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GROUNDHOG DAY AT CPS? 'This week...' begins February 2, CPS website reports on February 10

It's probably the right month for another example of Hollywood on Clark St. -- this time as "Groundhog Day" brought to you by Barbara Byrd Bennett and Rahm, Emanuel. One of the signal features of the administration of the nation's third largest school system as Chicago approaches the second anniversary of the coronation of Rahm Emanuel as mayor is that people who knew Chicago's schools and how the city worked have been fired, pushed out, or replaced by overpaid mercenaries, incompetent as well as viciously willing to push the official party line. So it comes as no surprise to those who are watching closely that CPS can't event get the most basic stuff straight. For example, on the morning of February 10, 2013, Chicago citizens could learn that the "coming week" begins on February 2, 2013.

The following comes from the CPS website:

CPS Community Engagement Continues With Six Scheduled Meetings This Week School Communities Are Encouraged to Attend Meetings in their Network to Participate in Discussions about School Utilization

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) continues its community engagement efforts this week with six scheduled meetings to address its utilization crisis. Officials today encouraged parents and other members of school communities to attend meetings in their areas.

“Last week, we listened to the voices of more than two thousand CPS students, parents and teachers, as well as other members of local school communities,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “And we hope to hear from thousands more at meetings taking place this week.” Meetings scheduled for this week are:

• 2/4/2013 Burnham Park 7:00-9:00pm St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan

• 2/5/2013 Garfield-Humboldt 7:00-9:00pm Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson

• 2/6/2013 Pershing 7:00-9:00pm Fuller Park Field House, 311 W. 45th St.

• 2/6/2013 Pilsen-Little Village 7:00-9:00pm Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

• 2/7/2013 Skyway 7:00-9:00pm Our Lady of Peace Rectory, 7851 S. Jeffrey

• 2/9/2013 Rock Island 11:00-1:00pm Metropolitan Family Services, 235 W. 103rd St.

CPS is holding two meetings in each school network. The first series of community meetings, which began last week, each include a presentation on data and metrics on all schools at the Network level, a public comment period and interactive discussions. Independent facilitators will be on hand to ensure that school communities are engaged in the discussion and have opportunities to provide their feedback. The second series of meetings, beginning February 13, are a follow-up conversation to the first series of meetings, and will include discussions about specific schools still under consideration at that time. This will allow communities to provide input and feedback on schools that remain on the table in their neighborhoods. While this list will not represent the final set of recommended schools that will go before the Chicago Board of Education, it will give communities the opportunity to give CPS crucial feedback on individual schools to better inform CEO Byrd-Bennett before she makes her final recommendations to the Board in March.

In January, CEO Byrd-Bennett announced that high-performing Level 1 schools and high schools are no longer being considered as part of this process and therefore will not be part of the discussion at these community meetings. She removed these schools from consideration in order to provide school communities with as many high-performing school options as possible and to address safety and concerns associated with including high schools in this process.

CEO Byrd-Bennett formed the independent Commission on School Utilization to gather data about the District’s utilization challenges and to engage school communities around how to best address them. After hearing from hundreds of parents and school community members at 10 public meetings, the Commission issued a series of recommendations to remove schools from consideration as part of this process, including taking high schools and high-performing Level 1 schools off the table. CEO Byrd-Bennett embraced both of these recommendations and she and her team are in the process of further defining and applying the Commission’s other recommendations, which will remove more schools from consideration as part of this process.

CPS is holding meetings related to school utilization as the District is facing a very real and daunting utilization crisis, due in large part to a significant population drop in Chicago over the last decade. Today, CPS serves 403,000 students, but has space for 511,000. Nearly 140 schools are more than half-empty and about 50 percent of all schools are underutilized. In the face of a $1 billion deficit next fiscal year, this utilization crisis is stretching the District’s limited resources much too thin. By addressing this crisis, CPS will be able to better redirect resources and invest in programs and supports that provide all children with a more well-rounded, high-quality education, such as new technology, playgrounds, libraries, AC, more nurses and counselors and art and music programs.

School communities are being notified of the community meetings via a variety of communication methods, including robo-calls, letters mailed home, by email, via cps.edu, on social media and at individual schools. A complete list of upcoming community meetings can be found below:

DATE

NETWORK

TIME

LOCATION

2/4/2013

Burnham Park

7:00-9:00pm

St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan

2/5/2013

Garfield-Humboldt

7:00-9:00pm

Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson

2/6/2013

Pershing

7:00-9:00pm

Fuller Park Field House, 311 W. 45th St.

2/6/2013

Pilsen-Little Village

7:00-9:00pm

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

2/7/2013

Skyway

7:00-9:00pm

Our Lady of Peace Rectory, 7851 S. Jeffrey

2/9/2013

Rock Island

11:00-1:00pm

Metropolitan Family Services, 235 W. 103rd St.

2/11/2013

Fulton

7:00-9:00pm

First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington

2/11/2013

Fullerton

7:00-9:00pm

Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie

2/13/2013

Austin-North Lawndale

7:00-9:00pm

Greater Galilee Baptist Church, 1308 S. Independence

2/14/2013

Lake Calumet

7:00-9:00pm

Olive Harvey College, 10001 S. Woodlawn

2/16/2013

Ravenswood-Ridge

11:00-1:00pm

Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson

2/18/2013

Englewood-Gresham

7:00-9:00pm

Liberation Christian Center, 6810 S. Ashland

2/19/2013

Burnham Park

7:00-9:00pm

St. Anselm Church, 6045 S. Michigan

2/20/2013

Skyway

7:00-9:00pm

South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr.

2/21/2013

Pershing

7:00-9:00pm

Fuller Park Field House, 331 W. 45th St.

2/23/2013

O'Hare

11:00-1:00pm

Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett

2/25/2013

Rock Island

7:00-9:00pm

Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted

2/26/2013

Fulton

7:00-9:00pm

First Baptist Congregational Church, 1613 W. Washington

2/27/2013

Garfield-Humboldt

7:00-9:00pm

Mt. Vernon MB Church, 2622 W. Jackson

2/28/2013

Fullerton

7:00-9:00pm

Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie

3/2/2013

Midway

11:00-1:00pm

Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski

3/4/2013

Pilsen-Little Village

7:00-9:00pm

Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western

Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.



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