Two specialty schools, focusing on science and manufacturing technology, presented their proposals to the Transition Advisory Council (TAC) and community members last Thursday during a forum at Austin High School, which is in the process of being splintered into several smaller schools as a result of Mayor Daley’s Renaissance 2010 initiative.
Renaissance 2010 calls for the creation of 100 new schools citywide, many of which have opened in existing school buildings that were forced to close because of poor past performance.
Austin Community Academy High School, 231 N. Pine, is one of those scheduled for reorganization, Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan announced last year. Members of the Austin community’s Transition Advisory Council, formed at the behest of CPS, listened Thursday to formal presentations from affiliates who are proposing two schools on the former Austin H.S. campus. The current Austin High School configuration will close after this year’s class graduates. The new “schools within a school” configuration is scheduled to begin next fall.
The Metropolitan Academy of Science Charter School would offer a college-preparatory curriculum in science, mathematics and technology. The school, which proposes to open in fall 2006, offers classes from grades 6 to 8, adding one grade level each year through 2010. The school’s first-year operational budget is estimated at $1.6 million. Teacher’s salaries, according to its proposal, start at $42,000 a year. Representative of the school, based in Ohio presented their proposal to TAC members.
Representatives from the Center for Labor and Community Research also presented a proposal, calling for an “Austin Polytechnical Academy” within the current Austin High School building, which would provide career learning in the manufacturing field. The proposed school calls for a curriculum in core subjects, including math and reading, with a focus on technology.
TAC members and residents from the community questioned representatives about the curriculum, ratio of faculty to students and diversity of faculty. TAC members will decide on the new schools by 2006. Renaissance 2010 forums will take place at other closed CPS schools throughout the month.
For more information call 773/553-1400.