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Manierre Makes It, In Good Standing With CPS

By Ted Cox | October 23, 2017 12:05pm
 Parents usher their kids to school at Manierre Elementary.
Parents usher their kids to school at Manierre Elementary.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

OLD TOWN — Manierre made it.

The Old Town elementary school at 1420 N. Hudson Ave. was recognized as being in "good standing" in new Chicago Public Schools districtwide ratings released Friday, just four years after it was almost closed by the district.

Manierre had expected to be recognized as what CPS calls a Level 1 school — actually the second-highest quality rating — going back to last school year.

Manierre was one of 54 schools considered for closure four years ago, but was saved at the 11th hour. Principal Derrick Orr was credited with convincing then-CPS Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett to keep the school open, and he went on to lead it toward good standing with the district, in part through annual spring college trips for eight-graders.

Last year, Manierre still had the third-highest rating, requiring provisional support, but this year it made the cut for full compliance with CPS standards.

Orr, however, didn't get to see the school reach the promised land, as he was pushed out of the post just before the end of the school year in a residency flap.

Orr has been replaced this year by Principal Tinishi Davis, who will now lead the school with a student body that is 98 percent African-American and 99 percent low-income.

Several Lincoln Park and Old Town schools claimed Level 1+ ratings this fall, the district's highest ranking. They included:

• Lincoln Park High School, 2001 N. Orchard St.

• Payton College Prep, 1034 N. Wells St.

• Franklin Fine Arts Center, 225 W. Evergreen Ave.

• Lincoln Elementary, 615 W. Kemper Place

• Mayer Magnet, 2250 N. Clifton Ave.

• Prescott, 1632 W. Wrightwood Ave.

• Skinner North Classical, 640 W. Scott Ave.

Alcott, 2652 N. Orchard, LaSalle Language Academy, 1734 N. Orleans St., and Newberry Math & Science Academy, 700 W. Willow St., all received Level 1 ratings along with Manierre. CPS blamed attendance dips over last year's Cubs playoff run, the threatened teacher strike and other protests for robbing some schools of its highest rating.

Of area schools, only Jenner Academy of the Arts, 1119 N. Cleveland St., failed to make at least Level 1, posting the third-highest rating and requiring provisional support. That support, however, is coming in the form of a planned merger with Ogden, 24 W. Walton St..