Ren10 Report: November

Click below for the Ren10 monthly report for November, complete with updates on the 18 newly approved Ren10 schools.


100 New Schools for Chicago

November 2008

Volume 4, Issue 11

Letter from the Chief

Dear Colleagues:

Congratulations to the design

teams of the 18 newly approved Renaissance 2010 schools! They have worked tirelessly

over the past several months to have the opportunity to create another

education option for Chicago

students. I would like to extend a special thanks to the ONS Recruitment team

for guiding the new school creation process. On October 22, 18 Renaissance 2010

schools were approved by the Board of Education to open in 2009. A total of 23

Renaissance 2010 schools will be a part of the Cohort V schools opening in 2009

(5 schools were approved at prior Board meetings). Mayor Daley charged CPS to

open 100 new schools in 6 years. After 5 years (as of fall 2009) we will have

almost met the mark with 98 charter, contract and performance schools open.

As we look to the future we are

guided by the leadership of Arne Duncan and share his vision to continue

creating great educational options for students, families and communities

across Chicago

(especially in high priority communities lacking quality seats). Arne has

charged ONS to take our work to an even greater scale – he would love for

us to create 40 – 50 strong school choices each year. To do so, we need

to do even more to find the most talented educational entrepreneurs from around

the country, help our replicating charters to continue to grow and thrive, work

arduously on raising the charter cap, collaborate with the strongest district

school models to take their good work to scale, and develop the capacity of

“new start” operators to “turnaround” our lowest

performing elementary and high schools.

While these endeavors are core to

the success of Renaissance 2010 (and beyond), we will not lose sight of the

importance of making real our words from our inaugural “Back-to-School”

Event (“Building on Success”) on October 7. Honoring autonomy

matters as well as navigating the District on behalf of our schools to free up

resources and supports so that ONS practitioners can stay focused on educating

their youth. School leaders and charter operators will receive a new quarterly

communication later this month discussing our ongoing efforts to support ONS

schools and advocate on your behalf. We are excited to personalize such

communications to our partners, for example the new Illinois Network of Charter

Schools (INCS)/District 299 work group (first meeting this Friday, Nov 7).

We have a long way to go, but we

are dedicated to working with you so that our students, especially at the high

school level (where we have more room for growth), can get the most from your

good work.


Josh Edelman

Executive Officer, Office of New Schools


Top Ten Things to Know About Schools Approved at the October

Board of Education Meeting

10. Approval of 23

Renaissance 2010 Schools. With the Board’s approval on October

22nd, 23 Renaissance 2010 schools will open fall 2009 (6 replicating

charters, 9 contract schools, and 8 performance schools).[1]

9. Rigorous

Selection Process. Design teams completed a selection process that

began with the release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) on April 2, 2008.

From the 57 initial design framework applications submitted to open new schools

27 proposals moved on for approval by the Board.[2]

8. Serving

More Students. These 23 newly approved Renaissance 2010 schools, at

capacity, will provide over 13,000 additional seats for Chicago school children.

7. Input fromCommunity Transition Advisory Councils (C-TACs).Fifty community members formed 4 CTACs in East

Garfield Park,

South Chicago, South Shore, and West

Garfield Park.

These fifty individuals volunteered over 1,060 hours in evaluating new school

proposals for their respective communities.

6. Community Feedback.

Over 2,000 community members attended various meetings to provide feedback for

proposed schools.

· Twelve community forums in

consideration of initial design frameworks in June 2008

· Thirteen community forums in

consideration of full proposals in September 2008

· Thirteen public hearings in

consideration of full proposals going before the board in October 2008

5. Replicating

District Successes. Three district elementary schools will serve

additional students by opening Renaissance 2010 schools. Ogden Elementary and

Alcott Elementary will expand their current K-8 model to serve grades 9-12 (Ogden International High School and Alcott High

School of the Humanities). South Loop elementary will model their

school in the new Renaissance 2010 school, South Shore Fine Arts Academy.

4. Replicating Charter

Successes. Several currently operating charter schools will

replicate their school models as new Renaissance 2010 schools. The following

charters were approved to open additional schools: Noble Street Charter (2 high schools and 1 elementary

school), Chicago International Charter

School (CICS) (1 Elementary School), and Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men (1 contract high

school in 2009 and 1 proposed contract high school for 2010).

3. New Career

Preparatory Schools. Chicago

Academy of Advanced Technology will have a career prep focus on

advanced technology with four primary tracks: Network / Desktop Systems,

Interactive Media, Database Management, and Programming/Software Engineering.

2. Diverse Educational

Models.Chicago Talent

Development High School will

feature the educational model Talent Development, based at Johns Hopkins

University and currently

operating in several urban school districts. The

EPIC Academy will use Expeditionary Learning that engages students

in rigorous academic inquiry while taking students outside the classroom

regularly and using 21st-century skills. Garfield Park Preparatory Academy, operated by the Chicago School of

Professional Psychology, will integrate a research-based approach to

instruction from Columbia


1. More Choice. 23 new and

innovative school options will be available to Chicago students.

*Press release regarding the Chicago Board of Education

Approval of 18 schools for 2009: Press




with Josh: Optional Information Sessions for ONS Schools | Wednesday, November

12, 2008 from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm | TAMS (501 W. 35th)

Join Josh Edelman, staff from the

Office of New Schools, and representatives from the Office of College and

Career Preparation for the following information session:

Topic: On Track for College:

Resources Available to High Schools

When: Wednesday, November 12 from

4:30pm - 6:00pm

Where: TAMS building, 501 W. 35th Street

(near U.S. Cellular Field) – Bridgeport

Room (1st Floor)


4:30 –

4:40 Audience members submit questions*

4:40 – 5:15 Presentation: Resources Available to Support College

and Career Preparation

· Greg Darnieder, Officer, Department of College and Career



– 5:45 Audience Q & A with

staff from College and Career Preparation and ONS

5:45 –

6:00 Open Forum with Josh Edelman, Executive

Officer, ONS

This session is particularly

applicable to high schools in the ONS portfolio, but all are welcome to attend.

RSVP and submit your questions for this session by: Monday, November 10 to

Laura Grenholm at lkgrenholm@cps.k12.

*Participants will be able to

submit questions on the day of the event, but to best help our presenters

prepare, we ask that you submit your questions via email ahead of time.

Chicago Math and Science Academy

(CMSA) 4th Annual Showcase | CMSA (1705

W Lunt Ave.) | Thursday, November 13, 2008 from

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The students and staff of CMSA

would like to invite everyone to their school to see what type of difference

charter schools are making. You will be able to see students and teachers

showcasing many of their talents during performances by the CMSA cheerleaders

and dance team, student artwork exhibits, and other presentations.

The event is free and open to the

public. Dinner will be provided. CMSA is located in the Rogers Park community

and has grades 6-12. They are currently accepting applications for the

2009-2010 school year. For more information visit


School Leadership Information Meeting | CMSA (1705

W Lunt Ave.) | Wednesday, November 19, 2008 from 4:00

p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Nurturing school

leadership is a proven National Board Certification support program. Attend

this informational session to learn more about the program.

The Chicago Teachers

Union's Nurturing Teacher Leadership (NTL) program offers a small supportive

group setting where National Board Certification (NBC) candidates work

collaboratively and are mentored by National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs).

Participants will read, study, and discuss literature and research on current

issues and topics in education. The focus is developing, improving, and validating

teaching, thereby increasing student achievement. During weekly meetings,

successful teaching practices are recognized and shared. Visit: more information.


the Date: New Schools EXPO | Saturday, January 31, 2009 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm | Soldier

Field - Gate 6 (indoors)

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 scheduled to open in 2009 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.

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 a variety of topics related to

new schools. Indoor parking is free for those attending the EXPO. For those

taking public transportation, Soldier Field is accessible by the CTA. For more

information please contact Katheryn Hayes with RSF at 312-853-1211 or


ONS Welcomes New Staff Members

The ONS team has been working

hard over the past several months to identify and hire new ONS staff members to

fill positions left by those who have moved on. Please join us in welcoming the

newest member of the ONS team: Beth Heatonwill serve as the Director of Recruitment. Jennifer

Husbands will serve as the Director of School Incubation and

Professional Development and has added two new members to her team, Laura Grenholm and Melanie Kahl, a Public Interest Fellow. Jerry Cade will serve as the Director of

Specialized Services and brings with him several staff members from OSS, including Nancy

Bobel, Carolyn Johnson, and Mary Beth Welsh. Tracey

Herbert has joined the Business Services team.

Lastly, the School Support team

has grown to their full capacity. They have brought on the following School Support

Coordinators: Ana Dominguez, Martin Ritter, Linda Shay, and Gamila

Williams. Kristen Molloywill work with all of the coordinators as a Public Interest Fellow.

Students from ONS High Schools Capture Over $1 Million in


High school students from the

Chicago Public Schools’ class of 2009 had an opportunity to meet with

personnel from 40 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) on

Friday, October 17, 2008 at the annual HBCU college fair. The event is

sponsored through a partnership with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. and

its Building Education program and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Department

of College and Career Preparation. After spending the evening talking to school

representatives, the announcement was made that 23 schools would offer over $35

million to about 300 students.

Students from ONS schools were

offered approximately $1.7 million. More than sixty students from nine ONS high

schools were offered scholarships. DeAna Porter from Lindblom was offered five

scholarships and Dan Jackson from Lindblom was offered six scholarships for over

$120,000 in funding for school. Congratulations to all of these students for

their achievements and for being proactive in their postsecondary education.


Tech Graduate Places Second at National Competition


Walker graduated from Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) Technical Charter School

this past summer. Rodney’s success in the local and regional competition of

the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) earned him a spot

in the national competition. The annual competition requires students to design

their own business plan and compete against fellow entrepreneurs.


month Rodney took home the $5,000 second place award at the competition in New York. Rodney had

some inspirational comments as he reflected on his success, “Anybody can achieve and

do anything if you take the initiative to make something a reality.”

Congratulations Rodney and best wishes in your future ventures.

UNO Receives Peggy Notebaert 2008 Environment Leadership



Charter School

network was awarded the 2008 Environmental Leadership Award by the Peggy Notebaert

Nature Museum

for the commitment that UNO has made to preserve the environment.

UNO has “gone green”

through various organizational initiatives including the “Verde Aquí,

Verde Mañana” (Green Here, Green Tomorrow) curriculum that was introduced

network-wide in which students learn about the importance of conserving the


Opened in 2007, UNO’s Officer

Donald J. Marquez campus was the first UNO Silver LEED Certified campus. The

facility is an adaptive re-use of an existing building and is rehabbed with

state-of-the-art green products and energy efficient construction and includes

a green roof. UNO's newest additions to the charter school network, the

Veterans Memorial School Campus, which houses three new schools in Archer Heights,

is also an adaptive re-use building and is slated to receive a Gold LEED

Certification when construction is complete.


Baxter Partnership Yields $5 Million Grant

Mayor Daley, other elected

officials, CEOs from international corporations, University officials, and CPS

officials gathered at Lindblom Math and Science Academy to announce a $5

million donation from Baxter International that will span five years. This

partnership arose from a conversation with one dynamic, passionate, and

committed teacher at Lindblom, Hortense Price. Ms. Price has been teaching

biology in CPS for 41 years and is currently the only CPS teacher teaching a

year-long biotechnology course. After Baxter employees met Ms. Price at

Principal for a Day last year, conversations began about how Baxter could help

to further the biotechnology program at Lindblom and across CPS.

Principal of Lindblom Alan Mather

noted the impact of this grant would “bring change to the city.”

· $2 million will support a Biotechnology Center of

Excellence at Lindblom that will serve as a professional development center for

all CPS science teachers.

· $1 million will be used by the Renaissance Schools

Fund (RSF) for the creation of two Renaissance 2010 Schools.

· $2 million will support IIT’s Instructional

Development System program to enrich teacher development and prompt future

growth in the biotechnology field.


Cheryl Watkins of Pershing West Awarded



Watkins was shocked to hear she would receive $25,000.

Ms. Watkins and a CPS teacher were recipients of the Milken Family Foundation

National Educator Award. The award is given to educators and education

professionals who are furthering excellence in education. The award recognizes

outstanding educators for providing an essential service to our community.

To date the Foundation has issued

over $60 million in awards. Congratulations to Ms. Watkins and the Pershing

West Community.


West Teacher Named 2008 DRIVE Award Winner

It has been an exciting time at

Pershing West. Jeffrey Skocilich from Pershing West

Middle School was

recently named a 2008 DRIVE award winner. The DRIVE Award was created to

increase recognition for excellence and exceptional performance. Teachers were

nominated by their peers. One teacher was selected as a winner from each Area.

DRIVE awards include $2,500 for

the teacher, $1,000 for their school, a plaque, and membership on an advisory

council with CPS

Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan. The council provides a direct line of

communication between the classroom and CEO. These educators, who are leaders

at their school, will advise Duncan

on strategies that could improve our quality of education district-wide.

Twenty-three winners of the DRIVE

Teacher Award were honored at a ceremony and dinner on October 23.

Congratulations to Mr. Skocilich and the Pershing West community.


Charter Schools Highlighted in Department of Ed. Report

The US Department of Education

recently released a report titled “A Commitment to Quality

National Charter School

Policy Forum Report.” The report looks at how charter schools have

fulfilled their promise as a sector to be the “engine of educational

innovation.” They highlight identify Chicago as a place where “dramatic

success stories have emerged.” Read the full report for more information about

the progress of the charter school movement.

Schools Making Headlines

ACE Technical Charter

School in Sun Times,CST-NWS-teen22.article,CST-FIN-tick25.article

An excerpt from the article:

“‘[a]nybody can achieve and do anything if you take the initiative

to make something a reality,” said Walker, who was recently elected

president of the Atlanta

college’s [Morehouse] freshman class. Netting the top prize would help

him pay for college, he said. “If you follow your passions, it can


Austin Polytech in a speech by Senator Obama

in October


excerpt from the speech:

“Austin Polytech, located in the West Side neighborhood of Austin, is

the only school in Chicago dedicated to preparing students for

careers in advanced manufacturing.”

Chicago Charter Elementary Schools in The Chicago Tribune,0,1131670.story

An excerpt from the article:

“A Tribune analysis of state test data found that on average the 18 Chicago elementary charter

schools scored 7 to 9 percentage points higher on state tests than nearby

neighborhood schools.”

Community Services West in Medill Reports Chicago

An excerpt from the article:

“In addition to providing vocational training, Community Services West

helps academically at-risk students get on track to pursue higher education,

said the school’s co-director, Myra Sampson.”

Disney II Magnet

School onWTTW Chicago


Pershing West (Principal Cheryl Watkins awarded $25,000) in Sun Times,CST-NWS-teach16.article

An excerpt from the article:

“Teachers and principals have the most important job in the country --

preparing every child for a bright future.”

UNO Charter

School Veterans

Memorial School

Campus 0nChicago Public Radio

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