WEST CHATHAM — Felicia Brown said she is still learning her way around the area a year after she moved from the North Lawndale community — and now, she may have to learn how to get her daughter to a new school.
"It sucks!" the 37-year-old hairstylist said about the pending closure of Garrett Morgan Elementary School at 6533 S. Stewart Ave. where her daughter is a second grader. "I wish I had never moved around here."
CPS announced Thursday that Garrett Morgan as well as 53 others schools are slated to close next year.
The students from Morgan, in West Chatham, would be moved into nearby Ryder Elementary School at 8716 S. Wallace St. Another school in the area, Mahalia Jackson Elementary School, at 917 W. 88th St. in Auburn Gresham, would move over to Fort Dearborn Elementary School, 9025 S. Throop Ave., he said.
Crystal Davis, an unemployed 26-year-old single mother who has two boys that attend Morgan, said a lot of parents at the school have become good friends and she would miss that.
"Everybody up here know my kids. I have everyone's phone number. My pre-K [child] is who I am worried about the most. He is not going to like going to another school. My kindergartener, he might be fine with it, but I'm not."
Like Brown, Davis said she knows nothing about the receiving school, Ryder.
"I would know more if the school would tell me more," Davis added. "I guess they will tell us [parents] sooner or later."
Shaun Robinson, 57, who was at Morgan Thursday to pick up his grandson, blamed Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is on vacation, for the closures.
"This guy sends his kids to a pricey school in Hyde Park and then dismantles the public school system," Robinson said. "He's a piece of work for sure."
Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st) said Thursday he learned of the news Wednesday. The often outspoken alderman, who chairs the City Council's Black Caucus, said low enrollment at many schools, because of drops in the population, was given as the reason for the closures.
"Families have relocated to other parts of the city and even to the suburbs," he added. "And frankly speaking, these two schools were built when people were having four and five kids but no one's having that many kids anymore."