In the fall of 2002, Chicago created five new small high schools within three large, traditional high schools. This was the beginning of the Chicago Redesign Initiative, a policy change that will expand in the coming years in the Chicago Public Schools’ large-scale effort to improve essential supports to student achievement and school success.

In partnership with Mills College, the UChicago Consortium designed a short-term, interview-based study to provide a snapshot of five new small schools during their first year of planning and implementation. The interviews with principals, teachers, students, and other stakeholders are summarized and quoted in this report and are followed by a series of questions that will inform future small school studies.