WBEZ | enrollment http://www.wbez.org/tags/enrollment Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Only 60 percent of students from Chicago's closed schools turn up at 'welcoming schools' http://www.wbez.org/news/only-60-percent-students-chicagos-closed-schools-turn-welcoming-schools-108907 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IMAG1874.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Far fewer students from Chicago&rsquo;s closed elementary schools are enrolled where the district thought they would be this fall.</p><p>Just 60 percent of <a href="#20th Day figures">10,542 students*</a> from Chicago&rsquo;s shuttered elementary schools ended up at so-called &ldquo;welcoming schools,&rdquo; despite efforts by the district to woo them with promises of improved education, safe passage to school, and sweeteners like iPads, <a href="http://www.cps.edu/qualityschools/Pages/WelcomingSchoolsMap.aspx" target="_blank">air conditioning and new science labs</a>.</p><p>The district<a href="http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/Pages/PR1_08_02_2013.aspx" target="_blank"> insisted throughout the summer </a>that 80 percent of students from closing schools were enrolled at their designated welcoming schools. Even the first day of school, <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/sites/default/files/article/file-attachments/CPS%20First%20Day%20of%20School%20Fact%20Sheet-8.26.13_0.pdf" target="_blank">CPS said 78 percent </a>of impacted students were attending their welcoming schools. The district made $155.7 million in capital and technology investments at the schools, which <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/cps-will-go-further-debt-pay-upgrades-receiving-schools-106627">it will pay off for the next 30 years.</a></p><p>But enrollment figures obtained by WBEZ through an open records request show CPS overstated enrollment at the receiving schools by more than 2,000 students. The enrollment snapshot, taken on the 20th day of school, also shows:</p><ul><li>496 grammar-school children from shuttered schools do not seem to be enrolled anywhere at all, inside CPS or in other districts. They are listed on district spreadsheets as &ldquo;To be determined&rdquo; and are from nearly every closed school.</li></ul><ul><li>Students from closed schools have scattered throughout the system, attending 410 different schools&mdash;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/education/closing-schools-diaspora-108518" target="_blank">even more than initial counts indicated.</a></li></ul><p>One school in North Lawndale provides a telling example. Just 12 students out of 196 from shuttered Henson Elementary enrolled at Charles Evans Hughes, the designated welcoming school. The remaining students have scattered to 34 different schools. Nine students left the district, and 12 are completely unaccounted for.</p><p>At Johnson School of Excellence, a designated welcoming school for shuttered Pope Elementary, just 34 kids enrolled from Pope&mdash;77 percent of Pope students went elsewhere.</p><p><strong style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif;">Diaspora: Students from closed schools have scattered throughout the system</span></strong></p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; }</style> <table class="tableizer-table" height="856" width="266"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Closed school</th><th>Number of different CPS schools where students are now enrolled</th></tr><tr><td>ROSS</td><td>57</td></tr><tr><td>ALTGELD</td><td>47</td></tr><tr><td>WOODS</td><td>47</td></tr><tr><td>LAFAYETTE</td><td>44</td></tr><tr><td>PARKMAN</td><td>44</td></tr><tr><td>TRUMBULL</td><td>44</td></tr><tr><td>KOHN</td><td>43</td></tr><tr><td>BONTEMPS</td><td>42</td></tr><tr><td>EMMET</td><td>42</td></tr><tr><td>OVERTON</td><td>41</td></tr><tr><td>MAY</td><td>40</td></tr><tr><td>LAWRENCE</td><td>39</td></tr><tr><td>BETHUNE</td><td>38</td></tr><tr><td>GOLDBLATT</td><td>38</td></tr><tr><td>MAYO</td><td>38</td></tr><tr><td>CALHOUN</td><td>37</td></tr><tr><td>POPE</td><td>36</td></tr><tr><td>HENSON</td><td>35</td></tr><tr><td>SEXTON</td><td>35</td></tr><tr><td>SONGHAI</td><td>35</td></tr><tr><td>STOCKTON</td><td>35</td></tr><tr><td>KEY</td><td>34</td></tr><tr><td>MARCONI</td><td>34</td></tr><tr><td>OWENS</td><td>34</td></tr><tr><td>DUMAS TECH ACAD</td><td>33</td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson principal Alice Henry says she and her staff personally called every one of the Pope students. Many chose to go to schools closer to their homes, she says. And the school closings process took a toll too.</p><p>&ldquo;You know, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/full-audio-chicagoans-react-school-closings-proposals-scores-public-meetings-106670" target="_blank">during the hearings</a> and during that entire process, it&rsquo;s a pretty tumultuous, ugly process,&rdquo; said Henry. &ldquo;And feelings are developed, some problems kind of develop. It may take a year.&rdquo;</p><p>School board member Andrea Zopp is also taking a longer view, and says the capital and technology investments the district made will attract students eventually.</p><p>&ldquo;Over time, I think that will shake out. These schools are going to be community hubs. And I think they&rsquo;re going to draw&mdash;like good schools do&mdash;they&rsquo;re going to draw kids and families back into the neighborhood schools, and that&rsquo;s the goal.&rdquo;</p><p>Some schools not designated as welcoming schools took in more students from closed schools than designated welcoming schools. But the &ldquo;de facto&rdquo; welcoming schools didn&rsquo;t get technology or capital upgrades, and are not part of the district&rsquo;s $12 million Safe Passage program. And a number of them struggle academically, meaning children from closed schools are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/few-chicago-school-closings-will-move-kids-top-performing-schools-107261" target="_blank">attending schools that may be performing worse</a> than the closed schools they left.</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif;">&ldquo;De facto&rdquo; welcoming schools, with the total number of students they have enrolled from closed schools</span></span></strong></p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; }</style> <table class="tableizer-table" height="382" width="536"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>School</th><th>Designated welcoming School?</th><th>Number of students from closed schools</th></tr><tr><td>KELLMAN</td><td>No</td><td>159</td></tr><tr><td>LANGFORD</td><td>No</td><td>86</td></tr><tr><td>METCALFE</td><td>No</td><td>76</td></tr><tr><td>CHALMERS</td><td>No</td><td>64</td></tr><tr><td>MOOS</td><td>No</td><td>53</td></tr><tr><td>CATALYST CHTR - HOWLAND</td><td>No</td><td>52</td></tr><tr><td>CROWN</td><td>No</td><td>49</td></tr><tr><td>CARTER</td><td>No</td><td>46</td></tr><tr><td>PENN</td><td>No</td><td>46</td></tr><tr><td>LOWELL</td><td>No</td><td>45</td></tr><tr><td>PARKER</td><td>No</td><td>44</td></tr><tr><td>IRVING</td><td>No</td><td>43</td></tr></tbody></table><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Some 375 students from closed schools now attend Chicago charter schools, the figures indicate; 239 left the school district.</p><p>Receiving schools that did best at enrolling students from closed schools were those where the building didn&rsquo;t close. For instance, Pershing Middle School closed, but the building itself remained open, and staff from Pershing Elementary moved in and took over, making it a K-8 school. Ninety percent of students from Pershing Middle stayed for the transition.</p><p>Asked about the fact that just 60 percent of students from closed schools enrolled in their designated welcoming school, spokeswoman Becky Carroll said CPS supports parents&rsquo; right to choose where to enroll their children.</p><p>&ldquo;Thousands of parents every year choose to enroll their child at a different school in our district &ndash;or even outside the district&mdash;and we support them in those choices,&rdquo; Carroll wrote in an email.&nbsp; She wrote that the &ldquo;far majority&rdquo; of parents from closed schools chose to send their children to their designated welcoming school, and those children &ldquo;are now receiving a higher-quality education with the resources they need to succeed and thrive in the classroom.&rdquo;</p><p>Regarding the nearly 500 students the district cannot account for, officials have said district employees have called, written and gone door to door looking for them.</p><p><strong style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif;">Percent of students from CPS closed schools attending their designated welcoming school</span></strong></p> <style type="text/css"> table.tableizer-table { border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif font-size: 12px; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; }</style> <table class="tableizer-table"><tbody><tr class="tableizer-firstrow"><th>Closed school</th><th>Total number of impacted students</th><th>Designated welcoming school</th><th>Number of students atending designated welcoming school</th><th>% attending designated welcoming school(s)</th><th>Did CPS name more than one receiving school?</th></tr><tr><td>ALTGELD</td><td>335</td><td>WENTWORTH</td><td>235</td><td>70.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>ARMSTRONG, L</td><td>92</td><td>LELAND</td><td>48</td><td>52.2%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>BANNEKER</td><td>261</td><td>MAYS</td><td>214</td><td>82%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>BETHUNE</td><td>315</td><td>GREGORY</td><td>23</td><td>7.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>BONTEMPS</td><td>239</td><td>NICHOLSON TECH ACAD</td><td>71</td><td>29.7%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>CALHOUN</td><td>234</td><td>CATHER</td><td>115</td><td>49.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>DELANO</td><td>259</td><td>MELODY</td><td>217</td><td>83.8%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>DUMAS TECH ACAD</td><td>241</td><td>WADSWORTH</td><td>183</td><td>75.9%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>DUPREY</td><td>92</td><td>DIEGO</td><td>46</td><td>50%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>EMMET</td><td>316</td><td>DE PRIEST</td><td>95</td><td>30.1%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>EMMET</td><td>316</td><td>ELLINGTON</td><td>111</td><td>35.1%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>FERMI</td><td>191</td><td>SOUTHSHORE</td><td>154</td><td>80.6%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>GARFIELD PARK</td><td>132</td><td>FARADAY</td><td>49</td><td>37.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>GOLDBLATT</td><td>213</td><td>HEFFERAN</td><td>100</td><td>46.9%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>GOODLOW</td><td>285</td><td>EARLE</td><td>198</td><td>69.5%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>HENSON</td><td>196</td><td>HUGHES, C</td><td>12</td><td>6.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>HERBERT</td><td>205</td><td>DETT</td><td>162</td><td>79%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>KEY</td><td>283</td><td>ELLINGTON</td><td>170</td><td>60.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>KING</td><td>204</td><td>JENSEN</td><td>84</td><td>41.2%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>KOHN</td><td>323</td><td>CULLEN</td><td>14</td><td>4.3%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>KOHN</td><td>323</td><td>LAVIZZO</td><td>47</td><td>14.6%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>KOHN</td><td>323</td><td>HUGHES, L</td><td>167</td><td>51.7%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>LAFAYETTE</td><td>306</td><td>CHOPIN</td><td>209</td><td>68.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>LAWRENCE</td><td>318</td><td>BURNHAM</td><td>240</td><td>75.5%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>MARCONI</td><td>177</td><td>TILTON</td><td>65</td><td>36.7%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>MAY</td><td>386</td><td>LELAND</td><td>285</td><td>73.8%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>MAYO</td><td>326</td><td>WELLS, I</td><td>242</td><td>74.2%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>MORGAN</td><td>157</td><td>RYDER</td><td>101</td><td>64.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>OVERTON</td><td>284</td><td>MOLLISON</td><td>146</td><td>51.4%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>OWENS</td><td>250</td><td>GOMPERS</td><td>175</td><td>70%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>PADEREWSKI</td><td>150</td><td>CARDENAS</td><td>24</td><td>16%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>PADEREWSKI</td><td>150</td><td>CASTELLANOS</td><td>38</td><td>25.3%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>PARKMAN</td><td>156</td><td>SHERWOOD</td><td>52</td><td>33.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>PEABODY</td><td>211</td><td>OTIS</td><td>162</td><td>76.8%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>PERSHING MIDDLE</td><td>175</td><td>PERSHING</td><td>158</td><td>90.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>POPE</td><td>145</td><td>JOHNSON</td><td>34</td><td>23.4%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>ROSS</td><td>272</td><td>DULLES</td><td>117</td><td>43%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>RYERSON</td><td>326</td><td>WARD, L</td><td>261</td><td>80.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>SEXTON</td><td>309</td><td>FISKE</td><td>218</td><td>70.6%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>SONGHAI</td><td>258</td><td>CURTIS</td><td>104</td><td>40.3%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>STEWART</td><td>196</td><td>BRENNEMANN</td><td>117</td><td>59.7%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>STOCKTON</td><td>299</td><td>COURTENAY</td><td>247</td><td>82.6%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>TRUMBULL</td><td>206</td><td>MCCUTCHEON</td><td>11</td><td>5.3%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>TRUMBULL</td><td>206</td><td>MCPHERSON</td><td>50</td><td>24.3%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>TRUMBULL</td><td>206</td><td>CHAPPELL</td><td>98</td><td>47.6%</td><td>yes</td></tr><tr><td>VON HUMBOLDT</td><td>264</td><td>DIEGO</td><td>169</td><td>64%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>WEST PULLMAN</td><td>233</td><td>HALEY</td><td>76</td><td>32.6%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>WILIAMS MIDDLE</td><td>80</td><td>DRAKE</td><td>58</td><td>72.5%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>WILLIAMS ES</td><td>211</td><td>DRAKE</td><td>169</td><td>80.1%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>WOODS</td><td>274</td><td>BASS</td><td>127</td><td>46.4%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>YALE</td><td>157</td><td>HARVARD</td><td>67</td><td>42.7%</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td><strong>GRAND TOTAL</strong></td><td><strong>10,542</strong></td><td>&nbsp;</td><td><strong>6,335</strong></td><td><strong>60.1%</strong></td><td>&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><a name="20th Day figures">Source: </a>CPS data, WBEZ analysis. This table excludes preschool students, all students from&nbsp; shuttered Buckingham and Near North special education schools, and special education &ldquo;cluster programs.&rdquo; CPS has also excluded these students from its calculations of enrollment rates at welcoming schools.</span><a name=" "></a></p><p><br /><a name="10,542">*The district&rsquo;s 20th Day figures</a> show a total of 11,126 students attended kindergarten through 7th grade last year at 47 schools that closed for good in June. Of those, 584 were enrolled in two special education schools or in special education &ldquo;cluster programs&rdquo;; 10,542 were in general education programs.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Original data from Chicago Public Schools is attached below.</em></p></p> Mon, 14 Oct 2013 05:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/only-60-percent-students-chicagos-closed-schools-turn-welcoming-schools-108907 Chicago enrollment dip doesn't cost principals http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-enrollment-dip-doesnt-cost-principals-108781 <p><p><em>Updated 9/27/13 11:50am</em></p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-115d00f0-5c6e-5eeb-1014-f4c3dadb8dd3">Principals at 308 Chicago schools are breathing a sigh of relief, even as the landscape of Chicago&rsquo;s public school system continues to shift.</p><p dir="ltr">New enrollment figures show 60 percent of all district-run schools got fewer students than CPS had projected. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Under a new per-pupil budgeting system the enrollment declines would have meant budget cuts at the school level this week.</p><p dir="ltr">But thanks to a decision by CPS to create a &ldquo;transition year&rdquo; to student-based budgeting, schools were &ldquo;held harmless&rdquo; and are being funded as if they had all the students they were projected to get.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m ecstatic,&rdquo; said Alice Vera, principal at De Diego in Humboldt Park. De Diego, a designated &ldquo;welcoming school&rdquo; that got 163 fewer students from closed schools than the district had anticipated. &nbsp;That could have meant $720,000 in budget cuts.</p><p dir="ltr">Vera says she had made plans to cut as many as six teachers, but the continued funding allowed her to keep luxuries&mdash;like an art therapist who is helping with integration efforts between students from closed schools and longtime De Diego students.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know if people really understand what this means to a school,&rdquo; says Vera. &ldquo;We are able to keep our class sizes low. We will still be able to have a reading coach and a math coach here in the school.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Paying for it</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">Overall, the district will pay out $45.7 million to schools for students who are not there&mdash;and in most cases not even in the school district. Schools that gained in enrollment will be paid for each additional student&mdash;at a total cost of $18 million.</p><p dir="ltr">The district says the $45.7 million was originally in the budget. It says the $18 million is being covered through money in a contingency fund and further cuts to central office.</p><p dir="ltr">Laurence Msall, president of the budget watchdog Civic Federation, says it&rsquo;s reasonable in the first year of student-based budgeting to try to assist schools that were not able to meet enrollment goals.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;But this comes on the back of a budget that has almost no reserves for contingencies,&rdquo; says Msall. &ldquo;It is a challenge to figure out how the district could come up with this money&hellip;when it faces a billion dollar deficit.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And, Msall says, the district&rsquo;s trend of declining enrollment has &ldquo;enormous financial implications for the district.&rdquo; Based on the school aid formulas at the federal and state levels, it will be a reduction in what&rsquo;s available to the district.&rdquo;</p><h2 dir="ltr"><strong>Enrollment shifts</strong></h2><p dir="ltr">In a surprise, the Chicago Public Schools got fewer children overall than it anticipated. District demographics officials had projected an enrollment of 405,519. But the final tally, taken Monday, the 20th day of school, was 400,545. District officials could not explain why they miscalculated how many students would show up overall, a figure they usually predict accurately.</p><p>Enrollment in the district&rsquo;s privately run, publicly funded charter schools saw an uptick. Nearly 58,000 students are enrolled in charters, over 14 percent of all Chicago Public Schools students.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/table%201.PNG" style="height: 95px; width: 550px;" title="" /></div><div><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-115d00f0-5c70-70bb-d4bf-c25f34b4403e">Like De Diego, other welcoming schools got fewer students than the district had counted on. Overall, 32 welcoming schools saw 1,658 fewer students than projected. (Seventeen others enrolled 327 more kids than projected.)</p><p>Neighborhood high schools saw the deepest enrollment declines. Hyde Park High School, for instance, only enrolled 1,001 students, 231 students shy of its projection, and 248 short of its enrollment last year. It would have had to cut $1.17 million from this year&rsquo;s budget.<o:p></o:p></p><p>Of the city&rsquo;s 50 neighborhood high schools, 70 percent did not meet their enrollment projections. Taken together, the neighborhood high schools account for 2,332 of district schools&rsquo; overall enrollment overprojection of 6,567 students. Enrollment-based budget cuts at the schools would have totaled $13.64 million.<o:p></o:p></p><p dir="ltr">In the 20 schools where the district was furthest off in its projections, all but two were either neighborhood high schools or schools affected by the latest round of school closings and shakeups.</p></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chartcorrected.PNG" style="height: 479px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div></div><div><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-115d00f0-5c70-f49b-3d6d-c4460fee69d2">At Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School, principal Marcey Sorensen says neighborhood school principals must adjust their budgets to their new enrollment reality.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think people have to sit down and really look at their budget and ask themselves, &lsquo;How much of my money is really making it to kids, versus safety and security, versus clerical help?&rsquo; I think you have to kind of put it in a pie chart and say, &lsquo;If I have X number of dollars, how am I spending it?&rsquo;&rdquo; &nbsp;She doesn&rsquo;t pay for anyone at Clemente to work the copy room, for instance&mdash;something the school could afford when the school&mdash;and budget&mdash;was larger.</p><p dir="ltr">Sorensen says she was prepared to cut $500,000 from her budget&mdash;she has 700 students but was budgeted for 830. She didn&rsquo;t allocate additional money she had been given over the summer for fear she would lose it. Now, she says, &ldquo;I have to tell you&mdash;I feel like I won the lottery.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Sorensen says she won&rsquo;t hire any personnel, to avoid having to let people go in a year when schools will be required to live within their means. Instead, she&rsquo;ll pay for more lasting investments&mdash;technology upgrades and training for teachers.</p><p dir="ltr">Scroll down for Chicago Public Schools school-based budgeting &ldquo;held harmless&rdquo; and 20th Day enrollment data sets.</p><p><em>CORRECTION: A prior version of this story misstated the number of neighborhood high schools that met their enrollment projections, and an attached spreadsheet also misclassified some high schools. Both the text and the attached spreadsheet have been corrected. WBEZ regrets the error.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Linda Lutton is a WBEZ education reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/WBEZeducation" target="_blank">@WBEZeducation</a>. </em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-enrollment-dip-doesnt-cost-principals-108781 WBEZ tours 'half-empty' schools http://www.wbez.org/news/wbez-tours-half-empty-schools-105045 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/8402268243_dc137552f7.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><object height="450" width="620"><param name="flashvars" value="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157632580709754%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157632580709754%2F&amp;set_id=72157632580709754&amp;jump_to=" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="offsite=true&amp;lang=en-us&amp;page_show_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157632580709754%2Fshow%2F&amp;page_show_back_url=%2Fphotos%2Fchicagopublicradio%2Fsets%2F72157632580709754%2F&amp;set_id=72157632580709754&amp;jump_to=" height="450" src="http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620"></embed></object><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75866008" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Chicago Public School leaders say 137 of their schools are sitting half-empty &ndash; with way too few students. When they talk about closing schools to make the district more efficient, these are the schools they&rsquo;re talking about. WBEZ went to see what it looks and feels like inside some of the district&rsquo;s &ldquo;underutilized&rdquo; elementary schools.&nbsp;</p><p>On a sunny, cold Thursday morning, Principal Keshia Warner showed me around Drake Elementary School in Bronzeville.</p><p>At first impression, the three-story, 1960s-era building felt almost empty, with bare white walls and un-scuffed floors.<br /><br />&ldquo;Now we&rsquo;re basically on the first level of the school building and at our entry, the first room is our art room,&rdquo; Warner said, opening the door to a colorful classroom. &ldquo;So, we have art as a half-time program so art is here on Monday, Tuesday and the morning Wednesday, so right now, that&rsquo;s why there&rsquo;s nobody in there.&rdquo;</p><p>The wide hallways are quiet and the first few classrooms we pass either have no students or are being used for small groups of special needs students.</p><p>On paper, Drake is eligible to be closed at the end of the school year. It&rsquo;s less than 40 percent full by the district&rsquo;s standards. It&rsquo;s on academic probation and the 52-year-old building is expensive to maintain.</p><p>The cash-strapped school district wants to close schools like Drake, not because it will save a lot of money, but because they won&rsquo;t have to spread resources &ndash;&nbsp;including teachers &ndash;&nbsp;across all these &ldquo;half-empty&rdquo; schools. School officials have said that for safety reasons, it will not close high schools if they can help it.</p><p>For these small schools, Warner and principals like her all across CPS are faced with a puzzle every year because funding is based on enrollment and &ldquo;it&rsquo;s not funded based off of one teacher per grade level anymore,&rdquo; Warner tells me.</p><p>Instead, the district uses a complicated formula to calculate how many teachers a school needs. And often, schools with smaller enrollments, like Drake, don&rsquo;t get a teacher for every grade.</p><p>&ldquo; As far as kindergarten, a half-time position from the board, and I use school funds to pay for the other half so it&rsquo;s a full-day kindergarten,&rdquo; Warner said.</p><p>For grades first, second and third, Drake gets just two teachers, so Warner had to decide whether to buy another teacher with her own funds, or combine grades in one classroom. This year, Drake has two classrooms with mixed grades.</p><p>The 2nd and 3rd grade room has 32 kids and it&rsquo;s packed &ndash;&nbsp;you can tell when you walk in.</p><p>Over the sound of students&#39; chatter, the teacher says, &ldquo;I like how the students at table one are continuing with their assignment.&rdquo;</p><p>Both of the split classes are taught by veteran teachers. Liliana Logli teaches the 1st-2nd grade split.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s definitely a challenge,&rdquo; Logli said. &ldquo;It fluctuates. At the beginning of the year, I think I had 38 and now I&rsquo;m down to 33 or 34. I&rsquo;ve gotten the hang of it, because I&rsquo;ve been doing it for several years now, but it definitely is a challenge because you have to teach two different curriculums in reading, in math.&rdquo;</p><p>This is partly why CPS officials say school closings are necessary. If Drake had twice as many students it wouldn&rsquo;t have to combine grades, especially in the early years when research shows small class sizes are more important.</p><p>District officials say schools that are under enrolled are also more likely to have crowded classrooms &ndash;&nbsp;and not just by a few kids. They&rsquo;re more likely to be over the district&rsquo;s class size limit by more than a few students.</p><p>In many ways, Drake is a good example why the district wants to close and consolidate schools &ndash;&nbsp;there simply aren&rsquo;t as many school-aged children in Bronzeville anymore.</p><p>Drake used to be surrounded by public housing &ndash; the Robert Taylor homes to the south, the Dearborn Homes to the west. Most of them have been torn down or turned into mixed income developments.</p><p>&ldquo;The housing projects gone now, people moving to different places in the city, our enrollment has definitely been affected,&rdquo; said Logli. &ldquo;I think we had 700, close to 800 kids when I first started here, and now maybe, what? 250 if we&rsquo;re lucky.&rdquo;</p><p>But Principal Warner says closing schools could be short-sighted in communities like Bronzeville, where gentrification is still a goal, in spite of recession and the loss of the 2016 Olympics that could have boosted the neighborhood.</p><p>&ldquo;What are the big plans?&rdquo; Warner said. &ldquo;Because I heard plans 5-6 years ago about plans to put in more businesses, and have the first floor be businesses and above be residential and if that&rsquo;s the case, I think there will be a population that will need this school.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though Drake is rated in the lowest performance category at CPS, it has been improving in recent years and Warner says the school&rsquo;s balance of space and kids contributes to that.</p><p>&ldquo;I really do enjoy having a school under 300 students, our being a family. I can know students by name, know their parents when they walk in the building, I think that establishes really good relationships with parents and students,&rdquo; Warner said.&nbsp; &ldquo;I can actually keep up with them when I&rsquo;m looking at data, I know who that number, that&rsquo;s just a percentage on paper, but I know who that child is, to speak to them the next day.&rdquo;</p><p>Of course, having a list of 137 under-used schools doesn&rsquo;t mean they&rsquo;re interchangeable.&nbsp;</p><p>On paper, Drake looks a lot like Till Elementary School in the south side Woodlawn neighborhood.</p><p>Till is about 40 percent utilized, it&rsquo;s rated in the lowest category for performance and costs a lot of money to maintain.<br />But when I visited Till felt completely different than Drake. Every grade had two classrooms of about 25 students. There was both a full-time gym teacher and a full-time librarian.</p><p>Principal Charles Asiyanbi said he had to purchase four teachers with his discretionary budget in order to keep his classrooms under 25 students.</p><p>&ldquo;I will mortgage the farm to do that,&rdquo; Asiyanbi said.</p><p>The day I was at Till, four new students enrolled. Asiyanbi said it happens a lot; given how much people move around in the community, he never really knows how many kids he&rsquo;ll have.</p><p>Till has two buildings and both use only a few rooms on their top floors.&nbsp;</p><p>But Asiyanbi says combining the two wouldn&rsquo;t be ideal.</p><p>&ldquo;I think with the older kids and the younger kids, it needs to be a clear delineation,&rdquo; Asiyanbi said. &ldquo;The development process for older kids is totally different.&rdquo;</p><p>Both Warner and Asiyanbi know their schools are on the list of those that could be closed.</p><p>Both say they would like to take on more students, but not too many. Both actually use most of what&rsquo;s considered &ldquo;extra space&rdquo; in one way or another &ndash;&nbsp;a special education room here, a counselor&rsquo;s office there.</p><p>Both say they hope people at CPS headquarters scrutinize more than what&rsquo;s on paper.</p><p>&ldquo;Your hope is that when decisions are made, all the criteria is looked at, not just that you&rsquo;re underutilized, because the adults in the building haven&rsquo;t been able to control,&rdquo; Warner said. &ldquo;If there were more children to get in, we would.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, Chicago Public Schools is up against a $1 billion deficit.</p><p>So even if schools are merged, there&rsquo;s no guarantee the remaining schools wouldn&rsquo;t also face budget cuts.</p></p> Tue, 22 Jan 2013 05:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/wbez-tours-half-empty-schools-105045 Report: Chicago State let failing students stay http://www.wbez.org/story/report-chicago-state-let-failing-students-stay-89651 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-26/RS394_graduation.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A published report says <a href="http://www.csu.edu/">Chicago State University</a>&nbsp;allowed failing students to continue registering for classes while&nbsp;it was at risk of losing accreditation because of poor enrollment&nbsp;and retention figures.</p><p>The college has a policy saying students with a grade-point&nbsp;average below 1.8 are dismissed. But the Chicago Tribune reports&nbsp;that students with GPAs as low as 0.0 were allowed to stay to boost&nbsp;enrollment.</p><p>The newspaper cites records it obtained.&nbsp;</p><p>CSU president Wayne Watson acknowledges the university made a&nbsp;mistake. He says the practice started before he came to the&nbsp;university in 2009 and continued without his knowledge. He says&nbsp;it's ended.&nbsp;</p><p>About 7,200 students are enrolled at the public university on&nbsp;the city's South Side.&nbsp;</p><p>The school has faced widespread financial mismanagement and a&nbsp;failure to graduate students.</p></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 14:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/report-chicago-state-let-failing-students-stay-89651