May 23, 2012
The Chicago Board of Education today approved an action allowing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to implement a new selective enrollment program at South Shore International College Prep High School. The move brings an estimated 120 additional high quality seats to the school, which already houses International Baccalaureate (IB) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs serving students on Chicago’s South Side.
“The community wanted access to higher quality school options for their students, and the creation of this new selective enrollment program is working to meet that demand,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “We’re committed to working with communities in every corner of the city to ensure all students and families have access to high quality educational options in their neighborhood.”
South Shore International opened in the 2011-2012 school year with its first class of freshman students. The old South Shore High School is in the process of phasing out grades 10 through 12. Beginning next year, half the school will be selective enrollment, while the other half will remain IB and CTE focused. All students currently attending South Shore International will be able to complete their high school careers at the school.
“I’m thrilled that South Shore International’s academic supports will be taken to the next educational level with the addition of the new selective enrollment program,” added Eighth Ward Alderman Michelle Harris. “I think it’s wonderful that children in our community will have a quality educational choice and that they no longer have to leave our community to attend high schools with selective enrollment programs.”
The Board also approved a boundary change that will re-assign neighborhood students currently within the South Shore boundary to Chicago Vocational Career Academy (CVCA). Students living within the boundary will be given preference for enrollment in the school’s new early college STEM program. Substantial commitments have been made this past year to transform CVCA into a high quality school option for the community it serves. Earlier this year, CPS announced that CVCA would house one of the District’s five new early college STEM programs. Supported by corporate partners, these programs will specialize in providing science, technology, engineering and math curriculum that prepares students for careers in the information technology industry, while also providing students with the opportunity to earn significant college credit through City Colleges of Chicago. Students at CVCA will also have access to CTE programs such as Health Sciences, Culinary Arts, and Diesel Technology.
This February, the Board approved a turnaround effort at CVCA by the Office of School Improvement (OSI) that will overhaul the culture of the school to create a learning environment for students that is laser-focused on student achievement. Additionally improving the school’s learning environment, CVCA has been awarded $75 million dollar grant from the Legislative Black Caucus to implement much needed capital improvements.
The announcement of a new selective enrollment program at South Shore is another step toward the District’s commitment to expanding high quality school options in communities throughout the city. Other recent efforts include:
- Unanimous approval from the Board to turn around ten of some of the lowest performing, chronically failing schools in the district to provide students with higher quality school options.
- The announcement of five new Early College STEM programs – one in each area of the city (including CVCA) - to give our high school students a rich, technology-focused program of study that allows them to earn significant college credits and exposes them to careers in major IT companies like IBM, Motorola Solutions, Cisco, Microsoft and Verizon.
- A commitment to creating five new IB programs, as well as creating five wall-to-wall IB neighborhood schools—one in each areas of the city.
Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.