Emerging Innovation in Chicago Public Schools

The 2021-22 school year proved to be more complex and difficult than many expected. The vital work of rebuilding school communities required accelerating learning while prioritizing the social-emotional needs of students. Amidst hybrid learning, staffing disruptions, and community stress, Chicago’s school leaders seized opportunities to innovate.

Alongside their educator teams, school leaders reimagined approaches to both instruction and student programming. Their innovations represent both extensions of established initiatives and new efforts. Their implementation strategies exemplify creativity, consideration, and collaboration. These actionable solutions demonstrate how school leaders innovate within existing systems and in partnership with their school communities.

The leaders in this report told us about their unique school context, the opportunities they sought to advance, how they collaborated with their school teams, and the solutions they designed. These 11 case studies offer a glimpse into their work and provide examples to inspire other leaders. We will follow up later this year with a brief on the schools profiled here, providing an update on the results they’ve seen and share how their thinking has evolved.

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