The most dangerous stretches of streets around 12 Chicago public schools will be protected by the “eyes and ears” of paid citizen safety patrols under one phase of a $60 million anti-violence campaign announced yesterday, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The groups will be called on to function as paid, pseudo “truancy officers,” visiting the homes of truant kids at 38 of the system’s most violent schools to find out why students are cutting school.
Chicago Schools CEO Ron Huberman is reaching out to the community for help — and offering jobs amid a dour economy in return — as he filled in some details of an anti-violence plan sketched out in September. A centerpiece is a “probability model” that identified 1,200 students as being at high risk of being shot, and pinpointed 200 of them as being at “ultra high risk.” Less than halfway into the school year, Huberman said, 50 percent of the ultra-high risk kids have stopped coming to school. Of the 102 students shot this school year, 40 percent were among those at high risk or more of such a fate. Under the plan — bankrolled with federal stimulus dollars — this school year $18 million will be focused on the 38 high schools with the biggest violence problems and plans their administrators and other have written to create a “culture of calm” on their campuses.