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News & Events


CICS alumni panelists share advice with current students on how to succeed in college

May 16, 2013

An impressive panel of CICS alumni gathered to share advice with current CICS high school females at the CICS/Accenture mentoring program's end-of-year event. Watch the video to learn more! read more …

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: CICS Ralph Ellison Student Wins Future Founders Competition

May 10, 2013

For the third year running, a CICS high school student has won the Future Founders competition for their entrepreneurship business plan. read more …

PRESS RELEASE: CICS Patriots at Jackson Broadens Student Horizons, Welcomes Local Leadership

May 10, 2013

Rockford Native and Golden Apple Nominee Angelique Watson will Begin as School Director in Fall 2013 read more …

Spring 2013 PROGRESS REPORT from Beth Purvis

April 25, 2013

Spring has sprung at CICS! This progress report celebrates record-breaking rates of CICS 8th graders being accepted into selective enrollment high schools, high school alums joining the ranks of education researchers at University of Pennsylvania, campus tours with congressmen and elected officials, and more! read more …

PRESS RELEASE: More than half of 8th graders at CICS West Belden accepted to selective enrollment high schools

April 10, 2013

7 out of 11 CICS Elementary Campuses’ boast Selective High School Acceptance Rates above 20% for Spring 2013 read more …

PRESS RELEASE: CICS Ralph Ellison Partners with Schuler Scholar Program, Offering Motivated, Underserved Students a Competitive Advantage in College and Life

April 09, 2013

Acceptance into College Preparatory Program Earns CICS Ralph Ellison Schuler Scholars a “Once-in-a-Lifetime” Opportunity. read more …

Chicago Tribune/WBEZ coverage of charter community's response to watchlist

March 01, 2013

“I have no problem being held accountable...[but] I'm trying to understand whether I’m being held accountable to our renewal document from last year or to some new set of standards,” said Beth Purvis, CEO of CICS. read more …

PRESS RELEASE: CICS Challenges Basil Campus’ Inclusion on CPS “Watchlist”

February 27, 2013

CICS Basil Moved from Level 3 to Level 2 Status in 2012, Performance Improvement Plan On Track; CICS Challenges CPS inclusion of Basil campus on list. read more …

Distinctive Schools' "Family Matters" Newsletter

February 26, 2013

CICS Bucktown, Irving Park, Patriots, Prairie and West Belden are all part of the Distinctive Schools family. Please take a moment to read a few recent updates in their monthly newsletter! read more …

MEDILL REPORTS: Stark funding inequity exists between charter schools and other public schools

February 15, 2013

Feb. 14, 2013 - Charter school students in Chicago receive $3,000 less in funding than their traditional public school counterparts. HB 980, a bill recently introduced by Rep. Daniel Burke will help to close that funding gap. read more …

POLICY UPDATES: State Funding, Charter Moratorium, and ISAC Newsletter

February 14, 2013

Feb 14, 2013 - CICS stands against impending reductions to General State Aid funding; We are opposed to the charter school moratorium being considered by the CIty Council; and we support the work being done by ISAC, the Illinois State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities. read more …

PRESS RELEASE: Hundreds of Urban Male Youth to Gather at CICS Larry Hawkins for Inspiring Mentoring Event

February 08, 2013

CICS Larry Hawkins is hosting a Brothers Breaking Bread Breakfast this Saturday, Feb. 9, from 9-11 AM. CICS Larry Hawkins is located at 801 E 133rd Place, Chicago, in the heart of Altgeld Gardens. Young men from Carver, DuBois, Aldridge and CICS Lloyd Bond elementary schools will also be in attendance. Chicago native and two-time NFL Super Bowl champion Howard Griffith, who now provides commentary and analysis on ESPN Radio and the Big Ten Network and coaches area football teams, will appear as the guest speaker. Griffith will engage with these young men from varying backgrounds to share inspiring lessons of self-determination. read more …

CHICAGO SUN TIMES: HB 980, Equitable Funding Bill for Charter Schools, Announced at Charter Rally

February 02, 2013

CICS, with highest turnout attendance at the rally, joined fellow advocates in cheers of support for the newly filed equitable funding bill. One parent shared, “Join me in making sure every public school student gets the same funding to receive a high quality public education.” read more …

Rockford Register Star: CICS Rockford Patriots Anticipates New Facilities for Growth

January 22, 2013

Read the Rockford Register Star's report on CICS Patriots' bright prospects for a new building as the campus grows to serve upper grades. read more …

Fall 2012 PROGRESS REPORT from Beth Purvis

January 07, 2013

With the 2012-2013 school year in full swing, we invite you to read about recent happenings across our 16-campus network. read more …

CICS Prairie featured in "Day in the Life" videos

December 17, 2012

Ever wondered what it's like to be a school principal? Want to hear from CICS parents about how they appreciate the culture of accountability at their campus? Watch these two uplifting videos. read more …

PRESS RELEASE: CICS Washington Park to host peace vigil, hundreds expected to gather

November 29, 2012

After a particularly violent summer on Chicago's South Side, and with regularly occurring violence in their own backyard, the residents of Washington Park are ready for a change. They will call for a stop to violence at a peace vigil at the S. Indiana Avenue entrance to the Christ Unity Church on E. 61st and S. Indiana this Friday, November 30, from 3-4 p.m. read more …

WINTER 2012-2013 PROGRESS REPORT from Beth Purvis

October 19, 2012

Happy 2013 from CICS! This progress report celebrates recent accolades from Oppenheimer Family Foundation & Mayor Emanuel, highlights CICS High School Graduates' rising College Enrollment Rates, links to the NEW Issue of FocalPoint Magazine, Ready to View Online, and showcases three new CICS campus directors read more …

PR NEWSWIRE: Parent Voice for School Choice Rally to draw thousands of parents, community members

September 28, 2012

52,000 charter school parents made the decision to choose a charter school – thousands of their representatives will kick off an equitable funding campaign with the October 2nd rally at UIC Forum. read more …

New York Times: CICS Bucktown and other charters open during strike; Parents delighted

September 19, 2012

Despite the teachers’ strike, classes were in session on Wednesday at CICS Bucktown and the other charter schools in Chicago. CICS Bucktown parents weigh in on their choice to send a child to a high-performing charter school. read more …

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