Who Else Has Monthly Emails?

These Ren10 newsletters are interesting, sure, but I'm wondering if there are other monthly missives like this? 

Is there an AMPS email, for example?  Or a high school transformation (HST) one?  How about a magnets email, or a office of language and culture memo, or Chicago reading initiative, or...?

I'm sure there's more out there than this, and would appreciate it a ton if you'd send any and all examples along. It's good karma, and I'll keep your name out of it.

Here's the Ren10 one in the meantime, full of interesting information about October school openings (at least three of them), upcoming meetings for Ren10 folks, and an overview of the school design proposal process (in case you want to start your own school).

Letter from the Chief


Dear Colleagues:


Fall is upon us, which means we are several weeks into our collective
work of preparing our students for college.  In the “beginning of
school” mailing mentioned in the August newsletter (the mailing will go
out this Friday, September 28 so expect it no later than Fri, October 5), I
talk about kaizen or
“continuous improvement” as an essential theme for our work if
excellence is to be reached.  To start down the path toward excellence, we need
to bolster the partnership between schools and their School Support
Coordinators. To this end, School Support Coordinators will be in contact with
each of the schools in their portfolios in the next two weeks to walk
principals and/or operators through the information in this important mailing.
“Customer Service” starts with understanding who the provider of
“service” (Office of New Schools) is and what they do.  Beyond
“customer service,” I am interested in learning more about
“best practices” which are present in different forms throughout
our 84 schools.  Through a survey we will do in November about ONS/CPS service,
our monthly “office hours” and semi-annual meetings with different
school operators, and from the on-going conversations between you and our
office staff, we are excited about codifying your good work so that we can
compile and share it across our portfolio to allow all schools to benefit from
ONS school efforts.  The collective wisdom of ONS’ schools is significant
and we are excited about making as much of it available as possible in the
months to come.   I look forward to seeing you in action at your schools in the
weeks to come!

Working Together for Our Youth,

Josh Edelman

Executive Officer, Office of New Schools



10 New Schools Making the Headlines

(In Alphabetical Order
by School)


· Catalyst Charter School: “Catalyst Charter School Receives Award for Academic Excellence”.  North Lawndale
Community News
: August 30, 2007.

    • “Catalyst Charter School was honored at the
            second annual Charter Up! Celebration for its excellence in
            extracurricular activities.”


· Chicago Virtual Charter School: “Chicago Virtual Charter Students Log on for a New School Year”.  US News Wire:
September 4, 2007. 

    • “Chicago Virtual Charter School is an innovative, tuition-free, public virtual school offering a unique blend of virtual
            learning and traditional brick-and-mortar schooling.”


· Frazier International Magnet School: “New
Magnet School Opens in North Lawndale”.  North Lawndale
Community News
19, 2007. 

    • “With the knowledge they gain at Frazier
            International, students are expected to utilize their moral development
            in an increasingly globalized world.”


· Frazier
Preparatory Academy
: “New School Holds Grand
Opening in North Lawndale”.  North Lawndale Community News: September
26, 2007.

    • “With an emphasis on African-American
            history, students are taught to celebrate their own culture as it exists
            in a culturally diverse world.”


· KIPP Ascend Charter School: “Safer, Smarter Students”.  Fox News Chicago: September 9, 2007.

    • “Mayor Daley has been talking about it for
            years...longer school days for Chicago public school kids... He believes
            the extra hours will make students both safer and smarter. It's not a new
            concept, in fact it’s an idea already in practice at KIPP Ascend         Charter School on the west side.”


· Perspectives Charter School: “Once Charter School Grads Get into College, She Helps Them Stay”.  Chicago Tribune: September 2, 2007.

    • “‘If
      I'm struggling, or if I need any kind of encouragement, she's there,’
      said Cassandra Stewart of Chicago, a Perspectives grad and a sophomore
      at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ‘If you need a
      counselor, a friend, an adviser, anything, she's there. She helped me
      adjust to my first year pretty well.’”


· Powerhouse Charter High School: “25
Historic Sites Compete for $1 Million in Rehab Funds”.  Chicago
September 6, 2007. 

    • “The Homan Square Power Plant, where a
            185-foot-tall, rounded brick chimney would become a lab space in a
            charter high school scheduled to open next year.”


· Polaris Charter Academy: “Three Teachers Start New
Charter School in Chicago”.  Fox News Chicago: September 4, 2007.

    • “Three teachers with one vision have started
            a new school charter school in Chicago. They’re hoping to create
            new choices for parents and students.”


· University of Chicago Charter Schools:
“Chicago Public Schools' Leader Encourages Universities to Open and
Operate Charter Schools”.  Chicago Sun Times: September 3,

    • “Duncan
      cited North Kenwood-Oakland Charter School, operated by the University
      of Chicago's Center for Urban School Improvement, as one of the best
      charters in the city. It outperformed city averages on all state
      reading and math tests this year, and beat the Illinois average in
      fifth-grade math.”


· UNO Charter
School-Officer Donald Marquez Campus
: “Charter School Named After Fallen Police Officer”.  NBC 5 News Chicago: August
30, 2007.

    • “‘I think what we're providing here is
            one more option for families to receive a quality education in their
            neighborhoods,’ said CEO Juan Rangel. ‘So, that's why this
            day is very important to us.’”


Congratulations to these schools!  If your school is
highlighted in the media, be sure to let the Office of New Schools know.  That
information can be submitted to




Hours for ONS School Leaders with Executive Officer Josh Edelman

In an effort to ensure that we are serving all of our
schools to the best of our ability, Josh Edelman, Executive Officer of the
Office of New Schools, would like to hold monthly office hours to get to know
the operators and practitioners at each school and to provide a forum for all New
Schools’ principals to discuss concerns and/or share ideas for improving
the Office of New Schools support.   These are informal meetings that
are open to any school so please feel free to drop by at your convenience
during the “office hours”.   We will be holding these
“office hours” on Tuesdays from 5pm to 7pm at various schools
throughout Chicago.


The information below outlines the location, date, and
time of the next few meetings.  For more information, please contact Deepa
Patel (
dppatel@cps.k12.il.us or 773-553-5427). 






“Office Hours”



October 16, 2007


5pm – 7pm


Austin Business and Entrepreneurship Academy


231 N. Pine Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623



November 13, 2007


5pm – 7pm


North Lawndale College Prep


1616 South Spaulding Avenue



December 11, 2007


5pm – 7pm


TEAM Englewood Community Academy


6201 S. Stewart Ave., Chicago, IL 60621





In addition to monthly “office hours,” ONS
Executive Officer Josh Edelman would like to meet with all New Schools’
principals and practitioners in more formal meetings twice a year.
Schools have been categorized into three categories: charter schools operating multiple
campuses; charter schools operating one campus and contract schools; and
performance and professional development (PD) schools.


These meetings will serve two main purposes:

1. to network with fellow New Schools’ principals
and practitioners who operate the same school type

2. to discuss concerns and/or share ideas on issues
affecting the specific school type 


The fist semi-annual meeting will host charter schools operating one campus and contract
on October 11th (5pm) at the TAMS building (501 W. 35th Street). 

To determine in which group your school belongs or for
more information, please contact Deepa Patel (
dppatel@cps.k12.il.us or 773-553-5427). 


National Board Certification Session
| October 9th and 10th | 4:30pm-7:30pm
| Talcott Academy (1840 W. Ohio, 2nd Floor)

Did you know that there are currently 53 National Board
Certified Teachers in 16 schools supported by the office of New Schools?  Would
you like to pursue this incredible professional development opportunity?  The Chicago Public Schools
National Board Certification (NBC) program supports candidates through the
entire assessment process and provides guidance and resources as you pursue the
highest teaching credential in the nation. The program fosters professional
collaboration among educators in order to meet high caliber teaching standards
and improve student learning.  More information on enrolling is available
through the following link:
CPS National Board Certification Information.



Cohort III School Opening Celebrations

As the fall 2007-2008 school year rolls around, help ONS
celebrate the opening of several new schools.  The chart below details the
information about several of the schools opening this fall.






















Event Date






Event Time



Event Location



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



Wednesday, October 3






3645 W. Chicago



Polaris Charter Academy



Saturday, October 6



11am-1:30pm Program
  begins at: 12pm



620 N. Sawyer



Marine Military Academy



Monday, October 15






145 S. Campbell












If you would like more information about the school
opening celebrations, please contact Jaime
Guzmán (



to the Following Schools for Successful Opening Events:

Frazier International Magnet School,
Frazier Preparatory Academy, North Lawndale College Preparatory (at Collins),
Perspectives Charter Middle School, Perspectives Charter Schools-Calumet High
School of Technology, and TEAM Englewood Community Academy.


Thank you to all the schools and their staff for making
these events such a huge success, and thank you to everyone who came out to
support the new schools.



INCS Holds Charter Schools 101 Class for Charter Public School Parents

Saturday, September 22nd marked the first Fall Charter Schools 101 class for charter
public school parents on the West Side.  The class engaged interested parents
in dynamic discussions about actions that the parent community has undertaken
to enhance their children's education and build relationships between parents
and school staff.  The participants learned the basics of the charter school
movement, including the challenges it faces and how to become active partners
in their children's education.  If you missed this first session, don't
despair! There will be three other opportunities later this Fall for you to
discover what charter schools are all about and how you, as a parent, can have
greater impact on your child's education:





Upcoming Charter 101 Classes



October 6th
  ACE Tech (Spanish offered)
  5410 S. State



October 20th
  Noble St. Charter (Spanish
  1010 N. Noble



November 3rd
  CICS Longwood
    1309 W. 95th St.








Proposed Schools for 2008 & 2009 Selection Process Update

The Office of New Schools’ Recruitment Team works
year round to ensure the Office of New Schools delivers high quality schools to
  Chicago.  Round IV of the Renaissance 2010 Request for Proposal (RFP), the
process to open new schools, for 2008 and 2009 is in its final stages this
month.  In August, Design Teams that submitted proposals for new schools
participated in Comprehensive Evaluation Team (CET) interviews, where a team of
experts reviewed their proposals and asked them extensive questions on their
proposed new schools. 


At the beginning of September, based on the
recommendation of the CET panel and Arne Duncan, the CEO of the Chicago Public
Schools, Design Teams were notified if they were selected to proceed in the
process of developing their proposed new schools. 


The Design Teams that were selected to move forward
participated in Community Forums in late September.  The forums were held in
the communities where the new schools may potentially open in 2008 and 2009,
pending Board approval.  During these forums, the teams did short presentations
on their proposed schools, and then sought input and questions from the
community.  For schools proposing to occupy a CPS building, Transition Advisory
Councils (TACs) hosted the forums.  Before the forums TAC members participated
in an extensive weekend workshop in which they analyzed the proposals and
prepared several questions for the Design Teams.


Principal candidates for the proposed new schools also
underwent a rigorous interview process this month.  These candidates similarly
met with various experts, who interviewed them on their potential to run a new
high quality school.


This week, CEO Arne Duncan is reviewing all data,
feedback, and assessments generated during the forums and series of
interviews.   Mr. Duncan will present his recommendations for new schools
during a Press Conference on the morning of October 9th.  The time
and place of the Press Conference will be advertised in local papers and open
to the public.  Mr. Duncan’s recommendations will be presented to the
Board of Education, who will have the final approval for the new schools
selected to open in 2008 and 2009. 


Following Mr. Duncan’s recommendations but prior to
Board approval, the Office of New Schools will hold Public Hearings regarding
the proposed schools.  Public Hearing dates and times can be found on the
Renaissance 2010 website. 



of New Schools (ONS) Spotlighted in Department of Education Report

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and
Improvement released a study entitled, Supporting
Charter School Excellence Through Quality Authorizing
Washington, D.C., 2007.  The study examines 8 authorizers across the
nation, one being Chicago’s very own Office of New Schools.  The report
credits the Chicago Public
Schools with being one of the forerunners in urban public school
because it has “truly embraced charter schools as an important option
its students”.  For the complete report, visit the following link:
Quality Authorizers Article.



Up Funding for New Renaissance 2010 Schools Made Possible Through Grants from
the Renaissance Schools Fund

Renaissance Schools
Fund (RSF), the private partner to the City of Chicago and the Chicago
Public Schools on Renaissance 2010 for fundraising, strategy and

it will award $3.9 million to support operations at 23 new schools in some of Chicago’s most underserved communities.

Congratulations to the following ONS Schools that
received Ramp-up funding: 


2006 Schools – Funding for
Second Year of Operation (Ramp-up 2)

Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School, Catalyst Charter
School – Howland Campus, Providence Englewood Charter School –
Bunche Campus,
UNO Charter School – Bartolome de las Casas
Campus, UNO Charter School – Carlos Fuentes Campus,
 Austin Business and
Entrepreneurship Academy, Chicago International Charter School – Ralph
Ellison Campus, Noble Street Charter School – Pritzker College Prep, Noble
Street Charter School – Rauner College Prep, Urban Prep Academy for Young
Men Charter School – Englewood Campus


2007 Schools – Funding for
First Year of Operation (Ramp-Up 1)

Catalyst Charter School – Austin, Chicago
International Charter Schools – Irving Park Campus, Frazier Prep Academy,
Perspectives Charter School – Calumet Middle School Campus, Polaris
Charter Academy, UNO – Officer Donald J. Marquez Charter School, Aspira
Early College High School, Collins Academy High School, Marine Military Math
and Science Academy, Noble Street Charter School – Golder College Prep, North
Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School, Perspectives Charter School
Calumet High School of Technology, Team Englewood Community Academy


To learn more about the Ramp up Funding, please click on
the link to the press release available on the RSF website. 
Ramp up Press Release





Response from 2006-2007 ONS Student Response Survey


New Schools with the highest percentage of students
completing the 2006-2007 Student Connection Survey:







































School Name



Response Rate (%)






Young Women’s Leadership Charter
  High School









Univ of Chicago Charter School - Woodlawn Campus









Chicago International Charter School - West Belden Campus









Pershing West Middle School









Barbara A. Sizemore Academy of Betty Shabazz International Charter School









Betty Shabazz International Charter Elementary School









Univ of Chicago Charter School - North Kenwood/Oakland Campus









Chicago International Charter School - Basil Campus









Chicago Academy Elementary School









Chicago Math & Science Elementary






The Office of New Schools Accountability
Team worked with schools to collect student response surveys about their
schools’ academic rigor, safety, social/emotional learning skills, and
student support. Student Connection Survey results arrived at schools in late
August.  Student Connection Survey Reports are also available online at


Homan Square Power House Chosen To Compete For $1 Million in Preservation
Funding From American Express

Henry Ford Power House Charter High School, opening in
the fall of 2008, will be located in the Homan Square Power House building in
the North Lawndale neighborhood.  The school will compete for funds from the
Partners in Preservation program to restore one of the most iconic exterior
features of the 1905 building, a 185 ft tall, 14 ft. wide, radial brick


American Express and the National Trust for Historic
Preservation announced Thursday, September 6 that the Homan Square Power House
has been chosen to participate in the 2007 Partners in Preservation program. As
one of 25 sites selected, the Power House will now compete in a five-week
online contest that invites the Chicago community to cast votes for the
landmarks they would most like to see receive the funding.


Cast your vote now in support of the Homan Square Power
House and Power House High, at
Partners for
.  Participants may vote once daily through October 10, 2007. 





The Chicago Public Schools is committed to
leading the nation in education reform and through Renaissance 2010 we will
create opportunities for high quality educational programs for the youth and
families of


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