Why CICS? 

CICS is Committed to Greatness!

CICS’s vision is to operate the highest academic performing K-12 continuum of schools in the districts we serve, eradicating the achievement gap and providing graduates with the skills required to be successful in a selective four-year college or university. We are aware that "today's scholar" is a dynamic concept as technology and new methods of communication take more prominent roles in the lives of children than they did even a decade ago. It is our responsibility to provide an educational experience that integrates 21st Century skills into the traditional classroom while still delivering the core academic essentials for college readiness.

We expect the best of every scholar and, in turn, provide the support each scholar needs to achieve their full potential. Evaluating every decision on the measure of whether it will improve learning is how Chicago International Charter School (CICS) prioritizes children first. Examples of a “children first” mindset occurs across CICS campuses every day: when scholars are called by name by more than one adult in their building, when their teachers quickly communicate constructive feedback, when they feel safe in their school hallways. When scholars are treated as individuals and given supports they need, the question becomes not if they will go to college, but where they will go to college.

Despite operating in some of the districts’ most complex neighborhoods, in our elementary school campuses that have been open for three or more years, the achievement gap between CICS scholars and a national sample has been closed. Similarly, our high school campuses continue to show significant achievement gains as demonstrated through high school graduation and college acceptance rates that are higher than comparable non-selective district schools. Using the Illinois State Board of Education school report card data and methodology, the 5-year weighted average graduation rate for CICS scholars is 93% compared to 84% for Chicago Public Schools overall and 95% of 2015 CICS graduates who applied to college were accepted.

Did you know?

  • CICS was founded in 1997. 
  • The first two schools were Bucktown and Longwood.
  • We provide a college preparatory education starting in Kindergarten and continuing through 12th Grade.
  • We are a portfolio model charter school. 
  • We serve over 8,000 scholars on 16 difference campuses. 
  • About 96% of our scholars are an ethnic minority.
  • About 86% of our scholars qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Apply Now

Enrollment in Chicago International Charter School is open to all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or disability status. For more information or to download an application visit our applications page.