Kenwood, Kozminski, Ray and Akiba in school news

By ALLISON MATYUS
Staff Writer

Local schools are found with asbestos

There is potentially dangerous asbestos in about 200 Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Kenwood Academy High School, 5105 S. Blackstone Ave., and Kozminski Community Academy, 936 E. 54th St., both have the health hazard inside of its buildings.

According to Asbestos Nation, a campaign to educate and mobilize people about the ongoing dangers of asbestos, there is the potential for significant damage from asbestos in the ceiling tiles of rooms 234, 315 and 325 at Kenwood. There is also a potential for damage in the fiberglass pipe insulations throughout the school as well as the tank insulation in the mechanical room.

For Kozminski, the potential threat lies in the pipe insulation in the basement of the school.

Chicago Public Schools records show that in 2013, inspectors contracted by the district found friable asbestos that was damaged or showed the potential for damage in 184 public elementary, middle and high schools throughout the city. Inspectors recommended the asbestos be removed or repaired to alleviate possible exposure risks, but to date, almost all of the identified asbestos remains in place.

“Addressing environmental issues is a priority for the District, because we are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for our students and staff,” said Emily Bittner, the communications director at CPS, in a written response. “CPS is making continued investments in remediating environmental issues, including asbestos. In the past five years, CPS has spent roughly $54 million on environmental remediation work that was incorporated into capital improvement projects throughout the district.”

According to Asbestos Nation, all school in the U.S. built before 1980 likely contain asbestos. As a result, asbestos exposure incidents continue to plague schools nationwide.

High test scores mean lower tuition at The Cambridge School

The Cambridge School, 1014 E. 47th St., is lowering its annual tuition costs from $10,000 to $6,000.

The school’s recent annual report card shows that 100 percent of its students over the past 10 years score nearly three grade levels ahead in reading, math and language arts.

The new tuition will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year. New students as well as re-enrolled students will qualify for the new rate.

Ray Elementary benefit

The Promontory will host a benefit event on March 24 to benefit Ray Elementary School, 5631 S. Kimbark Ave.
From 6 to 8 p.m., the “Raise a Glass for Ray” event will take over The Promontory, 5311 S Lake Park Ave., with live music, drinks and a raffle.

Raffle prizes such as a free night and breakfast at the Hyde Park Hyatt, 5225 S. Harper Ave., a gift card for classes at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave., and a parking spot in the Ray staff parking lot for a year will be auctioned off.

Nate Bukkum, a Ray Parent, and his band, “We, Unity Candle” will play 80’s hits all night long.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 on the day of. All proceeds from the event will benefit the school.

Akiba School Students Succeed

Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School, 5235 S. Cornell Ave., has a lot to celebrate because of their students’ recent achievements.

Eighth grader Sarah Campbell took 1st Place in the regional division of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Campbell will go on to Washington, D.C. in May for the Nationals.

Sixth grader Aaron Faier will be competing in the National Geographic Bee in May and Shire David, a 7th grader, will compete in the Chidon HaTanach (National Bible Contest) in May as well.

Another accomplishment for Akiba is that 75 percent of its 8th graders were admitted to their first choice schools after applying to Chicago’s Selective enrollment high schools. Students will be attending schools such as Walter Payton, Whitney Young, Jones College Prep and Northside Prep in the fall.

a.matyus@hpherald.com