CHICAGO (CBS) — The new school year is just five months away, and 80 Chicago Public Schools are on the list to possibly close.

Now, thousands of parents have no idea whether their children will be attending class in August.

Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett says the list of schools to be closed or consolidated will be finalized within a week or so, and then parents and others can react and ask questions.

Keisha Smith knows exactly what they’re going through. Her son’s school closed last year.

She told CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey what is was like and how she prepared for the major change in her child’s life.

At first, Smith was stressed and exasperated. She knew moving her son to a new school would make or break is seventh-grade year.

Smith’s son, Justus White moved from Price Elementary, 4351 S. Drexel in Bronzeville, which closed last year. Instead, he attended the National Teacher’s Academy, 55 W Cermak Road, about four miles away in Chinatown, this fall.

It was a new school, new routine, new school and new friends.

All of that is a lot for a mother and son to process.

Justus admitted he was nervous on the first day of class.

All of that concern gave way to some positive results.

Smith said her son’s grades are up and he’s more involved and looks forward to school everyday.

It is proof, at least for Justus, that sometimes change is good.

What would Smith tell nervous parents who are concerned their that school is closing and worried about what the next step is going to be?

“Relax,” she said. “Right now we are totally satisfied. We’re totally happy with that transition.”

Price Elementary was closed because it was under performing.
Smith was able to choose her son’s new school and she believes the teachers and academics are better at National Teacher’s Academy.

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