INCS News

Catalyst Charter School Searches – and Creates—Scholarships for Students

The average cost to attend a 4-year university in Illinois is right around $10,000 per year—ranking Illinois in the top half of the country for tuition and expenses. Some students may never give the cost of college a second thought. For others, these expenses could mean they can’t attend the school of their choice without…
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CPS should embrace charter schools to steady district enrollment

Enrollment decline in Chicago Public Schools continues its downward spiral. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board recently wrote that “doing nothing is not an answer” – And we agree, parents need more high-quality public school options if we want families to stay in our city. Numerous factors are affecting these enrollment numbers, including the latest census…
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CPD Honors North Lawndale College Prep Student

The Chicago Police Department honored North Lawndale College Prep student Derrick Anderson with an honorable mention award for his intervention in an altercation earlier this summer. Police Chief Ernest Cato III witnessed Derrick intervene in a heated argument between two young students. Chief Cato assumed Anderson was a staff member at the event and later…
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Charter Community Unites for Back to School Supply Drive for Local Students

On Saturday, September 18, 2021, Represent Your Community and Centro San Bonifacio, along with community partners Illinois Network of Charter Schools and ASPIRA, provided families with school book bags, supplies, free haircuts, face painting, and provided an arts & craft table for children to show off their artistic skills. Early Saturday morning, community volunteers organized…
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Student at ASPIRA Charter High School makes National Competition at NFTE

Due to the pandemic, many students and families have felt drained and unmotivated during the last two years. However, at ASPIRA Business & Finance, a student and her teacher overcame these obstacles together. Sabrina participated in this year’s Chicago/Midwest Entrepreneurship Challenge hosted by Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). This yearly competition allows high school students…
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Perspectives Charter Schools: How We Stayed Connected to Students and Families

My name is Stephen Todd and I serve as a managing principal and senior director at Perspectives Charter Schools, a network of open-enrollment public schools that serves approximately 1600 students in grades 6-12. Perspectives’ teachers and staff have done important and impactful work to support our students during the past school year and reengage students…
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“We let teachers be teaching specialists, my goal is not to get in the way.” Acero-Tamayo Principal Matthew Katz Supports Excellent Teaching

“What distinguishes a high performing school is the quality of the teachers and what’s going on in the classroom. The real success happens with students and teachers,” says Principal Matthew Katz of Acero–Rufino Tamayo. Tamayo is one of the highest performing elementary schools in Chicago, serving 280 students on the city’s Southwest side. Like the…
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Teacher Appreciation Week: Lydia Garza, INCS Charter Excellence Awards Elementary Teacher of the Year

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, INCS is honoring the extraordinary work of teachers everywhere, including the charter public school teachers throughout Illinois. Few better illustrate the value of great teachers than the latest INCS Charter Excellence Award winners, recognized for their contributions to their profession, their schools, and – most importantly – their…
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INCS Thanks Dr. Janice Jackson for Her Service to Chicago’s Students

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools congratulates Dr. Janice Jackson on her tenure leading Chicago Public Schools as its Chief Executive Officer during one of the most challenging times for public education in our city. Over the past four years, Dr. Jackson led with integrity, honesty, and a strong commitment to putting Chicago’s families and…
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Providence Englewood, Champions of Black Excellence

At Providence Englewood Charter School (PECS), we celebrate and recognize black excellence every day. Black excellence means not being afraid of hard work.  I see the hard work our children put in every day, and I completely understand it.  I am a black woman from the Englewood neighborhood.  Throughout my K-12 years of school, I…
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INCS Congratulates Representative Emanuel Welch on his Election to Speaker of the House for the 102nd General Assembly

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 — The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) congratulates Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside) on his election to Speaker of the House by the Illinois Democratic Caucus for the 102nd General Assembly. INCS looks forward to working in partnership with Speaker Welch on our policy priorities to ensure all students, teachers,…
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INCS partners with local Alderman, Community Organizations, and Schools to provide a Christmas drive-through & free COVID tests for families

On Saturday, December 19, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools partnered with the Great Chicago Food Depository, Grace and Peace Church, Gap Community Center, Lowell Elementary, and CORE Response to provide families with toys and food. The event was held at Lowell Elementary School from 10 am through 2 pm in Humboldt Park. Families could…
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2020 Charter Excellence Award Winners Announced by Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS)

Principal and teacher awardees each receive $10,000 in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) announced the winners of the 2020 Charter Excellence Awards. Each year, these awards recognize the achievements of exceptional principals, teachers, students, and advocates in the charter public school community across Illinois….
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INCS, ASPIRA Charter School, and Seed of Abraham Church Team Up with Local Community to Support Families This Thanksgiving

During these challenging times, the community means everything. Two weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday, The Seed of Abraham Church, located on the west side of Humboldt Park, gave away over 130 turkeys and bags of groceries to families in need on a Saturday morning. This has been a growing tradition that Pastores Miguel and Mayra…
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Alumni Spotlight: Crystal Stonewall

Crystal is part of the CICS Wrightwood class of 2011. She graduated from Wisconsin Madison in 2019 and currently attending her 2nd year in law school. As a charter alumnus, Crystal exemplifies the critical core values of academic and personal achievement. Her education journey began at an early age. Along with her family’s and school’s…
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INCS Launches $65,000 COVID Relief Fund for Charter Families

Individual grants will be made to 99 families from 43 charter public schools across Illinois CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) announced the distribution of $65,000 in cash grants to 99 families through its newly created COVID Relief Fund. More than ever, many students and families in the communities that…
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Illinois Network of Charter Schools Distributes 25,000 Masks to Local Schools

Acquired through FEMA program, masks will go to schools conducting hybrid learning or where staff use buildings at reduced capacity CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) announced the distribution of 25,000 washable cloth masks to charter public schools throughout the City of Chicago. In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management…
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Charters Lead: School Re-openings 2020

Kara Bickhem May, Director, Art in Motion To develop our remote learning plans, Distinctive Schools engaged in a thoughtful, reflective, and challenging design process over the course of three months. We established an internal task force, joined INCS working groups, curated an external advisory board, and spent weeks fine tuning the Distinctive Schools Community Care…
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Illinois Network of Charter Schools Applauds the CPS School Reopening Plan

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools supports the initial reopening framework released today by the Chicago Public Schools. The district’s preliminary reopening plan puts the needs of students, families, and communities first as our city continues to face this unprecedented crisis. Moving forward with a hybrid model that prioritizes the health and safety of students…
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Students First: Principal Michael Kuran, Chicago Math & Science Academy, Shared His School’s Success During COVID-19 Closures with CPS Board Members

Because of the COVID-19 health crisis, schools could not provide in-person instruction towards the end of the school year. It was a very unusual ending to the year and it was not easy for anyone involved – students, teachers, parents, school leadership. But remote learning was a “must” and it saved a lot of our students’…
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