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Closing La Casas ‘not an improvement’

For the second year in a row, La Casas Occupational High School appears on CPS’s list of closing schools.  La Casas, 8401 S. Saginaw is the only therapeutic high school in CPS.

Last year the disability rights group Access Living opposed closing the school, arguing that students with emotional disturbances would be ill-served by transfer to private therapeutic schools.  CPS removed La Casas from its “hit list,” saying “more time was needed to work with parents on best options for all students.”

This year CPS says some students will be transferred to Montefiore Special School, a CPS middle school which will be expanded to include high school age students.  Others will be sent to private schools.

“It’s not an improvement,” said Rod Estvan of Access Living.  “Just closing the school doesn’t solve the problem.”

The group’s concerns with private schools remains – particularly the lack of public information on achievement and other data not available to parents and advocates, as well as lack of options for reintegration.

Access Living has advocated for La Casas to be relocated in a secure, separate wing of an existing high school which has vocational programming.

Estvan says that offering hands-on learning for these students is “critical.”  “Unless you have real vocational programs for these kids, it’s real hard to engage them,” he said.

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Category: CPS, disability, school closings


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