Charter Hearings (And More) This Week/Month

Some important hearings this month:

1- Public Hearing for Passages Charter School | Uptown Library (929 W. Buena Ave.) | Wednesday, February 6, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.Registration to speak will occur between 5:00-6:00 pm.

2 - Public Hearing for KIPP Ascend Charter School | Franklin Park (4320 W. 15th Street | Tuesday, February 19, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Registration to speak will occur between 5:00-6:00 pm.

Other tidbits:

*Incubation meetings for new schools TAMS February 7

*Mid-year meetings for charter and contract schools February 7 at TAMS

*New schools expo February 9

*Field trips: Polaris Charter Academy (Feb. 25th) and Urban Prep Academy for Young Men *Charter School (Feb. 28th)

*TFA recruiting event March 6th

*A new blog for folks opening schools in Cohort IV (sneak me a password) RENAISSANCE 2010 REPORT

100 New Schools for Chicago

February 2008

Volume 4, Issue 2

Letter from the Chief

Dear Colleagues:

As we begin the second semester of the 2007-2008 school year, I want to circle back to a theme from the October Ren10 newsletter. At that time, I spoke about kaizen or “continuous improvement” as an essential part of our work if excellence is to be reached. To start down the path toward excellence, I mentioned our focus on “customer service,” which begins with our clarifying who ONS is and what we do and bolstering the partnership between schools and their School Support Coordinators.

From the “beginning of school” mailing to how ONS has re-organized its team to the semi-annual meetings with cohorts of ONS schools to the hiring of a new Director of School Support and 3 new School Support Coordinators, we are excited about our continued emphasis on doing what it takes to serve you. We are also looking forward to learning from and sharing the survey we circulated in November about ONS/CPS service. We plan to present preliminary findings this month and create opportunities for members of the ONS community to work with us to help us identify tangible ways we can better serve our youth.

Beyond ONS’ continual emphasis on “customer service” to our school community as a key manifestation of kaizen, I want to re-iterate our focus on teaching and learning as well. Our goal is to continue to honor ONS school autonomy, which marks our schools as unique and provides the space for charter, contract and performance schools to best meet the needs of their students, while working with you on accountability measures to help you focus your energies on those areas which will lead to the highest levels of student achievement. ONS team members are listeners, learners, caring connectors, problem solvers, coaches and, at times, critical friends talking about data and practice so that ONS schools also embody kaizen through their good work. We have embarked on a marathon together, and we look forward to staying the course with you.

Working Together for Our Youth,

Josh Edelman

Executive Officer, Office of New Schools

REN10 TOP TEN

Top Ten Resources for Cohort IV Schools Opening in the Fall

10. Office of New Schools School Support Coordinators and Director of School Support Catherine Sugrue – The ONS School Support team is there to support the educational and operational success of all schools.

9. NEW Cohort IV Blog – This forum allows new school leaders to share ideas electronically with fellow leaders as they prepare to open the doors of their schools to students in 7 months.

8. The New Schools EXPO on Saturday, February 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – With over 300 students and parents expected, this is a great way to recruit students and spread awareness of your school. http://www.parentsforschoolchoice.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=41

7. Teach for America recruiting event on March 6th at 12:30 p.m. – This event offers schools access to a job pool of several hundred dedicated future teachers.

6. Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Recruitment and Workforce Planning – CPS career fairs attract thousands of excellent candidates each year. Check the CPS human resources website for upcoming events. http://www.cps-humanresources.org/Careers/EventSearch.asp

5. Consortium on Chicago School Research – This group based out of the University of Chicago offers valuable studies for Chicago public schools, among which, their 2006 study, The Essential Supports for School Improvement, gives valuable insight for school leaders.

4. Educational Endeavors - Educational Endeavors aims to provide specialized services that demonstrate integrity, enable youth to grow in challenging and supportive environments, and actively push the form and content of how and why students are educated. http://www.educationalendeavors.org/index.html

3. The Main Idea – This monthly summary of an educational book gives educators a working knowledge of its content and offers suggestions for staff professional development. http://themainidea.net/index.htm

2. Fellow School Leaders – Cohort IV leaders will have the opportunity to see two new schools in action by participating in school site visits. School leaders will have the chance to visit Polaris Charter Academy (Feb. 25th) and Urban Prep Academy for Young Men Charter School (Feb. 28th). Anyone may visit a school, please contact ONS for more information.

1. The Teachers’ Academy for Math and Science (TAMS) Building – The TAMS building houses countless resources for school leaders. In addition to being a physical space for leaders to do their work, TAMS affords people the opportunity to network and work with fellow schools. TAMS also offers serves as a meeting place for ONS and schools, like the semi-annual meetings with Josh Edelman.

EVENTS

Semi-Annual Meetings for Contract and Charter Schools Operating One Campus | TAMS building (501 W. 35th Street) | Thursday, February 7, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This second meeting will give school leaders an opportunity to touch base with Josh Edelman and the ONS staff at the mid-year point. In addition to checking in about the action grid from the previous meeting, schools will have a chance to meet new ONS Director of School Support Catherine Sugrue and her team of outstanding school support coordinators.

New Schools EXPO | Williams Multiplex (2710 S. Dearborn Ave.) | Saturday February 9, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The EXPO, free to the public, will showcase new schools created under Renaissance 2010 as well as the existing charter schools created through the Office of New Schools. The new schools slated to open in 2008 will also be included. Parents who attend will be able to meet new school operators face-to-face to ask them any questions they may have regarding school curriculum, resources, and culture and to learn about the new schools’ application processes.

In addition to learning about the new schools, parents will have the chance to get application help, to apply on-site, and to attend a variety of workshops on topics ranging from: “The State of Our Schools”, “What Makes a Quality School”, and more. For more information please contact Katheryn Hayes with RSF for more information at 312-853-1211 or khayes@rsfchicago.org.

Incubation Meeting for Cohort IV | TAMS building (501 W. 35th Street) | Thursday, February 7, 2008 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

New school leaders had the opportunity to hear from a panel of veteran school leaders discuss “What I Wish I Had Known” at the previous incubation. At this upcoming meeting schools will get some tips on creating positive PR for their school, learn about essential school supports from representatives of the Consortium of Chicago School Research, and will participate in a presentation from Educational Endeavors, a group that offers specialized services to schools to help them create supportive environments for students.

All of these incubation meetings are intended to supply school leaders with all of the resources they need to open top quality Chicago Schools. For more information contact Deepa Patel at 773-553-5427 or dppatel@cps.k12.il.us.

Public Hearing for Passages Charter School | Uptown Library (929 W. Buena Ave.) | Wednesday, February 6, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Chicago Public Schools will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 6:00 pm to consider the renewal of one charter school. The hearing will be held at Uptown Library, 929 West Buena Avenue. Registration to speak will occur between 5:00-6:00 pm. The hearing will conclude after the last person who signed in to present testimony has spoken or at 7:00 pm, whichever comes first. Copies of the application can be reviewed in the Office of New Schools, 5th floor, 125 S. Clark Street.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive oral testimony and documentary evidence to show if the following charter school is meeting or making reasonable progress towards achieving the pupil performance standards of the charter.

Public Hearing for KIPP Ascend Charter School | Franklin Park (4320 W. 15th Street | Tuesday, February 19, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Chicago Public Schools will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 6:00 pm to consider the renewal of one charter school. The hearing will be held at Franklin Park, 4320 West 15th Street. Registration to speak will occur between 5:00-6:00 pm. The hearing will conclude after the last person who signed in to present testimony has spoken or at 7:00 pm, whichever comes first. Copies of the application can be reviewed in the Office of New Schools, 5th floor, 125 S. Clark Street.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive oral testimony and documentary evidence to show if the following charter school is meeting or making reasonable progress towards achieving the pupil performance standards of the charter.

NEWS/ANNOUNCEMENTS

2 ONS Schools Win US News & World Report Bronze Medals

US News & World Report, in collaboration with School Evaluation Services evaluated academic and enrollment data from over 18,000 high schools across the country. Schools are assessed based upon student performance on state tests and college readiness. Chicago International Charter School – Northtown and Noble Street Charter School were 2 of 33 schools in Illinois to be awarded the bronze medals. Congratulations to the teachers, staff, leadership teams, parents, and most importantly the students of these schools for achieving such a great honor.

Elected Officials Support ASPIRA at Ribbon-Cutting Celebration

Parents, staff, and supporters of ASPIRA Early College packed the cafeteria of their newly remodeled building at 3986 W. Barry on January 29th to celebrate the grand opening of the Early College Campus. Jose Rodríguez, CEO of ASPIRA of Illinois, began the celebration by expressing the sentiment most people of ASPIRA were feeling, “Finally ASPIRA has their own house.” The event showcased a student dance presentation, the unveiling of a brilliant mural by artist Reynaldo Rodríguez, and was capped with the ribbon-cutting. Alderman Rey Colon offered his words of support for the people of ASPIRA Early College, and he acknowledged that as more educational options for students arise, “they will have more opportunities.” State Senator Iris Martinez (20th district) was also present and shared some encouraging words for the community of ASPIRA Early College. Congratulations to ASPIRA as they move into their new home.

Noble Street Charter Praised at School Opening Celebration

Noble Street Charter School also held a grand opening celebration at their Golder College Prep campus. Noble Street, in partnership with the Illinois Facility Fund (IFF) turned the old school of Holy Innocents Parish into a state of the art high school. Dozens of school supporters welcomed the first class of Golder College Prep as they assembled into the newly remodeled auditorium. Motivating and appreciated words were delivered by Soledad Ruiz, director of the school, current and former students, and by the school’s elected officials. Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. of the 27th ward, who has attended 4 of the 5 Noble grand openings, commended students for “choosing to go to a high school for college prep.” Key note speaker Illinois State Representative Cynthia Soto (4th district) is a long time supporter of the work Noble does for the students of Chicago. She told students to be ready for her, because she loves saying hello to students as they walk past her house on the way to school. She emphasized to students that their Noble Street education would “take them a long way,” and encouraged them to stop by her Chicago office to learn about scholarship opportunities.

Founder of Charter School Named Local Hero

Noble Street Charter School co-founder Tonya Milkie has received a Local Heroes award and $5,000 grant from Bank of America. She was one of five recipients of the award for her work in creating one of the top-ranked schools in the city. Ms Milkie's work at Noble and her mission to see that every student graduates and goes on to college should serve as an inspiration to administrators and faculty across the city.

Austin Polytechnical Academy Hosts The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Unveiling of Their Nationwide Campaign

The International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM) launched their nationwide campaign promoting vocational education, employable skills for youth not bound for college. Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), spoke to a group of community supporters at Austin Polytechnical Academy on January 29, 2008. Mr. Gannon spoke about America’s Edge, whose initiative focuses on the ability for all Americans to have available the education and support that they need to develop the skills, knowledge, and creative attitudes required to ensure success in modern society and the global marketplace. Also in attendance at the event to show her support was Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend (former lieutenant governor of Maryland and daughter of the late Robert Kennedy). The union chose Austin Polytech to announce its campaign because it is the only Chicago Public School dedicated to careers in modern manufacturing. Austin Polytechnical Academy is a project of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC), a partnership of the region’s labor, business, government, education and community leadership.

www.ren2010.cps.k12.il.us

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