ACT Charter to share Nash Elementary School

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Chicago Public Schools plans to close just four of more than 140 schools that meet CPS’ low-performing criteria, and none is in Austin.

The district also wants traditional CPS schools to share facilities with three under-performing charters and plans to phase out two schools.

CPS released the proposed actions Wednesday, a day after it made controversial news that 10 schools are slated for a turnaround. If approved by the Chicago Board of Education, the 10 turnaround locations will remain open, but all teachers, administrators and staff will be replaced.

In Austin, the district wants the Academy of Community and Technology (ACT) Charter School, 4319 W. Washington Blvd., to share space within Henry H. Nash Elementary, 4837 W. Erie St.

“These co-locations will provide students with access to high quality school options within neighborhoods on the South and West Sides,” according to a CPS press release.

CPS considers Nash under-enrolled, with the capacity to hold additional students.

ACT, which opened in 1997, voluntarily suspended services in the fall of 2010. It plans to resume operations as a KIPP charter school in fall 2012, initially serving 90 fifth-grade students. Eventually the charter will serve up to 400 fifth- through eighth-grade students, according to CPS’ transition plan for the merger.

If approved, Nash and ACT would co-share the facility at 4837 W. Erie St., which has a total of 56 classrooms.

Nash will use its 34 classrooms in the main building, and ACT will use the 22 classrooms in the annex building.

Some spaces, such as the auditorium, gym, cafeteria and kitchen, would be considered shared space in the main building.

In all, about 400 students from ACT and 392 students at Nash would share the campus.

CPS also plans to shut down the following four locations:

The two schools slated to phase out, meaning one grade level would be eliminated per year until no students remain, are:

CPS spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus said parents at ACT and Nash have already been notified about the change.

Community meetings will be held about ACT and Nash:

  • Jan. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Austin Polytechnical Academy

A public  hearing will be held Jan. 25, from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Chicago Public School Board chambers at 125 S. Clark St., 5th Floor. The school board is expected to vote on the proposed school actions and turnarounds Feb. 22.

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