Almost two dozen Chicago elementary and high schools will get coveted new academic programs — an $18 million investment over six years into International Baccalaureate, dual language, fine arts and other offerings.
Almost 10,000 students will benefit, the district said in a Thursday announcement.
The money will pay for staffing, training, and learning materials at 22 schools with the new programs.
This was the second year schools across the city were invited to apply for dollars to launch specialized programs through a competitive process. Last year, Chicago Public Schools doled out $32 million for such academic programs, drawing some criticism that the district had not made it entirely clear how it had chosen the winning schools.
The district said this year’s selection process was more thorough and drew on more input from school communities. It included interviews with school staff and letters of support from community members and Local School Councils.
District officials said one factor in the decision-making was an annual report that surveys enrollment patterns, student choice, and access to high-rated programs. This year’s report, which was also released Thursday and is produced with the school choice group Kids First Chicago, details gaps in programs by region and race. This year’s installment found that black students still travel outside their neighborhoods to attend schools at rates higher than their peers: About 20% of black students travel six miles or more to school, compared to 16% of whites and 12% of Latino students.
The new programs announced this week include the district’s first Early College Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) programs at North-Grand and Uplift High Schools, its first gifted program on the West Side at Morton School of Excellence, and its first fine and performing arts high school on the Far South Side at Julian High.
“These critical academic investments push the district closer to a future where every student has access to high-quality educational experiences regardless of the neighborhood they live in,” said schools chief Janice K. Jackson in a statement.
The schools receiving new programs are:
- Armour Elementary School (STEM)
- Brentano Math & Science Academy (World Language – Spanish)
- Burr Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
- Clark Elementary School (World Language – Spanish)
- Dawes Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
- Ebinger Elementary School (IB – Primary Years Programme)
- Farragut Career Academy (IB – Career-Related Programme)
- Julian High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
- Kelvyn Park High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
- Libby Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
- McCutcheon Elementary School (STEAM)
- Morton School of Excellence (Gifted)
- North-Grand High School (Early College STEAM)
- Parkside Community Academy (STEAM)
- Plamondon Elementary School (STEM)
- Pullman Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
- Rogers Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
- Sayre Language Academy (IB – Middle Years Programme)
- Schubert Elementary School (Dual Language)
- Tarkington School of Excellence (Dual Language)
- Uplift Community High School (Early College STEAM)
- Whittier Elementary School (Dual Language Magnet With Boundary)