INCS News

“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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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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