INCS News

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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Pritzker signs commission bill; appeal authority transferred to ISBE

As expected, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker signed SB 1226 into law, which will phase out the Illinois State Charter School Commission over the next year and transition its powers to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). INCS is deeply grateful for the extraordinary work of the Commission. INCS has been fighting to protect…
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Charter public school students grow and sell healthy produce for Chicago’s Southwest Side

Every Friday in July, about 30 students in Chicago’s Southwest side rallied together to sell broccoli, squash, carrots and other fresh vegetables and natural products to area residents. The budding entrepreneurs from the Academy of Global Citizenship’s summer program withstood the summer heat to ensure residents enjoy a healthy treat. “It’s been good because on…
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Charter school dean advocates for mental health care for students and families

Pointing to a picture of a recent graduate, La Norra Dennis’ eyes light up as she smiles. “That’s one of our students,” she explained with evident pride. “He’s doing really well. He was recently promoted at his job.” That student is one of many that bring a smile to Dennis’ face. As a dean on…
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INCS Applauds Governor Pritzker’s Signing of Charter School Bill

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) applauds Governor J.B. Pritzker’s recent decision to sign HB 3659 into law. This new law requires all board members of Illinois’ charter public schools to complete annual board training and ensures parental voice by requiring that at least one member of a charter public school’s governing board be…
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Charter School Students Innovate for the Future

For more than 20 years, charter public schools in Illinois have led the way in preparing students to meet the demands of an ever-changing society. View this video to learn how charter schools enable students to engage in real-world learning and participate in the innovation impacting the world around us. Whether it is integrating the…
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10 Back-To-School Tips for Parents

Adjust your child’s sleep schedule to match that of the school year two weeks before the first day of school. If you haven’t yet visited the school, visit the campus with your child. Practice the route the student will take to get to and from school each day. Ask your child to set three realistic…
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Charter public school opens performing arts center for Chicago’s Austin community

For nearly 50  years, an auditorium in a closed Chicago high school sat silent and unused. Envisioning its potential, a Chicago charter public school brought the building back to life with a meticulous restoration complete with state-of-the-art technology and features. Catalyst Circle Rock, a charter public school in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, and the Ravinia Festival…
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How Southland College Prep got 100% of its senior class into college

Southland College Prep, a charter public school in the south suburbs of Chicago, recently announced that its entire senior class was accepted to colleges across the nation including Yale, MIT, Cornell, and Northwestern. The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) followed up with the school’s Director of College Admissions to learn more about its winning…
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Sustainable Learning Laboratory on Chicago’s Southwest Side to Receive $31M Allocation from State Capital Plan

Academy for Global Citizenship Demonstrates a Different Vision of Scale with Net Positive Energy Campus and Environmental Education Hub [Chicago, June 28, 2019]— Over the last ten years, a public school on the Southwest side of Chicago has captured the attention of over 10,000 visiting educators coming from as far as Brazil and China, India…
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Chicago Charter School Network Sends Thousands to College with $491 Million in Scholarship Offers

Chicago’s Noble Network of Charter Schools announced this week that more than 2,400 seniors from its charter public high schools are heading to college with nearly half a billion dollars in scholarship offers. “This is our largest graduating class and our highest total of scholarship offers ever, so the number speaks volumes,” said Constance Jones,…
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Hundreds of Charter Public School Students Advocate for Peace in Chicago

At a time when many high school students focus on summer activities, Teyonna Lofton, a rising senior at Perspectives Leadership Academy, a charter public school in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, stood before hundreds of her peers to speak out against gun violence on Chicago’s South Side. “There is so much pain we carry as young…
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CICS Principal Lindsey Robinson Receives National Recognition

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools congratulates Lindsey Robinson, recipient of Accelerate Institute’s 2019 Ryan Award for exceptional school leadership. Robinson earned the national award for her work as principal of Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Avalon campus. “Charter public school principals like Ms. Robinson are helping transform the lives of thousands of children, and we, along with CICS, congratulate her…
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INCS Statement Regarding the Illinois State Charter School Commission

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is deeply grateful for the extraordinary work and leadership of the Illinois State Charter School Commission, which will conclude its work June 2020. The Illinois State Board of Education will assume the Commission’s work and authorities, which includes overseeing a checks-and-balance system to ensure fair treatment of Illinois’…
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