Today, The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) announced that it will award a total of $240,000 in financial and program grants to 25 of Chicago’s public schools through its Innovation Implementation program. The grants will assist schools in implementing innovative strategies to address school challenges and transform student learning. Each school’s unique strategy was developed during The Fund’s 2015 Summer Design Program(SDP) – a summer-long professional development opportunity during which principal and teacher teams participate in a series of workshops to clarify a school-based, student-centered challenge; identify new or known solutions in Chicago and elsewhere; and design an actual classroom or grade-level innovation program to address that challenge in a student-centered way.
The projects supported through Innovation Implementation grants all rethink the use of time, talent and space in classrooms and schools. The innovations include the expansion of personalized and blended learning strategies; the restructuring of physical classrooms; different approaches to class schedules; new professional development and peer engagement opportunities for teachers; and more. In addition to The Fund’s financial investment, each school will also benefit from working with a partner content expert, who will assist them in piloting their innovations.
“Solutions to the challenges in public schools exist. They emerge through the insights, collaboration and leadership of principals and teachers,” said Heather Y. Anichini, CEO of The Chicago Public Education Fund. “Our grants allow educators to implement and measure the impact of innovative, student-centered strategies they designed during our Summer Design Program.”
The 25 schools selected as grant recipients were chosen based on their demonstrated ability to clearly identify a school or classroom challenge, the quality of the solution-based implementation plan developed, a clearly defined approach to measuring impact and a communications strategy for how they will share success and challenges with peer educators. The selected schools include:
- Amandla Charter
- Belding Elementary
- Belmont-Cragin Early Childhood Center
- Bernhard Moos Elementary
- Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter
- Cameron Elementary
- CICS Bucktown
- CICS Loomis Primary Academy
- E.H. Sutherland Elementary
- Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
- Hurley Elementary
- Lenart Elementary Regional Gifted Center
- Lincoln Park High School
- Lovett Elementary
- Lozano Bilingual & International Magnet
- Mitchell Elementary
- Norwood Park Elementary
- Patrick Henry Elementary
- Peter Cooper Elementary Dual Language Academy
- Pulaski International School of Chicago
- Richard H. Lee Elementary
- Ryder Math & Science Specialty ES
- Steinmetz College Prep High School
- UCSN Officer Donald J. Marquez Charter
- Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center
This is the third year that The Fund has offered the Summer Design Program, which it created with the belief that great principals and teachers are key to creating successful classrooms and schools. Summer Design Program workshops are facilitated in partnership with TrueSchool Studio, a national startup working to increase educator-led innovation in schools. TrueSchool Studio is also one of the three partners that will support the 25 educator teams in further developing and piloting their innovation, in addition to LEAP Innovations and Furman Brown of Sensible Innovation.
Since its founding in 2000, The Fund has provided professional development opportunities for approximately 25 percent of Chicago’s public school principals and 10 percent of its teachers through its various grants and programs.