Gage Park High School

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Gage Park High School
Gage Park High School Chicago.jpg
To Reject Making Peace with Mediocrity.
Address
5630 S. Rockwell Street
Chicago, Illinois 60629
United States
Coordinates 41°47′28″N 87°41′22″W / 41.7911°N 87.6895°W / 41.7911; -87.6895Coordinates: 41°47′28″N 87°41′22″W / 41.7911°N 87.6895°W / 41.7911; -87.6895
Information
School type Public Secondary
Opened 1939[1]
School district Chicago Public Schools
CEEB code 140835 [2]
Principal Brian L. Metcalf
Grades 912
Gender Coed
Enrollment 293 (2016–17)[3]
Campus type Urban
Color(s)      Maroon
     White
Athletics conference Chicago Public League
Team name Owls
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Website

Gage Park High School is a public 4–year high school located in the Gage Park neighborhood on the south–west side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Opened in 1939, Gage Park is operated by the Chicago Public Schools district. Gage Park serves students living within three neighboring communities: Chicago Lawn, New City and West Englewood.

History[edit]

Gage Park High School opened in 1939. Beginning in the late–1960s, racial tensions grew between Black and White students at the school; which led to several events occurring over a 3–year period. The first incident occurred December 1969 when six males students were arrested in a racial-motivated fight between white and black students at the school.[4] In May 1970, a brawl erupted outside the school involving white and black students stemming from an incident during a lunch break.

The brawl resulted into six students being arrested and a Chicago police patrolmen being injured.[5] Due to the racial tensions at the school, Gage Park PTA members and community members proposed a plan to shift the school's attendance boundaries which would affect the majority of the school's African–American students (600 in total); sending them to Englewood High School (which was majority Black). The PTA and community members stressed that enrollment at the time was 3,109, 800 over capacity for the building; The proposal was denied by Ald. Anna Langford. Langford stated the plan was only an excuse to remove blacks from the school.[6]

After the alderman's decision, community members and protesters called for the Chicago Public Schools board to intervene and force the transfers of 650 students out of the school. In September 1972, a boycott began at the school involving white community members and parents choosing not to send their kids to school due to overcrowding. By the 12th day of the boycott, the Board of Education requested for the parents to end the boycott and register the students; which would result in knowing the exact figure of overcrowding at the school. The school board had proposed a plan to send white students to another area high school and black students to Hyde Park High School, which parents declined. Black parents charged whites with racism over the situation, blaming the school's PTA president Irene Schrader.[7][8] In addition to whites boycotting the school, Black students, parents and members from Operation PUSH also boycotted the school in October 1972; charging that the boundary proposal was racially motivated.[9][10][11][12]

By November 1972, A seven–point program to end violence and tension at the school was approved after a four hour meeting with then- Chicago schools superintendent James Redmond, Chicago police superintendent James Conlisk and a committee of black leaders and parents. The plan included enforcement of truancy, enforcement of a five-point security plan and a more detailed relationship between school officials and police regarding students.[13] Majority of the white parents and community members 11–week boycott ended days after the new plan was announced. In December of that year, Weeks after the school's plan was approved; Thirty–five white parents were arrested after they defied the school's security measures by demonstrating outside the school.[14]

Student Body/Graduation rate[edit]

From the beginning of the school, Gage Park was predominately white. By the mid–1960s, the school became of mixed student body. White population at the school declined drastically from 91% in 1972 to 12% in 1979. As of 2016, Gage Park's student body is made up of: 50.6% Hispanic, 46.8% African-American, 1.3% Other, 0.8% White and 0.2% Asian. Gage Park has a 40.3% graduation rate, 25.1% lower than Chicago public schools average of 65.4%.

Athletics[edit]

Gage Park competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The school's sport teams are named Owls. The boys' baseball team became Chicago Public League champions under the coaching of Paul Stanger in 1946–47.[15] The boys' baseball team also became Public leage champions in 1962–63.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Sports[edit]

  • Football (Boys')
  • Soccer (Boys'/Girls')
  • Cheerleading (Girls')
  • Volleyball (Boys'/Girls')
  • Basketball (Boys'/Girls')
  • Baseball (Boys')
  • Pom-Pom (Girls')
  • Softball (Girls')
  • Swimming (Boys'/Girls')
  • Track & Field (Boys'/Girls')

Academic/Other[edit]

  • Robotics Team
  • National Honor's Society
  • JROTC
  • No Drama Drama Club
  • Pre Law/Youth Summit
  • Gamma Pi
  • Unity Group
  • VOYCE
  • Model U.N
  • Guitar Club
  • Student Council
  • Beta Club
  • Mentor Moms Group

References[edit]