Schools Update – March/April 2014

With Spring upon us and CPS admission letters in mailboxes, C4C thought it a good time to provide an update on schooling issues in our service area.

High Schools

C4C continues to actively pursue a high school for our service area. The new high school proposal for which we have been advocating for the last two years can be viewed here: Public Education Task Force Presentation Central City High School Proposal

We have recent indications from the Mayor’s office that they are interested in new education options in our area. We are encouraged that we have been noticed by the 5th floor and they appear receptive to our call for an additional near west side high school option.  Additionally, we have had several meetings with David Vitale and other CPS officials and they also are receptive to a new high school option.  What both the 5th floor and CPS need to see now is a united and vocal community.  So please, take a few minutes to read (or hopefully re-read) the Central City High School proposal. C4C and its Public Education Task Force will soon be organizing a large Central City High School public engagement initiative as part of the new master planning process for Roosevelt Square to get additional public feedback as follow up to our many public meetings last year and to collect letters of support.

With a united and vocal community, we believe we can make this happen.

While C4C firmly believes that we need a new high school, we do want to let community residents know about an interesting high school option nearby, that might not be on residents’ radar screens.  UIC College Prep, run by the Noble Street Charter Network, is located at Damen and Washburne. We would encourage you to look carefully at this school and its very, very impressive outcomes.  The school’s average ACT scores and college attendance rates put it amongst the very best high schools in the city.  And the program offers academic opportunities at UIC that most high schools cannot offer.  Take a look.

Elementary Schools

As anyone with children who moves into our area knows, we have some of the best elementary magnet school options of any neighborhood in the city.  Jackson, Galileo and STEM magnet schools produce academic outcomes that are among the city’s highest.  So we are quite fortunate.  Smyth magnet school continues to make huge improvements in their outcomes and is benefiting from partnerships with Illinois Math and Science Academy and the UIC College of Education. Dr. Alfred Tatum, a recognized expert in literacy, and Dean of UIC’s College of Education, has worked closely with Smyth Principal, Dr. Ron Whitmore, on UIC’s deep engagement at Smyth. C4C is committed to continuing to work with the Smyth community to do our part to help improve academic outcomes and access to opportunity for the Smyth community.  If you’re interested in working with Smyth in some capacity, contact us to let us know.

It is a crucial time for schooling in our area.  Now is the time to get active.  If you want to assist with the effort to bring a new high school option to the area, let us know.  If you want to volunteer or assist with Smyth, let us know and we’ll point you in the right direction.