Charter Excellence Awards

INCS Charter Excellence Awards

Nominations for the 2021 INCS Charter Excellence Awards are officially open! At INCS and in the charter community, we value excellence and are excited to reward and acknowledge teachers, principals, students, and parents 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.

Charter schools are part of the fabric of the communities they serve. During the pandemic, educators went above and beyond to serve their families and neighborhoods. Show these superstars some love by nominating them for a Charter Excellence Award today.

 

About the Charter Excellence Awards

The annual INCS Charter Excellence Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements of educators, parents, students, and advocates across Illinois’ charter public schools. With the 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 INCS Charter Lifetime Achievement Award.

All charter public schools are strongly encouraged to submit nominations. There is no limit on nominations per school or award. Nominations will be due OCTOBER 8, 2021. COVID permitting, INCS will surprise all winners in their schools in October and recognize them publicly at an event in December 2021.

Excellence Awards Evaluation Committee

As we did last year, INCS is recruiting volunteers to participate on the 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 reach out to Natalia Blanco with your name and the category you would like to evaluate. 

Nomination Submission Guidelines

Nominees must meet the requirements below. Please see the linked rubrics for how the nominations will be evaluated.

Nominations Due October 8 @ 12:00 am – 11:59 pm

 

Nomination Forms

Charter School Principal of the Year 

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

  • Demonstrate a shared vision for the school
  • Regularly innovate to support their 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. Application can be found hereHere is a link to the rubric which explains how nominations will be evaluated.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Committed to the charter school model and served the school for at least two years.
  • Leading a highly effective, high-quality school with an SQRP score of Level 2+ or above if in Chicago. If outside of Chicago, the school must be exemplary or commendable under ISBE guidance (there is some flexibility here with the lack of test scores over the last two years).

Nominations must include two letters of recommendation, with at least one written by a teacher, and should include a short explanation of how this principal exemplifies the qualities of the Charter Principal of the Year description listed above.

Charter Elementary Teacher of the Year  

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

  • Demonstrate strong teaching and pedagogical skills
  • Participate in extracurricular supports for their students
  • Collaborate 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. Application can be found hereThe rubric can be found here.

Nominees must be a K-8 teacher who has taught at the charter school for at least two years. Please include the number of years the candidate has taught at the school and grade level(s). The application should also include two letters of recommendation; at least one should be written by a student.

Charter High School Teacher of the Year 

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

  • Demonstrate strong teaching and pedagogical skills
  • Participate in extracurricular supports for their students
  • Collaborate 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. Application can be found hereThe rubric can be found here.

Nominees must be a K-8 teacher who has taught at the charter school for at least two years. Please include the number of years the candidate has taught at the school and grade level(s). The application should also include two letters of recommendation; at least one should be written by a student.

Illinois Charter School Parent Advocate

A strong nominee for the Illinois Charter School Parent Advocate of the Year will:

  • Demonstrate a solid and long-term commitment to the school
  • Advocate for the school in public setting, including with elected officials and other parent

In the application, please provide concrete examples of the attributes above. The winner will be awarded $500. Application can be found hereThe rubric can be found 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 or her charter school’s parent group 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 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
  • Showcases strong academic achievement

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

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must graduate high school in 2022 and attend college or have other post-secondary plans in the 2022-2023 year.
  • Must be involved in student leadership positions, such as student government, programs, clubs, teams, tutoring. 

The application should include a letter of recommendation that explains how the student exemplifies the qualities of the Outstanding Charter School Senior listed above.

Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eighth Grader

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

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

The Outstanding Illinois Charter School Eight Grader award will be presented to two eighth graders who have demonstrated each the criteria above. Please provide examples of each on the nomination form. Each student will be awarded a $1,000 scholarshipApplications can be found here. The rubric can be found here.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Must graduate from 8th grade in 2022 and attend high school in the 2022-23 year.
  • Must be involved in student leadership positions, such as student government, programs, clubs, teams, tutoring. 

The application should include a letter of recommendation that explains how the student exemplifies the qualities of the Outstanding Charter School Eighth Grader listed above.

Illinois Charter School Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to someone who has contributed deeply over many years to the success of the charter school community in Illinois.  This person is likely an unsung hero in the charter school system. 

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

Nominees must have 10 years of experience with charter schoolsApplications can be found here.  

The Lifetime Achievement Award nomination should include a letter of recommendation from a peer, a board member, a student or alum of the school.