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Chicago Public Schools Announces $18 Million Investment in High-Quality Academic Programming at 22 Schools Across the City

11 June 2020

Nearly 10,000 Students Will Access New High-Quality Academic Programming, Including the District’s First-Ever Early College STEAM High Schools

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

Thursday, June 11, 2020

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced an $18 million multi-year investment to expand high-quality academic programs for nearly 10,000 CPS students at 22 elementary and high schools across the city. The $18 million investment will support staffing, training and learning resources for programs including International Baccalaureate (IB), STEM and Dual Language over the next six years.

The investments announced today are the result of the district’s second annual academic program application process, which invited school communities to apply for new high-quality programs. This school year, the district strengthened the application process through an increased focus on community engagement. Five community outreach events were held in high-needs communities, and three principal workshops were conducted to help schools determine the programs that would best meet their unique needs and develop strong implementation plans.

“These critical academic investments push the district closer to a future where every student has access to high-quality educational experiences regardless of the neighborhood they live in,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We remain focused on our Five-Year Vision as we expand academic programming and opportunities to strengthen schools through the second year of our program RFP.”

New high-quality programming will benefit a student population that is approximately 80 percent low-income. By prioritizing resources that address community needs, the investments announced today fill programmatic gaps in 11 of the 16 regions outlined in the district’s Annual Regional Analysis (ARA), including the district’s first Early College STEAM programs at North-Grand and Uplift High Schools, the district’s first Gifted program on the West Side at Morton School of Excellence and first Fine & Performing Arts High School in the Greater Calumet (Far South Side) region at Julian High School.

This investment will build on existing programs and expand programming so that more CPS students than ever will have access to high-quality academic programming next school year:

  • IB: More than 20,000 students at 63 schools will have access to International Baccalaureate programs—the largest IB network in North America. New programs will be created or expanded to serve more than 900 students at three schools.
  • STEM/STEAM: More than 20,000 students at 43 schools will engage in modern STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) programming. New programs will be established at six schools—including the district’s first-ever Early College STEAM programs at two high schools—to serve more than 2,100 students.
  • Fine & Performing Arts: More than 43,000 students at 70 schools will benefit from comprehensive arts instruction. New programs will be created to serve more than 2,500 students at four schools.
  • Dual Language: Students at 42 schools will develop literacy and fluency in two languages through Dual Language programs. New programs will be created at Schubert and Tarkington. Whittier, which has an established Dual Language program, will be designated as a magnet school with its current boundaries, pending Board approval.
  • World Language: Students at 33 schools will build their cultural knowledge through World Language programs. New programs will be created to serve more than 800 students at two schools.
  • Personalized Learning: Students at 119 schools will engage in teacher-driven Personalized Learning instruction. New programs will be created to serve more than 1,100 students at three schools.
  • Gifted: More than 4,600 students will engage in accelerated coursework through Gifted programs at 23 schools. Morton is receiving a Gifted program that will support 30 kindergarten students next school year and add one grade level each year until the program spans from kindergarten through eighth grade.

Increased Focus on Community Engagement to Address Programmatic Gaps

Schools were selected to receive new academic programs based on a thorough evaluation process. Following the inaugural application, the district held five community-based information sessions and three administrator workshops to encourage and support schools in high-needs areas to apply. Four schools in high-needs communities who applied last year are receiving a programmatic award this year.

After evaluating each application by using the ARA to identify programmatic need, reviewing letters of support from community stakeholders, interviewing school staff and receiving letters of support from Local School Councils (LSCs), the district selected the following 22 schools to receive a new academic program:

  • Armour Elementary School (STEM)
  • Brentano Math & Science Academy (World Language – Spanish)
  • Burr Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Clark Elementary School (World Language – Spanish)
  • Dawes Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Ebinger Elementary School (IB – Primary Years Programme)
  • Farragut Career Academy (IB – Career-Related Programme)
  • Julian High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Kelvyn Park High School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Libby Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • McCutcheon Elementary School (STEAM)
  • Morton School of Excellence (Gifted)
  • North-Grand High School (Early College STEAM)
  • Parkside Community Academy (STEAM)
  • Plamondon Elementary School (STEM)
  • Pullman Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Rogers Elementary School (Fine & Performing Arts)
  • Sayre Language Academy (IB – Middle Years Programme)
  • Schubert Elementary School (Dual Language)
  • Tarkington School of Excellence (Dual Language)
  • Uplift Community High School (Early College STEAM)
  • Whittier Elementary School (Dual Language Magnet With Boundary)

Schools that were not selected this year were provided clear feedback that identified specific areas of improvement to support them in working toward successful program implementation in the future. Whether schools are applying for the first time or strengthening a previous application, CPS is committed to helping them throughout the next application cycle, which is scheduled to begin later this year.

“From Fine & Performing Arts and Personalized Learning programs on the South Side to our first Gifted program on the West Side, the second year of our academic program expansion is a critical step in supporting our neighborhood schools in every community in the city,” said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. “We remain committed to expanding programs and seeking additional opportunities for engagement so that more schools in more neighborhoods will apply for these programs in the future.”

New Website to Increase Access to Data and Information

To foster community involvement around further opportunities for investment, the district today released the latest iteration of its Annual Regional Analysis (ARA), a fact-based report designed to empower communities with school-level and regional education data. CPS and Kids First Chicago created the first ARA in 2018 to ensure the district can work collaboratively with its stakeholders to expand opportunities using objective, communal information. The ARA outlines data on school quality, enrollment patterns, choice, and program offerings across 16 geographic regions to help inform decisions such as program expansion.

This year, based on feedback from parents, educators and community members, CPS created its first-ever ARA website to provide the ARA report in a more interactive and accessible format. The ARA has expanded in recent years to include more data and information, and this year’s report is available in eight languages and for the first time includes information on the district’s Community Schools partnerships.

Ongoing Community Engagement

In order to learn more about the unique needs in each region of the city, CPS will hold four virtual community workshops this summer. Each workshop will give attendees an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas on the ARA and learn more about how it connects to the district’s recent community engagement efforts on SQRP, school funding, capital planning and more. Families can register for the following meetings with the links below, or by visiting

South Regions (Bronzeville / South Lakefront, Greater Stony Island, Greater Calumet, South Side):
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT

Southwest Regions (Pilsen / Little Village, Greater Stockyards, Greater Midway, Far Southwest Side):
Wednesday, July 1, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT

Central/West Regions (Greater Milwaukee Avenue, West Side, Near West Side, Central Area):
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT

North/Northwest Regions (North Lakefront, Northwest Side, Far Northwest Side, Greater Lincoln Park):
Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT

Chicago Public Schools serves 355,000 students in 642 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.