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PCT - Community Christmas Caroling

18-Dec-2010

Please contact Glennese Ray, Director of Community Relations, for information about this event.

Perspectives on Athletics Vol 1

17-Dec-2010

The athletic department is pleased to introduce Perspectives on Athletics, a newsletter highlighting the season in review of the Perspective Charter Schools sports program.

Perspectives on Athletics Vol 1 Perspectives on Athletics Vol 1 (499 KB)

PCT - Critical Film Series

16-Dec-2010

Please contact Glennese Ray, Director of Community Relations, for information about this event.

High School of Tech senior Stephanie Caldwell wins four-year scholarship to Northwestern

06-Dec-2010

Stephanie Caldwell, a senior at Perspectives High School of Technology, was recently selected to receive a prestigious QuestBridge four-year scholarship to Northwestern University, where she plans to major in engineering.

A straight-A student since she started at Perspectives as a freshman, Stephanie has participated in both the University of Chicago Summer Accelerated Math Camp and the Project Explorations Science Program. Most remarkably, she improved her ACT score by seven points in her four years at Perspectives!

Stephanie is among the 43 Perspectives students across the network who have already been accepted to college this year and who have received more than $500,000 in academic scholarships.

PMA Warrior News Dec 2010

06-Dec-2010

Read the latest issue of the student newspaper, Warrior News online or download the print version:

PMA Warrior News Dec 2010 PMA Warrior News Dec 2010 (489 KB)

Feast of Thanks

24-Nov-2010

Join our students and staff at our annual Feast of Thanks on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. This potluck meal is held at each school to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Perspectives Family before the holiday break. Visit your campus website for more information.

Perspectives Middle Academy and Sisters4Science Explore Sutures

12-Nov-2010

Birding, Surgery and Fossils: Sisters4Science Fall Highlights By Elsa
November 12, 2010

Sisters4Science is in full swing at three schools this fall. Girls from Reavis Elementary, Perspectives Middle Academy and University of Chicago Charter Schools –Woodlawn Campus gather weekly to dive into new areas of science.

The girls at Perspectives Middle Academy have honed their skills in developing and testing hypotheses with the help of University of Chicago graduate student Heather King.  Heather discussed her use of the scientific process daily with her research work on lung fish. She explains to the girls that it isn’t always as straight forward as it seems, sometimes as you investigate answers to your hypotheses your results lead you to more and more questions!

De'Andrea talks with Dr. Nicole Williams about how suturing ties into her interest in veterinary medicine.

De'Andrea talks with Dr. Nicole Williams about how suturing ties into her interest in veterinary medicine.

This past week the girls at Perspectives scrubbed in to work on sutures with OB/GYN physician, Dr. Nicole Williams. Dr. Nicole taught the girls about how skin heals and regenerates after it has been cut. She then led the girls through a typical suture that she often uses in the operating room. The girls were all ears listening to Dr. Nicole’s challenges and successes as a surgeon.

At Reavis Elementary the girls are exploring the urban ecology around them. A grant from the Cornell Lab or Ornithology has made this unit possible. The girls have already become avid bird watchers after a visit from avian ecologist Amy Hank. Amy discussed the different types of birds that can be seen around and flying above Chicago along with their markings, songs and sexual dimorphic qualities.

Amy Hank shows the girls a feather during their birding session

Amy Hank shows the girls a feather during their birding session

The girls could not wait to collect data using this new information about their feathered neighbors. Although the birds were hidden on the chilly 10 minute watch, powers of observation were in full gear and some of the girls were able to identify birds based on their calls, even though they did not show themselves. When asked if they would bird watch again on their own time the girls responded:  Oh yea! Now that I know what these birds are called and how to look for them, I can do it on my own. The girls at Reavis will explore the invasive tropical Monk Parakeets this coming week and learn about how they’ve managed to adapt to our Chicago winters.

For the girls at University of Chicago Charter Schools – Woodlawn Campus, bones and fossils have sparked their interest. During their last session the girls were able to use all of their observation skills to distinguish fossils from other rock and to identify what types of fossils they were handling.

Titiana, Kai and Jennifer share their favorite rocks and fossils.

Titiana, Kai and Jennifer share their favorite rocks and fossils.

The girls did not hesitate when informed that fossils usually stick to your tongue as opposed to other rocks. They quickly added this observation to their data and continued exploring, for some it became a frequently used method. The girls will continue exploring anatomy and paleontology in the coming weeks.

The Significance of Expectations and Charter School Success

10-Nov-2010

Yahoo! News

The Significance of Expectations and Charter School Success
INCS responds to a pair of news stories

CHICAGO, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, two news reports were released that create the mistaken impression that charter school students in Chicago are more likely to transfer than students who attend traditional schools. While the stories relied heavily on individual anecdotes, they ignored the only systematic, comprehensive data on charter transfer rates in Chicago. What is even more puzzling is that the stories relied on an "internal CPS memo" when public comparison data is available on the Chicago Public Schools website at http://www.ren2010.cps.k12.il.us/docs/ONS_PerfReport.pdf.

A review of this data makes clear that charter schools have transfer rates that are in fact lower than comparable schools:

  • 9 out of 10 charter schools in Chicago have transfer rates that are lower than the neighborhood public schools that their students would have otherwise attended. 
  • Of the 74 charter campuses examined in the report, 67 of those campuses experienced transfer rates that were substantially lower than the comparison neighborhood school examined. 
  • When weighted by enrollment, the net transfer rate of charter schools is roughly half the rate of comparison neighborhood schools. 

The articles also missed a larger truth about charter schools: charter schools are schools of choice, unlike traditional public schools and the magnet schools referenced in the articles. This means that students may choose to attend charter schools or, if those students determine that the school is not serving their needs, they may choose to leave. Providing diverse, tailored options should be viewed as a benefit to the system not a drawback. Charter schools are also far from monolithic. They serve diverse populations within the school system and each is tailored to serve a pressing student need within CPS. KIPP Ascend, for instance, uses a college-going culture to prepare elementary students for lifelong success and has a very different mission that Youth Connections Charter Schools, a drop-out prevention and recovery network designed to serve students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. In the context of such disparate models, it is very difficult to generalize results.

Not every charter school is perfect, and the charter school model may not fit every student who chooses to attend. Indeed, it is not uncommon for students who transfer into charter schools to take some time to adjust, a point acknowledged in the Catalyst article. Charter schools typically have longer school days, longer school years, and higher academic and behavioral expectations for their students. This is something that those of us working to improve public education should applaud, not decry. Frankly, I wish all of our public school students had the benefit of similar settings where they can be challenged, held accountable, and receive the benefit of additional instructional time.

Does this mean that there haven't been instances of counseling out among the 41,000 students attending charter schools in Chicago? No, but that is why we at INCS support authorizers who enforce the open enrollment provisions of the charter school law strictly to ensure that all students have an equal chance of enrolling in a high quality school of choice. It is also why we work directly with charter schools and charter school networks every day to help them understand the provisions of law and make decisions that benefit students directly.

Perhaps most curious is the article's claim that "[m]agnet schools are comparable to charter schools, with lotteries for coveted seats and no attendance boundaries." Magnet schools may be comparable to charter schools in the narrow sense that they may be oversubscribed, but magnet schools have express enrollment preferences and frequently condition enrollment on test scores, something charter schools are prohibited from doing. This fact alone makes any magnet school comparison inapt. If one were to examine magnet school achievement data, for instance, it becomes immediately apparent that comparing such a school to an open enrollment charter school produces only heat, no light. Even a passing glance at magnet school admissions policies reveals why their student mobility rates are far lower than open enrollment schools, charter or traditional public.

One thing charter schools will not do is apologize for having high standards and expecting more out of teachers and students. After all, nothing is more important to our city's future than creating schools where student needs are put ahead of all other considerations. For too long in our city we have tolerated a public school system that produces graduates who are not college or work ready and have made excuses for why certain students could not succeed. Thankfully, there are many schools today in Chicago, charter and traditional public that are proving that school organization, teacher quality, student discipline, and true accountability matter.

Charter schools that succeed do so because they are intentional about setting a culture of high expectations that permeate the school. This culture touches on every aspect of the school's organization and is designed to create an environment in which students can thrive. This culture is evidenced by the fact that charter high schools, unlike traditional high schools, do not have any metal detectors. Despite this lack of "protection," incidents of violence in charter schools are far fewer than those in traditional public schools. A cynic might claim this is because charter schools just happen to enroll more peaceful students; a realist would understand that getting school culture right is the first step in creating schools that actually work for our students.

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) is dedicated to improving the quality of public education by promoting and invigorating the charter school concept. The voice of the state's charter schools, INCS advocates for legislation to strengthen charter schools, educates the public about the value of charter schools, and supports the dissemination of best practices throughout the system.

Contacts: Jim Publicover,
312-235-0798 x14
jpublicover@incschools.org

SOURCE Illinois Network of Charter Schools

Anthony Davis, No. 2 college hoops recruit, Joslin senior, signs with University of Kentucky

10-Nov-2010

Anthony Davis, a senior at our Rodney D. Joslin campus is ranked as the No. 2 college basketball recruit (some polls say No. 1) in the nation by ESPN. On Wednesday, November 10th, Anthony signed his letter of intent with the University of Kentucky to accept a full-tuition, four-year athletic scholarship.

We invite you to watch the video of Anthony's signing and hear for yourself how Anthony credits living A Disciplined Life©, and the support of his college counselors, teachers and the school for helping in his success.

Surrounded by family, teachers and cheering classmates, Anthony spoke about how Perspectives has helped him focus on being a student first, and an athlete second. In fact, he attributes much of his success to living Perspectives' A Disciplined Life© principles every day.

Anthony says, "When I go to college, I'll be using ADL principles on and off the court."

While a Division 1 athletic college scholarship is a tremendous achievement, we are even more proud that Anthony could have been accepted to the University of Kentucky based on his grades alone - Anthony is an honor roll student at Joslin. His basketball skills were just the icing on the cake!

After the ceremony, Anthony's mother spoke to CEO Rhonda Hopps about how appreciative she was of the academic preparation Anthony has received at Joslin. She said that instead of being limited to only a few schools to choose from, he had over 30 offers for full athletic scholarships. Those future coaches knew that he had the academic background to stay eligible for playing basketball as well as the discipline to do his work both on and off the court.

PCT - "Money Think" Parent Program

26-Oct-2010

Please contact Glennese Ray, Director of Community Relations, for information about this event.