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Noble Charter School in Rogers Park? Some Activists Oppose Plan

By Benjamin Woodard | April 21, 2015 5:24am
 St. Jerome Catholic Church, at 1709 W. Lunt Ave.
St. Jerome Catholic Church, at 1709 W. Lunt Ave.
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ROGERS PARK — Noble Charter Network might be interested in opening a high school in the neighborhood.

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said Noble proposed possibly opening a school in Rogers Park and in other North Side neighborhoods.

"In fact, Noble listed just about every North Side community as a possible location for a charter on their response to" this year's request for proposals from Chicago Public Schools.

CPS spokeswoman Lauren Huffman said earlier this month the final list of proposed new schools had not been finalized. The board would vote on which schools to approve in the fall.

Moore said Noble could be interested in opening a location at St. Jerome Catholic Church at 1709 W. Lunt Ave., which formerly housed the only other neighborhood charter school, Chicago Math and Science Academy, before it moved to Clark Street.

St. Jerome has not begun negotiations with Noble, he said.

Noble spokeswoman Constance Brewer said Monday no definitive plans had been made.

"We are simply exploring at this point," she said in an email. "No commitments have been made. Talking with various community members, elected officials, and other stakeholders is a very important part of the exploration process."

As news of Noble's interest spread, some neighborhood education activists organized to oppose the opening of a charter on the North Side.

Activist Joseph Randol said he and his group planned to launch a website to encourage others to speak out against the plan.

"The thing is, we don't want it on the North Side period," he said. "The goal we’re trying to achieve is to get a broad array of support to say to CPS we already have schools here. Putting in an additional charter high school doesn't make sense."

Noble Network operates 16 high schools throughout the city.

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