Jenner Academy of the Arts
|Jenner Academy of the Arts|
1119 North Cleveland Ave|
Chicago, Illinois 60610
|School type||Public K-8|
|School district||Chicago Public Schools|
Edward Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts was a PK-8 school in the Cabrini-Green area of the Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois. A part of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and named after Edward Jenner, it merged into Ogden International School in 2018.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2016)
In January and April of 1966, black parents boycotted the school in order to remove the white principal, Mildred Chuchut, of Jenner. CPS transferred her to Stowe Elementary school on August 10, 1966 .
Don Terry of The New York Times wrote that the school's atmosphere deteriorated after the October 1992 shooting of Jenner student Dantrell Davis, age 7. Davis was walking to school when he died. From March to October of that year three students, including Davis, were fatally shot within blocks of Jenner.
In 1997 the school had 570 students. That year the playground was in such a poor condition that children could not use it, and violent acts occurred in the vicinity of the school. In 1997 the head of CPS, Paul Vallas, stated that he may move students from the school building to another temporary location for safety reasons; 7th and 8th grade students had witnessed a fatal shooting in September of that year.
Enrollment decline and scheduled merger
In August of 1966, the school had 2,523 students. At that time, it was Chicago's largest elementary school. In the 1970-1971 school year Jenner had 1,920 students. In the 1996-1997 school year it had 625 students.
Its current campus opened in 2000. Enrollment had declined after Cabrini-Green was demolished.
In 2004 it absorbed the attendance boundary of Byrd Elementary School when it closed, and in 2009 it absorbed students from the former Schiller Elementary School zone when it closed. Its incidents of violence increased after merges with Byrd and Schiller schools due to placements of rival gang members together.
In 2007 the school had 600 students, and about 33% of students passed mathematics, readings, and science standardized tests administered by the state of Illinois. That year Steven Drummond of Education Week stated that while Jenner was still surrounded by poverty, violence "is not as prevalent as it once was". Mina Bloom of DNA Info wrote that Jenner had improved safety-wise since the appointment of principal Robert Croston, who received his degree from Harvard University. In 2015 Maureen Kelleher of Catalyst Chicago, a sister publication of the Chicago Reporter, stated that "safety has become less of a concern" due to gentrification of the area.
In the 2013 the school had 329 students. That year, CPS considered closing Jenner, but instead decided to close Manierre School and merge its student population into that of Jenner. Manierre is in "Sedville", a gang territory area in Old Town. Concerns involving students crossing gang territorial lines meant that both schools remained open.
In 2015 the principal of Jenner and the principal of Ogden International School, a K-12 institution with an elementary campus in the Gold Coast and a secondary campus in West Town, proposed merging their schools; Ogden was overcrowded while Jenner was under-enrollment and was threatened with closure. Some parents approved of the merger, while others opposed it. At first the merger proposal was canceled as there was not enough time left to get it accomplished for the 2015-2016 school year, and aside from the opposition of some parents, the CPS had what David Matthews of DNA Info referred to as "lukewarm support". CPS head Janice Jackson had stated that there was not enough "due diligence" done in order for the merger to go through.
In 2016 enrollment at Jenner was down to 239. In August of that year the discussions on how to merge the schools resumed, and in December of that year CPS confirmed that the process of merging the schools would begin. The CPS board voted unanimously for the merger in February 2018, and the merger is scheduled for September 2018.
Jenner, in 2016, had 239 students, 98% African-American and almost all low income. In 2013 all but two of the students were black and about 33% were homeless. As of that year some students lived in newer housing developments that accepted former residents of Cabrini-Green while others lived in the remaining Cabrini-Green rowhouses.
The final campus, which opened in 2000, occupies the block that held the previous campus. It has 29 classrooms, a gymnasium, a science laboratory, a math lab, art rooms, and music rooms. Its building capacity is 1,060.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2016)
Before the City of Chicago installed a Lighthouse academic program for low performing students circa 2000, 15% of Jenner students met the national average in performance in mathematics, and 14% did so in reading. After the program was installed, these percentages jumped to 29 and 21.
Jenner teacher Mathias J. Schergen stated that, like in Cabrini-Green itself, in Jenner students were bound to one another through extended family and "godcousin" relationships and that the school and wider area had a symbiotic relationship. Schergen, who gave himself the nickname "Mr. Spider" when he began teaching at Jenner, worked as an art teacher there for 23 years. By 2000 he turned a classroom in the former Jenner building, about to be replaced by the current building, into a museum. Schergen received the Gold Apple Award due to his teaching. He began working at Jenner in 1993, and retired from teaching in 2015.
- "Miss Chuchut Transferred." Chicago Tribune. Thursday, August 11, 1966 - Page 1.
- Lyons, John F. Teachers and Reform: Chicago Public Education, 1929-1970 (Volume 253 of Working class in American history). University of Illinois Press, 2008. ISBN 0252032721, 9780252032721. p. 183: [...]increasingly the conflicts revolved around the removal of white principals from black schools.[...]"
- Terry, Don (1992-10-17). "Even a Grade School Is No Refuge From Gunfire". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-22. "But the bullet that ripped into Dantrell's head also wounded the spirit of the school and the struggling apartment buildings that surround it."
- "Safety Plan Devised for Troubled School". The New York Times. 1997-11-20. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Belluck, Pam (1997-11-19). "Gang Gunfire May Chase Chicago Children From Their School". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Marciniak, Ed (Institute of Urban Life President) (1997-11-29). "Keep Cabrini Schools". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- Bloom, Mina (2016-05-23). "How A Cabrini-Green School Went From 'Out Of Control' To Feeling Like Home". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Dell'Angela, Tracy (2007-04-26). "School gone, but teacher's lessons live on". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Kelleher, Maureen (2015-09-25). "Can Jenner's "terrific facility" and strong arts programs overcome its history?". Catalyst Chicago. Retrieved 2016-12-22.(published by Community Renewal Society, Chicago Reporter is a sister publication)
- Drummond, Steven (2007-01-01). "Forever Young". Education Week. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Schmich, Mary (2013-02-23). "One school digs in to stay alive". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Konkol, Mark; Paul Biasco (2013-05-21). "Parents Win Battle, Manierre Elementary Won't Close". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Bloom, Mina (2015-09-04). "For Proposed Merger, 'Help Us to Help You,' Jenner Official Says to Ogden". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Matthews, David (2016-11-01). "Ogden-Jenner Merger Is Best For Both Schools, New Study Says". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Matthews, David (2015-11-05). "Ogden Principal Tells Parents Jenner Merger 'Should Not Proceed' Next Year". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Vevea, Becky (2016-10-29). "Supporters Of A Chicago School Merger Hope To Stamp Out Segregation". NPR. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Matthews, David; Mina Bloom (2016-08-10). "Ogden, Jenner Merger Talks Back On; CPS Seeks Input". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Matthews, David (2016-12-05). "CPS Moves Forward On Ogden-Jenner Merger, Seeks Input At Community Meetings". DNA Info. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- "Timeline of Events". Jenner-Ogden Merger Official Site. Retrieved 2018-05-21.
- Matthews, David (2015-09-22). "Ogden School Presses Ahead with Jenner Merger". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (2000-01-24). "The Bell Rings but the Students Stay, and Stay". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-24.
- Schergen, Mathias J. "Art: An Educational Link between School and Community" (Chapter 7). In: Johnson, Lauri, Mary E. Finn, and Rebecca Lewis (editors). Urban Education with an Attitude (UPCC book collections on Project MUSE). SUNY Press, February 1, 2012. ISBN 0791483584, 9780791483589. p. 79.
- Nadworny, Elissa (2015-07-15). "'Mr. Spider' Says Goodbye: An Art Teacher's Final Day At School". National Public radio. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Schmich, Mary (2000-06-08). "Memory Museum Holds Bits Of Past, Thoughts Of Future". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- Drummond, Steven (2006-12-22). "Forever Young". Education Week. Retrieved 2016-12-23. (print date: January 1, 2007)
- Schmich, Mary (2015-06-12). "After years of teaching, learning, 'Mr. Spider' retiring to pursue dreams". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-12-22.
- "Near North/West/Central Elementary Schools." Chicago Public Schools. May 17, 2013. Retrieved on December 22, 2016.
- "HS North/Near North." Chicago Public Schools. 2013. Retrieved on September 30, 2016.
- Conley, Chris (2016-02-05). "Ogden, Jenner and a chance to heal 2 CPS communities". Chicago Tribune.
- Rhames, Marilyn Anderson (2016-11-30). "The Ogden-Jenner School Merger Should Happen. Period". Education Post.