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Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

Safety plans for closings outlined

CPS officials unveiled what they called a "comprehensive" safety plan to address concerns that closing schools will put students in danger. Much of what they outlined--from community members patroling the routes to and from school to social emotional programs at welcoming schools--have been offered before at welcoming schools.

The newest part of the plan was that at least one security guard from the closing school would follow the students to the welcoming school. "They will be able to see a familiar face," said Jadine Chou, the district’s chief safety and security officer. 

Chou and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett would not put a pricetag on any of the extras they promised to welcoming schools, saying that they had to wait til they had a final list of schools and did an assessment of what is needed.

Chou and Byrd-Bennett said they got many of their ideas from the community engagement process that took place this winter. CPS held 28 community meetings in February. Byrd-Bennett didn't attend any of the meetings, but she said she read the transcripts. What she took from them was that "everybody got that we need to close school." 

“One of those things we heard frequently at the community meetings was parents just need peace of mind to make sure their children are able to travel safely,” Chou said.

Chou said CPS officials paid special attention to specific problem areas pointed out to community members and parents and they will be going back to these people once the final list is announced. Each welcoming school will have a unique plan. 

But the following are some of the things that CPS will provide: 

*Social-emotional supports like coping skills and conflict resolution training, as well as student “buddies” for children whose schools have closed

*Community-building activities for students and families.

*Extra technology like security cameras

*Money for security guards from closed schools to work at receiving schools for at least a year.

 

The announcement came just a day after CPS began looking for moving companies to help with closings.

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6 comments

noway wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

stop it

“everybody got that we need to close schools“ cmon lady. Everybody? I went to one more engagement meeting than BBB and I can say that not one person there was giving that impression! A pot of lies, misinformation, and just sad that BBB is not a school leader but is paid to be one. Tell the truth but BBB cant but she never attended an “engagement“ meeting.

Paulette Lane wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

More Public Nuisance Behavior from CPS

I think it is sad to call a school a "welcoming School", if they are forced to receive failing students from another school and then most likely end up on probation next year, due to a consolidation by force. Also if the "Welcoming school" (Receiving School) ends up needing metal detectors when they never needed it before, it could run away all their dedicated parents and students away in fear!! How would this be a welcoming situation if the school's existing student population were peaceful and dedicated learners, only to be disrupted by CPS for the a wild unruly crowd that is behind in school? If more security is needed because the students being "received", needed it at their previous school or because CPS anticipated the clashing of cultures; this would be enough for me to pull my children out of our school. When you make an investment in your child and school community, you certainly do not want the gains stalled, no matter what the reason is.

I remember under "Renaissance 2010" when Arne Duncan sent some students from Williams at 2710 S. Dearborn to our school Douglas at 3200 S. Calumet. He said he wanted to rehab their school and that they would be in our school temporarily. H e also said that their single digit scores would not be incorporated into Douglas's standardized scores. Guess what folks Arne never kept his word. Williams did not want to take their weakest students back and their scores were also incorporated into the Douglas scores. Some of the students also went to NTA & Drake and I'm sure these schools have their own story to tell..

When the Williams students were at our school, there was fighting on the school yard almost everyday, down our block and on the parkways, rocks thrown at homeowner’s windows, graffiti written on signs and also a little girl ended up sexually molested.

Now in 2013 there is the potential for this nonsense to happen all over again!! Will more unruly failing students be sent to disrupt the learning environment in our school again and also destroy standardized test scores all as well, but now under the "underutilization" umbrella??

Pershing West is our 4th-8th grade program, but in a separate building from Pershing East. They were separated under Arne Duncan to expand the school. The sad part is when CPS supposedly expanded our Magnet school Pershing East and separated grades into separated buildings the 4th-8th grade portion had its Magnet status taken away and converted to "Performance School" while the K-3rd remained Magnet. Now the 4th- thru 8th it is treated as a separate school. On the school action list "Pershing West is only listed because “Pershing East" is not underutilized. (smaller building) Will our schools be put back together as one Magnet school like it initially was at 3113 S. Rhodes, or will CPS destroy the middle school portion? There is certainly enough room to put our entire school back together (k-8th) at the 3200 S. Calumet facility location. However, if the plan is to completely destroy our school, then another option will be selected. Right??

Do you know any other Magnet Schools that were ripped apart?? Pershing once had one curriculum. Now Pershing East is advanced reading, math and science and Pershing West is not. There is no curriculum alignment between the 2 schools. Why do you think this was done? Most likely to force the parents from our k-3rd program to leave the community for 4th grade options somewhere outside the community. Why else would CPS make the 4th-8th grade a regular unchallenging program and increase the special education portion of the school.

Now it seems that CPS has new plans to impact our school again. The neighborhood around Pershing West is not a low-income community. The average income is over $100,000 a year but predominantly African American. I've lived in this community for about 15 years and we have never has a stable school environment thanks to CPS. They are always using our schools as “receiving schools” for failing students from other neighborhoods.

We have no selective options and the Skinner Classical bus still picks children up in our area who want better options. I guess this will always be the plan. Skinner picked up my son when he was in elementary school. Whitney Young Academic Center picked up my other. My point is that it is a shame that with all the high property taxes that we pay, CPS would not put the same programs in our community for our dedicated parents. Why does our community have to always be set aside for disruptions?

I checked the Census Data and it is a shame that a very high percentage of the children in my community are in private school. I shared this information with CPS. A Charter would not draw them back to CPS. Practically all the children in all are schools are filled with families who live somewhere else and many are very unproductive.

You would think CPS would put in programs that we need for our own children, so that they can walk to school. However this is never the case. Our schools are always placed at an unfair disadvantage. Thanks for absolutely nothing CPS and I really fear for our teachers jobs again. They seem to never get rewarded for their effort. Meanwhile a new Principal at NTA is handed a gifted center. I suppose he earned it right, just like South Loop School did when they sent their failing kids to our community to get their gifted center in the past. Our community has never been a “favorite child."

Northside wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

activities?

*Community-building activities for students and families."

so picking a name out of a hat and having them lead you around a room blindfolded will make up for years of neglect?? really?? this is so sick!!! i want to cry.....they are so naive..so evil!!!

PLLane wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Parents Please Monitor the "Safe Passage Parent Patrol"

I had to tell one of those "Safe Passage" patrol men to leave my daughter alone. My daughter is in high school and I was still walking her to school because she asked me to. The "Parent Patrol" man was not aware that my involvement was by her asking and would make comments like "Your mom is still walking you to school?" He would also make other comments like "Man, you must really love your mother!". Then my daughter told me that I didn't have to walk her and I felt like it was because this man was trying to embarass her in front of her peers as she walked to the school building. However one day when I let her go alone, I still followed and walked further behind because I was suspicious of this partiular "Parent Patrol" man and sure enough when he spotted my daughter, he was getting in her face as she was crossing the street, making unwanted comments and when she ignoringly speeded past him to keep going, he used his authority to try and get her to come back to him. This is when I appeared and demanded that he leave my daughter alone and never tell her to "come here." She wasn't bothering anyone but quietly minding her own business on her way to school! I also questioned why he was doing something that could make her late for school! I was glad that a police officer associated with my daughter's high school was close enough to see the incident and hear me my confrontation with the "Parent Patrol" man. I befriended this officer in the past who patrols the area around my daughter's school and he told me in the past that he also had a daughter. Yes I was glas he was steps away and heard my sincere concern for the "Parent Patrol" man and shortly afterwards, this man was transferred from our community. However recently there has been a new "Parent Patrol" man added to another street corner at an intersection that she has to cross and he has the same problem, bothering girls who are not wayward, but peacefully going to school. He asked my daughter if she would come over so he can talk to her and she told me she kept going again. Now I'll have to monitor this situation as well. It's my opinion that now our area needs "Police Patrol' to protect our children from some of the "Parent Patrol." So much for safety and security!!

maria ortiz wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

school closing

Really, how is that that one security guard is going to walk with the kids.... Kids go to school at defferent times staring half hour before school day begins.til class begins is that person going to be running back and forth????
.....

Anonymous wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Security

They don't walk any one to school. The "patrols" are spaced out at corners near the school. I go past Manly high school everyday and see them stationed around the school.

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