Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Save Stockton School" Group Organizes

Photo courtesy of Zol87 on Flickr through Creative Commons license
From a group called "Save Stockton School":

In light of CPS's recent inclusion of Stockton School (4520 N Beacon) on the list of schools they deem "underutilized," we are banding together to fight for the future of Stockton School. As you well know, Stockton Elementary, along with the Child-Parent Center (affectionately known as "Little Stockton") has been a fixture in the Uptown neighborhood for many decades, providing a safe-haven of learning for our students.

The outpouring of support from parents, students, and community members so far has been incredible, with Stockton having one of the largest contingencies at last Friday's meeting at Horner Park. The best way to ensure the future of Stockton and our students is to stand in solidarity and show that our Uptown community won't stand idle while these unelected outsiders attempt to destabilize our community. The closing of bus routes may only be the beginning. It appears that there is intent to go after our schools next.

In an effort to display our solidarity and support for this vital part of our community, the website www.supportstocktonschool.wordpress.com will soon go live. Our intent is to highlight all of the good that Stockton and its teachers do for our children, our community, and our children. As this site is assembled over the coming days and weeks, I am asking for the following information:
  • Statistics and information about Stockton School utilization
  • Demographic information and school performance
  • Retention rates and transitory/homeless population data
  • Anecdotal stories on the positive impact of Stockton School on students, families, and the community
  • Local businesses that would like to be listed on the website as "supporters of Stockton School" (this is not a sponsorship and there are no costs involved)
Along with the website, an online petition is also forthcoming for individuals to sign supporting Stockton School.

Please send any information that might be helpful to save.stockton.school@gmail.com and keep an eye out for the debut of our website, www.supportstocktonschool.wordpress.com. Please spread this email far and wide! We look forward to your continued support!

UU Note:  The 12-panel mosaic mural featured above was done by Uptown artist Ginny Sykes, who also did the Sunnyside Mall mosaics, and is entitled "Over The Rainbow."


  1. How can we, as a community, address the apparent fact that the school is underutilized? How can we get enrolment up? Will the proposed development at Clarendon/Montrose help? Are there other family friendly developments planned in the neighborhood? It seems to me that to justify keeping a school open, a sustainable population of students would be a requirement.

  2. It's quite subjective and dependent on the CPS statistics. For example, InterAmerican Magnet school in Wrigleyville has about 800 students. They have NO extra space. Every classroom has 25 students. There is no place for an extra meeting or other activity. They are considered by CPS to be underutilized. One of the main criterion is that CPS uses 30 students per classroom to be the standard. That's a standard for overcrowding. It's bizarre. It's another lesson in "whoever makes the rules wins the game". Good luck with Stockton!

  3. Here's an example of how the system works. In Wrigleyville, InterAmerican Magnet school has about 800 prek-8 graders. They have no extra space. There is not space for a meeting or other activity when school is in session. However, by CPS standards they are underutilized. How is that possible? It's because CPS uses an outmoded measurement of 30 students per class - Class size is supposed to be 20-25 for effective teaching. But they don't abide by their own standards for class size. Based on that standard just about any school will be underutilized. So CPS can shut down any school because they determine the measurements. "Whoever designs the rules, wins the game". Good luck with Stockton!

  4. Check out this link for some specifics on Uptown schools and the situation citywide.

    Simply put the school age population had dropped both citywide and particularly in Uptown.

    Given the amount of money CPS put into renovating Stockton the last few years it might make more sense to close some of the other local schools that are in worse physical shape.

    It's clear though that some schools will be closed.

    Added bonus in the links is comments from former Uptown resident JP "Jesus Loves Me" Paulus. He hits most of his most common nonsensical themes with his comments and even talks about a future opponent to the Capplemaniac.

    Personally, I hope that JP moves back to Uptown to grace us with his grace-filled presence and runs for Alderman himself.


  5. Where will the kids go if Stockton is shuttered? And then what will happen to the school/land?

  6. A good cure for boredom is blowing up hyperbole, so here goes:

    Ald. Cappleman's core voter base helped change Uptown, and drove out the working class (i.e. NOT section 8 housing) famiies that used to live in Uptown and populate the schools.

    I'm sure JP has data to support this claim, right?

    If I'm not mistaken, Wilson Yard was all about housing for the working class. Last checked: after years of division on the issue, it seems as though everyone has come to terms with WY, and have even welcomed the working class folks who have moved in.

    But, if JP wants to have a chat about one group trying to drive out (or, by logical extension: try to demonize) another group, I'm totally game.

    The Uptown Chicago Commission, who's ememebrs are pat of that base, has driven out & harassed many of the shelters where some of the chidren came from.

    Harassed? Really? I must have missed a meeting or two of the "Uptown Harassment Collective" cuz, I totally missed a chance to do me some harrasin'.

    Again, I'm sure JP can back this claim with hard data since no true man of god is about to cast dispersions ... etc, right?

    They also have never shown any support of those schools.

    I'm sure there's a more polite way to say that this comment is straight up bullshit, but I'm still so upset that I didn't get a chance to harass someone that I can't get my vocabulary in gear.

    That said, I remember dropping off bags and bags of school supplies at the alderman's office and adding those to a HUGE pile of supplies the past few years.

    But, hey .. JP says no one supports the schools, so it has to be true.

    Had the anti-Shiller voters provided just 10% of those votes as mentors to children in those schools, they would have voted out Shiller long ago,

    Wait. What?

    and they would have been able to actually support those schools, rather than abandon them.

    People did what, now?

    Those CTU should

    ... those CTU ... what?

    One way to really kill an entertaining, nonsensical rant is to forget to put all of the words in it.

    look at Cappleman's statements and talk to him (and his potential challengers) about this.

    Yes, look at those statements - since JP can't be bothered to support his argument.

    Another way to kill a good rant is to make the audience do your research for you.

    Points for sprinkling some "political opponents" into the mix. Well played.

    Other wards would have alderman fighting for their community institutions.

    Ah .. the glory days when the previous alderman would stand outside of schools at the end of the day to talk to students, or go to CAPS meetings, support toy and school supply drives, or hold public meetings, or sweep the streets, or speak to the media, or do anything to promote inclusion of all of the residents and help those in need ... oh yes, those days were awesome. We all rode around on unicorns who pooped marshmallows.

    Well played, JP - you big ol' class warrior, you.

  7. Yeah: UCC hasn't done anything to support the schools. Except this.

    UCC Presents CPS Seminar on Uptown School Options

    But don't let facts interrupt a good straw man argument.

    If you look at the facts, inconvenient though they may be, there aren't a lot of children of any socioeconomic class or race in Uptown. Could be a variety of reasons.

    The South Side has lost more kids than any area of the city, due to population loss, and I don't see anyone blaming gentrification for that. Fact is, when a city starts leaking overall population, like Chicago has been, there will be fewer kids and less need for schools.

    When you have a bunch of schools in an area that are one-third to one-half full, and a city and a school board that are broke, keeping every school open doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Consolidating them seems like a wise idea.

    I've heard that Stewart School had a graduating class of 17 last June. 17. If other schools in the area have similar numbers, it's fiscally insane to keep all of them open.

    I graduated from Stewart and it makes me really sad to think of it closing. But if those are really the class sizes, not only in Uptown, but all over the city, and the buildings are in desperate need of repair, I don't see how consolidation isn't a good idea.

    If Stockton is the best repair of any of the Uptown schools, my guess is that it doesn't have a whole lot to worry about, but I salute the people behind "Save Stockton School" for their proactivity and passion.

  8. Quick update - here's documented proof that those selfish, heartless, greedy residents of Uptown really don't care about those in need.

    Oh, and specific to this particular UU post, here's more proof that no one in Uptown cares about our public institutions.

    Oh, wait here's another.

    As IP stated, JP .. save us heathens!! Save us from ourselves! Save us before we give again!!

  9. Does nobody think that this is a much larger problem, and this closing is only a symptom of a school system that is being bled out by our democratic mayor?

  10. Most of the schools that got remodeled and updated are targeted for Charters.....Yes, the mayor has his finger on all the processes....

  11. NTC, would love to hear where you heard this bit of news and which schools are targeted to become charter schools.

  12. Just a quick response to the question of class size: Stockton has 9 special education classrooms (mostly due to their specialized autism unit, which also serves students from outside the attendance area) which are also counted in the "30 kids per classroom" average. While there is no way that having 30 students in an autism classroom is a good idea (it isn't a good idea for ANY classroom, according to professional studies) any enrollment in those classes under the magic number of 30 are considered open and available, making the school appear "underutilized" by CPS standards. There is more clarification on the numbers game CPS is using at http://cpsapples2apples.wordpress.com/

  13. From the Trib, this morning - Rahm has a plan on school closings. Charters and such are mentioned, quite a bit.

  14. Dear God, PLEASE have CPS close Uplift....PLEASE!