced technology. This is a proposed contract school submitted by the Center for Polytechnical Education.
- Chicago Talent Development High School, West Garfield Park: The proposed contract school would feature a partnership including Union Park High Schools, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Service Employees International Union Local 73, and the educational model Talent Development, based at Johns Hopkins University.
- Chicago Hope Academy, 2189 W. Bowler St.: Would offer a curriculum that prepares students for college and life. This is a proposed contract school. It originally was founded in 2004 as a private school.
- EPIC Academy, South Chicago location TBA: Would offer a curriculum that engages students in rigorous academic inquiries and would have students work in teams. The curriculum would include a service-learning component in which students would participate in community projects. This is a proposed contract school submitted by administrators and teachers at ACA Tech Charter, Dunbar High School and Corliss High School.
- Noble Street Charter School, Bulls campus: Would offer students a college-prep focus. The school would receive financial support from the Chicago Bulls and is one of three Noble Street charter high schools under consideration.
- Noble Street Charter School, Muchin campus: Would offer students a college-prep focus.
- Noble Street Charter School Bain-NUSH, location TBA: The proposed grades K-8 school would be the first elementary school in the Noble network. The school would partner with Northwestern University and Bain and Co.
- Garfield Park Preparatory Academy, East Garfield Park: Proposed by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the grades K-8 school would integrate a research-based approach to instruction known as Accelerated Independent Learner from Columbia University.
- South Loop of South Shore, location TBA: Based on the model of the South Loop Elementary school, this K-8 performance school would build partnerships with local businesses and include a fine arts program.
- Chicago International Charter School, Altgeld Gardens campus, 13300 S. Langley: The K-8 school would serve children in the Altgeld Gardens area of Riverdale, a Renaissance 2010 priority community.
- UNO Charter School, Gage Park Elementary: The school, approved by the Board of Education in September, will serve grades K-8 and offer a structured academic and social environment.
Proposed new high schools, 2010-2011
- Social Justice High School, Pride Campus, location TBA: Proposed as an LGBT friendly school, it would proved a college-prep focus for students. Its curriculum would include four years of English and math, three years of science and foreign language, and elected Advanced Placement classes.
- Urban Prep Academy for Young Men, South Shore location TBA: It would be the second CPS school based on the model at the all-boys Urban Prep Charter Academy.
- Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, located TBA: The contract school would offer college-prep and career-prep tracks which focus on majors and careers in health sciences. Students would be able to earn certification in nursing, health technology and health administration.
- Noble Street Charter School, Osborn campus, location TBA: The school would offer students throughout the city a college-prep environment.
- UNO Charter School, Charter Academy, Gage Park: Established in collaboration with Chicago LEADS, the school will offer students a college-prep track and a career-prep track focusing on the hospitality industry. This expansion was approved at the September board meeting.
- Transportation Academy of Chicago, location TBA: The performance school would be a career academy operated in partnership with the Chicago Transportation Authority, Chicago LEADS and other businesses. Students would be prepared for careers in the transportation industry.
Paul Bowker, a Chicago-area journalist with 25 years of experience, covers Chicago Public Schools for the Daily News.