The Board of Education today approved John Hancock College Preparatory High School to become a Selective Enrollment and citywide Career and Technical Education (CTE) high school in School Year 2015-2016 (SY 15-16). Chicago Public Schools (CPS) proposed this investment in response to requests from families, elected officials and community leaders for more Selective Enrollment seats on the southwest side.
The transformation will provide approximately 7,400 students who had previously lived more than three miles from a selective enrollment high school access nearer to their homes.
“We have heard from families in southwest side neighborhoods asking for more access to a Selective Enrollment program and an enriching CTE program, and we are delivering on that request while continuing to expand high-quality education options for students and families across the city” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Beginning in SY 15-16, Hancock will enroll a freshmen class with 105 students in its Selective Enrollment program and 105 students in its CTE program. Both programs will phase in one grade per year until the programs serve approximately 840 students total. Current students at Hancock will have spots held for them until they graduate and will be able to benefit from the increased Advanced Placement offerings at the school.
“We are committed to providing families with high quality options, and the addition of Selective Enrollment and CTE programming at Hancock creates further top-tier options in an area of our city that has been without a local Selective Enrollment high school,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “We are enthusiastic about opening a new Hancock High School and establishing new opportunities for our students and families who reside on the southwest side.”
In addition to Hancock’s proposed Selective Enrollment program, the school will also offer a CTE program with curriculum paths in pre-law and pre-engineering. The new programs at the school will involve approximately $10 million in capital improvements, which will be funded by the State of Illinois.
Students living in the neighborhoods feeding into Solorio, Curie, Hubbard, Hancock, Kennedy, Bogan and Gage Park high schools will be given preference for the CTE programs at Hancock. To account for Hancock’s transition to a Selective Enrollment and CTE school, the boundaries of high schools in the surrounding area will be adjusted to ensure students have guaranteed access to a nearby high school. After garnering feedback from a public hearing on the Hancock proposal, CPS will also adjust neighborhood boundaries at Solorio, directing more students to Hubbard.
Applications for Hancock’s proposed Selective Enrollment and CTE programs are currently being accepted as part of the 2015-2016 CPS School Application Process. The application process allows families to apply to elementary magnet, magnet cluster, open enrollment and selective enrollment schools in addition to high school programs including magnet, International Baccalaureate (IB), Selective Enrollment, military academies, and career and technical education (CTE) programs. The application process for district elementary and high schools opened on Oct.1, and will close on Dec. 12, 2014.
Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett are committed to increasing the number of Selective Enrollment high school seats throughout the District. Last year, the District received more than 16,000 applications from students across the city for 3,200 available seats. In order to increase the percentage qualifying students who are able to enroll in Selective Enrollment high schools, the district has added approximately 200 Selective Enrollment seats since 2011, with an expected additional 420 seats at Hancock by 2018 and an expected additional 300-400 seats at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School by 2016. The new selective enrollment school, set to open in fall of 2017, will enroll 1,200 students, creating more opportunities for students and families across the city.
Chicago Public Schools serves nearly 396,000 students in 664 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.