Our People, Our Power

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools will be hosting the 2018 Illinois Charter Schools Conference on Thursday, November 15th, at the Swissotel in Chicago. Join us for a day of inspiration and learning from national experts and local education leaders.

This year’s conference theme is Our People, Our Power, and programming will focus on how the Illinois charter school community can ensure that the critical voices of students, teachers, and parents are heard. The conference will be a day to energize charter school leaders, teachers, and community members and support them to continue the transformative work they are doing every day.


The conference will be headlined by Trabian Shorters, founder of the BMe Community. Mr. Shorters will deliver a captivating keynote and host a breakout session on how we can apply asset-framing to achieve greater success, diversity, equity and impact. Mr. Shorters uses discovery-based learning to impart knowledge from leading-edge global and national authorities on cognition, racial narrative, social innovation and engagement. To effectively leverage the charter school model to build more caring and prosperous communities, we must first define people by their aspirations and contributions.  


Conference attendees will participate in compelling conversations on relevant topics in one of four conference strands:

  • Teaching and Learning – sessions explore special education, real world learning, personalized learning, lessons and learning from Valor Academy, teacher support
  • Operations – session topics will include facilities financing, communications, using asset-based language, hiring for diversity, developing your people, board governance
  • Character Development – a research-based discussion on character education and how different schools approach character development
  • Policy and Advocacy – sessions on organizing and the state of charter authorization in Illinois.

Programming will also include an intensive management class in the afternoon from The Management Center on developing your people and hiring for diversity. Please note that space is limited for this class, and stay tuned for the opening of the sign up for this intensive session.

Educators and parents will have the opportunity to share their stories and connect with each other throughout the day.




Sponsor/Exhibitor Opportunities

Click here to learn more about sponsoring and/or exhibiting at the conference.


Please reach out to with questions.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Lake Michigan


Awards Luncheon

Invest For Kids


USI Insurance Services

Breakfast Sponsor

BARR Center

LEAP Innovations

New Plan Learning


EBS Schools


Advanced Computer Solutions Group, LLC


ComEd Energy Efficiency Program

Educational Environments by Frank Cooney

Educational Networks

First Nonprofit

Hallagan Business Machines

Hauser, Izzo, Petrarca, Gleason & Stillman, LLC 

Hertz Furniture

My School Dance

National Louis University 

New Plan Learning


Proven IT