Harlan Community Academy High School

Harlan Community Academy High School
Harlan High School Logo.jpg
9652 S. Michigan Avenue


United States
Coordinates41°43′07″N 87°37′17″W / 41.7185°N 87.6213°W / 41.7185; -87.6213Coordinates:41°43′07″N 87°37′17″W / 41.7185°N 87.6213°W / 41.7185; -87.6213
School type
School districtChicago Public Schools
PrincipalRamona C. Fannings–Outlaw
Enrollment295 (2019–20)[6]
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)  Blue
Athletics conferenceChicago Public League[1]
Team nameFalcons[1]
AccreditationNorth Central Association of Colleges and Schools[2]

John Marshall Harlan Community Academy High School is a public 4–year high school and middle school. Harlan is located in the Roseland community area on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. The school is a part of the Chicago Public Schools system. Opened in 1958, the school is named for Kentucky lawyer, politician and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan. In addition to being a neighborhood high school, Harlan serves middle school grades seventh and eighth.


In June 1957, the Chicago Board of Education approved work to begin building the new Harlan High School with a budget of $3.2 million bordered at 97th street and Michigan avenue. The school building was constructed in 18-months by a local Chicago construction company (Joseph J. Duffy company), and to accommodate between 1,800 to 2,000 students.[7] In December 1957, community members and parents protested the lack of a swimming pool being built in the school, which resulted in a months of negotiations. The parents cited that another new school (Bogan High School) that was being constructed at the time was to receive a pool, and that Harlan should have the same facility. The school board stated that the schools are not architecturally alike and it would cost more to construct a pool at Harlan rather than Bogan.[8]

Months before its opening, Parents of Fenger High School filed a suit in circuit court requesting that the school board extend the school's attendance boundaries, affecting 300 Fenger students wanting to attend the new school. The suit was dismissed.[9] The school opened for students in September 1958 at 9652 S. Michigan Avenue with an enrollment of 1,400. By April 1965, the school's enrollment was at 2,726 (88% above capacity); predominately African-American (93%). Due to this, the school had to run 12-period days, five separate lunch periods and six mobile classrooms. The school's program attracted students living outside of its attendance area, cited as the cause of the overcrowding.[10] In August 1985, the school was designated as a "community academy" and began accepting students outside its attendance area through the Option for Knowledge program.[11] Harlan added the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) academic program in 2009.[12]

Other information

In March 1969, the school experienced a series of fires that was started in a mobile classroom. The day of the fires, twenty–five students protested the firing of an African–American math teacher at the school.[13] In November 1970, Two students were shot while standing in a second–floor hallway at the school. The shooting was believed to be gang recruiting activity.[14] On 13 September 2005, a fight broke out between two boys in the gymnasium. One of the boys took out a pistol and shot the other in the leg. A police officer at the school arrested the gunman, who was charged with aggravated battery.[15]


Harlan competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Harlan's sports teams are known as the Falcons. The boys' basketball and track and field teams have each won three Public League championships (1963–64, 1965–66, 1966–67) and (1966–67, 1969–70, 1970–71) respectively. They were Public League cross country running champions in 1961–62 and baseball champions in 1992–93. Illinois statewide, the Falcon boys' won the state championship in track and field for 1966–67 season.[16]

Notable alumni

Notable staff

  • Lena McLin – teacher and composer; served as music teacher at the school from 1965 until 1969.
  • Sherman Howard - coach and athletic director; played pro football with the Cleveland Browns 1952-1953


  1. ^ a b c "Chicago (Harlan)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 31 December 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Institution Summary for Harlan High School". AdvancED profile. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  3. ^ 1982 Harlan High School (Chicago, Illinois) Yearbook
  4. ^ 1968 Harlan High School (Chicago, Illinois) Yearbook
  5. ^ 1985 Harlan High School (Chicago, Illinois) Yearbook
  6. ^ "CPS : Schools : School". CPS.edu. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "NEW HARLAN HIGH SCHOOL WORK TO BEGIN (June 2, 1957)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  8. ^ "Parents Fight Pool Lack in Harlan High (January 12, 1958)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  9. ^ "School Board Shuns Plea on Harlan Boundary Shift (August 28, 1958)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  10. ^ "Barrister, Soldier Harlan Honored by School's Name (April 1, 1965)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "Harlan Community Academy". HarlanFalcons.org. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Hutson, Wendell (11 June 2013). "Harlan High School Graduates First Stem Class". dnainfo.com/chicago. New York Public Radio. Archived from the original on 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018. The STEM courses were rigorous but necessary to push me to do above average work. Before I entered the program I had no interest in becoming an engineer
  13. ^ "Harlan Fires Probed (March 1, 1969)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  14. ^ "2 Students Wounded at Harlan (November 21, 1970)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "Student injured in Harlan shooting (September 14, 2005)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  16. ^ "IHSA". IHSA.org. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  17. ^ 1969 Harlan High School (Chicago, Illinois), Falcon Yearbook.Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "High school football (May 20, 1985)". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  19. ^ Craig Lytle Rovi, The Five Stairsteps, Last.fm Limited https://www.last.fm/music/The+Five+Stairsteps/+wiki

External links

Media files used on this page

Harlan High School Logo.jpg
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: Fair use
John Marshall Harlan High School, Chicago. Logo