The Chicago school board has voted to close four high schools in the Englewood neighborhood over the next three years as it builds a replacement school in the South Side community.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the school closings will be the first in the city system since 2013.
Board members voted to permanently close Harper, Hope, Robeson and Team Englewood high schools. They also decided to close National Teachers Academy elementary school so that the facility can be converted into a high school for the South Loop neighborhood.
A 2013 moratorium on school closings, imposed after the district shuttered about 50 schools, expires in June and clears the way for the latest action.
After Robeson closes in June, a new $85 million school will be built on its campus. It is scheduled to open in fall 2019 to ninth graders.
The other high schools will remain open long enough so that their current students can graduate,
The National Teachers Academy elementary will eventually be merged with the South Loop Elementary School, which is getting a new annex. The Teachers Academy building will become a neighborhood high school for the Near South Side.
The plans to shutter the schools were met with fierce and organized opposition as the Chicago Teachers Union and parents pleaded with the board to spare their schools.
Other facility changes:
•The board approved the merger of Jenner Elementary with Ogden International School, the result of a few years of discussion among families and community leaders.
•Cardenas and Castellanos will merge their K-3 and 4-8 populations under one principal both schools already share.
•Henry Elementary and Haugan Elementary will add 7th and 8th grades, ending a middle school program at Roosevelt High School.