Charter Excellence Awards

INCS Charter Excellence Awards

Nominations for the 2022 INCS Charter Excellence Awards are officially open! At INCS, Invest for Kids and in the charter community, we value excellence and are excited to reward and acknowledge teachers, principals, students, family members and advocates who exhibit this value.

Here is your opportunity to recognize and celebrate the outstanding individuals across the Illinois charter community who make charters the transformational schools they are.

Nominate someone from your school today who embodies the passion and commitment of the entire Illinois charter school community.

Nominations are due SEPTEMBER 30, 2022 so get your nominations in today.

About the Charter Excellence Awards

The annual INCS Charter Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding achievement of educators, parents, students, and advocates across Illinois’ charter public schools. With generous support from Invest for Kids, INCS offers financial awards in the following categories:

  • Charter Principal of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter High School Teacher of the Year – $10,000
  • Charter School Parent Advocate of the Year – $500
  • Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior – four seniors will be selected to win a $1,000 scholarship each.
  • Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader – two eighth graders will be selected to earn a $500 scholarship each.

We will also recognize an individual who has served the community over many years with the third annual INCS Charter Lifetime Achievement Award.

All charter public schools are strongly encouraged to submit nominations. There is no limit on nominations per school or awards. Nominations are due SEPTEMBER 30, 2022. COVID permitting, INCS will surprise all winners in their schools in November and recognize them publicly at the INCS Charter Excellence Awards on Monday, December 5, 2022 in Chicago. Venue to be determined.

Excellence Awards Evaluation Committee

As we do every year, INCS is recruiting volunteers to participate on the Charter Excellence Awards Evaluation Committee, which will assist in evaluating nominations and making recommendations on winners. Committee members will not be eligible to read applications in a specific category if their school has submitted a nomination for that category.

If you would like to participate on the selection committee, please fill out this short interest form by October 10, 2022 and you will be contacted soon. The commitment is about 6 – 8 hours over two weeks.

Nomination Submission Guidelines

Nominees must meet the requirements below. The application questions and scoring rubric for the applications can be found here. Each category has its own Microsoft Form application which are linked below.

Charter School Principal of the Year

A strong nominee for the Charter School Principal of the Year will:

  • Demonstrate a clear and shared vision for the school
  • Regularly innovate to support students and staff and share what is working more broadly
  • Practice servant leadership and focus on the growth and well-being of staff, students, and families

In the application, please provide concrete examples of the attributes above. The winner will be awarded $10,000. Nomination forms can be found here for the principal/school leader nominees.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Committed to the charter school model and have served in a leadership position at their current school for at least two years.
  • Lead a high-performing school; the school must be exemplary or commendable under ISBE guidance for the school year 2021-2022.

Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year

A strong nominee for the 2022 INCS Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year will include:

  • Demonstration of strong teaching and pedagogical skills
  • Evidence of a strong classroom culture with robust support for students
  • Participation in extracurricular supports for their students
  • Collaboration with their colleagues and mentoring of less-experienced teachers.

In the application, please provide concrete examples of the attributes above. The winner will be awarded $10,000. The nomination form for the 2022 INCS Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year is here.

Nominees must be a K-8 teacher who has taught at the charter school for at least two years.

Charter High School Teacher of the Year

A strong nominee for the 2022 INCS Charter High School Teacher of the Year will include:

  • Demonstration of strong teaching and pedagogical skills
  • Evidence of a strong classroom culture with robust support for students
  • Participation in extracurricular supports for their students
  • Collaboration with their colleagues and mentor less-experienced teachers.

In the application, please provide concrete examples of the attributes above. The winner will be awarded $10,000. The 2022 INCS Charter High School Teacher of the Year nomination form can be found here.

Nominees must be a 9-12th grade high school teacher who has taught at the charter school for at least two years.

Illinois Charter School Parent Advocate

A strong nominee for the 2022 INCS Charter School Parent Advocate of the Year will have:

  • Demonstrated a solid and long-term commitment to the school
  • Advocated for the school in a public settings, including with elected officials and other parents
  • Advanced the mission and success of the school in a specific way(s)

In the application, please provide concrete examples of the attributes above. The winner will be awarded $500. The nomination form for the INCS Charter School Parent Advocate is here.

Nominees must have a child who has been enrolled in an Illinois charter school for at least 3 years. If their child has attended multiple charter schools, please list all schools and the number of years they have been a charter school parent. The nominee must also be involved with his/her charter school’s parent group and/or have a leadership position at the school. Please note any special awards or recognitions.

Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior

A strong nominee for the 2022 INCS Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior will:

  • Demonstrate leadership at their school
  • Show a commitment to their school through participation in various groups, clubs or advocacy efforts
  • Showcase strong academic achievement

The INCS Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior award will be presented to four seniors who have each demonstrated the criteria above. Please provide examples on the nomination form. Each student will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Nomination forms can be found here.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must graduate high school in 2023 and attend college or have other post-secondary plans for the 2023-2024 year.
  • Must have attended the school in the 2020-2021, 2021-22 and the current school years.

Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader

A strong nominee for the 2022 INCS Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader will:

  • Demonstrate leadership at their school
  • Show a commitment to their school through participation in various groups, clubs or advocacy efforts
  • Showcase strong academic achievement

The Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader award will be presented to two eighth graders who have demonstrated each of the criteria above. Please provide examples of each on the nomination form. Each student will be awarded a $500 scholarship. The Nomination Form is here.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must graduate from 8th grade in spring 2023 and with plans to attend high school in the 2023-24 year.
  • Must be involved in student leadership positions, such as student government, programs, clubs, teams, tutoring, etc.

INCS Charter School Lifetime Achievement Award

The INCS Charter School Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to an individual who has contributed deeply over many years to the success of the charter school community in Illinois. This unsung hero may be a board member, a founding teacher, a community partner or other individual who has impacted your charter school in ways great and small.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will have dedicated their career or their volunteer time to helping under-represented students achieve their goals.

The selection committee will be evaluating nominations based on:

  • The impact of the individual on a school’s history and success
  • Major accomplishments that have impacted the trajectory of the school or network

Nominees must have 10 years of experience with charter schools. The nomination form for the 2022 INCS Charter Lifetime Achievement Award is here.