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Under-utilized schools continue to shed students: map

Even as they released the updated list of under-utilized schools, CPS officials stressed that simply having empty space will not be the death knell for schools.

Some 330 schools are considered under-utilized by CPS, which calculates its rate based on a figure of 30 students per classroom plus ancillary rooms for art, library and special education students. District leaders refuse to say how many schools will be on the chopping block.

School action guidelines allow the CEO to consider a host of other factors, including safety, leadership and whether the school has recently been affected by any school actions. This might mean that recent turnaround schools—a process in which an entire staff is fired and replaced and the district, and in some cases the federal government, provide extra money for improvements—may be spared.

Also, if it costs too much to move students from one building to another or if no better schools are nearby, a school may be saved.

The data also show that 28 charter schools are rated as under-utilized, but 11 of those just recently opened and six of them are adding grades. Only three of the under-utilized charter schools are losing enrollment. They are Betty Shabazz Charter High School—DuSable, Urban Prep—Englewood and ACE Technical Charter School.

CPS officials say they will consider utilization status when renewing a charter school. Shabazz and ACE are up for renewal this year.

For the first time this year, CPS officials included, with the utilization rates, data on the enrollment trends of the building and the cost to keep it maintained with any necessary repairs. That information shows that 230 of the 330 underutilized schools lost enrollment and of those, 36 percent lost one-fifth of their population over the past two years.

CPS officials also have made a point of emphasizing the number of schools that are more than half under-utilized. Spokeswoman Becky Carroll says this should not be considered an indication that these schools will be targeted.

Those schools that are more than 50 percent under-utilized are way more likely to serve African American students and be rated as Level 3, the worst rating given by the district.

The map below shows all underutilized schools, with those more than half empty identified by the red marker.


Chicago dad wrote 2 years 3 weeks ago
Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 weeks ago

CPS inaccurate and misleading data

Amazing. CPS demographers still can't get it right. For example, Lincoln houses the French Consulate's French School. How then can Lincoln be considered overcrowded? It's a simple solution: make the French move.

Furthermore, so many magnet programs receive extra funding and attract motivated families through magnet programming (which includes extra positions). It's not fair to compare these kinds of schools, such as Beasley on the South Side and Hawthorne on the North Side, with neighborhood schools that receive no extra funding or programs to "magnet" additional students such as Mitchell in Ukrainian Village or Burke on the South Side. If the latter schools had all the extras for the past five years, would they be "under-utilized"? Conversely, if Beasley and Hawthorne didn't have those programs, would they be as enrolled? Given CPS gross intra-district inequities, its attempts at gauging school utilization are clumsy at best and useless at worst.

srb199 wrote 2 years 1 week ago

Anyone wondering why there

Anyone wondering why there are fewer students? Where are the people who used to live in these areas going?

Chicago dad wrote 2 years 1 week ago

CPS and Byrd-Bennet remain silent, are they hiding from parents?

The letter asks basic questions that all parents and taxpayers would want answered. Looks like BBB's stated goal of building trust by being transparent and engaging the community is just more fluff designed to put off Chicago voters till the back room deal is slid under the door.

Chicago dad wrote 2 years 1 week ago
Florence Gonzalez wrote 2 years 6 days ago

Bully principals like Millicent Clyburn at Bright cause problems

As if the number of people leaving Chicago were not enough, bully principals like Millicent Clyburn (Robersone) at O.T. Bright make the problem worse. Parents get fed up with the high teacher turnover rate caused by bully principals then they enroll their kids at other schools. Every year a slew of teachers quit by early January so that Clyburn can't use the E3 dismissal process to terminate them and ruin their record. Brand new teachers who have very few protections under the CTU contract are hired to replace the teachers that leave. By the beginning of the new school year Clyburn uses harassing supervision, public humiliation, and monopolizing after school time to "meet with teachers" and "coach" them for 15+ hours per week so that the teachers can't check student work, input data, or set up their classrooms. After that, the teachers are easy prey for CPS's biggest bully, Millicent Clyburn (a.k.a. Robersone) to destroy them.

Chicago dad wrote 2 years 6 days ago

Not easy, BUT

The best way to deal with this is through the LSC, even if it is currently in the principals pocket. Organize the parents and vote in a new LSC, then ditch the principal. What is the background of this principal?

Valerie F.Leonard wrote 2 years 6 days ago

Address the Utilization Crisis at the Federal and State Levels

Regardless of where you stand on the issues of mass closings and rapid expansion of charters, you should be concerned that such drastic measures have not resulted in greater school quality. All schools could benefit from school districts taking the time to adequately plan.

We have started two grassroots petitions to address school closings on a national and state level. The first petition is to the President, asking him to stop education policies that promote mass school closings while expanding charters. The second is to the Governor and State Legislature asking them to create a master education facilities planning board.

Here's the link to the petition to the President.

Here's the link to the petition to the Governor and State Legislature.

Please sign and share both petitions. If we get 25,000 signatures on the petition to the President by January 30, he will provide a public response on his We the People website.

Chicago dad wrote 2 years 5 days ago

Response from Byrd-Bennet to Raise Your Hand

I agree with Valerie and will be signing, but we also must continue to act locally as well. Also,

Andrew wrote 2 years 3 days ago

K-8's noted in CPS Interim Report - Attendance Boundaries Shown

Here is visualization of the K-8 schools listed in the interim report by attendance boundary.

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