Ryerson Elementary School Closing: Violence and Student Safety Concerns

Ryerson Elementary School C/O L.A. Times

Ryerson Elementary School Photo/ L.A. Times

As the date approaches for the 54 schools on the list of CPS schools closing this upcoming 2013-2014 school year, parents, teachers, students and communities at large prepare to take on the many changes that come with the closing of these schools.

Parents like those of Ryerson Elementary School, located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the northwest side of the city, who are fighting to try and keep their children’s schools open.

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CPS School Closings: City’s West Side

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Yesterday, I took the opportunity to attend an open hearing at the CPS offices for the Ryerson Elementary School, which is on the list of possible school closings to take place during the Fall of 2013. Ryerson a school located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the west side of the city, is 1of 4 schools on the infamous list of school closings.

The hearing discussed the city’s rational behind the closing of Ryerson, putting forth that the reason the school was to be closes was that it didn’t meet “enrollment efficiency”, meaning that the school was “under utilized” given it has a capacity of “900 students and 30 classrooms” and is only enrolling to date “399 students”.

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CPS School Closings: Student Safety Concerns

CPS

CPS

A common theme I noticed came across most stories discussing the CPS school closings is that of parents concern for their children’s safety. DNAinfo wrote a piece called CPS School Closings: ‘I Am Completely Disgusted’ which really caught my attention given it speaks to outrage that exists in the communities affected by these closings. Many of the parents quoted in this story claim a main concern for them in regards to the closing of their children’s schools is that of how far they’ll have to walk  to get to school. Particularly, in neighborhoods with high crime rates in which gangs and violence are just around the corner.

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Humboldt Park School Closings and Wicker Park Gentrification and Parking

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In conducting my research on the news coverage of the northwest Chicago neighborhoods of Logan Square, Bucktown/ Wicker Park and Humboldt Park, there are a couple of story ideas that came to mind.

One of these story ideas is that of the public school closings taking place in Humboldt Park. This story idea came to me after reading a couple of the articles published by DNAinfo on the subject. The first news story that caught my eye was a story called “CPS Closings: Public Meetings Set for Humboldt Park Schools”, this story discussed public meetings being held by the city which aim to give members of Humboldt Park neighborhood a second chance at trying to save their neighborhood schools.

This story immediately caught my attention given that one of the schools listed in the story Ana Roque de Duprey, is a school to which I attended during my first years of school. I remember the school very vividly and can definitely attest that it played a huge role in the development of my Spanish language skills my overall interest in my education.

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