On Thursday, August 16th, 2018, Chicago International Charter School (CICS) celebrated the beginning of a new school year at the UIC Pavillion. On that day, staff of fourteen unique CICS campuses and one microlab came together, united by a shared vision: to create a hub of innovation where every student will flourish, every school will meet the unique needs of its community, and every success will improve our city and our world.
CEO Elizabeth Shaw, a CPS alum and parent, kicked off the event with vulnerability and inspiration by sharing her story of navigating the school system in Chicago as she searched for a public school for her children. She shared CICS’ mission to reduce the number of failing seats. CICS is a vibrant network of diverse Chicago charter schools enables students to thrive every day, puts them on a path to success in college and life, and empowers entrepreneurial educators to pursue excellence through innovation.
SMO leaders shared recent innovations. LeeAndra Khan, the CEO of Civitas Education Partners, introduced the Harkness Method used at CICS Northtown and Distinctive Schools President Scott Frauenheim spotlighted personalized learning through the Summit Learning Platform at CICS Bucktown. Students from both schools took to the microphone to share the impact on their learning.
Participants in the inaugural cohort of CICS’ Education Entrepreneur Fellowship program, Stephanie Crosier, the CEO of Chicago Rise and Dr. Richard Glass, the Founder and Lead Instructor of CICS Boy’s Lab, participated in a panel, moderated by CICS’ Chief of Innovation, Eric Lavin.
School leaders from CICS Avalon, CICS Washington Park, CICS West Belden, and CICS Northtown Academy received awards presented by Mike Bower, the Chief of Schools and Student Success for the highest academic growth, attainment, and attendance across the network.
Finally, Elizabeth Shaw closed the program with motivation words for the CICS network and educators spent the next portion of the evening networking and reconnecting.