Parents object to moving school
MOUNT GREENWOOD Idea of relocating Keller raises ire
Parents of Keller Gifted Magnet students Wednesday blasted a proposal to kick the second-highest-scoring elementary school in the state out of its Mount Greenwood home to solve overcrowding at a neighborhood school.
“Why disrupt an institution that is working well?’’ Keller mom Sherry Swan asked Chicago School Board members. “Let’s not solve one problem and cause another by turning our back on the children of Keller.’’
A Chicago Public School official told Keller’s local school council Friday that overcrowding at Mount Greenwood Elementary could be solved by using Keller’s building at 3020 W. 108th St., parents said.
Schools CEO Ron Huberman insisted that Keller would not be relocated this fall and said parents would be included in discussions on overcrowding solutions.
“We are here today because history teaches us that oftentimes, the only thing that changes from a ‘proposed plan’ issued by CPS to the ultimate plan adopted by CPS is the deletion of the word ‘proposed,’ ” Keller parent James Kallianis Jr. told school board members.
Only 18 percent of Keller students live within walking distance — 1.5 miles — of the school; the rest are eligible for busing, one CPS official said Wednesday. Kallianis said most students are not “outsiders’’ who take buses to Keller. Nearly two-thirds live in the 19th Ward, he said.
Keller parents fear the same fate as Edison Gifted, which was booted from its prized Northwest Side location last year to solve neighborhood overcrowding.
Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th) said the Mount Greenwood principal told her the school is so overcrowded it holds classes in an office.
“I would fight to make sure [Keller] stays within our community. I don’t want to see it leave,’’ Rugai said.
Also Wednesday, a top school board aide said at least one board member would attend each of this year’s public hearings on 14 proposed school shakeups. There were complaints last year that board members killed off schools without attending public hearings.
To see the schedule of public hearings that begin today on 14 school closures and shakeups, go to suntimes.com.
Christine McGovern protests the possible relocation of Keller at a hearing Wednesday.