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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett today announced a plan to expand Jones College Prep that nearly doubles the number of students who will be admitted to a total of 1,700 by 2016. The plan incorporates the existing Jones College Prep building into the new campus, located one block south, scheduled to open for next school year and helps CPS continue increasing access to high-quality school options for students throughout the city.
“With this expansion, we are able to nearly double the number of students who have access to a high-quality, rigorous academic environment that will help them succeed,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Our school district is facing enormous financial and structural challenges that must be addressed. At the same time, it is our responsibility to do everything we can to support the success of our students and provide families with every opportunity we can to access a high-quality education for their children.”
Jones College Prep is a selective enrollment school that currently has the capacity to serve 900 students. This new plan expands that capacity over the next four years to a total of 1,700 students, ensuring a smooth transition for students and teachers and increasing the access to selective enrollment schools for children and families across the city. This past school year, CPS received nearly 18,000 applications for approximately 3,000 selective enrollment seats throughout the district; for every freshman seat at Jones, for instance, 49 applications were received.
“The addition of these high-quality options for our students and parents moves us in the right direction toward providing every child across Chicago with the world-class education they deserve,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “New, rigorous curriculum implemented with these options will help prepare our children with the skills they’ll need to be successful not only in school, but college and career.”
Beginning this fall, Jones College Prep will also offer two CTE programs that provide students with focused coursework in pre-engineering and pre-law. Over the next four years a total of 300 seats dedicated to these programs will be added within the Jones student population; CTE applicants within the defined neighborhood boundaries for Jones will be given preference for admission.
The new, expanded Jones College Prep campus is scheduled to open for the start of the Fall 2013 school year and will serve students in grades 9 through 12 in both the current (north) and new (south) buildings. Necessary repairs to the current building will be completed over the summer to ensure it is ready to welcome students at the start of the school year. A new gymnasium will be located in the new south building and shared by all Jones students from both the north and south buildings.
The expansion of Jones College Prep is an additional step Mayor Emanuel and CPS are taking to ensure that families have access to high-quality education options for their children throughout the city. Since the Mayor took office in 2011, CPS has announced plans to add over 18,000 high-quality opportunities for students across Chicago. CPS students now have a full school day and a full school year that provides them with more time in the classroom with teachers as well as recess for the first time in decades; this school year, five new Early College STEM Schools opened to give rigorous curriculum to 4500 students; next school year, CPS will double the number of students who have access to the rigorous IB Programme with five new programmes impacting 2400 students and six new wall-to-wall IB high schools impacting 9700 students; between this school year and next school year, families will have access to thousands of additional opportunities in magnet schools of excellence, charter and contract schools; and due to a direct investment from the City of Chicago’s budget, 5,000 additional children have access to high-quality pre-kindergarten seats across the city.
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