Harper High School (Chicago)
|Harper High School|
|6520 S. Wood Street
Chicago, Illinois 60636
|School type||Public secondary|
|Motto||"Focus on today, Preparing for tomorrow"|
|School district||Chicago Public Schools|
|Principal||Leonetta C. Sanders|
|Average ACT scores||14.1|
William Rainey Harper High School (commonly known as Harper High School) is a public four-year high school located in the West Englewood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Harper serves students in West Englewood and certain streets of Chicago Lawn. Harper is part of the Chicago Public Schools district. The school is named for scholar and educational administrator William Rainey Harper. Opened in 1911, the school has a graduation rate of 49.5 percent (as of the 2014–15 school year).
Background and national attention
The majority of the school's students are Black-American. Harper was the first public school in Chicago to be a part of the Turnaround project started by former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. Harper High School gained national attention when the school was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show discussed Harper High School's lack of computers and other essential learning tools for its students. The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been a big advocate for the school and its lack of funding.
Harper High School was the focus of a 2012 WBEZ report concerning the 27 past and present students who were casualties of gun violence in the preceding 13 months. The school was subsequently the subject of a two-episode, five-month immersive investigation by This American Life that aired on February 15 and 22, 2013, focusing on gun violence and the lives of students; the series earned a Peabody Award.
Programs and performance
It was also adopted by the BET network. Harper performs a B.A.G. program yearly. They are involved in AVID and CTE programs. B.A.M. has appointed themselves to Harper High School, as well as Embark, W.O.W, and City Year. Harper continues to improve in areas such as five-year graduation rate, college enrollment rate, test scores, attendance, college graduation rate, and college retention rate. In the 2012-2013 academic school year, 75.7% of Harper freshmen were on track to graduate, and the five-year graduation rate was 68%. In 2010, the college retention rate was 25%. In 2012, it increased to 42%. That gives the school a 17% increase within the standard two years.
B.A.G. stands for "Behavior, Attendance, and Grades". This helps the school know which students are on track to graduate and go to college.
Harper High School is a non-selective enrollment high school with attendance boundaries. Students within the attendance boundary may immediately be enrolled without a form of admission. Those outside of the boundary will have to receive permission from the school to enroll. If there are more applications than spots available, the school will perform a computerized lottery.
Harper competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Harper's boys' basketball team were regional champions for three consecutive seasons (2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11).
- Naomi Kauffman – attorney and civil rights advocate
- Cal Lepore – former NFL referee
- James Meeks – 1974, founder and senior pastor of Salem Baptist Church, and former Democratic member of the Illinois Senate
- Wayne Smith – 1975, former NFL football player (1980–87)
- Chicago Public Schools: Harper
- Yearbooks: Harper High School (Chicago)
- "West Central South" (high school zones). Chicago Public Schools. July 19, 2013. Retrieved on January 11, 2017.
- Harper High School's Turnaround
- Lutton, Linda (July 9, 2012). "The weight of the city's violence, on one school principal". WBEZ. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- This American Life Episode 487
- Harper High boasts two Gates Millennium Scholars, despite school's struggle with violence
- IHSA: Chicago (Harper)