Mission and History
All Perspectives Charter Schools will provide students with a rigorous and relevant College for Certain education, based on the ethical principles of A Disciplined Life®, preparing them for life in a changing world and helping them further become intellectually reflective, caring and ethical people engaged in a meaningful life.
One of Illinois' first charters, Perspectives Charter Schools was launched by two Chicago Public School teachers in 1997 as a school within a school with just 35 students in a classroom at Dyett Middle School on Chicago's South Side. Moving several times as our student population grew, the school now has a permanent home in the South Loop at State and Archer. Recently renamed the Rodney D. Joslin Campus in honor of our first Board president, the school is in an award-winning building designed by Perkins + Will. The Joslin Campus serves 365 students in grades 6-12 from more than 30 wards in the city. Construction of this school was made possible primarily through generous support provided by the Dan Searle Family Foundation.
In 2005, after 8 years of steady expansion of our enrollment and with Joslin students reaching ever higher percentages of academic growth each year, Perspectives was persuaded by Mayor Daley, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan and the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation to assume management of a 350,000 square foot former high school campus at 81st and May serving the Auburn Gresham community. This major expansion was generously supported by partners Ernst & Young LLP, Mayor Brown LLP, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Renaissance Schools Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, New Schools Venture Fund, Walton Family Foundation, and many more.
We opened Perspectives Calumet Middle School and Perspectives Calumet High School at this location in 2006 on the 1st and 3rd floors respectively. In 2007, we opened Perspectives High School of Technology on the second floor. In May of 2010, we celebrated our first graduations from this campus, effectively doubling the graduation rate for neighborhood students in just four years time. Of our 2010 high school seniors, 97 percent have been accepted to college, the majority at 4-year institutions!
In September 2008, in partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology, we opened the Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy at 3663 South Wabash in a former elementary school. The school was developed as a model for public school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the United States. Generous funding partners included Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Renaissance Schools Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, Walton Family Foundation, and Motorola.