It’s been a year full of new beginnings for Schools That Can Chicago!

We’re currently serving over thirty-five schools, and directly reaching nearly 100 teachers and 600 students, with the educators and leaders in our Professional Learning Groups impacting thousands more. We’re excited to continue to build on the foundation we laid this year.

Explore some of our favorite highlights from the 2018-19 school year…

We started the year off with amazing new leadership: We welcomed Beth Bazer as our Executive Director of Schools That Can Chicago! (If you haven’t read Beth’s bio, you can check out our press release in the Chicago Tribune here.)

This year, we continued our High School Transition working group, which included sessions focused on the Success Bound curriculum for middle school teachers and students in order to better prepare them for high school. We’re energized by the amazing resources that have been shared in this group!

We also continued our Deeper Learning Professional Learning Group.  This group focuses on using the Deeper Learning Framework to create a strong school culture, improve the function of teachers as professionals in a collaborative community, supports teachers in designing meaningful, real-world learning experiences for students, ultimately leading to meaningful deeper learning outcomes for schools.  We are proud of our work helping school leaders to organize their schools for improvement through the use of real-world, culturally competent instructional practices. 

In January, two teachers from Namaste Charter School here in Chicago traveled to New York for STC Maker Fellow Training and have facilitated STEM-based makerspaces at their school. We are excited to continue to expand STEM-focused maker education at Namaste and in other schools throughout the Chicago area.

In March, we hosted our largest high school exploration event ever! We were joined by 500 students and 20 high schools as students seized the opportunity to explore best fits and next steps in their transition to high school.

In April, we hosted our first-ever Design Day at Monroe Elementary as part of Remake Learning Day. Students from Monroe collaborated to design their outdoor space from architectural blueprints, create a mural based on Monroe’s guiding practices, and design and opening-day community celebration for their new playground.  

And at the end of April, Chicago’s own Mercedes Alvear, Alumni & Transition Coordinator at Namaste Charter School in Chicago, was a finalist for Schools That Can’s 2019 RFK Urban Education Awards. Held in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, this award is presented during a special ceremony at the Schools That Can Forum, which was held in Newark, NJ, and which conjured fond memories of last year when Chicago hosted the Forum. We were so proud to see  her remarkable work honored this way.

As we make our way toward summer, we’re forging an exciting new partnership with The Academy Group. We’ll be supporting a STEM elective for their summer program, and are exploring more opportunities for collaboration for next year.

Finally, we end this school year on a bittersweet note: Ann, our beloved Director of School Programs, will be leaving. Ann’s enthusiasm and brilliance have helped make STC Chicago what it is, and we’ll always be grateful to have had her as part of the STC team. We’re sending her best wishes as she launches a new chapter in her life and makes her way back to her home state of Wisconsin! 

To that end, we have begun looking for a new member of our team. Check out the job posting for our Program Manager, share with your networks, and consider throwing your hat in the ring!