Dear friends of CICS,
On behalf of Chicago International Charter School students, teachers, staff and board of directors, welcome to our website. Please take some time to learn more about CICS and the great things happening on our 16 neighborhood campuses. On these pages you'll see reflected the dedication of more than 600 educators who work longer school days and a longer school year than their counterparts at traditional public schools in order to ensure that their students master the skills and knowledge needed in college and beyond. Please understand that Chicago International Charter School's success is a direct result of the environment created by these men and women and their expectations of excellence for themselves and others.
Feedback, transparency, and best practices are extremely important as Chicago International works to deliver high-quality education to urban students and parents. In our opinion, public education has failed in its mission to prepare children living in our nation's urban centers to succeed beyond high school. A June 2009 report by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago reports that roughly half of Chicago Public School students drop out before graduation or fail to graduate with their class. In addition, the report describes Illinois assessment standards that have been so weakened that most of the 8th graders who “meet” state standards are not ready for the rigors of high school. Despite these sobering facts in Chicago and other large American cities, the vast majority of urban public schools educate students traditionally. Attempts to improve school systems through changes such as lengthening the school day, extending the school year, or evaluating the effectiveness of teachers by measuring student growth over time are met with fierce opposition. While the adults argue, student performance continues to suffer and thousands of young adults enter the work force functionally illiterate and unable to perform even the simplest computation.
An Evolving Resource
CICS will periodically share stories about our teachers, their students, and the work they do together. We believe that our teachers and curricula are outstanding, but we understand that we do not have all the answers. One of the goals of Chicago International Charter School is to create a forum for best practices to be shared and replicated. We invite all of our visitors to let us know what you think and what is working elsewhere. Click here to send me an email.
We hope you find what you are looking for on this website, whether you are a family member applying to one of our campuses; an alumnus interested in campus happenings; or a visitor wondering about school choice. Please visit regularly, as we plan to keep the content fresh and the stories relevant.
Thank you again for your interest.
Dr. Elizabeth D. Purvis
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago International Charter School