Hyde Park Academy High School

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Hyde Park Academy High School (formerly known as Hyde Park High School and Hyde Park Career Academy) is a public 4–year high school located in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Opened in 1863, Hyde Park is located south of the University of Chicago and is operated by the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district. In 2012, Hyde Park became the fourth Chicago public high school to become an International Baccalaureate school.


The school was established by the Chicago Board of Education as Hyde Park High School in 1863. The school was housed in several locations from its opening until 1886 when the board of education dedicated a three-floor school building located at Kimbark Avenue and 56th Streets in Hyde Park neighborhood. Hyde Park remained at the location from 1889 until it was decided that a new location was needed to house the school's growing population in 1910. Chicago officials decided on a site bordered by Stony Island Avenue to the east, Harper Avenue to the west, 62nd street to the north and 63rd Street to the south. Hyde Park moved to its present site at 6220 South Stony Island Avenue in July 1914. The school underwent several major renovations during the 20th century. From the school's beginning, Hyde Park's student body was predominantly White. Whites were the highest populated in the area. The school's demographics began to change during the mid–1940s after the government pushed for integration of schools and neighborhoods. Over a span of twenty years beginning in 1947, the white population at the school began to decline due to whites being opposed to accepting low income African–Americans to attend the school. In January 1966, The Chicago board of education was charged with violation federal and state laws when they approved a plan to modernize Hyde Park (due to its growing population of African–Americans) and build a new high school that would serve Hyde Park's current white student body also attracting other white students located next to the school. The plan was in violation of the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, the plan was never carried out.By 1967, the school was predominantly African–American by a total of 97%. Although the demographics among students had changed, the teaching staff remained the same. The opening of Kenwood High School (now Kenwood Academy) in 1966 resulted in white enrollment at the school becoming negligible to non-existent; by the 1970-1971 school year, all 1,268 students enrolled were Black. In April 1973, the school became a magnet school and its name changed to Hyde Park Career Academy, establishing the school as a "career academy". The push to change the school's name and curriculum was made by then principal Weldon Beverly Jr. who served as principal of the school from 1975 until 2003. Hyde Park began to offer International Baccalaureate classes to its students during the 2000–2001 school year. In 2004, Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley introduced the Renaissance 2010 program. Under this program, Hyde Park was forced to accept more than 300 more area–students than any other high school in the city during a two–year period. The school name changed to Hyde Park Academy High School in 2012 when the school became International Baccalaureate.

Other information

On November 26, 1957, Shortly after 2:00 p.m.; the school was evacuated when a man telephoned saying a bomb was set to go off in the school. At the time, this had been the school's fourth time receiving a bomb threat within a one-month period. On December 8, 1988, three teenage males were caught trespassing in the school at around 2:15 p.m.; which resulting in one of them being accidentally shot while fleeing by a Chicago police officer who was assigned to the school. On February 15, 2013, President Barack Obama delivered a televised speech in the school's gymnasium addressing the issue of gun violence in Chicago.


Hyde Park competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Hyde Park sport teams are known as Thunderbirds. Hyde Park team name and mascot is formerly known as Indians from 1863 until 2009 when the IHSA regulations mandated that the school mascot be changed. Hyde Park boys' basketball team have been regional champions four times (2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09). The boys' track and field placed first in the state in 1903 and 1929. The girls' basketball team won regional titles three consecutive seasons (2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05).

Notable alumni

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