Moses Montefiore Academy
1310 South Ashland Avenue


Coordinates41°51′53″N 87°40′00″W / 41.8647°N 87.6668°W / 41.8647; -87.6668Coordinates: 41°51′53″N 87°40′00″W / 41.8647°N 87.6668°W / 41.8647; -87.6668
School typePublic
ClosedJune 2016
School districtChicago Public Schools
Campus typeUrban

Moses Montefiore Academy (also known as Moses School or simply Montefiore) was a special school of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Established in 1929,[1][2] The school was located Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois and served students with severe emotional disorders.[3] The school closed in 2016.


As of April 2015, most Montefiore students had been expelled from other schools due to violent behavior.[4] As of 2015 it served grades 7–9.[5] As of August 2015, the Chicago Public Schools eliminated all students and most staff from the school (except an assistant principal and a clerk), but claimed that the school was not closed.[6]

According to "Last Chance High" the parents were told the school was closed while the teachers were told they were getting more students in 2016. This was done so that no parents would know to show up for the "public hearings" to decide if the school should be shut down. Since no parents were told about public hearings or that the school was technically still open, they were forced to either put their children back into public schools where they were expelled from previously or pay for private therapeutic schools. Chicago public school district says they sent out letters to the parents about when hearings would be held but no parents ever received these letters. The school closed in 2016 and had been bought by another private school that opened in 2018.[7][8] Teachers and administrators in the Chicago Public Schools often used the threat of "being sent to Montefiore" as an effective disciplinary tool.

In 2010, the school had 62 students in grades 5–8. Prior to 2010 there had been a decline in enrollment and Micah Maidenberg of the Chicago Journal wrote that "Staff and administrators at Montefiore had feared closure".[3] In 2010 CPS announced plans to add a high school division to Montefiore with a plan to make it a 6-12 school; at the time the district administration was recommending Bartholome De Las Casas Occupational School, which had 82 students, for closure. Ron Huberman, the CEO of CPS, stated that the Montefiore facility is superior to the De Las Casas facility for special education.[3] Vice made a documentary series on the school, titled "Last Chance High."[9]

1988 shooting

On September 22, 1988, 40-year-old Clemmie Henderson shot and killed officer Irma Ruiz and wounded her partner Gregory Jaglowski in the school. Also killed at the school was Arthur Baker, a custodial worker for the school, who was unloading trash when the gunfire erupted. Earlier Henderson killed two people at Comet Auto Parts before arriving at Moses Montefiore. The shooting spree left five dead, including Henderson who was shot dead by Jaglowski and two others wounded.[10]


  1. ^ Chicago Tribune, MONTEFIORE PRINCIPAL A SNAPSHOT OF SUCCESS, Karen M. Thomas, Education writer, February 28, 1990.Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  2. ^ 1982, A Study of Social Adjustment Education in Chicago, 1929-1981, Mary Ann Pollett, Loyola University Chicago
  3. ^ a b c Maidenburg, Micah. "High school at Montefiore Archived 2014-04-19 at the Wayback Machine." Chicago Journal. January 20, 2010. Retrieved on April 19, 2015.
  4. ^ VICE Staff. "Last Chance High - Part 1." Vice. April 5, 2014. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "Home." Moses Montefiore Academy. Retrieved on April 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "Montefiore now a school without students but, says CPS, it is not closed | Catalyst Chicago". Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  7. ^ Swartz, Tracy (3 July 2017). "Viceland to air docuseries about closure of Near West Side school for at-risk youth". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ Belsha, Kalyn (24 April 2018). "Private schools, poised to grow in Illinois, move into closed Chicago public schools". The Chicago Reporter. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Last Chance High". Viceland.
  10. ^ William Recktenwald and Rudolph Unger (September 23, 1988). "GUNMAN SLAIN AFTER KILLING 4 ON WEST SIDE". Retrieved August 12, 2019.