Thursday, October 4, 2007

A School, A School

My neighborhood for a school? District #150 has managed to get the Illinois State Board of Education to say that they MUST close four schools - four neighborhood schools that are important to their neighborhoods. Harrison School is to be built across the street from its current location, thus adding a tremendous amenity to a depressed neighborhood. Irving School serves the Near Northside and is in the heart of the Hispanic neighborhood. Many parents walk their children to school and there is a dedicated staff and volunteer network. Neighborhood needs the school. Kingman School in the heart of a fairly stable Northside/Averyville Neighborhood. Concerned neighborhood, dedicated teachers and a vital part of the area. Neighborhood needs the school. Glen Oak School serves the East Bluff and is in the heart of a struggling neighborhood . There is a concerned neighborhood, dedicated teachers and a committed volunteer network. Neighborhood needs the school.

According to District #150, there is money for only one school. Should one neighborhood be stabilized and two neighborhoods decimated? Should it be built as part of a "campus" with Woodruff and Lincoln School and decimate all three neighborhoods? The phrase "mega school" came up at the neighborhood forum tonight. Scary thought. Mega school brings up an image of depersonalization.

The school board insists that no decision has been made at this point. Sounds good, but very hard to believe. Yes, they are getting input from the neighborhoods, but how much attention will be paid to that input? Does it make any difference? Looks good on paper. "We met with the neighbors." "The all wanted the same thing." "We had to go to a location between them. that is the only way to treat the neighborhoods equally". Decimate them all! Build a mega school campus. Watch and see! I will be surprised if the mid-December decision by the board says, "The school will be built in the Lincoln Middle School/Woodruff High School campus." Good bye to three neighborhood schools. Hopefully it will not be good bye to three neighborhoods.

1 comment:

Lena said...

People should read this.