INCS News

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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INCS Statement on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on DACA

The INCS team celebrates the Supreme Court’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This critical program has provided nearly 800,000 young people, often referred to as DREAMers, the opportunity to access higher education, careers, and more to lead lives of opportunity and meaningfully contribute to our communities without fear of deportation….
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Social and Emotional Learning At the Heart of Erie’s Remote Curriculum

Students and their families at Erie Elementary Charter School headed home in mid-March equipped with the tools necessary to continue their studies at home. Perhaps more important than the Chromebooks and paper packets Erie provided students are the social and emotional learning (SEL) concepts woven into the school’s remote learning curriculum. “Social and emotional learning…
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Worldwide Virtual Study Session Prepares HSA McKinley Students for AP Psychology Exam

This is the seventh in a series of inspiring stories of innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read more here.  Everything is different about AP exams this year, including how students prepare for the rigorous tests. The AP Psychology exam is scheduled for the week of May…
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An Extra Special Teacher Appreciation Week: Perspectives Admin Team Goes Above & Beyond

This is the sixth in a series of inspiring stories of innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read more here.  Several dozen Illinois and Indiana teachers had an extra special Teacher Appreciation Week this May. Eron Powell, Principal of Perspectives Leadership Academy and High School of Technology…
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Christopher House Families Embrace Philosophy of “Parents as a Child’s First Teacher” During Remote Learning

This is the fifth in a series of inspiring stories of innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read more here.  Christopher House Charter School excels at meeting students and families where they are. The process of transitioning their Christopher House Infant & Preschool, Elementary School, and Parent…
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Community And Family Guide the Transition To Remote Learning At HSA Belmont

This is the fourth in a series of inspiring stories of innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read more here.  Students, caregivers, and staff at Horizon Science Academy (HSA) Belmont Charter School are navigating the unknown territory of remote learning together, as one community, one team, and one…
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How Polaris Charter Academy Keeps Students, Parents, and Teachers Connected

This is the third in a series of inspiring stories about the innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read the first two entries here. At Polaris Charter Academy, students learn on day one that “We are CREW, not passengers.” When such a strong school culture suddenly finds…
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#AceroLearnsEverywhere Remote Learning Program Designed to Reach Every Family By Prioritizing Equity

This is the second in a series of inspiring stories about the innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois. You can read the first entry here. In the immediate days after the first COVID-19 cases hit Chicago, the staff at Acero Schools put their heads together to look at the…
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Distinctive Schools Brings Innovation and Their Signature Joy Factor to Distance Learning

This is the first in a series of inspiring stories about the innovation and success with distance learning from charter public schools in Illinois.    With Illinois schools closed until at least the end of April due to COVID-19, the teachers at Distinctive Schools are getting creative around how they deliver distance learning to their…
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INCS Online Educator Resume Bank Available

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools Promotes INCS Online Resume Bank to Support Charter Public Schools to find Teachers and other Staff Member In light of the current threat presented by the Coronavirus, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools will be cancelling this year’s Educator Job Fair for the first time in 15 years and…
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This Black History Month, Let’s Reclaim the Black Narrative

It was a story that I knew white admissions counselors would like: the little South Side Black girl who persevered in the face of insurmountable odds. I suppose it made sense at the time. I needed something to distinguish myself at my predominately white school, where everyone was very qualified for college, so I focused…
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Illinois Network of Charter Schools Announces the Winners of the 2019 Charter Excellence Awards

Principal and teacher awardees each receive a well-deserved $10,000 grant CHICAGO, IL – Today, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) announced the winners of its 2019 Charter Excellence Awards. Each year since 2011, exceptional principals, teachers, students, and advocates receive the Charter Excellence Award in recognition of their contributions to the continuing success of Illinois’…
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Entrepreneurship teacher helps high school freshman develop mobile apps to meet community needs

                  Benjamin Franklin. Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg. Travis Kalanick. Garret Camp. Reed Hastings. These men have changed society through the implementation of their ideas and represent some of the most prominent entrepreneurs. Thanks to the flexibility charter public schools have in developing unique curriculums, students at ASPIRA…
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Galapagos Rockford Charter School Helps Former Students Visit Uganda, Rwanda Before College

Studying abroad is often the hallmark of college students’ careers, but thanks to an Illinois charter public school, some students are receiving that experience earlier. Galapagos Rockford Charter School, an elementary school about two-and-a-half hours west of Chicago, has sent students to Costa Rica for the past three years. This past summer, the charter public…
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Aspiring lawyer “ahead of the curve” in college thanks to early exposure to law-themed curriculum in high school

Freddy Boyd has dreamed of becoming a lawyer since he was seven years old. Thinking of it now, Boyd says even his siblings can attest to his early love of debating. Boyd planned to follow the same path many aspiring lawyers choose: college, law school, and then the bar exam. His dream of studying law…
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INCS Statement on the CTU and CPS Side Letter on Charters

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is pleased that students will return to the classroom tomorrow and learning will resume. However, we are extremely disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) made a side deal that places a cap on the number of charter public schools in Chicago. One…
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INCS Response to CTU Strike

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is disappointed that the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has chosen to strike despite being offered a fair package by Chicago Public Schools (CPS), as concluded by two independent factfinders. While we recognize the contributions and needs of teachers who work hard to create safe and productive learning environments…
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INCS, Charter School Community Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

Floats, mariachi bands, and dancing filled the streets of the Little Village neighborhood on September 8 as part of the Mexican Independence Day Parade to commemorate the country’s independence from Spain. Members of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) and charter school community, including dozens of students, parents, and leaders from ACERO Schools, HSA…
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From Detention to College Graduation, Charter Public School Alum Commits to Paying it Forward

When billionaire investor Robert F. Smith announced that he would pay off $40 million in student loan debt for the entire Morehouse College Class of 2019, Jamel D. Chambers was seated two rows from the stage and yet he missed the announcement. Jolted to attention by the jumping and screaming from his classmates, Chambers stood…
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