HYDE PARK — Chicago Public Schools will host a meeting Thursday to hear comments from Hyde Park parents on its 10-year plan for neighborhood schools.
The meeting on the Educational Facilities Master Plan will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Operation PUSH, 930 E. 50th St. Todd Babbitz, chief transformation officer for CPS, will provide information and ask for feedback and input.
“Paying attention to the plan can give parents and community members insights into how CPS is looking at our schools and what priorities there may be in the future,” said Joy Clendenning of Hyde Park Community Area Residents Empowering Schools, which pushed CPS to hold the meeting in the neighborhood.
“Enrollment is projected to decrease 3.2 percent in the Hyde Park geographic area over the next 10 years, and while 185 CHA units are currently in the planning stage for potential development after 2019, nearly half the enrollment in the Hyde Park schools is supported by students who live outside the Hyde Park area,” says the plan, which was released by CPS in May.
Clendenning said parents should scrutinize CPS’ projections for the number of new students.
“Our experience is that CPS does not always have the most accurate information; in looking at the plan, one thing people can do is check the details,” Clendenning said.
“For example, the predicted number of new units of housing in the Hyde Park community area is not accurate,” she said. “CPS lists 180 as the prediction when at the Shoreland alone, 330 units are expected to open soon.”
The Shoreland Apartments, 5454 S. South Shore Drive, is one of several residential building rehabs or new construction planned for over the next 10 years.
“Parents are frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive plan for our children's education,” said Clendenning, who is also a parent representative on the Ray Elementary Local School Council. “Our children experience daily the results of decisions being made and policies being implemented without a clear plan.”
The Educational Facilities Master Plan is available on the CPS website.