NEAR WEST SIDE — The former Richard T. Crane High School will reopen next week as a school that will help prepare students for a medical career.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett spoke to reporters and a group of medical students Wednesday to announce the opening.
The school will be run under new leadership, including principal Fareeda Shabazz, who, Bennett said, has a "spark of madness and a spark of genius" in her.
The four-year program will run in partnership with the Illinois Medical District, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Malcolm X College and Rush hospital and will feature a "unique focus on Health and Sciences," Bennett said. It will offer "an alternative to the traditional high school experience," officials said.
The school, at 2245 W. Jackson Blvd., will "expand high quality access to neighborhood and STEM programs," she added.
The school will have a college prep curriculum with a "rigorous science and mathematics sequence and competitive dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses," officials said.
"Students will have the opportunity to participate in an innovative four-year health sciences program, which will provide students with practical learning experiences under the supervision and guidance of health professionals in the classroom and through the Illinois Medical District," officials said.
Officials said students will take medical courses in their freshman year and will later be able to "shadow professionals in the medical field during the junior and senior year."
The city is expecting 25,000 to 30,000 healthcare jobs will be created in Chicago over the next decade, said Emanuel, whose immediate family includes a nurse, an oncologist and pediatrician
"I've never had a medical audience this attentive," he said.
Crane had been slated to close in 2011.