Most of the staff, teachers and administrators at Marshall Metropolitan High School will be replaced under a Chicago Public Schools “turn around” plan, CPS head Ron Huberman announced Tuesday.

The West Side institution at 3250 W. Adams is the lowest-performing high school in the Chicago school system, with less than five percent of students meeting state standards in 2009. Marshall has been on academic probation for the last 14 years, ever since CPS first created this status. 

CPS uses the turn around strategy where no adequate, nearby replacement schools can be found for the affected students. No Marshall students will be moved.

“We are keeping students in the same building because we do not want them crossing gang lines,” Huberman said. “We want them coming right back to the same school. It’s the change inside that school we think is going to be critical.”

Barbara Eason-Watkins, the CPS chief educational officer, and administrator Don Fraynd, who once served a principal at Jones College Prep, will lead the new effort at Marshall, which is subject to ratification by the board of education. Fraynd managed a turn-around process at Harper High School in Englewood. Representatives from Marshall could not be reached by Austin Weekly News’s deadline Wednesday morning.

The high school has gone through re-engineering before, including an overhaul 10 years ago, according to the Sun-Times. Facing questions from reporters about the failure of past plans, Huberman characterized the new effort as entirely different in terms of scale.

“If you take a look at the prior re-engineerings, they were not as dramatic of a change as we are proposing this year,” he said. “It had smaller doses of change. This is as big as dosages as you can get.”

The turn-around coincides with $4.3 million in capital spending at the Marshall campus in East Garfield Park. Certain school leaders, whom Huberman described as key parts of the fabric of the school community, will be retained.

­-Micah Maidenberg