Update: CPS Wrong To Consolidate The Dales?

ScreenHunter_25 Apr. 26 10.49 Parents fight a school consolidation Tribune:  Parents are upset at a plan to merge the two Northwest Side schools, which would allow enrollment to be more evenly divided between the two buildings but would eliminate a principal, a librarian and lunchroom staff...  A curious case: Avondale and Logandale Newstips:  With close to 1,000 students -- more if the pre-school program expands -the combined school would be among the top 10 percent of the district's largest elementary schools.  Parents point out that all but one of those 47 schools are predominantly Latino... Logan Square Residents Take To The Streets To Protest CPS Consolidation Plan Progress IL: Parents, teachers, and concerned residents are taking to the streets of the Logan Square neghborhood today to voice their anger with the Chicago Public Schools' plan to consolidate Avondale Elementary and Logandale Middle School.

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  • unverified email:

    Left speechless, CPS officials abruptly left a heated community meeting about consolidation at Avondale School. (Photos attached)

    This morning the Avondale Local School Council once again presented their community-based plan for Avondale-Logandale school utilization and performance to CPS officials.

    "There are two proposals on the table," said Avondale and Logandale parent Norma Luna. "One that has the support of parents, teachers and principals at the schools, and one that totally excludes the community. Which one will you choose?"

    The officials--Jose Alvarez, James Dispensa and Chief Area Officer Craig Benes--responded that the CPS recommendation is to move forward with the original consolidation plan. Other than a comment about "vertical articulation," no explanation was given about the educational benefits for students. No feedback was provided on the community-based plan, which would maintain two schools but move 5th graders to Logandale to better utilize building space.

    Sen. Iris Martinez, chief sponsor of the school facilities bill moving through quickly through Springfield, took the mic and blasted CPS for its process. "You always talk about parent involvement--well this is parent involvement! This community will not stand for not being involved in this process.... There's a way for us to come together. We are willing to come together." The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers as she continued, "For me not to know what you're doing when my office is across the street from the school, that is a complete lack of respect."

    Abruptly, Alvarez, Dispensa and Benes picked up their things and rushed out the door and down the stairs to exit the building. (Photos attached.)

    The Board of Education--at their last meeting before a new administration enters--will decide on the fate of Avondale and Logandale tomorrow.

    More background information here: http://www.newstips.org/?p=3695
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-25/news/ct-met-cps-consolidation-0426-20110425_1_local-school-council-middle-school-cps-officials

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I would never want any community to experience what we have gone through. I was shocked when Mr. Alvarez, Dispensa, and Benes left as parents were speaking! That was beyond disrespectful and very UNPROFESSIONAL! Mr. Alvarez, Dispensa, and Benes walking out was a perfect picture of how CPS TREATS THEIR COMMUNITY. They completely disregarded the parents speaking and walked out on them. CPS has broken the trust of the parents.
    Listening to them was like hearing a broken record. It's for the children, it's for the children, it's for the children. When I asked for a list on how the students were going to benefit from the consolidation no one was able to answer. They should have be able to respond immediately if this was the sole purpose for this consolidation. It's for the childre, one budge bigger classroom sizes. It's for the children, let's go class put on your coats we have to walk in the cold to the other building. It's for the children, I have to waste valuable time teaching to take my students to gym in the other building. It's for the children, sorry we do not have any money to buy you supplies.
    Not any of these consolidations would even help this growing deficit because Alderman like Rey Colon are building unnecessary charter schools. We have money for charters but yet we can't afford and manage the schools we have now. It's a sad thing to see that CPS truely does not care about the community.
    I do not think Mr. Alvarez, Dispensa, Mazany or Benes would appreciate it if we walked in their homes and told them how things were going to be handled with out their opinion. They are SILENCING the community. I feel that it is a POLITICAL AND RACIST ATTACK! I hope they chose to HOLD THE CONSOLIDATION and follow the process laid out in SB 620. That's all we are asking for.

  • It amazes me that uninvolved people comment on what is going on. Yes, everyone has an opinion and can express it freely. Our fight is not about principals. Our fight is about the process and how CPS is disregarding 11 months of researched based recommendations and disrespecting our Latino Community, or should I say "Latino Corner," like Mr. Benes said. No community should have to experience this. We are not opposed to the consolidation, we want the 10 year comprehensive Facilities Master Pland and a 5 year capital improvement plan. I hope Chicago Educational Task Force takes it to the federal level. Please, get informed about what the community is fighting for before you speak up.

  • Chicago Board Of Education Board Meeting, April 27, 2011. REPORTS FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: 11-0427-EX4; Consolidate Hans Christian Andersen Elementary School Into LaSalle II Magnet Elementary School. 11-0427-EX5; Consolidate Avondale School Into Logandale School and Adjust the Attendance Area Boundary of Logandale School. 11-0427-EX6; Consolidate the High School of Bowen Environmental Studies High School, the Chicago Discovery High School, and Global Visions High School Into the New Miliennium High School and Establish a Single Regular High School in the Bowen Campus. 11-0427-EX7; Consolidate Philo Carpenter Elementary School Into Mancel Talcott Elementary School. 11-0427-EX8; Consolidate George Schneider Elementary School Into Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Elementary School and Adjust the Attendance Areas for Both Schools.

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