April Renaissance 2010 Report

It's time for the April Ren10 Report, including a reminder about a UNO groundbreaking on April 9th, the new schools RFP release on the 11th, a Renaissance Fund series, and updates on various legislative items (the ban on virtual charters, the charter cloning bill), and lots of individual school updates.  Go, Ren10.



Top Ten People to Whom to Reach Out to Share the
Good News About New Schools

* With education funding reform in the headlines
and the education debate heating up, all education stakeholders should be
reaching out to share their thoughts and experiences with the following groups.


10. Friends & Family

9. Parent Groups

8. Media – especially local

7 Religious Leaders

6. Business Leaders

5. Non-profit Leaders

4. U.S. Congressmen

3. Aldermen

2. State Senators

1. State
Representatives (they will likely be home in their district offices over the
next two week – go see them!)




UNO Groundbreaking Ceremony | April 9, 2007


commemorate the opening of the United
Neighborhood Association (UNO) Brighton Park Campus
, a
Groundbreaking Ceremony will occur on Monday, April 9th from
9:00 – 11:00 AM. The school will soon offer quality K-8 public education to over 500
local families, alleviating overcrowding within neighborhood schools in the
process. Opening Fall 2007 the facility will undergo
nearly $8 million in renovation over the summer and be one of
Chicago's first LEED schools (Leading in Energy and Environmental
Design) with plans for the creation of a green roof. Please join UNO and 14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke
in the celebration. For more information contact Mia Lopez at (312) 432-6301 x.250.


New Schools RFP Release Press Conference | April 11, 2007 | 11:00 AM


Chicago Public Schools and Office of New Schools is pleased to announce the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for new schools
to Open in 2008 and 2009. Renaissance 2010 has been
one of many CPS initiatives to improve the quality of education in
Chicago. Currently there are 54 Renaissance 2010 schools, which include 17
that will open Fall 2007. We celebrate schools that
are currently open and look forward to many more innovative high quality


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Columbia Explorers Academy

4520 S. Kedzie

11:00 AM


For more
information on starting a new school contact Israil Steen at
iusteen@cps.k12.il.us. We look forward to seeing
you there!


RFP Information Sessions: Want to Start a New
School | April 12 & 17, 2007


In preparation to launch the 4th Annual
Request for Proposals (RFP), during the beginning of April the Office of New
Schools will conduct two general information sessions for those interested in
starting a new school. The sessions will provide a better understanding of the

 Overview, goals, and purpose of Renaissance 2010

Current performance indicators that demonstrate
Renaissance 2010's success

 Process and timeline for the RFP

 Components of a "high quality
proposal" and a "high quality school"


Thursday, April 12, 2007

CICS – Prairie

11530 S. Prairie

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Al Raby High School at the Flower Campus

3545 W. Fulton

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM


For more information, please contact the Office of New
Schools at (773) 553-1530.


Educational Entrepreneurship Series | April 2007 Seminars


Supported by a grant
from The Boeing Company, The Renaissance Schools Fund (RSF) will host New Ventures in Education: an
Educational Entrepreneurship Series
. New
is a seminar series that will introduce new school developers
to the latest innovations and best practices; 14 seminars, featuring over 20
national experts, will take place from
April 11, 2007 to June 27, 2007. They
will encompass a wide range of school design topics such as: School Culture,
Assessment and Data-Driven Instruction, Financial and Operations Management,
Curricular Innovation and Remediation, and Teacher Evaluation and
Incentives. Seminars are open to the entire
education community and are free of charge. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Building and Managing
Your Team Through the RFP

PM – 7:00 PM


Saturday, April 14, 2007

School Culture

AM – 3:30 PM


April 27 &
Saturday, April 28, 2007

Assessment &
Data-Driven Instruction

AM – 3:30 PM


RSVP required for seminar admission. For
locations and registration process, please visit


Involvement Program |
1309 W. 95th Street | April 14, 2007


The Harvard Club of Chicago in partnership with the Chicago International Charter School is
hosting an Early Involvement Program (EIP) for 7th and 8th
grade students as well as parents. EIP is a free of charge event covering What Students and Parents Need to Know for Applying
to College
. It will include how to select high school courses and securing
financial assistance. The featured keynote speaker will be Mawi
Asgedom, author and publisher of memoir titled Of Angels and Beetles. For
pre-registration information call (312)
and to request a registration form contact Connie Van Brunt
at cvanbrunt@chicagointl.org.





Update from Office of New Schools
A good week for new schools!


HB 232, this bill which started out
as a complete ban on existing and future virtual charter schools in Illinois
has evolved into a bill that will create a Task Force on Virtual Education. The
Task Force will include broad representation from the educational community and
the Chicago Public Schools embraces this bill.


HB 466 was defeated on Thursday in the

This bill would have banned all charter school replication, resulting in
hundreds of parents being denied the charter school option for their children
this fall. Thank you to everyone
who called, wrote, emailed and visited their state representative.  It
helped! If you do not know who your representative and senator is, you can go to
www.ilga.gov and
go to Legislator Look-up in the
bottom right hand corner and type in your address.


HB 466 was
defeated in the House by a vote of 32-77-0.
 Here is the vote; see
how your Representative voted. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/95/house/09500HB0466_03292007_035000T.pdf


Other bills:


 HB 467 (mandates all charter
teachers be state certified) – went back to the Rules committee so it
looks like we might not see more of this bill

 HB 1287 (makes schools whose
calendars differ by more that 9 consecutive days with the CPS calendar forfeit
20% of state aid) – also back to Rules

 HB 1771 (prohibits year around
schools) again back to Rules


What you can do in the meantime:


 Keep inviting your state
legislators to events (especially ones where they are invited to speak).

 Make sure they are on all of
your mailing lists and please include them wherever you can.


The following articles chronicled the negative effects
HB466 would have had. Here are the links:


An editorial
in the Tribune Wednesday, March 28


A letter in
the Sun-Times Wednesday, March 28


An editorial
in the Sun-Times Monday, March 26



If you have questions, call Allison Jack with the Office
of New Schools at (773) 553-1484.





Receives Accolades and Makes History


Congratulations to students, staff, and administrators of
North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School (NLCP) for recent their
accomplishments in debate, science, and basketball.

 During the Chicago Urban Debate League's AA
Conference on March 30 & 31, 2007, Junior Brandon
and Senior Darian Thomas earned title of 2006-07 AA Conference Champions. NLCP
also received 5 Top Ten Speaker Awards.

 On March 10th the Science Olympiad Team tied for 4th
place in the Experimental Design Competition, 6th place in the
Technical Writing Competition, and was the highest ranked
Chicago Public High School.

 On March 10th the Boys' Basketball Team became the
first charter school to send an athletic team to a state championship game.
Although they were three points short of the championship, they made history
and all senior starters are college bound!

On Tuesday, March 27, 2007, NLCP was featured on Chicago Tonight on
WTTW Channel 11 to highlight what makes the school unique. Correspondents
interviewed John Horan, Director of Expansion; Vernee
Green, Senior Counselor; Arthur Holman, a senior; and Kenyatta
Clair, an alumna from the class of 2005.


West Dances Into Another Medal


Congratulations to Pershing
West Ballroom Dancers
for receiving silver medal in the Second
Annual Having a Ball Championship. Last year the school took home the championship
trophy. Modeled after a similar program in
New York City, the Having a Ball Program combines dance
lessons with academics and character building. The fifth-grade students were
among 30 participating schools that began the program in November.


Uses Footworkin' to Develop Students


When the Catalyst Charter School opened in the fall,
administrators began using a
Chicago-born street dance, footworkin',
to develop discipline, teamwork and confidence in students. Students have the
option of taking a footworkin' class for credit.
Christopher Thomas, a member of the award-winning "Battle Clique,"
teaches the class three days a week where students learn the history footworkin'. Those who stand out are offered a chance to
try out for the school's 16-member team. Parents say their children have a
newfound confidence, are more patient and have increased attendance because
they do not want to miss practice. Principal Michael Neis
stated "It makes them responsible for themselves and it focuses them. It's
cutting-edge in terms of something that appeals to kids." Catalyst was
recently highlighted in the Chicago Tribune for its new
dance craze.


Apple Awards Lindblom Teacher


Congratulations to Dana
, a math teacher at Lindblom Math and Science Academy. She was one of the three Chicago
Public Schools teachers awarded the 2007 Golden Apple Award for Teaching
Excellence in grades 9 through 12. Ms. Dotson was among 803 nominees, 32
Chicago area finalists, and 12 of
which were from CPS. The award includes a tuition-free fall term sabbatical at
Northwestern University, a personal computer from
Apple, $3,000, and membership in the
Golden Apple Academy.

Announces 2007 Grant Recipients


With the generous support of the Chicagoland
business and civic community, The Renaissance Schools Fund (RSF), CPS'
private partner in fundraising, strategy and accountability has raised more
than $38 million to support Renaissance 2010. RSF is pleased to announce grant
awards made to selected schools opening Fall 2007.
Over $2.2 million in incubation funding was recently awarded to the following
fourteen schools:

 ASPIRA Early College

 Austin Polytechnical

 Catalyst Elementary School

 Chicago International Charter School – Avondale Campus

 Collins Academy High School

 Frazier Preparatory Academy

 Marine Military Academy

 Noble Street Charter School – Escalante College Prep Campus

 Noble Street Charter School – Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy Campus

 North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School

 Perspectives Charter Middle School (at Calumet)

 Perspectives Charter Technology High School (at Calumet)

 Polaris Charter Academy

 TEAM Englewood Community Academy 


2010 Stakeholders to be Featured on
Chicago Radio Stations


Listen out for radio ads featuring the following
students, parents and school leaders talking about their experiences with
Renaissance 2010 schools. 

 Jerry Bolden, Parent, Legacy Charter School 

 Anthony Daniels-Halisi,
Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools 

 Ariel Davis, 4th Grader, Catalyst Charter School-Howland

 Paul Adams, Founder, Providence St. Mel and
Providence Englewood Charter School –Bunche Campus

 Samara Lynch, 9th Grader, Austin Business and
Entrepreneurship Academy 

 Tim King, Founder, Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young
Men-Englewood Campus


The ads will air on the following Chicago radio stations from Monday,
April 2 through Sunday, April 15. 


 WGCI (107.5 FM)

 WBBM (96.3 FM)

WKSC (103.5 FM)

 WPWX (92.3 FM)

 WVON (1690 AM)


Finally, if you are unable to
tune in, please visit the website of the parent initiative, Parents for School
www.parentsforschoolchoice.org to listen to the audio clips.
Please spread the word!

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