Chicago Approves Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies

January 23, 2013 by: Rebecca Harris

Chicago Public Schools officials approved several new charter and alternative schools at Wednesday’s board meeting. The alternative programs will serve a mixture of dropouts, students who transfer out of their schools because they aren’t on track to graduate, and those who have been expelled.

But the schools’ 950 new seats may be just a drop in the bucket. Jack Wuest, executive director of the Alternative Schools Network, says there are currently 15,000 to 20,000 young high school dropouts in Chicago.

The EdisonLearning – Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy will have two locations; each will serve 150 students in grades 7 through 12. The two Magic Johnson Academy locations will be based on a model used by 17 Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy schools around the country, which are a joint venture by Magic Johnson Enterprises and EdisonLearning.

Students in the programs spend half their time in on-site online classes, and half in traditional classes. Typically, students can choose whether to attend school from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. each day, depending on work and child care schedules. Students also receive job training and job placements at Fortune 500 companies, Andre Johnson of Magic Johnson Enterprises said during the public participation segment of the meeting.