Renaissance Fund Announces New Efforts

Click below to see the latest from the Renaissance Fund, the private entity that supports Ren10, including "incubation" funding for 16 elementary and high schools.

Contact: Katheryn Hayes

The Renaissance Schools Fund

o: (312) 853-1211,

c: (618) 203-6959

More than $2.5 million in incubation funding to launch 16 new Renaissance 2010 schools made possible through grants from the Renaissance Schools Fund

Chicago, IL (12/11/07) – The Renaissance Schools Fund (RSF) announces it has awarded $2.5 million to support the start-up of 16 new public schools in some of Chicago’s most underserved communities.

The incubation grants cover nine to twelve months of preparation prior to the opening of the new Renaissance 2010 schools, during which time the schools will hire staff, develop curricula, recruit students, secure and refurbish buildings, and more.

“For the last three years, we have been investing in the opening of new high-performing school models because we believe all children in Chicago should have access to a high quality education,” said Don Lubin, Chairman of the Renaissance Schools Fund.

“Members of Chicago’s business community have come together with foundations and others from across the country in an unprecedented way to open new schools in our most challenged communities,” said Phyllis Lockett, RSF CEO. “Through our investments, we have been able to offer parents a choice, to infuse a measure of competition into the school system, and to stimulate innovation and catalyze change system-wide.”

Innovative approaches abound among the eight elementary and eight high schools awarded incubation grants this week by RSF, including:

Creative corporate-school partnerships

Abbott Laboratories and the University of Illinois Chicago have partnered with the Noble Network of Charter Schools to launch a health and science high school. Through this partnership, students at Noble Street Charter High School UIC will have access to classes, staff and facilities at UIC Medical Center and will get to experience real world laboratory work at Abbott Laboratories.

Motorola and the Illinois Institute of Technology partnered with Perspectives Charter School to launch a math and science academy serving grades 6-12. Through IIT, students at Perspectives Math and Science Academy will have access to innovative after-school programs and internships. IIT will also provide teacher professional development, support performance assessments and best practice transfer.

Replication of two high-performing CPS schools

The Boeing Company invested $1 million in a partnership with RSF, called the Performance Pipeline Program, to replicate two high performing existing Chicago schools, Disney Magnet School and Burroughs Elementary, which will open satellite campuses next year.

Like those schools cited above, many of the new RSF-funded schools offer innovations such as: an extended instructional day and school year and greater professional development for staff than are offered at traditional Chicago public schools. For instance, RSF elementary schools offer on average 317 minutes of instruction per day compared to traditional CPS schools at 239 minutes/day and RSF high schools offer 342 min/day compared to 280 minutes/day at traditional CPS schools.

To make these and other kinds of innovations possible, RSF focuses funding in select areas, namely: creative programming, performance assessments, community outreach and school operations, including support for planning teams, specialized staff, and professional development.

The new Chicago Public Schools supported with an RSF incubation grant are:

Elementary Schools

* Academy of Global Citizenship

* AQS—Plato Learning Academy

* Burroughs II

* Chicago International Charter School—Friesse Campus

* Disney II

* Learn Charter School West Garfield Park

* Perspectives Charter School Marquette Park

* University of Chicago Charter School—Woodson South Campus

High Schools

* Amandla Charter School

* Aspira Rosa Parks High School * Aspira Trade Tech High School

* Community Services West Career Academy

* Henry Ford Academy: Power House High

* Noble Street Charter School Comer Campus

* Noble Street Charter School—UIC

* Perspectives Charter School Math and Science Academy

Each school can receive a maximum of $500,000 from the Renaissance Schools Fund across three phases (incubation, ramp-up year 1, ramp-up year 2) and a maximum of $200,000 in any one phase.

The Renaissance Schools Fund (RSF) is the private partner to the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools on Renaissance 2010 for fundraising, strategy and accountability. Since 2005, RSF has raised $41 million and helped in the creation of 38* new public schools in Chicago’s underserved communities.

*38 have opened, including this new grant cohort the total is 54 RSF-funded schools.

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