July 24, 2013
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced today that twenty-two “reinvestment schools” will receive direct support from the newly created Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) to provide guidance and tools to increase these schools’ overall performance. CPS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barbara Byrd-Bennett created OS4 as an integral piece of her five-year action plan, “The Next Generation: Chicago’s Children.” The action plan lays out District priorities aimed at providing every child in every neighborhood across Chicago with a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares them for success in college, career and life.
“Even with exhaustive efforts, sometimes school leaders, teachers and school communities need the guidance and support of their District leaders to help them reach their full potential,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “OS4’s reinvestment strategy presents a monumental, ground-breaking shift in the way the District supports high-need schools. It is an important opportunity to partner with schools that both need support and are ready and able to do the intensive work needed to put themselves on a path toward success.”
To support reinvestment schools, OS4 will directly provide both school leaders and teachers with intense and comprehensive professional development tailored to the specific needs of each school. Recognizing the critical role played by Local School Council members and parents in supporting school improvement, OS4 will also provide these groups with professional learning opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills in best practices to increase student achievement. The style of support involves embedded coaching and training for school leaders and staff that will help them sustain the new practices and improve performance beyond the three-year program. These professional development resources and tools will be designed in collaboration with a cross-functional CPS team, representing our Network and Teaching and Learning staff, and will be leveraged as a core District resource for all schools.
The reinvestment schools program is an early intervention support effort for high-need schools that aims to prevent putting in place drastic, late-stage, school-level interventions in the future. To find schools meeting the OS4 criteria, CPS conducted a comprehensive and inclusive selection process that centered on input and recommendations from Network Chiefs as well as a review of each school’s performance indicators and attributes. OS4 criteria primarily focused on input and recommendations involving Level 3 and Level 2 neighborhood schools; schools located in communities historically impacted by school consolidations; and high-need schools with trajectories indicating that dramatic improvements in school climate and student performance are necessary. Network Chief recommendations, together with school performance indicators and attributes, directly informed CEO Byrd-Bennett’s determination in selecting which schools were ready and able to commit to a whole school transformation process starting in the 2013-14 school year.
CEO Byrd-Bennett has identified twenty-one reinvestment elementary schools and one reinvestment high school. Each reinvestment school will be responsible for meeting or exceeding annual school-specific benchmarks established by the CEO and will remain subject to the District’s performance policy. OS4 will partner with reinvestment schools for up to three years, and all of OS4’s supports and services are designed to build the capacity of each school’s ability to sustain school improvement following its work with OS4.
OS4 will also oversee the implementation of the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. This program currently covers 15 secondary schools that were selected for SIG by the Illinois State Board of Education. As required by SIG, each SIG school is paired with an external lead partner that is responsible for managing the implementation of the grant at the school level. SIG funds are used to pay for all costs associated with the lead partner.
A full list of reinvestment schools follows.
OS4 2013-14 Reinvestment Schools
- Ira F. Aldridge Elementary School
- Arthur R. Ashe Elementary School
- Alice L. Barnard Computer Math & Science Center Elementary School
- Jacob Beidler Elementary School
- Lorenz Brentano Math & Science Academy Elementary School
- William H. Brown Elementary School
- Edmond Burke Elementary School
- Andrew Carnegie Elementary School
- George Washington Carver Primary School
- Crown Community Academy of Fine Arts Center Elementary School
- Leif Ericson Elementary Scholastic Academy
- Esmond Elementary School
- Charles G. Hammond Elementary School
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School
- Scott Joplin Elementary School
- Lawndale Elementary Community Academy
- George Manierre Elementary School
- Morgan Park High School
- William C. Reavis Math & Science Specialty Elementary School
- Jackie Robinson Elementary School
- John M. Smyth Elementary School
- Telpochcalli Elementary School
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.