Press enter to search

Cohort 1

Seven teams from traditional, charter, elementary and high schools – five of whom were inaugural Summer Design Program participants – participated in the first cohort of Breakthrough Schools: Chicago. Through this opportunity, they received $100,000 planning grants, accessed LEAP workshops to develop blueprints for their school models, used planning grants to test and pilot new innovations, and won additional grant funds to implement their models school-wide.

Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center*

District elementary school • 950 students • 99% low income • 95% Hispanic students

Building on multiple blended-learning pilots facilitated by Chicago Public Schools and The Fund, educators at Chávez propose the creation of a competency-based assessment to better measure student comprehension. This will inform instruction, while serving as a foundation for students to take more ownership of their own learning. Chávez will also share this system with other district schools with the hope of scaling successful blended-learning practices.

Learn more about Chávez’ plans. 

Chicago Academy High School*

District turnaround high school • 534 students • 83% low income • 54% Hispanic students; 21% White students

To increase student ownership of learning and advance critical thinking skills, Chicago Academy educators propose a comprehensive redesign of its current academic model. Utilizing student advisory sessions, one-to-one technology implementation, and a new online platform for students, parents and teachers to easily access data on achievement and behavior, Chicago Academy will empower students to drive their learning experience. Students will also be exposed to cross-curricular project-based learning opportunities that showcase mastery of standards by creating content such as movies, video games and mobile applications. If proven successful, this model could be scaled across schools in the district’s turnaround network – AUSL.

Learn more about Chicago Academy’s plans.

CICS – West Belden*

Charter elementary school • 480 students • 91% low-income • 91% Hispanic students

CICS West Belden educators propose adopting a whole-school blended model. Students will participate in three-hour rotational labs, where they will learn through digital and adaptive programs, collaborate with peers, receive one-on-one tutoring from teachers, and participate in small-group instruction. Other features include the creation of individual learning plans for each student and the integration of project-based learning. During the Summer Design Program, educators developed a new approach to professional development that included virtual instruction and collaboration for teachers. The professional development addressed teachers’ ability to use technology to more effectively differentiate instruction for students.

Learn more about CICS – West Belden’s plans.

Great Lakes Academy

New charter elementary school under new CMO • 128 students at start • 526 students at capacity

Great Lakes will open in Chicago’s high-need South Shore neighborhood, adding an important new public school option for families with limited school choices. Guided by teacher support, this new school will enable very young students to use technology for learning and goal setting. Great Lakes educators will pilot its NextGen model with Kindergarten and first grade students, with the goal of scaling as the school adds grades. It will feature a rigorous curricula and tech-enabled station model with team teaching at its core. This model will foster increased student ownership of learning through goal-setting, and its curriculum will foster teamwork and character development. Great Lakes’ leader went through the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship. It is strong and well-respected in Chicago.

Learn more about Great Lake’ plans.

John Charles Haines Elementary School*

District elementary school • 630 students • 87% low income • 86% Asian students

To deliver a truly personalized education for every student, educators at Haines propose adopting a rotational model that includes small focus groups powered by technology, traditional whole class instruction, and interdisciplinary problem-based learning. These varying approaches will allow teachers to help students meet and exceed their individualized learning plans. This proposal builds on a successful problem-based learning pilot created during the Summer Design Program and implemented in fall 2013.

Learn more about Haines’ plans.

KIPP Chicago Schools: KIPP One Academy

New charter elementary school under existing CMO

KIPP One Academy, proposed to open on the South Side of Chicago in fall 2015, innovates on the successful KIPP model. The new school will build on the success and experience of KIPP Create, also located in Chicago and one of KIPP’s first two blended-learning schools nationwide. KIPP One Academy will blend instructional technology, flexibly group students, and practice strategies to achieve academic results that place students on a path to and through competitive colleges. In a typical day, students will engage in five core classes through a combination of instructional modalities that are designed to meet the personalized instructional needs of its students. KIPP Network will provide an avenue for sharing and scaling practices. KIPP Chicago identified a strong leader for KIPP One Academy, who is currently in KIPP’s Fisher Fellows program.

Learn more about KIPP One’s plans.

Wildwood World Magnet School*

Magnet elementary school • 420 students • 25% low income • 55% White students; 24% Hispanic students

Educators at Wildwood propose a comprehensive physical and academic redesign of their school to facilitate its new focus on project-based learning. Every student will have a learning device known as a “digital backpack,” allowing them to use and manage media tools to make their learning visible and digital. This concept was created during the Summer Design Program. Wildwood will also undergo a physical redesign to create new, open learning spaces.

Learn more about Wildwood’s plans.

 *Denotes participation in The Fund’s Summer Design Program.

Breakthrough Schools: Chicago

Cohort 2

Invest in Chicago's Principals

Double your impact! All new or increasing donations up to $60,000 will be matched by a generous anonymous investor.

Support our Next Phase

We aim to serve more than 600 principals and 380,000 students by 2023, with an emphasis on our most vulnerable schools.

See Chicago's Principal Pride

We launched the city's first-ever Principal Appreciation Campaign, and one thing is clear: Chicago is proud of its principals.