Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Uptown Schools On CPS Possible Closure List

Chicago Public Schools came out with a more specific, narrower list of schools that are on its list for possible closure and consolidation.  Sadly for Uptown, the three elementary schools that were on the larger list released a month ago remain possible candidates for closure:
  • Stockton School, which is at 45% of capacity, is rated as a Level 3 school (not on probation), and would cost $400,000 to update the building
  • Stewart School, which is at 41% of capacity, is rated as a Level 2 school (not on probation), and would cost $16,500,000 to update the building.
  • Brennemann School, which is at 51% of capacity, is rated as a Level 2 school (not on probation), and would cost $8,500,000 to update the building.
  • Nearby Trumbull School, in Andersonville, is also on the list.  It is at 54% of capacity, is rated as a Level 3 school (not on probation), and would cost $16,300,000 to update the building.
You can read more specifics in the Tribune.


  1. If I were a cynical man, I'd say closing Brenneman is a strategic ploy to increase blight in the neighborhood and further justify the Maryville TIF. The current proposal for the Maryville site wouldn't have a significant positive effect on neighborhood schools (for at least a generation) anyway so the school would remain superfluous.

  2. Wow - this looks like they want to close just about every school in Uptown, aside from Uplift. I don't have children, but that seems a little extreme. Since Stockton looks the least expensive to upgrade, perhaps it will miss the chopping block?

    Maybe CPS should start by selling some of their vacant property - such as the blighted building on the 4800 block of Kenmore - and use that money towards rehabbing Stockton. The $16 million though for Stewart - ouch! Such a beautiful building too...

  3. So basically almost all the schools in Uptown’s immediate area. Is this because of demographic shifts? Couples with children deciding to either move to the suburbs or put their kids in private schools? I know many parents who are looking to get their kids into Disney Magnet.

    I ponder the fate of these buildings once vacant. Positioned for some sort of redevelopment perhaps, particularly Stewart school.

    Or maybe they’ll turn some into Charter Schools eventually.

  4. As a local parent, I would love it if one of the schools could be turned into a selective enrollment elementary. Not a magnet school, but the academic selective enrollment schools. I love Buena Park, but unfortunately we will have to move eventually to have our child in a better school. We have very few neighbors with children, and as I recall, the 46th ward has the least amount of children out of all of the wards? If we had a strong selective enrollment elementary in the area, it would keep families here!

  5. Stockton is a level three school, not level two. And level three is synonymous with probation. Meaning that both Stockton and Trumbull are on probation.

  6. There is a community meeting scheduled for 11:00 a.m. this Saturday at Truman College. According to CPS, this meeting will allow communities to provide feedback and input on schools that remain on the potential closure list. This meeting will cover Stockton, Stewart, Brennemann, and Trumbull (at Foster and Ashland). Anyone who is interested in keeping these schools open should attend Saturday's meeting.

  7. The list of schools put out by CPS did NOT include any high schools. Given it's tiny student body size I suspect Uplift may be on the high school list of potential closings. Depending on what shape that building is in I guess it could be used as a grade school potentially.

    Undoubtedly one or two non high schools will be closed in Uptown. The population of age appropriate students no longer exists in and around Uptown to support four or five schools.

    Because of the costs involved in renovation Stewart and Brenneman would be the most likely to be closed.

    If CPS really wanted to take a brave stand they would look at consolidating the local schools and possibly building new campuses.

    How could they fund this you ask?

    Well close Brennemann and build a new building for Disney at the site. Then in a few years move Disney and sell the current Disney site to a real estate developer and possibly even build a new campus below the new soaring IrishPirate/JP Paulus Luxury condo building at the current Disney site.

    My good friend JP is having fun over at the DNA Chicago site fretting about the changes in Uptown. Unfortunately, since I'm not on Facebook, I can't engage him in any scintillating discussions about how Uptown used to be before he moved 7 or more years ago.

    He sees it all as a conspiracy between the Capplemaniac, the Uptown Chicago Commission, the Illuminati, the Shriners, future ex Pope Benedict, myself, MacGruff the crime dog, and very possibly the same evil forces that destroyed Hostess and deprived JP of his needed daily intakes of twinkies. Oh I forgot to mention the Masons. They HAVE to be involved somehow.

  8. One more thang.

    My good Jesus and twinkie loving friend JP suggested that the Chicago Teachers Union start recruiting candidates to run against Cappleman.

    Might I humbly suggest JP moves back to Uptown and lead the fight! Perhaps JP could run himself. Perhaps some of his fellow religious travelers over at the non Friendly Tower on Wilson could run his campaign.

    JPUSA is still there right? I expect/hope/dare I say pray that one day soon I will wake up with a hangover and read on UU that JPUSA is JPUSAED out of existence.

    Even Marc Kaplan apparently abandoned Uptown for friendlier confines so perhaps only JP can lead the counter counter-Revolution. I can picture T-shirts in the "Che" mode of JP wearing a beret with a halo above it.

    Save us JP.


    Bite me!

    Now if you will excuse me I need to have a drink of wine and sleep the sleep of the non saved. My next ex wife was whining at me earlier about the lack of an engagement ring on V-Day and I need to take a dozen Ambien and go to sleep for a few days.

  9. Went to Brennemann the first year it opened. Remember the "Quonset hut" type roofs?

  10. Here is an idea. Send students from Stewart and Brenneman to Stockton. Use the savings from those 2 schools to pay for the Stockton upgrade. Fire all the teachers and principles from all three schools and have them all apply for the positions available at the newly populated Stockton school. Pick the most accomplished applicants from all who apply. Those who have demonstrated the best results with their students. Hummm! That might work.

  11. I can't believe that Stockton is on the list, when there have been multi-million dollar renovations over the past couple of years completed. WHY? Makes no sense, it's like throwing good money after bad. Unless...wait a want to become a magnet school.

  12. Stockton is on the list because it meets the subjective criteria CPS set to be on the list.

    That doesn't mean it's going to be closed. Given the amount of money put into it and the condition of the other schools I would certainly expect at least one or two of the others to be closed.

    Stockton will likely remain open.

    Another possibility is for it to be turned over to a charter school, but I wouldn't bet on that.

    Brenneman School would be first on my list for closing if I were running CPS. The money that could be saved closing it and made selling the property is substantial.

    Unfortunately I'm not running CPS. I'm just running my mouth or my fingers as I type so to speak or type.

  13. Brenneman is also the smallest school, it only has one floor. I think 2 of the schools will be closed. I was thinking Brenneman and Stewart, and the kids sent to Stockton and Trumball. I have heard though, the principal at Brenneman is pretty positive her school will not be closing...its a wait and see. The final list will be out March 31st. Of course, at the meeting Saturday, the issue was brought up about the kids having to cross "gang" boundaries, depending on what schools you close. Wow, what a mess.