Community pursues merger of 68th and 81st Street Schools

In December the MPS board voted to close the 68th Street School building at 68th and Moltke, but to give administration more time to come up with ideas to preserve the program that currently inhabits the building. You can read about the discussion and action to close 68th Street School here.

The neighborhood associations of Enderis Park, Enderis East, Lenox Heights and Cooper Park support merging 68th with nearby 81st Street School (pictured above), at 81st and Chambers.

As 2011 faded, 68th Street School teacher Gina Sabatinelli, who lives in the schools’ neighborhood, posted information on Facebook about a meeting to be held on Monday regarding the future of 68th Street School.

“As you may have heard, the 68th Street building is closing at the end of this school year, however, our program is remaining intact. It is our vision to make 81st Street a true neighborhood school. This would invoke many changes to that school. We are coming up with several proposals for our program, but 81st is our focus. Administration suggests our program move to Sherman (Multicultural Arts School, 51st and Locust).”

The meeting was held at the Enderis Playfield Fieldhouse – located more or less between 68th Street and 81st Street Schools – and an update was posted yesterday.

“We had a great meeting last night regarding the proposal to make 81st Street a K3-5th grade neighborhood program and moving the 68th Street Early Childhood program in there. It was so valuable to have Mary Reynolds at our meeting last night. Her viewpoint as a community member was and is so important for us in developing this proposal and getting the board to view how our neighborhood needs a true neighborhood school right now.”

Another meeting on the future of the schools is slated for Monday, Jan. 9 at 4:30 p.m. at the Enderis Playfield Fieldhouse near 72nd Street and Locust Streets. All are invited to attend.

UPDATE: As of Thursday, Jan. 5, the Cooper Park neighborhood group said it had collected more than 100 signatures in support of its plan and will collect more at an Enderis Park event this weekend.

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