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Many have heard of the debate regarding what to do with the old Jones College Prep building as the school builds a new structure next door. There have been suggestions to tear it down and straighten that corner of Harrison and there is a petition to keep the building and use it as a public school for the neighborhood. But what are the plans with the new building?

Wednesday night Jones High School hosted a meeting to introduce the community to the new features that will be added to the Jones curriculum with the opening of the new building.

Since 1988 Jones College Prep has been a selective enrollment school, located at the corner of State and Harrison. In fall 2013 the new building, located directly south of the current building, will open, prepared to welcome an additional 300 students. The additional students will be enrolled in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, providing them the opportunity to study under the current selective enrollment program while also enjoying a focused curriculum of either pre-law or pre-engineering.

Every student in the CTE program will start the curriculum in the 9th grade. As the program is rolled out Jones will accept 75 freshman each year for CTE above and beyond the standard enrollment for the regular selective program. This means the 300 additional seats that the new high school will have will not be filled until the fourth year.

The curriculum in the CTE programs will be for honors credit. Students can apply for one or both programs and are asked to choose their preference on the application.

The pre-law curriculum is designed for humanities minded students. Over four years they will learn all kinds of law through case studies, a mock court room, and concluding with an internship.

The pre-engineering curriculum is designed for science minded students. They will follow the Project Lead the Way curriculum and have group projects at the end.

Jones has a goal to fill the CTE faculty requirements through it’s current faculty, but the teachers must have specific credentials and professional experience in their field. For example the teachers of pre-law must have a law degree and have practiced law for a period of time.

Through the CTE program students will not only achieve the standard high school requirements, but they will gain direct experience in their field of choice. This in turn will help them feel more secure in their choice of college and career. CTE programs also boast a higher graduation and college enrollment.

Jones and Westinghouse are the only selective enrollment schools in the city of Chicago that will allow enrollment through the CTE program.

There are four ways for a student to be accepted to Jones; selective enrollment, principal discretion  transfer, and CTE. All students are encouraged to apply through both selective enrollment and CTE. If a student is accepted in selective enrollment he can also take the CTE courses as electives. By applying to both the administration will know immediately which selective enrollment students are also interested in the CTE program. The attendance goal is to have 60 students per CTE program, 45 from selective enrollment and 75 from the preference overlay boundary.

The preference overlay boundary is the area that is popularly referred to as the location of the neighborhood students. The proposed map will be presented to the board in December. It currently outlines Grand Ave to the north, Ashland Ave to the west, Archer Ave and 26th to the south, and east to the Lake.

Students will be accepted in the following manner:

All students are chosen by a top down point system.

Selective enrollment students have a point system of 900. The 900 points come from; ISAT test scores, letter grades, and Selective Enrollment Test scores.

After the selective enrollment student body is chosen the neighborhood CTE students will be selected. They are not required to submit Selective Enrollment Test scores. They are on a 600 point system which evaluates their ISAT test scores and letter grades.

Due to the rigorous enrollment requirements the majority of CTE students will be chosen from the same pool as the selective enrollment students. It is a priority for the CTE students to come from the preference overlay boundary. If that boundary does not have 75 students for the school then they will accept CTE students from outside the boundary. If there are more than 75 qualified applicants from the preference overlay boundary a waiting list will be started.

If a student is not accepted through either the selective enrollment or CTE program he can apply for principal discretion. Up to 5% of an incoming freshman class may be accepted through this manner. It requires a separate application that is evaluated through the principal’s office.

Jones is not on the standard CTE application for the first year, although it will be going forward. Application deadlines are 12/14 for selective enrollment and 1/15 for CTE.

Please visit the Jones College Prep website for more information about the new programs.

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