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Weekly update on CPS closings’ transition 08-16-13 edition

CPS has been conducting weekly updates on the transition process for the 48 schools it closed in June and its plans to help kids safely make it to their new schools through its “Safe Passage” program.

With a little more than a week to go until the first day of class, here’s the breakdown from this morning’s briefing by CPS, the Public Building Commission, Department of Buildings, Streets and Sanitation, the Department of Transportation and the Department Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

PS- If you’re at one of these schools and you disagree with the findings, let me know? 312 321 2152 or lfitzpatrick@suntimes.com

  • CPS says 91 percent of kids displaced from closed schools are already enrolled in CPS. Among them, the vast majority — 80 percent — of students and their families have chosen to attend their designated receiving school.
  • The hiring process for 600 community workers isn’t quite complete but continues. CPS held a preliminary job fair in partnership with the vendors on July 1, and three weeks ago posted all Safe Passage vendors’ contact information, sent emails and robocalls sent to parents at closed and receiving schools and to Local School Councils, Community Action Councils and other community-based organizations.
  • To date, Safe Passage vendors have received over 3,000 employment applications and are on track to have 600 new Safe Passage workers on the ground on the first day of school.
  • Beginning this week, CPS along with CPD and other city agencies began training our Safe Passage workers. Trainings will continue through the start of school.
  • Principal Transition Coordinators have coordinated over 225 Welcoming Events among students at closing and receiving schools, with additional events being planned school-by-school over the coming weeks.
  • The Public Building Commission reports that all air conditioning units have been installed at schools, and 98 schools renovated now have electrical, mechanical, and plumbing system upgrades required to make the facilities functional and support the renovations and new scope
  • At least 2,000 classrooms and labs (engineering, computer and media) received new or upgraded air conditioning (over 2,400 air conditioners) and 54 receiving schools got new new wireless upgrades; 33 schools received food service renovations or upgrades (including existing kitchen renovations, new serving lines, new equipment, etc.); 23 new International Baccalaureate Science Lab Renovations across 10 schools; Over 40 schools received new or renovated computer labs totaling over 1,000 new computers; 18 new or renovated science labs across 13 schools; 13 new or renovated art classrooms across 12 schools; 10 schools received a new or renovated engineering lab; 10 new or renovated media labs across 9 schools; 11 schools received a new or renovated library
  • The Department of Buildings has since May 1, investigated 1,234 complaints from 311 of vacant buildings in the Safe Passage zones and has secured 281 buildings, demolished 19 buildings on or near the routes, and 22 will be completed by Friday, August 23.
  • Streets and San has removed more than 2,200 instances of graffiti; Trimmed nearly 4,400 trees; Mowed more than 7,100 lots; and completed more than 4,600 rodent abatements.
  • And CDOT has installed bright yellow Safe Passage signs on all routes and has completed crosswalks at 48 schools. CDOT continues to receive service requests for all items and encourages residents to call 311. They’ve also fixed 312 alley lights, 454 street lights, and 730 street paint markings
  • The Department Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has followed up on investigations of 43 tobacco dealers initially cited for selling to minors — 5 of them sold again to minors so the Department has requested to revoke those licenses
  • Three businesses along Safe Passage routes identified as problems were closed for hazardous conditions.