State’s largest charter expands with Gates grant

Northtown is the seventh campus to open under the charter held by the Chicago Charter School Foundation. It selected its 215 freshmen by lottery from 30 feeder elementary schools and filled out its sophomore through senior classes with 185 students from Good Counsel and the remaining 55 from high schools across the city.

Too few top-notch libraries

During her 11 years on the job, Volkman has garnered tens of thousands of dollars in matching grants from the CPS Department of Libraries and Information Services to update the collection, now at more than 12,000 books and videos.The well-stocked library takes up two rooms, has large windows, nice furnishings and computers with Internet access.

High schools bear brunt of teacher shortage

The shortage in special education teachers is especially acute for 11 high schools in the poorest communities, where as many as 30 percent of students qualify for special education services, according to a study that analyzed 1999-2000 enrollment. At Austin High—where 40 percent of freshmen enrolled this fall have learning or other disabilities—five of 21 positions are currently filled by substitutes.