Besides the Irene Dugan Institute, the School Reform Board plans to open two other alternative schools of its own.

In June, the Office of Specialized Services contracted with two agencies, Little Black Pearl and New Hope Community Service Center, to design an alternative school in Ashburn’s Ford City Mall. The school is due to open in November, after remodeling.

In July, Chief Executive Officer Paul Vallas promised Cabrini-Green residents a new alternative school following the closure of Marion Nzinga Stamps Academy, a 2-year-old alternative school operated by DePaul University and housed in Near North High School.

Although Stamps received quarterly payments alongside programs subcontracted to the Youth Connection charter, it never signed a contract with the charter and forfeited the last installment as a result.

DePaul University closed Stamps and fired its principal, Margo Crawford, amid a storm of controversy. According to CPS, Crawford failed to provide credit and grade information. At press time, the Office of Specialized Services was trying to determine which students could graduate.

Grant-Mitchell says a site for the new, CPS-run school is being sought.

Stamps students who have questions about their status or want job or school referrals should call Loretta Brunious at (773) 535-8095.

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