Mrs. Wade's son on his first day of school at CICS Irving Park

The Wades at CICS Irving Park

Written by Chicago International Charter School
01 November 2016
Posted in Voices

One parent shares her story on transferring her son to CICS Irving Park for 7th grade.

Months into the school year, Margaret Wade shares her impressions of CICS Irving Park after transferring her son there for 7th grade:

I think the number one reason a parent should consider sending their child to CICS is the resources and opportunities they offer to the students. Because of these advantages, I think CICS and will better prepare my son for the road ahead. It is not a “one size fits all” approach to education, they have differential learning. What I mean by “differential” is that CICS has the resources and the ability to reach the kids at all levels and offer different approaches to getting the subject matter across. Gone are the days of students sitting looking at a chalk board with problems while a teacher lectures. If students are struggling with a concept, they won’t be embarrassed in front of a classroom of their peers and made to feel inferior. Instead, it seems like the teachers will work to find a different approach/method that works for that student to master the concepts being taught.

The school is very progressive in approach to learning. There are traditional elements, naturally, but they have a mentor program established where each student sets goals and works with their teacher toward these goals. I believe that goal setting and mentoring (i.e. asking for help) is a valuable reflection of real world, practical knowledge that will benefit my son in the long run.

On [my son's] first day at CICS the 7th grade went to the “ropes room” at Northeastern university to work on team building, problem solving and trust. Who knew such a place existed? The teachers and administrators are energetic, positive and adaptable. They understand that the world our kids will enter as adults will be greatly different than how it is now. And they are teaching towards that. The career my son will end up in might not even exist yet, and I think his time at CICS will place him in a position to be adaptable down the road.

Each morning the students begin their day with a “community” meeting – it is an open forum for all students to voice their thoughts, concerns, praise for one another. On Wednesdays the students are dismissed at 1. That is because every Wednesday, the faculty and staff have all-hands meetings for development and feedback. I think that speaks to the level of engagement that the teachers and staff dedicate to their craft. The class size is larger, and I think that will be a better reflection of what High School has in store. I think it will make for a more diverse & inclusive classroom setting. The Jr. High students at CICS are able to choose one elective each semester. The electives are varied and offer a broad scope for learning opportunities - like photography, psychology, computer coding, drama, etc.

I am confident in my decision to transfer my son to this school for 7th grade. I see this transition as a catalyst for him, opening new doors and challenging him in ways his pervious school did not.

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