Kenwood Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kenwood Academy
20120817 Kenwood Academy.JPG
"Our mission is COLLEGE!"
5015 S. Blackstone Avenue.
Chicago, Illinois 60615
United States
Coordinates 41°48′12″N 87°35′23″W / 41.8034°N 87.5898°W / 41.8034; -87.5898Coordinates: 41°48′12″N 87°35′23″W / 41.8034°N 87.5898°W / 41.8034; -87.5898
School type Public Secondary Magnet
Opened 1969
School district Chicago Public Schools
CEEB code 140917[1]
Principal Gregory L. Jones
Grades 712[2]
Gender Coed
Enrollment 1,699[3] (2015–16)
Campus type Urban
Color(s)     Columbia Blue
Athletics conference Chicago Public League
Team name Broncos
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[4]
Newspaper Kenwood Kaleidoscope
Yearbook Odyssey

Kenwood Academy (formerly known as Kenwood High School) is a public 4–year high school located in the Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Operated by the Chicago Public Schools district, Kenwood limits acceptance of high school students to those living in its attendance area: from Lake Michigan to Cottage Grove Avenue east to west, and 47th to the Midway Plaisance north to south. The school is bounded by E. Hyde Park Boulevard on the south, S. Lake Park Avenue on the east, S. Blackstone Avenue on the west, and E. 50th Street on the north. The school's football field, however, extends the campus north to E. 49th Street along S. Lake Park Avenue. In addition to being a local high school, Kenwood has a magnet program that accepts students entering into 7th grade who pass a rigorous admissions test. The magnet program accepts students citywide using a random lottery with a standing of 6 or higher in both reading and math. Kenwood was recognized as a School of Distinction for its academic achievement and a Model School by the International Center for Leadership in Education in 2004. Kenwood Academy High School was selected as one of America's best high schools by Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report magazines.


The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) began the planning process to build Kenwood Academy, then called Kenwood High School, on November 3, 1965. With Northern big cities undergoing the final years of the baby boom, the CPS felt the need for a modernized new high school on Chicago's South Side. The high school was sited on 51st Street and Lake Park, near the Illinois Central Railroad, and was built in 1967–69. The doors of the school opened in September 1969. The address is 5015 S. Blackstone Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60615. Elizabeth M. Jochner, Kenwood's first principal, held the position for the first eighteen years from opening in 1969 until 1987. In recognition of the school's excellence and special programs, the Chicago Board of Education designated the school an "academy" in 1977. The school's academic center is now housed in the former Canter Middle School (formerly Louis Wirth Elementary School) building, which closed after the 2013–14 school year.[5]

Academic Center[edit]

The Academic Center Program started as a way to introduce a select few 7th and 8th grade students to the high school environment before actually entering high school. Students in this program are referred to as "preppies," as they are preparing for high school by taking high school courses before they graduate from the 8th grade. Students are offered the choice of staying at Kenwood Academy or attending any other high school with their credits and GPA. Students that choose to stay at Kenwood are granted the right, in their senior year, to take tuition-free courses at the University of Chicago.

Music Department[edit]

The Kenwood Academy Concert Choir has performed locally and nationally at churches, colleges and universities, and vocal competitions nationwide. Oscar winner Denzel Washington and Grammy award winners The Winans have shared billings (at their own requests) with the Kenwood Academy Concert Choir. The Kenwood Concert Choir has performed for President Barack Obama. The Kenwood Academy Bands are superior rated Jazz Emsemble (known as "Jazz At The Wood"), Jazz Combo, Concert Band, and the newly revived Marching Band (known as "Marching Broncos"). Jazz At The Wood was the first CPS High School in the city's history to be invited to perform at the Annual Jazz Festival (located in Grant Park) in 2007. They have also performed (through personal request) for the Annual Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Golden Apple Awards, Ravinia, Hewitt and Associates and Room 43.

The University of Chicago[edit]

Because of their mutual history of academic excellence and their close proximity to each other, Kenwood Academy and the University of Chicago have enjoyed a great relationship over the years. Kenwood Academy students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses can access student resources on the University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus. University of Chicago students and professors have traditionally worked closely with Kenwood students in classes and on special projects. A recent example of a Kenwood Academy/University of Chicago relationship is evidenced in the Program of Academic Excellence for High School Juniors at Kenwood Academy (The Kenwood Project). This program pairs Kenwood Academy Juniors with professors at the University of Chicago, as mentors.


Kenwood competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).[6] Kenwood varsity athletic teams are named the "Broncos." The school's football field is not of regulation size, and thus no home games are played there. There are no stands or seats for spectators. The boys' swimming and diving team were Public League champions 14 times (1985–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000). Kenwood boys' track and field were Public league champions and Class AA 3 times; (1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86). Kenwood girls' swimming and diving were public league champions 8 times (1981–82, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1998–99).

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]

  • Lena McLin – Music teacher, composer, author, and minister. McLin served as a music teacher and head of the music department at the school from 1970 to 1995.[11]


  1. ^ "High School Code Search". College Board. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Chicago Public Schools: Kenwood". Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  3. ^ CPS-Kenwood HS
  4. ^ "Institution Summary for Kenwood Academy". AdvancED profile. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Chicago Sun-times: CPS plans to move Kenwood program into closed school
  6. ^ IHSA: Chicago (Kenwood)
  7. ^ Hyde Park History
  8. ^ Patang (review).
  9. ^ Chicago Teacher's Union; About Us
  10. ^ "Andrew Patner Biography". Hyde Park Historical Society. Retrieved March 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ The Historymakers: Lena McLin

External links[edit]