After several decades of economic decline, a new wave of immigration—spearheaded by Koreans, Mexicans and Guatemalans in the 1960s through 1990s—stabilized property values and bolstered small business activity in Albany Park. The surge gave rise to one of the nation’s most diverse neighborhoods; some 40 languages are spoken in the schools. But rising housing prices have taken a toll, forcing working-class families into Chicago’s less expensive South Side and western suburbs. The exodus has once-overcrowded schools now worrying about stable enrollment.

Neighborhood snapshot
Albany Park
Chicago
Students in private school
13%
18%
Population 25 and over w/ high school diploma
61%
72%
Median household income
$39,600
$38,600
Children below poverty level
25%
29%
Unemployment rate
7%
10%
Residents living in own homes
31%
48%
Median sale price (single family residence)
$243,000
$285,000
Median rent (per month)
$620
$616
Increase in condominiums (1989-04) 75 to 1,019 (1,360%) 71,819 to 174,227 (143%)

Source: Census 2000; Median sale price from Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, June 2006 to June 2007; Condominium counts by Center for Urban Research and Learning, Loyola University Chicago.

Neighborhood schools look to raise the bar

Chicago Public Schools has made Albany Park a competitive place to run schools, adding ASPIRA-Haugan, a charter school, to the area’s mix of elementary schools in 2003. Roosevelt, a traditional neighborhood high school, competes with nearby Von Steuben, a magnet high school, for top students. Test scores are up across the board.

Student population
Enrollment
Poverty
Bilingual
Mobility
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Albany Park Multicultural Academy (7-8)

290

95%
19%
13%
Bateman (pre-k-8)
984
93%
31%
18%
Haugan (pre-k-5)
1,076
93%
49%
23%
Haugan-ASPIRA (6-8)*
505
92%
14%
18%
Henry (pre-k-6)
718
95%
40%
22%
Hibbard (pre-k-6)
1,159
95%
39%
17%
North River (pre-k-8)
296
92%
29%
31%
Volta (pre-k-8)
949
92%
47%
16%
HIGH SCHOOLS
Roosevelt
1,628
95%
21%
30%
Von Steuben
1,479
56%
1%
9%
Student ethnicity
White
Black
Hispanic
Other
ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Albany Park Multicultural Academy
9%
8%
67%
17%
Bateman
8%
4%
75%
13%
Haugan
9%
6%
78%
8%
Haugan-ASPIRA*
3%
6%
83%
8%
Henry
5%
5%
85%
5%
Hibbard
6%
7%
73%
14%
North River
5%
10%
72%
13%
Volta
11%
6%
57%
27%
HIGH SCHOOLS
Roosevelt
8%
10%
71%
12%
Von Steuben
24%
31%
25%
20%

* ASPIRA demographic data includes all ASPIRA campus schools

Source: 2007 State Report Card

How schools are doing

Elementary Performance

ISAT math-3

ISAT math-8

ISAT read-3

ISAT read-8

Albany Park Multicultural Academy
90%
86%
Bateman
78%
88%
65%
92%
Haugan
67%
64%
Haugan-ASPIRA
71%
71%
Henry
89%
65%
Hibbard
87%
71%
North River
100%
84%
73%
84%
Volta
89%
68%
86%
80%

High school performance

Graduation

Dropout

ACT math

ACT reading

Roosevelt
57%
7%
15.8
14.6
Von Steuben
79%
1%
19.8
20.7

Source: 2007 State Report Card

New school construction

Facing severe overcrowding during the 1990s, Albany Park activists organized to demand relief. The district eventually built two new schools and several additions to the area’s elementary schools. With more classrooms available and gentrification eating into enrollment, schools are now accepting more students from outside Albany Park. Last year, 87% of the students enrolled in the area’s schools came from local homes; down from 95% just five years ago.

New elementary schools and additions
Capacity
% Capacity
% Local Enrollment

Albany Park Multicultural Academy
$18 million new school — 2006

900

32%
81%
Bateman
$8 million addition — 1997
1,350
73%
82%
Haugan
1,680
64%
97%
Haugan Middle-ASPIRA
$17 million new school — 2003
*
*
89%
Henry
$2.5 million annex — 1996
930
77%
90%
Hibbard
$12.5 million addition — 1997
1,725
67%
90%
North River
$3.6 million exterior renovation — 2003
420
70%
*

Volta
$2.7 million annex — 1996

1,230
77%
97%

* Data not available
Note: Schools at/above 80% capacity are considered overcrowded.
Source: Consortium on Chicago School Research; CPS Demographics Office; CPS Facilities

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