"Welcome to Mr. Maloney's Science Class" reads a slide projected on the wall of Room 1306. Posters describe the circulatory system, the skeleton.
"Today we're going to cool out a little bit and not worry about all our assignments," says John Maloney, projecting a laid-back teacher vibe, welcoming his new class at Consuella B. York Alternative High School. He outlines the grading system he'll use, stresses the importance of tidy folders, and says something that indicates we are not in just any of the 176 public high schools in Chicago.
"I want to get your court dates," he says to his class of 10 students, who are all wearing identical school uniforms: beige scrubs with "DOC" — Department of Corrections — stenciled on them.
York High School is the CPS high school within the Cook County Jail at 2700 S. California. The school has roughly 235 students — enrollment fluctuates day by day as students are incarcerated and released — ranging in age from 17 to 22. Only two 17-year-olds are left in the jail after most were transferred to juvenile custody last year. It has 56 teachers and administrative staff.
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