The 5900 block of North Glenwood Ave. is part of Edgewater, a community on the North Side of the city of Chicago. The block is home to Senn High School, an urban college prep that houses one of four military schools in the Chicago Public Schools system. On Monday February 5, we toured the campus and learned about its rich history, which goes back to the early 20th century.
Senn High School opened in 1913. Senn is operated by the Chicago Public Schools system. The campus spans 10 acres, and enrollment is about 1,400 students.
The high school is named in honor of Nicholas Senn, a surgeon, professor of surgery and founder of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. Nicholas Senn served as the president of the American Medical Association in 1897–98 and as chief surgeon of the Sixth Army Corps in 1898.
In November 2005, a wing of the school was converted into the Rickover Naval Academy, named for Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. Senn is the fourth military school in the Chicago Public Schools system. This project was backed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, Senator Dick Durbin, Alderman Mary Ann Smith, and Chicago Public Schools.
In 1929, Senn’s school board approved a $1,850,000 addition of two symmetrical side wings, which were designed by John C. Christensen. Although ground was broken in 1930, the Great Depression slowed construction. Federal relief funds finally allowed for the completion in 1934.
Senn hosts bi-weekly basketball games for the CPS Score! program. Score! is no-cut sports program for 5th through 8th graders launched in January 2017. The program focuses on participation and team building.
In September 2017, Senn High School’s Environmental Club partnered with the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project to plant shrub gardens. Seeds were planted in early fall, because shrubs need about a month to establish roots in order to survive the winter cold. The shrubs will take 3-5 years to fully grow.