Chicago Public Schools Announce Closing Criteria

Chicago Public School's CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett Wednesday announced a more specific criteria for which schools might be closed under the CPS's "Utilization Crisis."

Byrd-Bennett said in a release that there is a strict criteria to observe when it comes to deciding on closures. The release does not include information on which schools will close under the program, rather, which schools will not be considered for closure. 

“As a former teacher and principal, I know that our limited education resources are spread much too thin,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “By combining schools that are lack sufficient numbers of students, we can direct our limited resources to give all of our children the quality education they need and deserve to succeed.”

Ahead of a series of community meetings to determine worth, the CPS had identified 330 schools that were not being used to their full potential, but on Wednesday they said they removed 201 such schools from consideration, leaving 129 on the chopping block. 

A second round of community meetings is scheduled to begin on Wednesday. 

Below is an outline of the criteria used to determine which of the 330 originally identified schools were to remain open regardless. 

Today, based on additional community feedback and additional commission recommendations from their interim report, CPS will remove from potential closure those schools meeting the following criteria:


  • High schools
  • High performing, Level 1 schools
  • Schools in the process of adding grades that are expected to reach efficient utilization based on enrollment trends
  • Schools with greater than 600 students enrolled on 20th day of SY2012-13
  • Schools with a utilization rate of at least 70% in SY2012-13
  • Schools that have recently experienced a significant school action.  This is defined as schools that have been a designated welcoming school in the last 3 years or were part of a co-location approved last year that went into effect this year
  • Schools that are on the rise - defined as meeting one or both of the following:
  1. Level 2 schools that have gained enrollment over the last 3 years OR
  2. Any schools that are sustainable and improving performance.  These schools meet ALL of the following:

      Greater than or equal to 300 students enrolled 20th day SY2012-13

      Same or higher performance level for SY2011-12 as SY2010-11

      ISAT composite meets / exceeds trend value that indicates increase in student proficiency

      Students are performing at or above their peers in reading or math for each of the last 3 years

      Schools that are isolated from nearby neighborhood elementary schools

  • Schools that are isolated from nearby neighborhood elementary schools
  • Schools that are surrounded by schools that are at or near capacity and do not have space to welcome students.

To view the entire list and criteria, visit our website at   

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