Page 1

FocalPoint A Chicago International Charter School Publication

Respected. Refined. Realized.

VOL. 03 NUM. 1 FALL/WINTER 2009

Extended Family Chicago International Family Members Take Involvement to the Next Level Two Families Experience Both Sides of the Waiting List One Family’s Search for High-Quality Education Chicago International’s 13th Campus Opens in Altgeld Gardens

w w w.c h i c a g o i n t l .o r g


OpeningThoughts

f

Friends, At Chicago International, strong parent involvement is a hallmark of our schools. You’ll see that in the voices and stories of parents and families throughout this issue of FocalPoint.

As the debate over school reform rages, some claim that this parental involvement creates an unfair advantage for charter schools. The mere fact that parents must make an effort—to choose, apply to and sometimes endure waiting lists—results in a pool of families who are more committed to their children’s education. While this may be true, it is also true that the kids of engaged parents will do better in school. As a society, we should encourage more parental involvement across the education continuum—public, private, parochial and charter. Involvement is defined as everything from helping with homework to asking about the child’s school day, joining the family-involvement group or attending a basketball game or a school concert. Research has shown conclusively that the more involved a parent is in his or her child’s education, the better that child will do in elementary and high school, and the more likely that child is to graduate from both high school and college.

Craig Henderson

Board President and Founding Board Member Chicago International Charter School

Let’s remember, charter school parents everywhere are just like their traditional public school neighbors who have challenges that impede school involvement: lack of English mastery, single parenthood, economically stressed households that require both parents to work or— for parents of our high school students—simply a lack of experience with college readiness. As an organization dedicated to providing a high-quality college preparatory education to all its students, we get closer to achieving that goal when parents and guardians support and encourage their children to succeed. We believe that engaged parents are so important to a child’s success that we do everything possible to involve them regularly and meaningfully. In this issue of FocalPoint, you will find great stories about how Chicago International involves parents and ways in which parents involve themselves. Some of these include: • • • •

Parents who patiently deal with the admissions challenges of Chicago International enrollment, which is consistently oversubscribed Employees whose children attend Chicago International campuses Enthusiastic and effective parent involvement groups Advance communication with parents upon opening a new school

Our parent volunteers are welcome in classrooms as guest readers and math helpers. We include parents in beyond-school experiences as well, with programs such as Saturday School for Parents to help adults assist their kids with homework and receive free English Language Learning classes. As a board, we are quite proud that Chicago International campuses offer disadvantaged families a choice in public education. But even with hundreds of talented educators and administrators, we cannot deliver a high-quality education without one or two motivated adults at home.

We invite our readers to create a dialogue with CICS. Please share your comments and stories with us. We may feature your comments in our next edition of FocalPoint.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Chicago International, I want to thank all Chicago International parents and guardians for their significant involvement in their childrens’ education. Together, we can change the face of urban education! Sincerely,

Thank you. Chicago International Charter School p (312) 651-5000 f (312) 651-5001 e focalpoint@chicagointl.org (see opposing page for mailing address)

Craig Henderson


FocalPoint

contents

VOL. 03 NUM. 1 | FALL/WINTER 2009

features 08 A Tight Knit Family These Chicago International family members wanted to have more of an impact. How did they do it? They became employees.

12

12 The Waiting is the Hardest Part Parents Kim Carol and Aaron Eldridge reflect on school choice and their children’s applications to Chicago International schools.

18

08

18 There’s No Place Like Home Parent Cornelia Twilley clicks her heels, happy to have her daughters back at Chicago International.

24 CICS 2009 Annual Report

departments 24

22

FocalPoint MAGAZINE A Chicago International Charter School Publication 228 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 500 Chicago, IL 60604 www.chicagointl.org

CONTRIBUTORS Daniel Anello, Michael Barnhill, Brian Eschbacher, Kate Floyd, Carol Gifford, Mary Kaiser, Tom McGrath, Hilary Masell Oswald, Christine Poindexter, Meghan Schmidt, Dr. Elizabeth D. Purvis, Dr. Andrea Brown-Thirston

02

OpeningThoughts

04

ViewPoint

05

PolicyReport

22

CampusProfile

32

Extensions

34

Resources

DESIGN MORRIS w ww.thinkmorris.com PRINT Haapanen Brothers w ww.hb-graphics.net

PHOTOGRAPHY Joshua Dunn

www. joshuadunnphoto.com Gen Levy www.preciousthingsphotography.com

FocalPoint

|

03


ViewPoint Irving Park Parent: Kelly Pantaleo [As a parent] it is my job to teach and guide my children to become proper adults. It is the school’s job to help educate them. Without a connection of school and family these children will suffer. I welcome the structure and discipline that my kids receive at [Chicago International] because it mirrors what I expect of them at home.

Loomis Teacher: Mrs. Shawna R. Epich Parents and guardians know what motivates their child, what frustrates their child, what soothes their child and what challenges their child has to overcome. With regards to special education students, parents and guardians provide many of the answers to these questions and take the guesswork out of “getting to know” the student.

Washington Park Teacher: Anonymous Parental involvement is a vital key in the building of a classroom culture and community. It helps establish the relevancy of the lessons taught in school and its effects outside of school. It is also beneficial for behavior management and intervention strategies.

04

|

FocalPoint

Q:

Loomis Teacher: Ms. McGowan The parent is a key part of the child’s education, it opens up communication, it gives them ownership and it gives them a better understanding of what goes on at school.

Why is parent involvement within schools important?

Irving Park Parent: Jennifer Landini Because it shows your child that you are involved and that you find school important, and in return your child feels school is important.

West Belden Parent: Roberta Hansen It is ultimately on our shoulders to make sure that our child is being taught in a method that works with their learning style and abilities.


PolicyReport

SEEING IS BELIEVING

t

Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement

by Helen Westmoreland, Heidi M. Rosenberg, M. Elena Lopez & Heather Weiss–Harvard Family Research Project

There is widespread consensus that family engagement is a critical ingredient for children’s school success “from cradle to career.” Research suggests that family engagement promotes a range of benefits for students, including improved school readiness, higher student achievement, better social skills and behavior, and increased likelihood of high school graduation.1 Policymakers, practitioners, and researchers also recognize family engagement as a critical intervention strategy that maximizes return on other investments in education. Early childhood education programs that have demonstrated significant short- and long-term benefits for children all have intensive family involvement components. Furthermore, investing in family engagement can be cost effective. For example, schools would have to spend $1,000 more per pupil to reap the same gains in student achievement that an involved parent brings.2

Even though it is clear that family engagement matters, less well understood is the role of school districts in promoting this engagement. This brief examines how school districts build systemic family engagement from cradle to career as a core education reform strategy to ensure that parents, educators, and administrators share responsibility for family engagement resulting in student success.3 Shared responsibility requires parents to do their part to support their children’s learning, from turning off the TV, to communicating with teachers about their children’s progress, to checking (and sometimes helping with) homework, and more. But even though parents want the best for their children, many do not receive the information and support from school and district staff that they need to understand the importance of the parental role in children’s education and how best to fulfill that role. Lack of school communication to parents is linked to lower levels of involvement, particularly in lower-performing schools4, and parents are more likely to engage when

CORE COMPONENTS

school personnel value, expect, and invite them to be involved.5 Thus, a shared responsibility for family engagement also requires the commitment of school and district staff to reach out to parents in meaningful ways that help them support their children’s academic achievement. Given that district leadership and capacity building play a key role in supporting strategic and systemic family engagement, it is important to better understand what that leadership and capacity building looks like, how it can be developed and sustained, and how federal, state, and local policies can support it. The purpose of this brief, then, is to distill promising practices from six districts that are actively working to develop the critical components of systemic family engagement and to examine the implications of their work for federal, state, and local policy.6

The Core District-Level Components Necessary for Systemic Family Engagement are:

Fostering district-wide strategies. A key role of school districts in promoting family engagement is ensuring that it is part and parcel of supporting student learning. This includes superintendents and senior leadership linking family engagement to their district’s instructional goals, the creation of an infrastructure that elevates and communicates about the importance of family engagement, and mechanisms to assess progress and performance along the way.

Building school capacity. Districts can’t do it alone; that’s why districts help schools to understand the importance of, and strategies for, meaningfully engaging families. District-level resources and support enable schools to acquire the capacity to carry out family engagement in strategic ways that align with instructional goals. This happens through ongoing professional development and technical assistance for principals, teachers, and other “family-facing” staff in school buildings. It also includes programs and initiatives implemented by districts to help schools welcome and involve families in their child’s learning.

Reaching out to and engaging families. School districts reach out to families both directly and through partnerships to encourage them to have high expectations for their children’s learning at school and at home, and to develop and share concrete strategies for engagement that supports student success. This happens through leadership development trainings, listening tours to gather input, and workshops that impart information and skills focused on student learning. FocalPoint

|

05


PolicyReport

PROMISING PRACTICES Data were obtained from six districts that all have core components of a systemic family engagement strategy in place; these data reveal that implementing these core components requires a commitment to a set of five best practices that ensure that family engagement efforts are interconnected and strategic across the various levels of a family engagement system at work.

About Seeing is Believing Harvard Family Research Project and the National Parent-Teacher Association teamed up to bring you this policy brief. If you would like to read the complete article, please visit http://www.hfrp.org/SeeingIsBelieving. Copyright © 2009 President and Fellows of Harvard College. Reprinted with permission from Harvard Family Research Project. Since 1983, HFRP has helped stakeholders develop and evaluate strategies to promote the wellbeing of children, youth, families, and their communities. For a discussion of the benefits of family engagement at different developmental stages, please see Harvard Family Research Project’s Family Involvement Makes a Difference series at www.hfrp.org/FamilyInvolvement MakesADifference; Dearing, E., McCartney, K., Weiss, H. B., Kreider, H., & Simpkins, S. (2004). The promotive effects of family educational involvement for low-income children’s literacy. Journal of School Psychology, 2, 445–460.

1

Houtenville, A. J. & Conway, K. S. (2008). Parental effort, school resources, and student achievement. Journal of Human Resources, 43(2), 437–453.

2

Bouffard, S. (Ed.). (2008). Building the future of family involvement. The Evaluation Exchange, 14(1 & 2).

3

Bridgeland, J. M., Dilulio, J. J., Streeter, R. T., & Mason, J. R. (2008). One dream, two realities: Perspectives of parents on America’s high schools. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises, LLC.

4

Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., Walker, J. M. T., Sandler, H., Whetsel, D., Green, C. L., Wilkins, A. L., et al. (2005). Why do parents become involved? Research findings and implications. The Elementary School Journal, 106(2), 105–130.

5

6 Information for this brief was generated through 13 interviews with district-level family engagement coordinators, superintendents, principals, parents, and school board members in six districts. This information was triangulated with secondary information from Web scans and supporting documents sent by interviewees.

Henderson, A. T., Johnson, V. R., Mapp, K. L., & Davies, D. (2007). Beyond the bake sale: The essential guide to family–school partnerships. New York: The New Press; Childress, S., Elmore, R., Grossman, A. S., & King, C. (2007). Note on the PELP Coherence Framework. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

7

Weiss, H., Klein, L., Little, P., Lopez, M. E., Rothert, C., Kreider, H., et al. (2005). Pathways from workforce development to child outcomes. The Evaluation Exchange, 11(4), 2–4.

8

06

|

FocalPoint


PolicyReport

These promising practices are:

1 2 3 4 5

A SHARED VISION OF FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Districts, schools, and families share a broad understanding of family involvement that honors and supports each partner’s role in supporting student learning—from the district’s most senior administrators to classroom teachers and bus drivers. These school districts move beyond the traditional notion of family engagement, which focuses on parents attending events at the school, to recognizing that sometimes schools cannot “see,” but can still support, one of the most important parts of family engagement: what happens at home.

PURPOSEFUL CONNECTIONS TO LEARNING From the district’s strategic plan and school improvement plans to parent–teacher conferences, these districts demonstrate an unyielding commitment to family engagement as a core instructional strategy, as opposed to an “add-on.” Family engagement has the most impact when it is directly linked to learning.7

INVESTMENTS IN HIGH QUALITY PROGRAMMING AND STAFF These districts have made strategic use of limited resources, often adroitly piecing together multiple public and private funding streams to build and sustain their family engagement system at work. They hire charismatic leaders with expertise in family involvement to staff family engagement offices and use volunteers. As opposed to “driveby trainings” and cookie-cutter approaches, they adapt and build on events and models to implement an organizational, rather than individual, approach to professional development.8

ROBUST COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS Communication for family engagement is designed to cut across administrators in district offices and departments, school staff, and families and community members. These stakeholders reach out to one another to share information in reciprocal and meaningful ways to ensure they can make decisions and implement strategies effectively.

EVALUATION FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING District family engagement staff recognize that data about family engagement are a lever for change but realize that they still have farther to go to develop meaningful indicators of their work and data systems. Evaluation efforts often hinge on persuading teachers, principals, and other district offices to take data collection related to family involvement seriously. Having the district-wide internal capacity not just to collect data but also to use it as information feeds into planning and improvement.

FocalPoint

|

07


A FEW CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FAMILY MEMBERS ARE REDEFINING THE ROLE OF ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS IN THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION by Hilary Masell Oswald photos by Joshua Dunn

08

|

FocalPoint


ATightKnitFamily

During her son Logan’s kindergarten year, Marisol Duerr, a receptionist in a doctor’s office, had a parent’s ideal job: “My work day started whenever I got there. I could leave if my son got sick or if he had an early-release day,” she says. “It was very, very flexible.” But after Logan’s first year at CICS Irving Park, his mother found out about a job opening at Chicago International’s main office, and she couldn’t resist applying. “It’s downtown, and I really didn’t want to drive downtown,” she laughs. “And I had to trade in all of that flexibility for a stricter schedule. But I’m interested in anything that has to do with my children. I believe in charter schools, and I believe in what we do. If I could be a bigger part of it, I wanted to be.”

So shortly after Logan’s kindergarten year ended, Mrs. Duerr became Chicago International’s office manager—a job she says she “absolutely loves.”

Adrienne Leonard is not surprised that parents flock to these jobs. Once a missionary in Kenya, where she helped build an HIV and AIDS clinic,

Ms. Leonard is now a community liaison for Chicago International, working closely with parents across CICS campuses. She educates parents about how to evaluate their children’s schools, trouble-shoots problems, gets to know the people in communities where Chicago International leaders would like to open schools and advocates for school choice. “We are not perfect,” she says, “but we have a very parent- and community-friendly environment. If there are problems, all of our parents know that someone will help solve them.”

Ms. Leonard knows first-hand how Chicago International leaders respond to parents and community members who have concerns. The first time she met Chicago International Executive Director Beth Purvis, Ms. Leonard joined other parents—she is the guardian of her two nieces—at a particularly contentious meeting about the Basil campus. Dr. Purvis announced that the director of the campus, who was very popular, would not be invited back for the next school year because the school was not performing as well as it should have been. “Adrienne said to me, ‘We’ve had a lot of people come to this neighborhood and make a lot of promises to us. Why should we believe you?’” Dr. Purvis remembers. “Then she said, ‘I’m writing down all of the promises you make and we’ll see if you keep your word.’” BELOW: MARISOL DUERR, LOGAN DUERR AND LILY DUERR

Mrs. Duerr is hardly alone. At least two dozen Chicago International parents or other relatives are now employed by Chicago International—across campuses, in classrooms and administrative offices, and at CICS headquarters. As they witness their children’s growth and learning, these parents say they’re drawn to opportunities to work for an organization that serves their kids so well.

FocalPoint

|

09


ATightKnitFamily

During the next few years, Ms. Leonard watched as Chicago International delivered on its promises; she became a great advocate for CICS—and eventually, an employee. Now Ms. Leonard is on a mission to educate parents about school choice. Once parents see firsthand how charter schools are changing urban education, she says, they get involved—sometimes as volunteers, sometimes as informal advocates and sometimes as employees. “If each of us teaches one more person every day [about choice], we’re going to see real change in our city,” she says. “And I have great respect for the parents who make this mission their professional work.” Lynda Williams* understands how attractive the possibility for change can be. Now the regional manager of Southside campuses for American Quality Schools (one of Chicago International’s partner Education Management Organizations), she began her career as a Chicago Public School (CPS) teacher. 10

|

FocalPoint

But at the time, the constant strikes by teachers frustrated her, so she moved to the parochial school system, where she taught for 10 years. “That was when I read about the charter school movement, and I thought, ‘It’s the best of both worlds,’” Ms. Williams says. “It’s public education, but there’s something unique about it because teachers have more autonomy.” Ten years later,

“She was doing what most parents would do,” Dr. Purvis says. “But you can see how such things could get very complicated, very quickly.” Mrs. Duerr agrees. When she attended the back-to-school picnic this year at CICS Irving Park, she went as a parent volunteer—not as a Chicago International employee. Someone tracked her down and handed her a cell phone. “It was a parent who was trying to get her son into the school,” she says. “The person who handed me the phone was the grandmother; the mother had sent her to the picnic to find me.” It’s not always easy to separate her roles, she adds. “I always want to help, but sometimes, I just need to be Lily and Logan’s mom.”

Ms. Williams is more passionate than ever about the power of charter schools—not just because she works for Chicago International, but also because her two nieces have attended CICS campuses for as long as she has been Joyce Rufus understands how working for an employee. Chicago International sometimes means “My nieces like the fact that the schools are small enough that they are known,” she says. “They feel safe. Their teachers know them, and they’re challenged. It’s a perfect fit. And when I see how excellent their experience is, I’m even more motivated to do my work.” But being a parent or guardian and a Chicago International employee isn’t without its challenges. Consider the teaching assistant whose son came up on expulsion charges at another campus; she tried to persuade her supervisor to intervene with the campus director to give her son another chance.

giving up time with her own child to serve other families.

The manager of the book-store at CICS Longwood, Ms. Rufus says she “never in a million years” would have imagined herself working at her daughter Jayla’s school. But in 2000, when Jayla was a kindergartener, the law firm where Ms. Rufus worked closed, and she found herself with time to volunteer. First, she served on the parent patrol, helping students get in and out of school safely. Then she joined the PTA—and then the PTA’s executive board.


Employment Opportunities If you are interested in employment at Chicago International, one of the Education Management Organizations we partner with, or a specific campus, please visit our website for current openings or positions. http://chicagointl.org/careers

Two years ago, when the school needed someone to oversee the bookstore, school leaders looked to Ms. Rufus, who accepted the job. Ever since, she has gotten a close look at how CICS Longwood works—and gotten to know all 1,500 students, who call her “Mama Rufus.” Ms. Rufus now spends her days in the same building where she once attended high school—The Academy of Our Lady—before the Catholic Church sold the building. She had always planned to send her daughter to parochial school; like Mrs. Duerr and Ms. Leonard, Ms. Rufus had to do some research before she believed that charter schools really could provide a positive alternative to traditional public schools. But now that she’s seen how CICS Longwood works, she takes great pride in being a part of its community.

*Shortly before this issue went to press, Lynda Williams accepted a position with CPS serving as Chief Area Officer of 32 elementary schools and reporting directly to Ron Huberman, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins, Chief Education Officer. “This was an amazing opportunity for me,” she says. “Had it not been such a perfect role, I would have happily continued my work with CICS. My 10 years here have been exceptional and have prepared me fully for the challenges I will face in my new position.”

OPPOSING PAGE: ADRIENNE LEONARD TOP RIGHT: LYNDA WILLIAMS BOTTOM RIGHT: JOYCE RUFUS and jayla rufus

And will she stick around after her daughter graduates and moves on to high school? “Of course,” she says. “I still have another 1,500 kids to take care of.”

FocalPoint

|

11


THE WAITING

is the hardest part photo by Gen Levy

Two families speak about their experiences with the Chicago International admissions process by Hilary Masell Oswald

12

Every year, Chicago International receives over three applications for each seat in a classroom—proving that many Chicago parents are looking for high-quality educational choices for their children. Unfortunately, the statistics also mean that some students aren’t admitted to Chicago International campuses.

For many of these families, the traditional neighborhood public school is not an option, so if their children aren’t admitted to a Chicago International campus, they must find another educational option—a choice that sometimes means making financial sacrifices to pay private school tuition.

While the casual observer might be tempted to think that the outcomes of the lottery system—which determines enrollment— are not terribly significant, parents tell another story.

We sat down with two parents from two different families to illustrate why school choice is so important to Chicago students: Kim Carol, whose son Seth, a secondgrader, has been a student at CICS Irving

|

FocalPoint

Park since 2007, and Aaron Eldridge, whose son Aaron, a third-grader, has been waitlisted by Chicago International for three years.


Aaron & Aaron photo by Joshua Dunn

FocalPoint

|

13


Kim & Seth 14

|

FocalPoint

photo by Joshua Dunn


TheWaitingIsTheHardestPart

Here are their stories in their own words: photo by Gen Levy

FocalPoint: Tell us how you first heard about Chicago International.

FP: So the local Chicago Public School wasn’t an option?

Kim Carol: We read about the Irving Park campus in our neighborhood newsletter, and then my husband did a ton of research about charter schools and Chicago International. We wanted to make sure that we did the right thing for our son.

KC: No. We never really considered the CPS school, even though it’s only half a block from our house. It wasn’t a good fit. We looked into it briefly, and their test scores were awful. We have a pretty bright child, and I couldn’t do that to him. That’s why we submitted all of those applications, to try to help him be who he’s supposed to be.

Aaron Eldridge: I have a cousin whose daughter goes to [CICS Avalon], and several of my co-workers have kids at Longwood. All of them are very happy with the schools. We’re right up the street from the Wrightwood campus, so that’s been our first choice. FP: Kim, if Seth hadn’t been admitted his kindergarten year, where were you planning to send him? KC: We submitted 18 different applications for kindergarten, and we were only admitted to CICS. I guess there are a lot of parents out there who don’t want their kids in traditional public schools. We had a spot at the magnet school where Seth attended Pre-K, so he would have gone there for kindergarten, even though it’s a long drive from our home. We would have tried applying to the Irving Park campus again the next year.

FP: And you think Chicago International will help him be who he’s supposed to be? KC: Absolutely. We love it. We love the curriculum and what they’re doing with the kids. I do a lot of volunteer work, so I’ve gotten to know the teachers really well. I just adore them. They’re young go-getters, and they’re really good with the kids. What’s also nice is that parents have a voice in the school; it’s not like other places, where they don’t want parents around. We get to put our stamp on our kids’ school, too.

HOW ENROLLMENT WORKS

1

5

2

6

3

7

4

8

After the random, computerized lottery system fills all of the available seats at the 13 Chicago International campuses, it then randomly assigns students to a numbered waiting list. Chicago International uses the list to fill any seats that become open during the enrollment period, which ends on the first Chicago Public School late enrollment date (near the end of September each year). Then the waiting list is purged, and parents must reapply the following year.

FocalPoint

|

15


TheWaitingIsTheHardestPart

“I know the lottery is random, but we keep getting our hopes up and then the letters that say Aaron is on the [waiting list] again.” photos by Joshua Dunn

FP: Aaron, tell us why you want your son to attend a Chicago International school.

FP: So where does Aaron go to school now?

AE: I’m a product of the Chicago Public School system. So is my wife. But we feel like it has gone downhill since we were students. My parents didn’t have to worry about safety or whether teachers were any good. Now you hear every day about schools being reorganized or closed, or about teachers not being qualified. I would drive by our local school and see kids just hanging out, not in class. It’s just not an option.

AE: He attends a private school. It’s expensive, but we’re biting the bullet. We’re doing what we can to make it work right now, and we’ll keep applying to Chicago International. Our son knows that school is important, and we feel like he’s getting the attention that he needs. I just hope that we’ll be admitted [to a CICS campus] soon, so we can quit paying tuition. Plus, we have a 16-month-old daughter, and I know that siblings get preference in the lottery system, so if our son is enrolled, we’ll have a better shot at getting our daughter in too.

But I think charter schools are an excellent concept. My cousin’s daughter is really excelling since she enrolled [at CICS Avalon]. I hear the teachers are creative in how they instruct, and my cousin’s daughter is always going on a field trip or doing some sort of interesting activity.

16

|

FocalPoint


WHY ARE THERE WAITING LISTS? FP: Are you frustrated at being waitlisted for three years in a row? AE: Yes, I was really frustrated this year. I wrote a letter [to Chicago International’s main office]. I mean, at some point, doesn’t our name start to look familiar? I know the lottery is random, but we keep getting our hopes up and then getting the letters that say Aaron is on the [waiting list] again. And I’m frustrated about our public schools in general. I just wonder, where did the decline happen? And why doesn’t anyone [in the system] try to fix it? Until they do, parents have to hope to get into a charter school, pay tuition like us or just send their kids to Chicago Public Schools and hope for the best. It’s tough.

FP: Do either of you have advice for parents who are facing decisions about where to send their kids? KC: If a CICS school is available to you, go for it. If you can get in, see if it works for you. I love the longer school days and the longer school year. And I love the creative spirit in Seth’s classroom. So does he. AE: You have to be active in your kids’ education. That’s the bottom line. Don’t leave it for someone else to handle. It’s your job, and it’s one of the most important things you’ll do.

“I mean, at some point, doesn’t our name start to look familiar?”

Chicago parents are clearly searching for high-quality educational choices for their children: approximately 23,000 students go to charter schools in the city, and another 13,000 are waitlisted. If the demand is so strong, why hasn’t the number of seats in charter schools grown along with that demand? The primary reason is a cap on the number of charters allowed by the state of Illinois. Twelve years ago, the first cap permitted 15 charter schools in the city of Chicago. The legislation gave organizations such as Chicago International the chance to open multiple campuses under just one charter—and gave parents greater educational choices. When all 15 charters had been issued, pro-charter groups lobbied state legislators to lift the cap, and eventually, they did—to 30. In the process, however, they eliminated the opportunity to replicate campuses under one charter. Now, each new charter school can operate only one campus. Last year, Chicago reached the 30-charter cap, so supporters of charter schools once again trekked down to Springfield to ask for more. After 11 months of negotiations, a push from President Obama and the added enticement of federal dollars from the stimulus package for states that increased the number of charters, the General Assembly lifted the cap to 70 this summer.

“I hope that we’ll start to meet parents’ demand, now that the cap is higher,” says Carlos Perez, director of public policy for the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. “The idea of charters is really to create multiple types of schools—maybe one is focused on health and nutrition; one is single gender; one deals with discipline. To be able to create the diversity that parents and students need, we need all of these [different types of] schools.” photos by Joshua Dunn

FocalPoint

|

17


There’s no e m o h e k i l place education didn’t For one family, the search for high-quality Joshua Dunn by include a yellow brick road by Kate Floyd | photos

All parents have made a decision they think is best for their kids, only to discover a short while later that they were mistaken. For Cornelia Twilley, that decision came in 2007, when she pulled her three youngest daughters out of CICS Bucktown and enrolled them in Dodge Renaissance Academy, a Chicago Public School in the New West neighborhood. Although she had had a child enrolled in a Chicago International campus since CICS opened its doors 12 years ago—her oldest daughter entered Bucktown in 1997 and was in Northtown Academy’s first graduating class—Mrs. Twilley had several concerns that prompted her to choose a different school for her three youngest girls. “The real problem was this: It was the last day of school, and one of my daughters got a science grade for work that she said she didn’t do,” Mrs. Twilley explains.

“She and her friends were bragging about getting away with things they didn’t do during the whole school year. I heard that they were being taught social studies during science class and that wasn’t okay. As an involved parent, it bothered me that I found out about this so late in the year. I was in the Bucktown parent group. I’m always volunteering. I’m always around and I didn’t like not being told about things. I felt shaken up.”

18

|

FocalPoint

Another thing that worried Mrs. Twilley was the introduction of a new program for gifted students, which she saw as a departure from Chicago International’s goal of offering high-quality education to every student. “If the CICS curriculum promised that every child is teachable, then you should see all of the kids in these gifted classes,” she says.

“One of my girls was picked for the program; it made it feel like a selective-enrollment school to me, and I knew CICS had never wanted to be a school within a school.”

Mrs. Twilley voiced her concerns to Turon Ivy, the director of CICS Bucktown at the time. Mr. Ivy may dispute some of the details of Mrs. Twilley’s description of events, but he was saddened to hear that the Twilleys were leaving. From his perspective, the school had done everything possible to get Mrs. Twilley to see things from another point of view. After all, his dream was for all Bucktown courses to become accelerated, and he had worked with the parent group to address their curricula concerns and establish a fair admission process for the gifted program.


FocalPoint

|

19


There’sNoPlaceLikeHome

Happy pare n happy studets and make good nts schools Though he had made many efforts to ease Mrs. Twilley’s concerns, Mr. Ivy understood that she was looking out for her children, and that he had to focus his time on the collective welfare of the campus. It didn’t take long for Mrs. Twilley to regret her decision. Several weeks into the school year at Dodge, her fifth-grader, Joanna, was complaining about her schoolwork: “Mama, I did this already at Bucktown.” Her other daughters had their own reactions to the change. “At Dodge, my six-year-old girl, Emma, would just sit in class with her arms crossed, frustrated by her classmates’ disruptive behavior,” her mother says. “She’d even tell the older kids to be quiet in the halls by putting a finger to her lips.

Right from the beginning, she said, ‘I want to go back to Bucktown.’” Worst of all, Mrs. Twilley’s previously wellmannered eighth-grader Jennafer was developing behavioral issues. “I never saw these problems in my girls before and I was like, ‘I don’t think so,’” Mrs. Twilley says. “Thankfully, my kids were getting good grades at Dodge because of what they did at CICS, but I saw them getting bored; they weren’t being challenged at all; they were coming home with little to no homework. The traditional public schools just don’t have what the charter schools offered. I started asking myself, ‘What the hell have I done?’”

20

|

FocalPoint

Mrs. Twilley tried getting her girls back into Bucktown, but couldn’t—the school was fully enrolled. So she looked into CPS schools other than Dodge and was met with a different type of resistance. “I had neighborhood schools turning my kids away because of their good grades; the principals said the [typical students’] behavior alone would stop my kids from getting what they needed.” So she kept her girls at Dodge. Two years later, they were admitted to Bucktown for the 2009–2010 school year. Mrs. Twilley’s voice warms in anticipation of another school year at Bucktown: “My girls are so excited to be back at CICS now.” As she reflects on her family’s journey, Mrs. Twilley says she’s looking forward to volunteering on campus again: “I think it’s so important to get involved by helping a teacher in the classroom. At Dodge, they really didn’t like parents to be involved for some reason, which is a shame because I think parents should have that kind of role. It gives teachers more time to focus on the curriculum when you make copies for them, or do a little tutoring with the students. And when CICS teachers let me help out, it makes me feel welcome. Happy parents and happy students make good schools.”

“This time around, my goal is to make sure that my girls are on-point and doing what they need to do.

I’ve been telling them, you know that you’ve got a challenge ahead of you because there’s more work involved at [CICS]. They’re excellent students and we just want the very best for them. College for them is not an option—they are going to college.” And Mrs. Twilley stands firm on her expectations: “If they were promised science homework, I want to see science homework.” Mrs. Twilley’s involvement in her kids’ schooling has inspired her to pursue an education of her own: “I never got my degree, though I have built up some credits. I went back to school this summer. I got an A and a B, and I was just tickled pink. I want to be an elementary teacher now. I have a hunger for education and I have a heart for kids who aren’t getting what they need. Experience has shown me that you have to work hard with your kids. They put the time in, and you put the time in with them.” “When I went to a meeting recently about CICS, I was nearly crying to my husband, saying, ‘These people are fighting to educate kids like ours. When they say that all kids deserve a good education, they don’t know how much that means to me,’” she says. “CPS and CICS are two different worlds and I don’t want to cross into that other world again. I’m clicking my heels—there’s no place like home. It feels so good to be home.”


“I’m clicking my heels—there’s no place like home.”

! e m o h e b o t d o o g o s It feels FocalPoint

|

21


Lucky Number 13 Cultivating community relationships proves to be the good luck charm for Chicago International’s 13th campus by Carol Gifford | photos by Joshua Dunn

On the far south side of Chicago stands a sprawling, 157-acre public housing project called Altgeld Gardens. Built in 1945 to address the housing needs of African-Americans returning from World War II, the neighborhood is one of the city’s poorest communities—90 percent of the neighborhood students qualify for free/ reduced lunch—in one of the city’s most secluded areas. But on August 17, the residents saw a hopeful event in their neighborhood: the opening of CICS Lloyd Bond, the 13th campus of Chicago International. Approximately 300 students, grades K–8, poured through the school’s doors; classrooms and corridors were filled with students and parents buzzing with excitement.

“This is exactly the type of neighborhood where we like to provide families with more school options,” says Beth Purvis, executive director of Chicago International. “It has high poverty and unemployment rates with a mixed record of performance at area schools. And yet it does have a great community with really involved parents who want the best education possible for their children.”

22

|

FocalPoint

Chicago International had never opened a school in a housing project before, and this neighborhood is not only isolated from the city, but it has also been in transition for the past several years as the city conducts community-wide renovations with nearly 2,000 family housing units scheduled for rehabilitation. Together with its partner, Education Management Organization Edison Learning, Chicago International worked hard in the months leading up to the school’s opening to engage the community and work with Altgeld Gardens’ key stakeholders— all in an effort to start the school year off right and prepare for the school’s longterm success. Long before CICS Lloyd Bond opened, Chicago International took key steps to get to know the community and to help the community learn about the charter school. School leaders came prepared, after learning a tremendous amount from the opening of the CICS Ralph Ellison campus in the Austin-Gresham neighborhood only one year earlier. That experience clearly demonstrated the importance of developing a mutually respectful and beneficial partnership with local leaders as well as working alongside the community. To prepare for the school opening, school staff began cultivating strong partnerships with the Chicago Housing

Authority, the Local Advisory Council (resident leaders of the Altgeld Housing community) and the Alderman’s office early on. The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) offered monthly informative meetings about the new school for parents and residents of Altgeld Gardens. Chicago International sent letters to families with school-age children and left information about the new school on residents’ doors. School leaders hosted a community luau in July and opened the CICS Lloyd Bond gymnasium to the community all summer long for midnight basketball for neighborhood children and teens. All of these steps were good ones; community members seemed to view Chicago International as a trusted and industrious partner. However, school leaders were concerned about one key element: enrollment. Applications weren’t rolling in as quickly as expected. “The major challenge was helping the families and parents in Altgeld Gardens and the neighboring community understand how a charter school education differs from public, private and selective-enrollment institutions,” Dr. Purvis says. “Parents just didn’t understand how CICS Lloyd Bond would be of value to them.” Michael Campell, director of the new campus, agrees:


CampusProfile

13 “Altgeld families and parents honestly couldn’t believe that a quality school option would be available to them and to their children, and that [the school] would not be fee-based.” Beyond educating families about the benefits of the new campus, Chicago International faced other challenges: The Altgeld population was at a fraction of its capacity due to community-wide home and ground renovations. And because the new school was under construction, Chicago International was unable to showcase the quality of the new facility to the community. Chicago International needed a new approach to reaching out to families, and in July, Chicago International community liaison Adrienne Leonard proposed a simple idea: train a “street team” to take the message to community members directly, one-on-one, door-to-door, delivered by the community’s most trusted ambassadors—its longtime residents. For 4–5 hours a day over three weeks straight, the Lloyd Bond street team talked to children, parents, grandparents and other family members about what distinguishes Chicago International from the other neighborhood public and private schools. The team found that many Altgeld residents either misunderstood or were not able to understand the original information. “We were able to answer their questions and address their concerns individually,” Ms. Leonard says.

The street team reminded parents that although the school was not fee-based, there was an admission process. The team made sure that parents were aware that they would be required to sign their children up before the first day of school and take active roles in their children’s education at Lloyd Bond.

“Altgeld Gardens is really a small town, and we had to approach it as such,” Mr. Campbell says. Word traveled fast as the street teams chatted with Altgeld residents in their living rooms, around their kitchen tables and on their front lawns. The last monthly community meeting had 260 parents in attendance, and the school was near its full capacity on the first day of school. Looking forward, Chicago International will continue to build on the relationship it has established with the broader Altgeld community. Chicago International and its partners are committed to hiring directly from the community for positions at the school, and hopes that the school’s library will also serve as a “cyber café” where community members will enhance their computer literacy skills.

“We didn’t just upgrade a school,” Mr. Campbell says. “CICS Lloyd Bond is a conduit for hope, change and advancement for an entire neighborhood and community in need.”

Chicago International Lloyd Bond is a $2 million renovation project that transformed Our Lady of the Gardens Catholic School—a fixture on the Altgeld grounds for 50 years—into a non faithbased charter school and the only high-quality public school option for students in this community.

FocalPoint

|

23


2009 ANNUAL REPORT

CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL

The 2008–2009 school year was one of great successes and unique challenges for Chicago International Charter School. This past year made evident the fact that the organization’s model allows for strategic risk without negatively impacting the quality of education for our current students or the financial stability of the network as a whole. There were some great achievements in 2009, including improved student outcomes on both the elementary and high school campuses, the opening of the Loomis Campus, the approval of our 13th Chicago Campus, Lloyd Bond, and the approval of the CICS Rockford Charter School, scheduled to open in 2010. Conversely, we engaged in some unsuccessful ventures this past year. Our charter application to open a new school in Waukegan was rejected soundly and we decided to close the doors on the ChicagoRise School Turnaround Venture. It is without question, however, that we used both success and failure to propel the Foundation forward. Throughout our endeavors, we remained focused on our mission of providing, through innovation and choice, a highquality college-preparatory education for today’s student.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS The vision of Chicago International is to close the achievement gap between the performance of our students and the performance of their more economically advantaged peers. As they approach milestones, Chicago International students at each “decision point” are afforded more choices than had they attended other schools. Eighth-grade graduates are encouraged to apply to both Chicago International high schools and selective-enrollment high schools in the city. Incoming freshmen are invited to a summer program so that they understand the responsibility of attending a Chicago International High School and the opportunities that the curricula and out-of-school experiences provide. High school seniors are encouraged to apply to at least three postsecondary schools. Providing families with more than one choice is inherent in our model—because with choice comes opportunity. Chicago International strives to develop in our children and families the confidence and understanding that a bright future is attainable with hard work and discipline. 24

|

FocalPoint

In order to close the achievement gap and provide “choice” at critical decision points, Chicago International continues to work closely with our Education Management Organization partners and teachers to make data-driven decisions. We used student and school level data to initiate several networkwide programs that support the important work done on campuses, leading to promising gains across our network.

Chicago International is striving to not only graduate students, but also to graduate students who can be successful in college.

STUDENTS WHO MEET OR EXCEED MATH ISAT

In our elementary schools, approximately 80% of students are meeting and/or exceeding state standards on the 2009 Illinois State Achievement Test (ISAT) in math and 69% in reading*. Consequently Chicago International is higher than the Chicago Public Schools meets/exceeds average in math (73.5%) and reading (68%)**. From 2007 to 2009, we increased our composite ISAT meets/exceeds percentages by 4.5%, from 69% to 73.5%. This increase is partially attributed to the use of student data to make better instructional decisions in the classroom and on the campus level.

80%

Using the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAPs) has given Chicago International the ability not only to track the proficiency of students, but also to better evaluate the growth of our students. This has helped us to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all students regardless of their individual achievement levels. Furthermore, this information has allowed the organization to set growth and proficiency targets that are aligned with state standards. This past year, Chicago International increased the overall percentage of students meeting projected growth targets on the NWEA reading and math scale. Spring 2009 NWEA data suggest 65.2% of students in math and 62% of students in reading have made their individual growth targets.


Chicago International also looks at the NWEA Growth Index (GI) to gain perspective on the amount of growth we have accomplished above our targets. The GI measures the amount of points on NWEA’s scale in which a student or group is above or below typical growth. Chicago International exceeded typical growth in math and reading by scoring 2.3 points above the math target and 2.2 points above the reading target. Compared to the previous year, networkwide Chicago International has increased the percentage of students who meet their individual growth targets.

CLASS OF 2009 AVG. ACT SCORE

In our high schools, 82% of Chicago International’s Class of 2009 graduated with an average ACT of 18.2. The ACT and its college readiness benchmarks can be a critical gatekeeper for student admission into college. Naturally, the ACT has become an important metric for Chicago International, as our mission is to provide a college preparatory education to all of our students.

18.2

CLASS OF 2010 AVG. ACT SCORE

Chicago International is striving to not only graduate students, but also to graduate students who can be successful in college. The Class of 2010, tested in spring 2009, achieved an average composite ACT of 18.5. Here are some highlights: more than 78% and 80% of CICS Northtown and Ellison campus students, respectively, met college readiness benchmarks in English. At the CICS Longwood campus, more than 63% of students met the college readiness benchmark in math. CICS continues to increase the percentage of students who are meeting ACT’s college readiness benchmarks.

18.5

As Chicago International continues to progress academically, focus will remain on the growth of individual students. We project growth for students at every grade level, ensuring that student academic needs are met throughout our PreK–12 network.

FINANCIAL PROGRESS Chicago International’s economic model and focus on fiscal responsibility has allowed the organization to grow and prosper since opening in 1997; 2009 was no different. Although we cherish the philanthropic funds received from generous donors, our academic programs do not rely upon those dollars. Chicago International’s goal is to utilize grant funding for launching new schools and piloting new programs, while our current campuses remain sustainable and efficient without significant support from external resources. Chicago International has never had more than 5% of its operating budget come from philanthropy. Although we intend to

grow well beyond our current network of campuses, our funding partners should be confident that our philosophy of sustainable growth and public education through the public dollar will continue. Chicago International met its budget projections for Fiscal Year 2009. Despite the economic downturn, the Administrative budget of the central office was within 5% of projections. In addition, we met our budget goals for facilities, even with a number of large capital projects. Facilities projects completed this year were related to network expansion and Chicago International’s commitment to provide an attractive and positive environment for learning. We are most proud of the $2,000,000 renovation to the new CICS Lloyd Bond Campus in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood. This work occurred through the generous contributions of Maryville Academy, the CME Group Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation and the Renaissance Schools Fund.

Each year, the students of Chicago International become more competitive academically as we close the achievment gap. We are also excited about smaller projects that added significantly to the experiences of children at our existing campuses. High school students at Northtown Academy and Longwood will study in newly renovated science labs. Elementary students at Washington Park, Longwood, Irving Park and Bucktown will return to schools with new lockers, new gym floors and hardwood floors throughout the buildings. All students will return to freshly painted classrooms and fully cleaned buildings, with a few enjoying air conditioning for the first time.

STRATEGIC VISION Chicago International continues to align with the strategic vision set four years ago. Fifteen of the twenty-one schools we planned to open by 2015 are opened or approved. We have met all financial, educational and bond covenants related to our 2007 bond offering. Most importantly, each year, the students of Chicago International become more competitive academically as we close the achievement gap across the network. *Excludes English Language Learners (ELL) 0–5 students **CPS Preliminary results posted on CPS website 7/14/09

FocalPoint

|

25


CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES

YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 2009 AND 2008

REVENUE

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2008

56,845,796

51,467,159

4,572,372

2,371,395

3,183,926

4,557,138

Chicago Public Schools Per Capita Revenue & Other Funds Special Services Grant Commitments & Other Contributions Investment Income

891,205

1,706,032

School Lunch Program (Longwood Campus)

197,109

195,282

Other

345,439

330,081

66,035,846

60,627,087

51,860,556

45,036,600

Total Revenue

Per Pupil Revenue & Other Funds 93%

FISCAL YEAR 2009 REVENUE

Grants, Contributions, 5% & Fundraising Income Other 2%

EXPENSES Operating Funds to EMOs Longwood Campus Expenses

184,685

203,668

Administrative Expenses

1,790,119

1,804,966

Facility Maintenance & Capital Expenses

1,044,079

700,629

Rent, Utilities & Property Taxes

1,218,098

1,681,683

Debt Service

2,496,262

2,564,048

Grant Expense

2,452,494

2,580,137

Insurance Expense

134,090

210,319

Direct Campus Expenses

652,446

245,243

2,160,326

1,413,250

63,993,155

56,440,543

Depreciation & Amortization

Total Expenses Change in Assets to Mgmt Company

Change in Net Assets

Campus Operating Funds 81%

FISCAL YEAR 2009 EXPENSES

Other Program Expenses 16% Supporting Services 3%

(1,172,063)

2,042,691

5,038,245

NOTE: 2009 figures are based on CCSF’s unaudited financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2009. Once the independent audits have been prepared, a complete copy of those statements is available by contacting CCSF.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOW CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES Change in Net Assets

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2008

1,928,201

4,673,643

2,160,326

1,413,250

Adjustments to Reconcile Net Earnings to Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities: Depreciation & Amortization Forgiveness of Debt & Bad Debt Expense

(176,050)

(12,822)

Gain on Sale of Investments

(163,127)

(86,350)

45,460

48,903

(114,552)

(304,136)

(1,431,696)

(793,372)

(42,212)

311,339

75,853

82,953

(936,969)

(711,547)

(56,676)

(895,731)

1,288,559

3,726,131

Loss on Disposition of Fixed Assets Fair Market Value Adjustment on Investments Change in Current Assets & Liabilities: Accounts & Grants Receivable Interest Receivable Deposits & Prepaid Expenses Accounts Payable & Accrued Expenses Deferred Rent & Deferred Liability

Cash Provided by Operating Activities 26

|

FocalPoint


CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET ASSETS

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2008

Cash

7,270,643

4,357,180

Accounts Receivable

2,718,530

1,286,833

Investments

6,544,508

8,174,741

159,332

303,020

Prepaids Other Current Assets

7,895,538

15,117,633

42,992,382

36,046,466

395,477

2,084,248

67,976,410

67,370,123

Accounts Payable

236,775

764,283

Accrued Liabilities

Fixed Assets Other Non-Current Assets

Total Assets

Property & Equipment, Net 63.3% Cash, Restricted by Bond 11.6%

FISCAL YEAR 2009 ASSETS $67,976,410

Cash 10.7% Investments & Other Assets 10.2% Accounts Receivable 4.0% Deposits & Prepaid Expenses 0.2%

LIABILITIES 1,647,364

2,056,826

Loans Payable-Current

331,003

331,003

Other Current Liabilities

522,729

579,405

Notes Payable

979,950

1,006,000

Bond Payable

49,878,337

50,180,556

53,596,158

54,918,072

Total Liabilities

Bonds Payable 93% Accounts Payable 3% & Accrued Expenses

FISCAL YEAR 2009 LIABILITIES

Notes & Capital Leases Payable 2% Current Loans Payable 1% Deferred Rent 1%

NET ASSETS Board Designated

33,418

14,491

14,346,834

12,437,559

Total Net Assets

14,380,252

12,452,050

Total Liabilities & Net Assets

67,976,410

67,370,123

Operation Surplus/Loss

CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES Purchase of Securities

June 30, 2009

June 30, 2008

(5,960,185)

(10,009,671)

Proceeds from Sale of Securities

7,610,983

8,829,432

Expenditures for Assets Not in Service

1,688,772

(13,203,010)

(9,152,510)

(6,473,471)

(5,812,940)

(20,856,720)

Bond Interest Income

(233,131)

(1,024,726)

Transfer of Cash-Bond Repair & Replacement Reserve

(400,000)

(700,000)

Purchase of Property & Equipment

Cash Used in Investing Activities CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Payments from Charter School Growth Fund

150,000

430,000

Bond Interest Payments

1,738,667

2,082,835

Capital Improvement Projects

6,182,310

17,304,164

Cash Provided by Financing Activities

7,437,845

18,092,273

Increase (Decrease) in Cash

2,913,463

961,684 FocalPoint

|

27


STUDENT PERFORMANCE

2008–2009 CAMPUS SUMMARY STATISTICS

640 students

68% Latino 25% African American 6% Caucasian 1% Multiracial

CICS Irving Park (K–6) opened August 2007 3820 North Spaulding. Serving students from the community of Irving Park.

420

students

28

|

55% Latino 21% African American 11% Multiracial 9% Caucasian 3% Asian/Pacific Islander 1% Native American

FocalPoint

MATH

READING

MATH

51.6

-0.5 -0.2 READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA

READING

MATH

GROWTH INDEX

66.7

67.9

55.4

49.6

-0.6 -1.5 READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

2235 North Hamilton. Serving students from the communities of Logan Square and around the city of Chicago.

53.3

78.9

86.9

59.3

63.3

1.6 1.2

READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

CICS Bucktown (K–8) opened August 1997

83.2

READING

97% African American 3% Latino

67.2

READING

730

students

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

1816 West Garfield Blvd. Serving students from the communities of Englewood and Washington Park.

NWEA

MATH

CICS Basil (PreK–8) opened August 2002

ISAT*

MATH

99% African American 1% Other

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target

READING

420

students

Growth index measures the amount of points on NWEA’s scale in which a student or group is above or below typical growth.

READING

1501 East 83rd Place. Serving students from the communities of Avalon, South Shore and Woodlawn.

The Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) measures the percent of individual students meeting and/or exceeding set growth targets based on normative data. NWEA measures of 50-70% are considered above average NWEA measures greater than 70% are considered exemplary

READING

CICS Avalon (K–8) opened August 2005

The No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress target for ISAT in 2009 was 70% of students meeting and/or exceeding state standards.

READING

The following information highlights Chicago International’s academic results by campus for 2009. As you are reviewing, please note the following as it will better explain Chicago International’s achievements.

69.2

78.5

63.2

62.2

2.7 2.2

READING

MATH

* ISAT without English Language Learners (ELL)


The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn—John Lubbock

8130 South California Avenue. Serving students from the community of Wrightwood. Nearly all students live within two miles of campus.

720

students

98% African American 2% Other

CICS Longwood (3–8) opened August 1997

1309 West 95th Street. Serving students from the community of Washington Heights and the South Side of Chicago.

917

students

98% African American 2% Latino

READING

MATH

READING

MATH

MATH

NWEA

READING

MATH

GROWTH INDEX

52.8

69.0

64.5

65.4

2.0 1.8

READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA

81.3

88.5

65.6

MATH

GROWTH INDEX

77.1

2.9 3.7

READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

CICS Wrightwood (K–8) opened August 2005

NWEA

66.1

69.0

61.2

67.2

1.2 1.0

READING

MATH

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target ISAT*

NWEA

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

89% Latino 10% African American 1% Caucasian

ISAT*

READING

500

students

1.9 1.3

READING

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target

READING

2245 North McVicker Avenue. Serving students of the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood.

70.5

READING

CICS West Belden (K–8) opened August 2002

67.4

MATH

99% African American 1% Other

83.7

MATH

450

students

68.8

MATH

6105 South Michigan Avenue. Serving the students of the Washington Park community.

NWEA GROWTH INDEX

MATH

CICS Washington Park (K–8) opened August 2001

NWEA

READING

58% African American 42% Latino

ISAT*

READING

411

students

Percentage of Students Who Meet or Exceed Target

READING

11530 South Prairie Avenue. Serving students from the Roseland community within walking distance.

READING

CICS Prairie (K–8) opened August 1998

69.3

86.5

66.5

66.6

3.4 3.4

READING

MATH

FocalPoint

|

29


STUDENT PERFORMANCE CONT.

NEW ADDITIONS

CICS Longwood (9–12) opened August 1997

CICS Lloyd Bond (K–8) OPENED August 2009

1309 West 95th Street. Serving students from the community of Washington Heights and the South Side of Chicago.

559

students

98% African American 2% Latino

13300 South Langley. Serving students from the community of Altgeld Gardens. Named by neighborhood parents in honor of Dr. Lloyd Bond.

17.9 76% AVG. ACT**

450

students

GRAD. RATE

CICS Northtown Acad. (9–12) OPENED August 2003

CICS Rockford Charter School (K– 4)

3900 West Peterson Avenue. Serving students from the communities around the city of Chicago. It is the first CICS stand-alone high school campus.

850

students

50% Latino 26% Caucasian 10% African American 10% Asian/Pacific Islander 4% Multiracial

97% African American 3% Other

615 South 5th Street. Will serve students in grades K–4, opening a new grade each year after. In 2012, CICS will open a 9–12 high school. In 2009, the Rockford School Board approved a resolution authorizing CICS Rockford Charter School to open for the 2010–2011 school year.

19.1 86% AVG. ACT**

GRAD. RATE

CICS Ralph Ellison (9–12) OPENED August 2006 8001 South Honore. Serving students from the communities of that area and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods.

600

students

99% African American 1% Latino

18.3 N/A AVG. ACT**

GRAD. RATE***

CICS SUMMARY STATISTICS Chicago International has made significant progress toward its goal of closing the achievement gap between the performance of our students and the performance of their more economically advantaged peers. This is most evident in the year-on-year positive Growth Index numbers for the NWEA. With this exceptional progress, we fully expect to close the gap in all of our schools by 2013.

30

|

NWEA READING 62.2%

MATH 79.6%

MATH 64.1%

SCIENCE 69.6% COMPOSITE 73.5%

GROWTH INDEX

READING 68.8%

READING 2.2 MATH 2.3

READING 69.9%

READING 62.2%

MATH 77.0%

MATH 65.5%

SCIENCE 66.1% COMPOSITE 72.4%

FocalPoint

GROWTH INDEX

2008

2009

ISAT MEETs OR EXCEEDs TARGET*

READING 2.0 MATH 2.3

* ISAT without English Language Learners (ELL)

HIGH SCHOOL

18.5 AVG. ACT

81.6% GRAD. RATE

18.2 AVG. ACT

N/A

GRAD. RATE

** Average ACT score is for Junior Class of 2010

*** First graduating class will be 2010


FUNDER PROFILE: CME GROUP FOUNDATION

OUR SUPPORTERS: A wide variety of foundations, corporations, organizations and individuals support CICS. Gifts $140,000 and above Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Charter School Growth Fund

CME Group Foundation provides $500,000 in support to the Chicago International Lloyd Bond campus CME Group Foundation recently awarded $500,000 through the Renaissance Schools Fund (RSF) to support start-up efforts at the Chicago International Lloyd Bond campus. The financial support will ensure that the students have the best educational environment for learning, including a relevant and rigorous curriculum, professional development for staff and interactive white boards in each classroom. The Chicago International Lloyd Bond campus is the former site of a parochial school that had been successful academically and was beloved by the community, but had to close due to financial challenges. The campus opened in August 2009 and is home to 349 students in grades K–8.

Circle of Service Foundation CME Group Foundation New Schools Venture Fund Renaissance Schools Fund Walton Family Foundation Gifts $10,000 and above Arie and Ida Crown Memorial Foundation Blackie Foundation Craig Henderson John Gates Judd Enterprises

Renaissance Schools Fund has raised more than $50 million and helped to launch 63 public schools in Chicago, including Chicago International Ralph Ellison, Irving Park, Loomis, Avalon, Wrightwood and Lloyd Bond campuses. CME Group Foundation supports educational programs in the Chicago region that deliver high-quality educational and enrichment services to disadvantaged children and youth in schools and community settings. Originally established by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the CME Group Foundation has a particular interest in economics and technology education for students in grades K–12. CME Group Foundation Executive Director Kassie Davis and board members Jim Oliff and Howard Siegel spent time during the past year meeting with a number of Chicago area charter school operators before choosing to support Chicago International Lloyd Bond campus. The CME Group Foundation was impressed with Chicago International’s focus on data to make informed decisions, both at the teacher level using individualized lesson-planning, and at the administrative level, assessing Education Management Organizations and campus performance. To honor the group’s contribution, the campus gymnasium will be named “CME Group Foundation Gymnasium at CICS Lloyd Bond.”

Philip M. Friedmann Family Charitable Trust Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation Children’s Inner City Educational Fund State of Illinois (State Rep. Deborah Mell) State of Illinois (State Senator Ira Silverstein) Exelon Corporation Gifts $1,000 and above Bruce Hague Carol Bernick Charles and Suzanne O’Brien David and Debbie Chizewer Douglas Walker Polk Bros Foundation Five Crowns Foundation Gerald and Marsha Osher Gorter Family Foundation Howard B. Bernick Foundation

The Renaissance 2010 (Ren10) is an initiative to launch 100 new schools in the city’s most underserved communities by 2010. Since 2005, the Renaissance Schools Fund has raised more than $50 million and helped to launch 63 public schools in Chicago, including Chicago International Ralph Ellison, Irving Park, Loomis, Avalon, Wrightwood and Lloyd Bond campuses. Unveiled in June 2004 by Mayor Richard M. Daley, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and Chicago business and philanthropic leaders, the goal of Ren10 is to transform Chicago’s public education system and provide all families, regardless of their socio-economic standing, with options for a high-quality public education. Chicago International receives no public funding for the campuses’ capital needs or for student support outside of academics. To realize its vision, Chicago International relies on philanthropic support to supplement its conservative annual budget. Therefore, over the next three years, Chicago International is undergoing a strategic fundraising plan to raise $10 million, which will be used for initiatives such as teacher performance incentives, professional development, before/after school programming, technology in the classrooms and facility improvements.

James Gidwitz James Moss Jamie Wilson and David Ericson Jay and Cynthia Henderson Joanne and Richard Young John Challenger Michael and Rosalind Keiser Adikes Family Foundation PricewaterhouseCoopers Randy Rissman Richard and Claire Cortesi Roger and Marjorie Nelson Ronald and Julie O’Donnell Allen The Robert and Pamela Delaney Foundation Timothy Coleman William Cooper John Rau Tom Hayden Tom Dammeyer

ANNUAL REPORT CONTRIBUTORS:

Gideon and Nancy Searle

Daniel Anello

Tom McGrath

Russ and Pamela Strobel

Michael Barnhill

Christine Poindexter

Brian Eschbacher

Dr. Elizabeth D. Purvis

Lou Mullins Mimi Ostrander Blue Foundation

FocalPoint

|

31


ELAXED READING FOR PARNTS RELAXED READING FOR ARENTS RELAXED READING OR PARENTS RELAXED READ NG FOR PARENTS RELAXED EADING FOR PARENTS RELA

32

|

FocalPoint


R G D-

A

Extensions

Move over Oprah There’s a new book club in town by Meghan Schmidt | photos by Joshua Dunn

The need for family involvement is a hot topic when Chicago International’s leaders consider out-of-school programming. We know that involving parents and families enriches our school communities and makes them more successful. Research shows that top-notch schools have integrated a blend of rich and rigorous curricula, teacher support and family involvement. In 2007, the CICS Washington Park Advisory Board sought to achieve such a balance on its campus by offering a new after-school club just for parents. The Board surveyed parents and found there were a few parents who shared a passion for reading. It wasn’t long before the Relaxed Reading for Parents Program at CICS Washington Park was founded.

homework help. “We are always looking for new ways to engage parents as they are the first and most important teachers of our 8,100 students,” says Meghan Schmidt, director of special projects at Chicago International. “More than anything, we appreciate the trust and support parents provide to the school and recognize that we are all in this together.”

Picture this: Mrs. Mills, parent of two, hurriedly walks up the CICS Washington Park cement steps, rings the campus doorbell and checks the clock on her cell phone to make sure she’s on time for her afterschool class. Mrs. Mills is greeted by Mr. Calloway and Ms. White, campus security guards, as they welcome and sign-in all guests and visitors. She quickly heads towards Room 105 in the upper school building of the campus, which is home to 450 students in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. What’s the rush? Mrs. Mills walks in and cheerfully greets her fellow travelers, more than a dozen other parents of Washington Park students, all together on the road to the final chapters in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Mrs. Mills pauses and is relieved, knowing her sons, James and Marquise, will be attending karate and tutoring once the 3:30pm dismissal bell rings (only after they’ve devoured graham crackers and juice). While the two boys are busy with math problems and high kicks, Mrs. Mills will enjoy her fellow parents in an engaged discussion about Celie’s story.

Above: tarra calloway, club moderator, and the 2009 relaxed reading for parents program at CICS washington park

Established by three parents, the Relaxed Reading for Parents Club grew to 12 dedicated readers last year. Parents have read Walker’s The Color Purple, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Ms. Tarra Calloway, parent of a CICS Washington Park graduate, neighborhood resident, cheerleading coach and all-around campus assistant, is the club’s moderator. In addition to reading books, Ms. Calloway says, the group also provides a relaxed space for parents to socialize and build community right on the 6105 S. Michigan campus. The Relaxed Reading for Parents Club has become one of the cornerstones of out-of-school programming, and inspired the founding of the Kids Book Club. Such clubs are becoming more and more common at Chicago International. As more parents become involved, clubs specifically for parents emerge across the Chicago International network; topics include reading, fitness and parent resource centers, which provide access to computers, job search information and FocalPoint

|

33


Resources The mission of Chicago International is to provide, through innovation and choice, an attractive and rigorous college-preparatory education that meets the needs of today’s student. Integral to this mission is involved parents and family members dedicated to their children’s education and future. Use the following resources to help enrich a child’s education.

Chicago Public Schools www.cps.edu

Illinois State Board of Education www.isbe.net

Illinois Network of Charter Schools www.incschools.org

DuSable Museum www.dusablemuseum.org

Field Museum www.fieldmuseum.org

U.S. Department of Education www.ed.gov

Lincoln Park Zoo www.lpzoo.org

Mexican Fine Arts Museum www.nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org 34

|

FocalPoint


Financial Aid & Scholarships FAFSA www.fafsa.ed.gov Scholarship www.collegescholarships.org

Common Application for Colleges www.commonapp.org

Guide to Selecting Colleges www.petersons.com

Center for Children and Families at Erikson Institute (comprehensive assessments for children) www.erikson.edu/ccf.aspx

Chicago Parent www.chicagoparent.com

Chicago Public Library www.chipublib.org

Museum of Science and Industry www.msichicago.org

City of Chicago www.cityofchicago.org

*

Chicago Park District www.chicagoparkdistrict.com Explore Chicago www.explorechicago.org

FocalPoint

|

35


WHICH PATH WILL YOUR CHILD TAKE? PATH 1 CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL Graduation Rate

86%

GRADUATES ENROLLED IN COLLEGE

68%

VS

PATH 2 CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS GRADUATION RATE

50%

GRADUATES ENROLLED IN COLLEGE

51%

Where will your 8th Grader go to high school?

2007 statistics. Most recent data available per CPS, National Student Clearing House, and Illinois Policy Institute.

Apply Now: http://www.chicagointl.org/applications (312) 651-5000

DID YOU KNOW? If your child is currently a Chicago International 8th grader, then they are guaranteed a spot at one of Chicago International’s High Schools. Just fill out and submit an Intent to Return form available at your campus’ main office.

CHICAGO international high school campuses 3900 W. Peterson Chicago, IL 60659

1309 W. 95th Street Chicago, IL 60643

8001 S. Honore Chicago, IL 60620

FocalPoint Fall Winter 2009  

FocalPoint is a magazine published by the Chicago International Charter School. This magazine was launched as a place where educators and ad...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you