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21 Track E CPS schools close for good on last day of class

A 6-year-old graduates from kindergarten at Trumball Elementary School.
June 24, 2013 3:24:45 PM PDT
Monday was the last day of classes for Chicago's Track R public schools -- 21 of which closed their doors for good.

For a smiling 6-year-old, graduating from kindergarten is all that mattered on Monday. She and her classmates are too young to understand the complexities of the Chicago Public Schools school closings. But, their parents, teachers and the older kids certainly do. Trumbull Elementary is closing after 104 years on the corner of Foster and Ashland even though teachers say test scores are on the rise.

"I'm Jewish this is like a Shiva. It's the loss, it's the death, it's the grieving," Ruth Resnick, school librarian, said.

Resnick believes the purpose behind the closure is political. Despite protests and pleas to the school board to keep the school open, Trumbull is one of 49 schools to close. While most are on the city's south and west sides, many people believe Trumbull was picked for the chopping block because of its Andersonville location.

"A., they needed to close a north side school. B., they're going to make money off of the building. It's in a really nice neighborhood," Resnick said.

Four lawsuits have been filed to keep Trumbull open. One is a federal suit filed on behalf of special education students, who make up make up a third of Trumbull's enrollment.

"Parents are afraid that their special ed students won't be getting the same services," Kristine Mayle, Chicago Teachers Union, said.

Kids at Trumbull will transition into three different schools. Some families say they are looking forward to a better opportunity.

"I've done some research, and the other school is doing better, so I'm actually happy," Jesse Kayotawape-Mo, Trumbull parent, said.

"It's closing. It's kind a beginning of a new beginning," Gabriel Morua-Diaz, 11, said.

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