Wells expands high school choices

Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.

Wells Community Academy High School has been allocated $120,000 as a "magnet cluster" in fine and performing arts.

This program adds art, music, dance and drama to Wells' specialties in JROTC, law and computers, and allows the neighborhood school at 936 N. Ashland Ave. to attract more students from outside its boundaries. Wells Principal Michael Stosek will address East Village Association members June 3.

While Wells won the fine arts designation, Ogden International School at 1250 W. Erie St. bid unsuccessfully for a bilingual program to complement its international baccalaureate designation. Michele Dreczynski and Grand Drutchas told members they've been working to establish a local language academy high school, devoted to bilingual proficiency, which benefits pupils across discipline.

The region has potential as a bilingual anchor: a Chicago Public Schools study indicates a high concentration of elementary language programs and an above-average number of parents opting out of neighborhood high schools. More options would encourage parents not to seek alternatives in the suburbs.

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-4th) addresses EVA members.

Delia Ramirez goes to Springfield

"Springfield life is everything and more than I imagined," said newly elected 4th District Rep. Delia Ramirez. She noted her committee assignments on Adoption & Child Welfare, Mental Health, Human Services, Elementary and Secondary Education and Judiciary. Her bills have advanced to require baby changing stations in public buildings and to study overhaul of the Department of Children and Family Services.

In fielding member questions, Ramierz defended a rent control proposal and initiatives to lower rents for people with criminal records and to aid children of incarcerated parents. A district office at 3042 W. North Ave. keeps late hours, a coffee is being planned for April 13 at Bite Cafe, 1039 N. Western Ave., and local advisory boards will form this summer.

Planning, Preservation & Development

A May joint meeting with the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association will review a plan of development for the Shake-It restaurant at 820 N. Damen Ave. Happy Village is pursuing a restaurant at 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. instead of a tavern, said partner Hector Gonzalez. The Polish Triangle Coalition is seeing sponsors and vendors for a six-week concert schedule.

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