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Robert Feder, Film spreads students’ message of peace


May 27, 2015
By Robert Feder (source)

Cameras were rolling last June when three Chicago public high school students led a massive peace march to protest gun violence in the city. More than 2,000 of their peers from five middle schools and high schools took part.

Tune in to WTTW Channel 11 tomorrow night, May 28 @ 8pm to watch the broadcast television debut of the documentary film ...

Posted by Perspectives Charter Schools on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The result is “I Am for Peace,” an inspiring and empowering documentary that will premiere at 8 p.m. Thursday on public television WTTW-Channel 11.

Perspectives Charter Schools raised more than $35,000 on Kickstarter to finance the 30-minute film, which features appearances by actress/singer Jennifer Hudson and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. It’s produced by New Chapter Entertainment, a production company started by former producers of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

But the real focus is on an extraordinary group of students who take what they learn in a curriculum called A Disciplined Life and apply it to the problems of their communities.

“WTTW is proud to broadcast this impactful film,” Dan Soles, senior vice president and chief television content officer of the Window to the World station, said in a statement. “The efforts of the Perspectives students are inspiring and empowering. It’s our hope that showing this documentary will help raise awareness about their good work.”

The broadcast television debut comes one week before Perspectives Charter Schools students stage another peace march June 5.

2015 Senior Graduation Ceremony for Perspectives Rodney D. Joslin Campus


Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, March for Peace


May 10, 2015
By Justin Cose (source)

Shootings and gang violence in some Chicago neighborhoods are routine. According to the Chicago Police Department, there have been 161 murders in the city this year. In May alone, 46 people were killed.

In 2012, three students from Perspectives Charter School, Janeya Cunningham, Razia Hutchins, and Maurice Young, decided to raise awareness about the violence that was becoming all too common. They organized a peace march, which drew thousands of people and has become an annual event.

This year's march will take place on June 5. Students from Chicago and elsewhere will be joined by community leaders, teachers, and parents on their march through the South Side of Chicago. As Janeya said: "We ask the rest of the world to join hands with us in neighborhoods everywhere because peace is a possibility."

My mother, Diana Shulla-Cose, is the co-founder of Perspectives Charter Schools. She is proud of her students' efforts to bring about positive change. "We have to listen to the voices of our young people," she says, "and provide them the forum to spread their ideas about peace."


Last year, Perspectives students helped raise more than $35,000 for a documentary, I Am For Peace, which showcases their efforts. The film is screened in schools, homes, and businesses across the country. It features U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and actress Jennifer Hudson, among others. Says Hudson, "I am so proud of what the students at Perspectives are doing. They are leading by example."

The organizers of this year's march have invited people from nearly 20 schools, 10 cities, and 3 countries to participate. They are hoping for the biggest turnout yet. They are also hoping that their efforts will help bring about a more peaceful city.

1st Annual Technology Expo at Perspectives High School of Technology


May 8, 2015

At Perspectives High School of Technology, students are prepared for a dynamic 21st century post-secondary and career landscape through a rigorous and relevant technology curriculum.

 Through four years of technology courses, students earn professional certification and college credit within five different Adobe software platforms: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Flash, and Adobe Dreamweaver.

Today, students showcased their technology projects at the first annual Technology Expo at the Perspectives High School of Technology, 8131 S. May St.

Students explored how technology facilitates #makingchange through a year’s retrospective and reflection.

The event included:

  • A lesson for all students in the school reflecting on the core Technology values.
  • Student presentations featuring Technology projects from the school year.
  • An “Oscars” Awards ceremony honoring exemplary student work.
  • An art exhibit featuring a reproduction of a graphic novel.
  • A VIP Guest Room allowed visitors to mingle with students and hold an intimate dialogue around the kinds of opportunities technology can provide.

Mind + Heart, A Disciplined Life Annual Benefit 2015 Video


A Disciplined Life Benefit Recap (Mind+Heart 2015) from Perspectives Charter Schools on Vimeo.

Mind + Heart was the theme of this year's A Disciplined Life Benefit. It was an inspiring night of individual and corporate giving to help Perspectives teach minds and reach hearts. In a tremendous showing of generosity, supporters of Perspectives Charter Schools raised more than $550,000 to support our scholars as they live A Disciplined Life® on their way to success in college and beyond.

This year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel accepted the A Disciplined Life Award.

The event took place on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

Governor Bruce Rauner Visits Perspectives


May 5, 2015

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Perspectives Leadership Academy at the Auburn Gresham campus on 81st and May 5, 2015, to learn more about the A Disciplined Life (ADL) education model and the "I Am For Peace" movement.

He was on a tour of schools across Illinois and he got a firsthand look at how ADL prepares students for college and life.

Perspectives Iron Wolves, Team 2709 at 2015 FIRST Midwest Regional


April 3, 2015

CHICAGO—The Iron Wolves, a.k.a Team 2709, of Perspectives/IIT Math & Science Academy (MSA) have competed in FIRST Robotics Competition since 2009. This year, they entered the 2015 Midwest Regional with an experienced squad led by large contingent of seniors. The competition was held April 2-4, 2015 at the UIC Pavilion. The Iron Wolves receive generous support from Illinois Institute of Technology and Motorola Solutions Foundation.

Over the course of three days, teams from around the world and the Midwest tested their machine robots in the ultimate high tech competition at the Midwest Regional. In 2013, the Iron Wolves were part of the championship alliance that earned them a berth in the FIRST Robotics World Championship Event in Saint Louis, Missouri.

FIRST Robotics Competition is a multi-national competition in which high-school students work side-by-side with science and engineering professionals and other adult mentors, to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. Using a standard “Kit of Parts,” a common set of rules, limited resources and time constraints, FRC teams are challenged to design, build, and program a 120 lb. robot to perform the tasks of the season’s game against a field of competitors in a sports-like event, as well as raise funds, design a team “brand,” and hone teamwork skills.

"This year's game, RECYCLE RUSH℠, helps bring attention to the global concern of exhausting our natural resources and our need to re-use and recycle whatever we can," said FIRST Founder Dean Kamen. "It's the kind of challenge I hope FIRST participants will find inspirational as they make key decisions about their education, careers, and futures."

RECYCLE RUSH℠ is a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three Robots each. Robots score points by stacking Totes on Scoring Platforms, capping those stacks with Recycling Containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing Litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in the home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season.

"The Iron Wolves are an example of the robust after school programming that we offer our students at all of our schools here at Perspectives," said Director of Programs Vinay Mullick. "Learning of the core subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is augmented in out-of-school time through interactive robotics gameplay."

Skills like teamwork, software design, architecture, engineering, marketing and so much more are encouraged through the FIRST Robotics Competition. The Iron Wolves and their counterparts are showing how hard they have worked to assemble robots capable of competing in the RECYCLE RUSH℠ game, how much they have learned, and how far Gracious Professionalism® can take them.

"Our students use the A Disciplined Life education model—which combines rigorous academic classes and strong character education—to achieve their robotics, academic and character education goals," said Iron Wolves Team 2709 coach Lorenzo Craig. "We have been studying the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life, which help us develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships and tools for productivity and all of that adds up to Gracious Professionalism in the language of FIRST."

High School Cube News, St. Rita’s Myles Turner, De La Salle’s Karl Harris steal spotlight in showcase game


Patrick McGavin (source)
For Sun-Times Media
April 4, 2015

The basketball season is now part of memory and history. Players still love the spotlight and the chance to showcase their talents.

“I’ve always felt like I’m one of the best players in the city and I had an opportunity to come out and show that today,” De La Salle guard Karl Harris said.

The athletic 6-5 guard drilled five three-pointers and used his slashing ability to get to the basket in scoring a team-high 29 points as the East squad outlasted the West team 146-140 in the Kiwane Garris Future SuperStars All-Star game Saturday at Kenwood.

The former Westinghouse and Illinois star point guard Garris founded his program four years ago. The two All-Star games marked one of five annual camps and events he runs in Chicago.

“I started this in June of 2011 after my last year playing overseas in Venice, Italy,” Garris said. “I always wanted to start something like this, but I didn’t have the chance because I always played basketball year-round.

“This was my opportunity to give back to the community after I played in the NBA, overseas and other professional leagues and offer others that experience and point of view,” Garris said.

The two games primarily focused on unsigned Class of 2015 players who remain unsigned about their college playing. The games featured prominent players from the Public League, Catholic League and the top south suburban programs.

St. Rita’s 6-8 center Myles Carter, who just signed with Seton Hall, was named the most valuable player after he scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the East squad. “Even if I wasn’t committed, I’d still like to come out and play,” Carter said.

He scored 11 of his points in the wild first half that saw the East recover from a 12-point deficit to lead 74-72 at the break. “I just felt it was good to have a chance to come out and play against some of the best competition in Chicago.

All 10 players on the East roster contributed points. Fresh off leading his team to a Class 2A supersectional, St. Francis de Sales’ guard Tyler Street contributed 18 points. Orr guard Darryl Curry ended the back-and-forth affair by drilling four 3-pointers in the second half in scoring 20 points. Homewood-Flossmoor forward Destin Barnes had 18 points for the East team.

Lincoln Park forward Tobi Ewaosho added 14 points and Morton’s Dexter Dale contributed nine points.

Curry’s second half perimeter game helped nullilfy the spectacular all-around play of Hillcrest’s 6-8 Taylor Adway. The Toledo-recruit poured in a game-high 31 points on a variety of jump shots, post ups, 3-pointers and dunks.

Curry drilled three 3-pointers in the final four minutes, including back-to-back shots from distance to put his team up 141-133.

The revelation for the West team was athletic 6-5 Perspectives-Calumet leaper Darian Whiteside, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half. His baseline move and fierce dunk with two minutes remaining in the first half brought the crowd to its feet and temporarily halted the game. “I didn’t think I get to the ball, but it was there, and I just tried to make a play,” Whiteside said.

In the first game, Kenwood guard Rahamanh Katumbusi made a grand personal gesture at his home gym by scoring 16 of his game-high 25 points in the second half in powering the South to a 108-96 victory over the North.

“I didn’t realize until the second half this was going to be my last game playing here, and I wanted to go out and do my best,” Katumbusi said of his most valuable player showing. “I was just focused on having fun, and showcasing my [skills] the fans, parents, coaches, the programs and the schools.”

Katumbusi, Orr swingman Jason Newman and Hillcrest forward Cornelius McIntosh sparked the South team from a 51-49 halftime deficit. Newman seven seven points during a frenzied 30-second burst, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and punctuated by the rare 4-point play.

Newman scored 20 points. McIntosh scored 10 points in each half in finishing with 20 points. All nine players on the roster scored.

Lindblom forward Chris Edomwande and Morton forward Antonio Haley scored 20 points apiece for the North side. Wing forward Daniel Soetan, who helped lead Uplift to a Class 2A state title last month, scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half.

Proviso East guard Marshawn Williams contributed 14 points, complemented by Kenwood’s Steven Williams (nine points) and Lane guard Noah Kahn (eight points).

Perspectives A Disciplined Life Athletics Leadership Council Hosts Danielle Slaton


The A Disciplined Life (ADL) Athletics Leadership Council is comprised of a select group of Perspectives student-athletes chosen for their leadership, academic and athletic qualities. They meet on a quarterly basis to focus on the 26 principles of the A Disciplined Life education model as they relate to both on and off the field/court activities. At Perspectives, academic preparation is coupled with character education and that same level of rigor is applied to sportsmanship. View, share and download photos on Flickr.

Special guest, Danielle Slaton, played soccer for the U.S. Women's National Team from 2000-2005, earning a silver medal in the Olympics and a bronze in the Women's World Cup. She played professionally in the Women's United Soccer Association, where she won a championship and was the league defender of the year in 2002. She also played professionally in Lyon, France, and played college soccer at Santa Clara University, where she captained her team to a NCAA championship in 2001. At Santa Clara, Danielle was a 3-time All-American and she was named the 2001 NCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Danielle works with the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national non-profit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by working to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. "We've enjoyed an outstanding partnership with PCA for numerous years now," said Perspectives Athletic Director Vinay Mullick. "Their mission and work align neatly with our own work to educate students for college and prepare them for life through the 26 principles of the A Disciplined Life education model."
Danielle talked with the Perspectives student-athletes about “Elevating Your Game” and offered specific examples of how to make teammates better by filling their emotional tank with specific praise, appreciation and active listening. She reinforced the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life through personal stories of when she played soccer for the U.S. Women’s National Team and when she coached at Northwestern University.

After her playing career finished, Danielle went on to coach women's soccer at Northwestern University and earned her Master's Degree in Sports Administration. She then transitioned into education and became an instructional designer at Kaplan Higher Education, developing curriculum for college students and professors.

Currently, Danielle works as a women's soccer analyst for the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports. She also sits on U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors and Athlete Council, which allows her to travel on behalf of U.S. Soccer and the State Department to places like South Africa, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Jordan to coach youth about the life lessons that soccer can teach.

Educator Portrait, Perspectives Program Managers


By Antoinette Self, Caressa Whitten, Kira Chevalier-Devine, Martel Craig, and Maribel Moreno

March 26, 2015 CHICAGO—Program Managers play a critical role in carrying out the mission of Perspectives Charter Schools to educate students for college and prepare them for life through the A Disciplined Life education model. They are uniquely positioned to affect the lives of thousands of students and their families through their work.

The program managers use the A Disciplined Life education model—which combines rigorous academic classes and strong character education—to achieve the academic and character education goals for all students across the Perspectives network. Students and staff alike study the 26 principles of A Disciplined Life, which help us develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships and tools for productivity.

Program managers are adept at finding quality afterschool programs and other non-academic events that expose students to art, dance, music, entrepreneurship, and additional science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The program managers are:

Their work is integral to our success at Perspectives. Read their own words in describing how they live A Disciplined Life:

Antoinette is studying the A Disciplined Life principle “be a life-long learner,” at PLA.

How does teaching/role-modeling A Disciplined Life to our students affect you as an educator?

“Role modeling A Disciplined Life to our students affects me because I know that what I do and say really matters. Students will call you out for doing certain things and I appreciate their honesty. It gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I've done.”

Why are afterschool programs important for our students?

“After school programs are important because they extend the learning experience beyond the classroom. It provides a safe place for students after the school day and allows them to find areas of interest in a less formal environment and they get to meet new people.”

Antoinette graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University. She is currently enrolled in a Masters in Education Leadership program at Concordia University. Antoinette is living A Disciplined Life 26 principles at a time.

Caressa is studying the A Disciplined Life principle “show compassion,” at TECH.

Describe a teaching moment that made a lasting impression on you as an educator?

"I recall a time when we received a transfer student who refused to attend class. After countless days of this behavior I asked this young man to join me in our conference room to inquire personally about his goals in life and to learn what inspired him. Together we brainstormed some ideas about what he liked and what he wanted to do in life. We wrote a plan and decided on the ways that we could implement and accomplish his goals. I talked with him about several things I needed assistance with and together we promised that we would hold each other accountable to our goals. I’m happy to report that since that day and meeting he has not missed a day of class. Like many students, he needed someone to listen to him and believe in him. This is one reason that gives me great pride in the work I do at Perspectives.”

I work at Perspectives because…

“Not only am I a staff member, I am a proud parent of two Perspectives students; one is a graduate and the other is a senior and about to graduate. I love the school culture and the sense of community built around A Disciplined Life.”

Caressa completed a bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. Caressa is living A Disciplined Life 26 principles at a time.

Kira is studying the A Disciplined Life principle “live a healthy lifestyle,” at PMA.

I work at Perspectives because…

“I love what I do! I love creating magic and making learning fun and exciting. Changing lives and being able to impact one student at a time while chasing away negative behaviors through the A Disciplined Life principles, makes my work at Perspectives all worthwhile.”

Why are afterschool programs important for our students?

“Afterschool programming further develops our students. It gives staff and students additional opportunities to develop strong and healthy relationships. It also allows our students to build on their social skills through informal learning interactions. I see our students becoming better academics through their afterschool investments.”

Kira studied Aerospace Engineering at Dominican University. Kira is living A Disciplined Life 26 principles at a time.

Martell is studying the A Disciplined Life principle “be open-minded,” at MSA.

Briefly explain why you are studying the above A Disciplined Life principle.

“I feel that it is important to be in sync with our staff and our students. To make this happen, I must be willing to accept others ideas and opinions. Our school community is made up of people of different ages, from different backgrounds, and with different beliefs. To truly be all in we need to be respectful and accepting of our differences and that starts with being open minded.”

Favorite quote.

“The reward is always greater than the sacrifice, whenever you have good intentions,” my Father.

I work at Perspectives because…

“I am passionate about educating for college and preparing for life. Perspectives and I share a lot of the values and expectations to help students develop positive self-perception, healthy relationships and the tools for productivity. And, I enjoy working with my colleagues at MSA and throughout Perspectives.”

Martell graduated with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications from Northern Illinois University. He finished a Masters in Business Administration in Management from Roosevelt University. Martell is living A Disciplined Life 26 principles at a time.

Maribel is studying the A Disciplined Life principle “use your time wisely,” at Joslin.

Why are afterschool programs important for our students?

“Aside from providing a safe environment we also provide exposure to them through different programs. Students get a chance to learn about a variety of topics and develop different skills that they typically wouldn't undertake during the regular school day. And, I’ve read numerous reports about the positive affect on academic gains made by students that participate in afterschool programs.”

Briefly explain why you are studying the above principle.

“With so many responsibilities as a program manager, if I don't use my time wisely I wouldn't be able to process all of the demands on my time and still provide quality time to interact with our students. When I am efficient with my time I find that life is much smoother at work and at home. It makes me feel more confident with my responsibilities.”

Maribel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work from Northeastern Illinois University. Maribel is living A Disciplined Life 26 principles at a time.

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Teach at Perspectives

***Educator Portrait is a monthly feature that highlights the commitment to quality teaching at Perspectives.