Horizon Science Academy Belmont plans upper-grade school for former Our Lady of Victory in Jefferson Park; NW church looks at acquiring former Saint Cornelius Church
by BRIAN NADIG
In Jefferson Park a charter school is opening at the former Our Lady of Victory School, 4434 N. Laramie Ave., and an existing Northwest Side church reportedly is looking to purchase the former Saint Cornelius Church, 5430 W. Foster Ave.
This fall the Horizon Science Academy Belmont, which is a tuition-free charter elementary school at 2456 N. Mango Ave., is set to launch a college preparatory/upper school program for grades seventh through ninth at the former OLV School, which closed in 2016.
Most recently the OLV school building housed a public early education center, which last month moved into its permanent home at the former Saint Cornelius School, 5252 N. Long Ave., which the Chicago Public Schools has purchased. Meanwhile, an existing Northwest Side Church is looking at buying the former Saint Cornelius church building, but a deal has not been finalized, sources said. The former Saint Cornelius school and church are adjacent to each other.
Horizon reportedly is buying the former OLV school building, while the adjacent OLV Church, which closed in 2021, is not part of the deal.
In recent years, the Archdiocese of Chicago has closed several area schools and merged several parishes due to declining enrollments and declining attendance at Mass. The archdiocese has said that it is struggling to keep younger adults who grew up Catholic as members of a parish.
Meanwhile, plans call for the Horizon upper school to offer a STEM-focused curriculum (science, technology, engineering and math) with maximum class sizes of 25 students and after-school tutoring and athletic programs. It also will have an extended school year and longer hours, according to an advertisement for the school.
HSA Belmont, which was founded in 2013 and reportedly has about 525 students, is part of Concept Schools, a Chicago-based nonprofit educational management and consulting organization.
For more enrollment information, call Horizon at 773-237-2702 or visit www.hsabelmont.org