CICS’ Direct Operated Campuses To Be Managed by Distinctive Schools

Written by Chicago International Charter School
06 March 2023
Posted in News

For 25 years, CICS has always been committed to launching and operating schools with diverse academic models throughout the different neighborhoods we serve, while providing support and resources to help our students achieve strong academic outcomes. 

In 2019, CICS made the decision to directly operate CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond and is extremely proud of the progress made during that time in improving staff culture, increasing academic outcomes and addressing campus safety, especially during a pandemic.  

As CICS looks into the future, the focus has been on continuing to provide sustainable growth and improvement for the CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond communities. Our focus has been on continuing to ensure sustainable improvement and support for the CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond communities. We believe that this next phase for the CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond communities is best led by an operator other than CICS.

 We released a Request For Proposal (RFP) publicly on December 23, 2022 for School Management Organizations (SMO) to submit their proposal to directly operate CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond, beginning July 1, 2023. Our selection team, which consisted of members of the network and your school leadership, carefully reviewed operator applications and made a selection using a robust and transparent rubric. 

 The goal was to select an SMO that will collaborate with CICS to ensure a smooth transition for its school communities and one that gives its staff and students the support and resources required to exceed academic outcomes. CICS believes that through a partnership with the right SMO, it can accomplish these goals for its staff, students and their families. 

CICS leadership presented its recommendations to the CICS Board of Directors on February 16, 2023, and the Board selected Distinctive Schools as the next School Management Organization to directly-operate CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond beginning school year 2023-2024 (July 1, 2023). This change will ensure that as these schools head into a new chapter, their students and families have comprehensive support that aligns with CICS’ organizational values of transformational academic outcomes for our students and strong support for all staff. CICS is confident that partnering with Distinctive Schools will build on the momentum we’ve established while setting up CICS Loomis-Longwood and CICS Lloyd Bond to thrive into the future. 

 CICS’ partnership and history with Distinctive Schools started in 2011. Distinctive Schools currently manages four CICS campuses, CICS Bucktown, CICS Irving Park, CICS Prairie and CICS West Belden. Their mission is to create diverse, joyful, welcoming communities rooted in social justice and rigorous learning. They support all learners to be engaged, curious and to achieve their full potential. Their academic outcomes are for students to become confident advocates, creative problem-solvers and collaborative leaders. Distinctive Schools leads a collaborative and innovative public education transformation that elevates access, achievement, and belonging for every student so they may thrive throughout their education, career and life.

 CICS looks forward to its continued partnership with Distinctive Schools and is energized about what’s to come. 


About Chicago International Charter School 

Chicago International Charter School is a vibrant network of diverse Chicago charter schools that enable students to thrive every day, put them on a path to success in college and life, and empower entrepreneurial educators to pursue excellence through innovation. CICS is serving more than 7,400 students at 13 campuses across Chicago. To learn more, visit

About Distinctive Schools 

Distinctive Schools is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and accelerating the work of charter schools serving kids from traditionally underserved backgrounds. The team includes passionate educators and determined leaders who innovate, trailblaze, and collaboratively lead a public education transformation, as well as ensure that each and every one of Distinctive Schools students thrive in college, career, and life.

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