By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Chicago Public Schools recently released a list of its new school networks. The list shows a decrease in the number of network areas and a shuffling of network area chiefs in each neighborhood, including Hyde Park.
Area networks have been pared down from 19 offices to 13 offices that are now neighborhood networks. The number of CPS staff members working in each network office has also decreased to about 16 employees, which means 79 jobs will be eliminated. According to CPS, this change has been made to foster more comprehensive and streamlined delivery of instruction for students. The changes will also save money for the cash-strapped school district.
Harrison Peters is the new chief of CPS Area Network 9, which includes Hyde Park, Bronzeville and Woodlawn. Peters succeeds John Price, who as the area chief of the Burnham Park Network once governed several elementary schools in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Price is now the chief of Network 4 and governs schools in the Logan Square and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Elizabeth Kirby, former principal of Kenwood High School, is now the chief of network 11, which covers Englewood and Auburn-Gresham neighborhoods. She was formally the chief of schools for the Southwest High School network.
Each network chief will govern all elementary schools and high schools in their designated neighborhoods. Charters, turnarounds and military schools will not have area chiefs. Selected reinvestment schools such as Reavis, 834 E. 50th St., have been placed under a different governing system.
Reavis will join 21 other schools as a part of the Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) Network, as previously reported in the Sept. 25, 2013, issue of the Herald. Reavis is a part of a newly established network of schools, the administrators and teachers of which will receive hands-on professional development as a part of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) “reinvestment schools” program.
According to CPS, the reinvestment schools program is an early intervention support effort for high-need schools that aims to prevent putting in place drastic, late-stage, school-level interventions in the future.