LINCOLN SQUARE — With near 37 percent of its students in special education, parents and staff at Trumbull Elementary worried what would happen to those students after the school was put on a list 54 being shuttered by CPS.
At least some of those students' fates has become clearer.
According to Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), McPherson Elementary will be accepting four classrooms of autistic students from Trumbull in the fall. The staffing there has yet to be determined, the alderman said.
He said Friday that McPherson Principal Carmen Mendoza confirmed the school would receive two classrooms of autistic students at the primary level and one each at the intermediate and upper-grade levels.
"The thinking is to keep the kids together," said Pawar. Mendoza told him "she has a lot of great resources" at her school, he said.
At a recent principal evaluation forum, Mendoza was praised by staff for instituting policies that have made the school more inclusive for all students, particularly those with special needs.
With an enrollment of 690, McPherson has 300 more students than Trumbull. Twenty percent are in special ed. McPherson, at 4728 N. Wolcott Ave., and Trumbull, at 5200 N. Ashland Ave., are separated by less than a mile.
Mendoza could not be reached for comment.
Along with the facilities upgrades CPS has promised "welcoming" schools — including air conditioning, iPads and new furniture — Pawar said he requested that the district "fix that mud pit" at McPherson.
"They need a normal playground," he said.
The principal is not the only one welcoming the new students.
"I am really sorry to see any CPS schools close, but that said, we are more than happy to welcome any and all students and families to McPherson," Kimberley Silver, president of Friends of McPherson, said in email.
The school regularly schedules tours, with the next one set for 9 a.m. on April 9. The next meeting of Friends of McPherson will be held at 7 p.m. on April 15 in the school's multipurpose room. Trumbull parents are invited to attend.
Said Silver: "There are so many great things going on at the school, we're glad that there will be more families and kids who will be a part of the community."
DNAinfo.com Chicago reporter/producer Adeshina Emmanuel contributed to this report.