School's Out for Good at Bontemps Elementary

By Josh McGhee on June 19, 2013 12:37pm | Updated on June 20, 2013 8:45am

 Wednesday was the last day of school for student at Bontemps Elementary in Englewood, one of 49 schools shuttered by Chicago Public Schools.
Wednesday was the last day of school for student at Bontemps Elementary in Englewood, one of 49 schools shuttered by Chicago Public Schools.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

ENGLEWOOD — On the final day of school — ever — at Bontemps Elementary, a parent voiced concerns over safety and a watered-down education as her children are transferred.

On Wednesday, parent Christina Smith, who has four children at Bontemps, 1241 W. 58th St., said, "I'm angry because [Bontemps] is a block away."

Bontemps is one of 50 schools being shuttered by Chicago Public Schools in a cost-saving move.

Traveling to the designated welcoming school, Nicholson Technology Academy, 6006 S. Peoria St., will put her kids in danger, Smith fears.

"The streets are too dangerous, and I'm a protective mom," Smith said. "Now, I feel there's going to be more trouble in the streets for the kids."

Smith transferred her four kids to Bontemps in January, and she said she believes the welcoming school will not give them the same education.

"My biggest fear is that the kids are going to be on top of each other," Smith said of potentially bigger classroom sizes.

"They're not going to get the proper education. There's too many distractions with all those kids in one classroom," she said.

In a letter to parents, CPS officials said Nicholson Academy "has sufficient space and can offer a quality academic environment."

CPS said Bontemps had 314 students in a building that can accommodate 690 students. Nicholson is also "a higher performing school," CPS said.

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