News


December 2013

Bowman Academy high school students raise money, spirits, hope in Gary

December 15, 2013 - Rob Kania, physics teacher at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, looked "happier than Santa Claus on Christmas Eve" when he dropped in at Wal-Mart with his student elves. Several dozen Thea Bowman seniors shopped for toys, gifts and clothes for needy kids across Northwest Indiana. "I'm so proud of these students," said Kania, "Just look at them enjoying what they created." The students raised $5,200 for Kania's Angel Tree Project through the Salvation Army, which included proceeds from the students' families, the school's student council-organized sock hop last week, and a $1,000 donation from the school's PTA. "Raising the money was even more fun than shopping for these gifts," said 18-year-old Ryndea Foster. Kania's student-leader elf, 17-year-old valedictorian Dana Hudson, coordinated most of the project's details, saying, "This makes us feel great to help out others in need....Watch video and read more in the Post-Tribune>>


Passages Charter School principal receives Charter Innovator award from Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS)

December 2, 2013 - At the INCS 2013 Statewide Charter School Conference, Passages principal Nicole Feinberg was the recipient of the Illinois Charter Innovator award....See photos and names of all awardees here>>


November 2013

Discovery Charter plans readathon to benefit libraries

November 1, 2013 - Discovery Charter School principal Ernesto Martinez announced at the school's board meeting that Discovery will hold its first ever Read-a-Thon for two weeks starting Monday, November 11. If each of the 490 students at Discovery Charter School read 20 minutes per day and got five supporters to pledge 10 cents for each minute read during the Read-a-Thon or a flat $24 donation, the school would earn $58,800. Martinez said he had heard of other schools having success with their read-a-thons, bringing in large sums of money, and thought the fundraising idea would have a good chance of being successful at Discovery....Continue reading in the Chesterton Tribune>>


October 2013

Marshall Academy holds fundraiser skate party

October 16, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy held its first Fundraiser Skate Party at Roller Dome South on October 14. Parents, students and staff participated in games and races and included three student winners: first grader Demonte Carlisle, fifth grader Devonte Woods, and 8th grader Brenda Robinson. The middle school won a prize for the highest attendance....Continue reading>>


Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October

October 16, 2013 - On October 16, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Carondelet Leadership Academy teacher Samantha Scott was part of a podcast featuring the Starkloff Disability Institute (SDI), whose goal is to enable people with disabilities to live independently. Through their Next Step program, SDI works with employers and job-seekers to help bridge the unemployment gap between persons with and without disabilities - only 20 percent of working age people with disabilities have jobs. Ms. Scott, who is visually impaired, is a 2012 graduate of the Next Step Initiative and shared during the podcast, "I was fortunate enough to know that I wanted to find a job in teaching. But my barriers were really, once finding a school and going to an interview, just how to disclose my disability in a positive way and show that I still had a lot of skills and could be effective in the workplace." Ms. Scott carries a....Continue reading and hear the podcast>>


September 2013

Thea Bowman Academy student honored for honesty

September 25, 2013 - On Wednesday, third through sixth grade students at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy learned a little about benefits of honesty and selflessness. Charron Hall, 10, was honored for her honesty after she found a wallet full of money at the local park and promptly returned it to its owner. As he presented Charron with an engraved plaque, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said, "I'm here today to talk about doing the right thing....Continue reading >>


Food 4 Kids program grows

September 19, 2013 - Food 4 Kids, a program that each week provides a bag of ready-to-eat foods for needy kids in school, will reach 1,600 students this year, up 400 from last year, according to organizers with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. Eight schools, including Xavier School of Excellence, were added to the program this year. To help, you can write a check to the Food Bank of Northern Indiana with "Food 4 Kids Fun Packs" in the memo, call 574-232-9986 or visit www.feedindiana.org...Read more about the program in the South Bend Tribune >>


East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy the sole charter school in Northwest Indiana to get perfect score on state reading test

September 7, 2013 - East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy was among the 21 schools, and the sole charter school, in Northwest Indiana with a 100 percent passing rate on the IREAD-3. ECUEA principal Charlotte Jackson was thrilled the school was in that group. We really focused our efforts on students meeting and exceeding expectations," Mrs. Jackson said. "We had differentiated instruction...Continue reading >>


August 2013

During second year, Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy continues to grow

August 29, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy is now a few weeks into its second year of operation. "Probably the No. 1 thing I'm impressed with at the school is the culture that is being created," said Jonathan Ray, president and CEO of the Fort Wayne Urban League. "The one thing we want to try to impress upon the parents is that they have to be involved. The students have to be involved and prepared to learn. They have to understand that embracing your own education is just as important as....Continue reading >>


Discovery Charter School finalizing plans for outdoor classroom

August 29, 2013 - At Discovery's Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, member Janine Girzadas said digging could start this weekend by school associates for an area measuring roughly 30-foot wide by 20 feet in length, which will serve as an outdoor classroom for about 30 students. Girzadas said she is still mulling the type of seating best suited for the project such as picnic tables or wood benches which would give it a more classroom-style feel. There will be a piece of slate that will act as a chalk board and the flooring will be done using water permeable pavers. The cost for the project is estimated at $10,000 which will be met through a $5,000 grant received and funds raised by the Parents Action Council. A second outdoor classroom is also in the planning stages. The board in February approved a concept by Discovery eighth grader David Dumelle who will be creating the classroom himself for his Eagle Scout project....Continue reading >>


Welcome Week for freshmen at the University of Southern Indiana

August 22, 2013 - Thursday was move-in day at the University of Southern Indiana as first-year students began relocating from home life with family to dorm life with new roommates. Among the USI students beginning a new chapter in their lives was Hammond native Khiry Cousert. Khiry skipped two grades in high school � he attended the Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary � and was starting college at age sixteen 300 miles away from home. After receiving a brochure and visiting, Khiry said he "fell in love with the campus." He is double majoring in sports management and physical education, and aspires to be a sports agent. He said, "I'm not nervous....Continue reading >>


Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy in Fort Wayne enrolling for Grades K-8

August 1, 2013 - Starting today, Thursday, August 1, Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy will hold weekly tours from 4-6 PM. Just come by and check out the school, located at 2310 Weisser Park Avenue. For additional information call (260)755-0193...Like, comment or share on Facebook >>


Summer workshop fosters kids' interest in STEM-related careers

August 1, 2013 - About 70 local middle and high school students, including students from Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, attended an eight-week Engineering Technology Summer High School Workshop at Purdue University Calumet. The program was free for any interested high school student or to middle school students with references. Craig Engle, clinical assistant professor in mechatronics engineering technology, said the program is part of a wider effort "to get students interested in a science, technology, engineering or math-related careers, such as a career in mechatronics, where there is a shortfall of skilled employees. Aaron Whittaker, an eighth-grader at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary, said he wants to be like his father, who is a mechanical engineer. "I always wanted to go to Purdue, because that's where my dad went"....Continue reading Northwest Indiana Times article >>


Back-to-school stress

August 1, 2013 - Diane Medley, Student Service Specialist at Discovery Charter School, offers several suggestions on how parents can help alleviate back to school stress, including easing back into daily routines and becoming more familiar with who their new teacher will be so they'll know what to expect. While fifth grader Paul Kennedy looks forward to going back to Discovery Charter this fall, his younger brother Owen, who will be entering third grade, is more apprehensive. Their mother, Mignon Kennedy, a licensed social worker and executive director at Gabriel's Horn in Porter County, said, "We focus on....Continue reading Northwest Indiana Times article >>


July 2013

EDUCATION NEWS: Indiana Department of Education releases report on ISTEP validity

July 29, 2013 - In response to widespread problems associated with CTB McGraw-Hill's administration of the high-stakes ISTEP this spring, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz hired Dr. Richard Hill of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment to review the results. Superintendent Ritz made the following statements regarding Dr. Hill's report: I have spent the last several months talking with Hoosiers about the impact these interruptions had in the classroom. Although Dr. Hill's report found that the statewide average score was not affected by the interruptions, there is no doubt that thousands of Hoosier students were affected. As Dr. Hill stated in his report, 'We cannot know definitively how students would have scored this spring if the interruptions had not happened.' Because of this, I have given local schools the flexibility they need to minimize the effect these tests have on various matters, such as teacher evaluation and compensation. I have also instructed CTB McGraw-Hill to conduct enhanced stress and load testing to ensure that their servers are fully prepared for next year's test and ensure that this never happens again....Click here for Indiana DOE press release and Dr. Hill's full report >>


Purdue University Calumet hosts Project Excel

July 29, 2013 - About 30 middle school students from Hammond, Calumet Township, and East Chicago, including several students from East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, had an opportunity to be exposed to the STEM-related disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math while simultaneously getting a taste of college life at Purdue University Calumet. PUC hosted Project Excel, a two-week academic enrichment program that ran through July 26, featuring project-based learning activities, classroom experiences, speakers, field trips and campus life. Lauryn Smith, an eighth-grader at East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, worked on a disease outbreak simulation during the program. Darea Warner, a seventh-grader at Urban Enterprise Academy, thought the program was....Continue reading Northwest Indiana Times article >>


Thea Bowman Leadership Academy at Dunes Learning Center

July 6, 2013 - How important are outdoor learning experiences for urban children? Bill Payonk, fifth grade science and social studies teacher at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary, Indiana, shares his insights....Watch video below or click here >>





June 2013

Thea Bowman Academy grad headed to UC-Berkeley on Gates scholarship

June 23, 2013 - Marsalis Gibson, 17, left his high school days behind on a good note. He was class valedictorian at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy and in track and field he captured the state title as an individual in the 110 meter hurdle. Gibson is one of the 1,000 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars in the world and one of three living in Northwest Indiana. The Gates Millennium Scholarship allows recipients to have a full ride from their undergraduate studies to a PhD. Gibson plans to attend the University of California in Berkeley this fall and major in engineering....Continue reading Post-Tribune article >>


Black Music Month celebrated with East Chicago parade

June 22, 2013 - Floats, decorated cars and performance groups were among the roughly 50 entries that lined up June 22 on Indiana Harbor Drive from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Dickey Road to take part in a parade commemorating June as Black Music Month. The parade was the sixth annual event hosted by the I Too Sing America Organization of NWI Inc., which awards three $500 scholarships annually to Northweast Indiana students. This year's three recipients rode along in the parade and are recent graduates of Thea Bowman Leadership Academy: Ryan Bennett, of Gary; Danielle Bradley, of East Chicago; and Brooklyn Brown, of Hammond. Danielle Bradley, who plans to attend Indiana State University and pursue a career as a....Continue reading Northwest Indiana Times article >>


New playground at Marshall Academy

June 19, 2013 - The new playground is going up at Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy. Special thanks to the Fort Wayne Urban League's Board Chair Leroy Jackson for personally helping put it together....Comment, share or like this on Facebook >>


Michael Bakalis to discuss "The Achilles Heel" at Author Series event on June 26

June 13, 2013 - Dr. Michael J. Bakalis, the founder, president, and CEO of American Quality Schools, will discuss his new book "The Achilles Heel" on June 26 from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Heartland Institute in downtown Chicago....Learn more about this event and register here >>


Bowman Academy students receive scholarship awards from Barden Gary Foundation

June 12, 2013 - Barden Gary Foundation recently hosted its seventh annual scholarship awards dinner for Gary high school seniors who are members of the foundation's scholarship program. Parents, principals, counselors, and teachers joined the foundation's board of directors to celebrate with the 38 students from various Gary high schools receiving a total of $50,100 in scholarship awards. This year's honorees included Thea Bowman Leadership Academy students Tenia Martin, Marcus Lloyd, Danielle Pickens, Shiyenne Talley, and She'Terra Williams. With a program that focuses on....Continue reading >>


Indiana Department of Education hires third party to validate high stakes ISTEP data

June 10, 2013 - Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced today that the Department of Education has hired the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment (NCIEA) to determine whether testing interruptions experienced by students in April invalidated high stakes ISTEP test scores. Phase 1 of the validation process will consist of reviewing whether administrative testing problems materially affected student scores. Phase 2 of the analysis will consist of determining whether scores should be equated or adjusted based on the findings of Phase 1. Tania Grimes, principal of Xavier School of Excellence, told WNDU News in South Bend, "I'm glad that the state acknowledges that there could be a problem and is looking into it and considering....Continue watching WNDU News interview >>

Read announcement from Indiana Department of Education here >>

Xavier students make video for DARE program

June 7, 2013 - WNDU News in South Bend featured a story about the DARE program at Xavier School of Excellence. One of the fifth grade classes participated in the DARE program, which runs for ten weeks. The students learned about how to resist peer pressure, say no to drugs and resist violence. As part of the DARE graduation, the fifth graders used their iPad minis to make a video promising to stay away from drugs and presented it to Sergeant Cynthia Guest. Xavier teacher Sieanna McCray said, "My class is extremely creative, so when we were....Continue watching WNDU News feature >>


May 2013

Bowman Academy student is a Gates Millennium Scholar and individual track and field state champion

May 31, 2013 - Thea Bowman Leadership Academy junior Marsalis Gibson won a state championship in the 110-meter high hurdles on May 31, becoming Bowman Academy's first individual state champion in track and field. Marsalis is also among the Class of 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS). The GMS Program awards good-through-graduation scholarships which can be used to pursue degrees in any undergraduate major at the college or university of the recipients' choice. The Class of 2013 includes 1,000 students across the country and Marsalis is one of four Scholars from Indiana. Read Post-Tribune article about Marsalis's track and field win here >>

See full list of Class of 2013 Gates Millenium Scholars here >>

East Chicago Education Foundation salutes Teachers of Excellence

May 25, 2013 - Laughter and appreciation were in plentiful supply on May 23 as the East Chicago Education Foundation hosted its annual Teachers of Excellence Recognition Dinner at Block Junior High School. Each year teachers and administrators from public, private and charter schools in East Chicago choose one outstanding teacher at each school to be honored. This year's recipients included Amira Abunadi, a third grade teacher at East Chicago Urban Enterpise Academy. Each teacher spoke in a video presentation shown to the crowd of about 200 people who attended the dinner. Each educator was then presented onstage by a current or former student, who gave reasons each recipient deserved the honor....Read more >>


Marshall Academy student among honored inductees of National Achievers Society

May 24, 2013 - Elonne Gibson, an eighth grade student at Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy, was among the recently honored inductees of the National Achievers Society (NAS) for their outstanding work during the current school year. NAS is an academic society of the National Urban League for minority scholars in grades 6-12 and part of a long-standing partnership between Urban Leagues and African American churches. Students receiving this honor are eligible for local and national Urban League scholarships. Elonne and other area scholars were recognized by the Fort Wayne Urban League at a ceremony....Continue reading >>


Indiana Public Charter Schools Association director visits two AQS schools

May 24, 2013 - Paula Jackson-Eaglin, Director of Member Services and New School Development at the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association, visited two AQS schools this week. Ms. Jackson-Eaglin visited Xavier School of Excellence in South Bend on Wednesday, toured the school and attended the school board meeting. She was at Discovery Charter School in Chesterton on Friday during the school's annual Fun Run....Read Ms. Jackson's Tweet about her Xavier visit on May 22 >>

Read Ms. Jackson's Tweet about her visit to Discovery on May 24 >>

Discovery Charter student featured in Northwest Indiana Times

May 24, 2013 - When 9-year-old Sander Owens saw Alex Trebek hosting the 2012 National Geographic Bee on TV, he knew he had to be a part of it. "I wanted to compete at something I was good at and I liked. I'm glad there are academic as well as athletic competitions, and I liked knowing there are a lot of other kids who like geography, too," he said. After competing with fellow students in a school-level geographic bee at Discovery Charter School in Porter, Owens emerged the winner. In April, he finished 10th in the state-level National Geographic Bee competition in Indianapolis, being named to the top 1 percent of the nation's fourth-through eighth-graders in terms of geographic literacy....Continue reading >>


Marshall Academy Open House on May 23

May 20, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy will hold an Open House on Thursday, May 23, from 6-8pm....Comment, share or like this on Facebook >>


East Chicago to pay tribute to teachers at May 23 event

May 20, 2013 - Amira Abunadi of East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy will be among the honorees at the 2013 Teachers of Excellence Recognition Dinner at Block Junior High School on May 23. Dinner is at 6pm with the program beginning at 7pm. Tickets are $20. The event is sponsored by the East Chicago School Board, the City of East Chicago, and the East Chicago Education Foundation....Comment, share or like this on Facebook (Ms. Abunadi is pictured at top left) >>


Advanced tickets sales to Bartlett's Grill event on May 26 will benefit Discovery Charter School

May 20, 2013 - Bartlett's Gourmet Grill in Beverly Shores, IN, will hold its First Annual Oyster Fest on Sunday, May 26, from 12-4pm. This family friendly event will also have alternative menu items for the non oyster fan. If tickets are purchased in advance, part of the proceeds go to Discovery Charter School....Comment, share or like this on Facebook >>


Marshall Academy participates in the Great American Cleanup

May 19, 2013 - Staff and students from Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy, including second grader Kayana Craig, were among local Fort Wayne residents who participated in the national Great American Cleanup campaign on May 20. In a partnership with the Tobacco Free Allen County County Coalition, the Fort Wayne Urban League added an educational element to the cleanup as 20 young volunteers picked up trash from the area surrounding the Urban League, the Pontiac Branch Public Library, and CANI Head Start. Marshall Academy kindergarten teacher Felicia Farr said, "It's so immportant to do this because it helps beautify our community and the areas we have. It's just exciting to work with the children. It's good for them to see a familiar face and to see that a teacher cares just as much as they should."....Continue reading >>


Plato Learning Academy receives funding for fresh fruit and vegetable program for 2013-14 school year

May 15, 2013 - The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Programs Division announced that Plato Learning Academy is among the schools selected to participate in the Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program (FFVP) for the 2013-14 school year. The purpose of the program is to increase fresh fruit and fresh vegetable consumption in elementary schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. FFVP grant funds are used for fresh fruits and vegetables provided to children at no cost....Read more >>

See full list of schools and FFVP funding amounts


Discovery Charter School named 4 Star school by Indiana Department of Education

May 13, 2013 - Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced Indiana's 4 Star schools for 2013 today. Discovery Charter School was among the 313 schools across the state that received the award. In order to achieve this designation, a school must be in the top 25th percentile of schools in ISTEP+ testing results....Read news release from Indiana DOE >>


Thea Bowman Leadership Academy to receive 2013 Green Apple award from Dunes Learning Center

May 13, 2013 - Support Dunes Learning Center's mission and celebrate excellence in environmental education at the annual fundraising dinner on Friday, July 26, in Hobart, IN. The dinner will feature a presentation of the 2013 Green Apple award to Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, music by Chicago's Sanctified Grumblers and a silent auction. Tickets are $85 per person with early-bird pricing of $75 per person through June 1....Purchase tickets here >>


Thea Bowman Leadership Academy hosts 4-H Science Club

May 13, 2013 - Three Lake County schools have created new science clubs with funding from Cargill Inc. and the National 4-H Council. More than 100 students are participating in the program, which emphasizes hands-on learning about science, engineering, and technology. The Cargill 4-H Science Club at Thea Bowman Academy enriches the fourth-grade science curriculum with projects ranging from building circuit boards to hatching baby chicks in classroom incubators. Principal Alethea Fontleroy said the club "has been a wonderful experience for the students and teachers at Thea Bowman. These experiments address the visual, auditory, and tactile learner."....Continue reading >>


EDUCATION NEWS: States' online testing problems raise concerns for Common Core tests

May 3, 2013 - Education Week is reporting that widespread technical failures and interruptions of online testing in multiple states have "shaken the confidence of educators and policymakers in high-tech assessment methods and raised serious concerns about schools' technological readiness for future online tests." Disruptions occurred last week across Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, and hundreds, if not thousands, of tests may be invalidated. This has prompted concern about Common Core online testing scheduled to begin nationwide in 2014-15. Coincidently, just before the testing problems arose in Indiana, the state legislature passed and sent to the governor a bill that would "pause" Common Core implementation there. Glenda Ritz, Indiana's state superintendent, told Education Week that the state might pull out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), one of two consortia developing Common Core tests. Chad Colby, a spokesman for PARCC, said PARCC will work to solve any technical problems before the Common Core online tests are rolled out. Joe Willhoft, the executive director of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the other group developing Common Core tests, said that a number of states in his consortium have already been using online testing with all their students for years without major incidents and he was confident any kinks could be worked out before Common Core tests were launched....Read Education Week article >>


Congressman visits Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy, expresses support for charter schools

May 2, 2013 - Congressman Marlin Stutzman expressed support for charter schools during a tour of Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy in Fort Wayne on May 1. Marshall Academy students lined up to meet their congressman near the school entrance. "It's just a different model, and it gives parents a choice to put their students in a system or a school that works best for them," Rep. Stutzman told reporters during his visit. "I think you will see a continuing expansion of charter schools," he added....Read more >>



April 2013

Discovery Charter School student raises money for Indiana University Northwest Geology Club

April 29, 2013 - According to statistics from the National Thirst Project, over 1 billion people on the planet do not have access to clean water and proper sanitization. This reality sparked the IUN Geology Club to sponsor the second annual Walk for Water event at Marquette Park Beach. Annali Sasak, a fourth grader at Discovery Charter School, said, "I feel it is kind of unfair that some people do not get clean water and we do. I think we are pretty lucky to be in a country that has clean water." Annali erected a Lemonade Shakestand outside her family's business, The Marquette Perk, hoping to raise money for the Geology Club. At $2 a serving and after covering costs, Annali was able to donate $24 to the walk....Read more >>


Xavier teachers pilot flipped classrooms

April 24, 2013 - Cathy Washington and Lindsey Walsh, fourth grade team teachers at Xavier School of Excellence, have been participating in professional development about flipped classrooms and will pilot the flipped classroom model for the remainder of the school year. Flipped learning inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving homework into the classroom. Parents of fourth grade students were surveyed to confirm Internet access in the home....Learn more on Mrs. Washington and Ms. Walsh's classroom website >>


Junior Achievement at Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy

April 24, 2013 - Staff from the Fort Wayne Urban League volunteered for Junior Achievement's "JA in a Day" at Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy. Marshall Academy students learned about creating businesses, planning communities, and personal finance....Comment, share or like this on FWUL Facebook page >>


Healthy Schools Campaign congratulates Fit to Learn program graduates and participants

April 23, 2013 - Passages Charter School first grade teacher Karla Caunca and kindergarten teacher Christian Hoeffel were among the 16 teachers from all over the city of Chicago to have participated in or graduated from Fit to Learn, Healthy Schools Campaign's free wellness-focused professional development program, during the 2012-2013 school year. Throughout the year, these teachers attended workshops and booster sessions and implemented Fit to Learn activities and ideas in their classrooms....Read more >>


Plato Learning Academy and American Quality Schools honor the late Reverend Lewis L. Flowers

April 22, 2013 - The main offices of both Plato Learning Academy primary school campus and Plato Learning Academy middle school campus feature a plaque honoring the memory of Austin community leader Reverend Lewis Flowers. Reverend Flowers was instrumental in the founding of Plato Learning Academy in 2008 and served as chairman of the school board. Three of his grandchildren are current students. The plaques were provided by Plato's education management partner, American Quality Schools, of which Reverend Flowers was a board member....Reverend Flowers' daughter and grandchildren pictured with Plato principal and advisory board members >>


Xavier School of Excellence student among the finalists for Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph County

April 21, 2013 - Six outstanding youth are competing to become Youth of the Year for the Boys & Girls Club of St. Joseph County, including Theresa Morrow, an eighth grade student at Xavier School of Excellence. Three awards including Youth of the Year, the Junior awardee, and the Great Big Kid award will be presented at BGCSJC Greatest Kid Celebration at the Hilton Garden Inn in South Bend on Saturday April 27. On Friday April 26, Xavier School of Excellence students and staff will be able to pay $1 to dress down, with all proceeds being donated to BGCSJC "Greatest Kids" fundraiser in Theresa's name....Read more >>


Marshall Academy's step team featured in April 20 Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette

April 20, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy's step team performed a 12-minute routine in Bloomington for Indiana University's famed Little 500 bicycle race on April 20. Thirteen girls in grades 3 through 8 make up the team, which formed shortly after the school opened in last fall. Marshall Academy's principal Tameka Wilson leads the squad and said it has been a great exercise in team building and leadership for students. "It's building their self-esteem," Wilson said. Seventh-grader Arie Brown, who was chosen to be team captain, said even though she had never stepped before this year, she's having fun with her classmates and enjoys traveling and performing....Read more and watch video >>


Bowman Academy Eagles honored at the Statehouse

April 16, 2013 - Thea Bowman Leadership Academy's boys basketball team was honored by the top political leaders in the state on April 16. The Indiana Senate and House formally congratulated the Class 2A state champions along with their coach and manager. State Sen. Earline Rogers of Gary introduced the Eagles to the lawmakers before they approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 49, which celebrates....Read more >>


State Rep. Brown of Gary leads Indiana House in congratulating Bowman Academy Eagles

April 16, 2013 - Representative Charles Brown led the Indiana House of Representatives today in congratulating Thea Bowman Leadership Academy's boys basketball team, the first team in Indiana history to win state titles in multiple classes. Rep. Brown's official press release stated that "head coach Marvin Rea and his team promote the same leadership development taught by the school's namesake Thea Bowman, an African-American nun who dedicated her life to educating future leaders in the community." Rep. Brown also stated that the team showed their determination and dedication to the sport by....Read more >>


Open House at Thurgood Marshall Academy on April 25

April 15, 2013 - The next enrollment open house for Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy in Fort Wayne is scheduled for April 25 from 6-8pm. Prospective students and families can meet the teachers, tour the school and participate in fun learning activities....Comment, share or like on Facebook >>


"Breakfast with the Mayor" program launched at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy

April 15, 2013 - On Friday, April 12, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson officially launched the "Breakfast with the Mayor" program. Each month Mayor Freeman-Wilson will visit a school in Gary and have breakfast with students, who will ask her questions about city government and Gary's future. The first "Breakfast with the Mayor" was held at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy....Read more and see photos >>


Carondelet Leadership Academy to celebrate diversity on April 25

April 15, 2013 - Carondelet Leadership Academy families and friends will enjoy "Diversity Night" on April 25 from 6-7:30pm. During the event, families will....View flyer to learn more >>


State budget proposals boost most Northwest Ind. charters

April 14, 2013 - Sunday's Post-Tribune reports that educators in Northwest Ind. claim that House and Senate versions of the biennium budget under consideration in the General Assembly appear to favor charter schools at the expense of traditional public schools. According to the Post-Tribune, Gary Public Schools is facing decreases of 7.6 percent in the Senate's 2014 budget and 5.1 percent in the House's 2014 budget. Gary charter Thea Bowman Leadership Academy is set to receive increases of 8.9 percent under the Senate budget and 10.1 percent under the House budget for 2014. LEAD charter school in Gary is listed with increases of 4.1 percent and 9.8 percent under the Senate and House budgets, respectively. East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy is scheduled to receive increases of 6.1 percent from the Senate and 6.0 percent from the House in 2014. In Porter County, Discovery Charter School has a proposed 12.6 percent increase from the Senate in 2014 and 12.3 percent increase in the House budget. The complex state funding formula takes several factors into consideration including....Read More >>


Artist visits Discovery Charter School

April 10, 2013 - Invited by the Discovery Art Program, professional illustrator and fine artist Mitch Markovitz came to Discovery Charter School to talk about South Shore Poster art. Markovitz is best known for the "Just Around the Corner" series of the South Shore Line posters in Northwest Indiana. His visit is the beginning of a month-long project for fourth grade. They'll each create a South Shore Line poster of their own, which will be exhibited at the Beverly Shores Train Depot Museum this spring and summer....Read More >>


Bowman Academy Eagles recognized by the Lake County Council

April 9, 2013 - During its monthly meeting on April 9, the Lake County Council honored Thea Bowman Leadership Academy's boys basketball team for winning the 2013 IHSAA Class 2A state championship....Support and follow @BowmanAthletics on Twitter >>


Discovery Charter student finishes 10th at the Indiana National Geographic Bee

April 8, 2013 - Discovery Charter School fourth grader Sander Owens was a top 10 finalist at the Indiana National Geographic Bee on April 5. One hundred students from across the state took part in the competition at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Sander was one of seven students to receive a perfect score in the preliminary rounds which earned him a spot in the final round of the competition. Indiana's newest Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, spoke to the group of students congratulating them on their amazing efforts and encouraging them to continue their Social Studies pursuits....Read more about the Indiana National Geographic Bee competition >>


Passages Charter School among the 2013-14 awardees of Chicago's Ready to Learn Initiative

April 5, 2013 - Passages Charter School is one of six charters that will operate a high-quality early education program for the 2013-14 school year as part of a collaboration between Chicago Public Schools, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the Department of Family and Support Services....See the full list of 2013-14 awardees >>



March 2013

Watch video of Marshall Academy students at Indiana Statewide Stepshow

March 26, 2013 - Thirteen students in grades 3 through 8 from Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy performed at the Indiana Statewide Stepshow hosted by the Alpha Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. The show was held on March 23 at the Madame CJ Walker Theatre in Indianapolis. The TMLA step team will also perform on May 19 at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)....Watch Video >>


Chicago Symphony's Civic Orchestra performs at Passages Charter School

March 26, 2013 - Passages Charter School is one of eight elementary schools participating in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Music Activity Partnership program during the 2013 season. As a Music Activity Partnership school, The Symphony's Civic Orchestra musicians performed for Passages' fourth, fifth, and sixth graders for two consecutive Fridays. One performance focused on percussion instruments and the other on the string quartet....Learn more about the Music Activity Partnership >>


Bowman Academy Eagles win their second state championship title

March 24, 2013 - Thea Bowman Leadership Academy's boys basketball team defeated Linton-Stockton on Saturday to win the Class 2A state championship title. The Eagles won their first state title in 2010....Watch videos and read local coverage >>


ECUEA Tigers featured in the Northwest Indiana Times

March 22, 2013 - East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy's seventh- and eighth-grade boys basketball team finished the season at 27-1, despite practicing in the school's cafeteria. The team's only loss was during a tournament in Chicago against Beasley Academic Center, famously the alma mater of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose....Read feature article >>


Judge orders Gary Community Schools to lease building to LEAD College Prep

March 21, 2013 - On March 20, Lake County Superior Court Judge John Sedia ordered the Gary Community School Corporation to "immediately" lease the vacant Ernie Pyle Elementary School building to LEAD College Preparatory Charter for $1, as is specified under Indiana law....Read More >>


Artwork of Thea Bowman Academy senior featured in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

March 20, 2013 - Linden Jackson, a 6-foot senior guard on Thea Bowman Academy's boys basketball team, is an artist on and off the court. He did a graphic design entitled "In the Clouds" which won him an art contest. His artwork was hung in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry as part of a new youth component of the Museum's Juried Art Exhibition....Read More >>


Discovery kindergarten classes will compete in rain barrel Earth Day contest

March 13, 2013 - Twenty-six rain barrels from 19 different schools are entered in the first annual Porter County School Rain Barrel Design Contest that will take place at the 2013 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration. Participating schools, including Discovery Charter School, were supplied with rain barrels that classes could paint or design using environmentally friendly materials. The Earth Day celebration will take place at the Porter County Expo Center on April 20. Each person attending the celebration will be able to cast a vote for his or her favorite rain barrel design...Read More >>


Appeal dates scheduled for two Gary charter schools

March 12, 2013 - Ball State University has scheduled appeal hearing dates for two Gary schools that were notified their charters would not be renewed. LEAD College Prep's hearing is set for April 3. A hearing for Charter School of the Dunes will be on April 24. Both hearings begin at 9AM on the BSU campus in Muncie. The charter schools will make their case before a three-member panel....Read More >>


Thea Bowman high school students study world affairs at PUC conference

March 12, 2013 - More than 300 high school students attended a World Affairs Conference at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond to discuss whether world peace is possible and why they should care. Students watched a video featuring former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton, who is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. The group also analyzed the conflict in Syria and debated the best time for the international community to intervene. George Gajda, a Thea Bowman Leadership Academy sophomore, said he thinks the goal of stability is achievable....Read More >>


American Quality Schools submits factual information to the Chicago Tribune in response to statements made about charter school costs

March 11, 2013 - Today's Chicago Tribune features an article about a meeting held on the North Side on Sunday to discuss several issues of the 49th Ward. Residents are asking their alderman, Joe Moore, to publicly oppose the opening of future charter schools. According to the article, a resident stated that she had to pull her children out of Passages Charter School because "the cost of sending them to the school was too great". One of the leaders of the North Side group that hosted Sunday's meeting said, "for some parents, charter schools aren't an option because in some cases they're too expensive." In response to these statements, Patricia Yadgir, vice president of school programs for American Quality Schools, informed the Chicago Tribune that charters are tuition-free public schools and parents pay an annual fee per child, as do parents of Chicago Public Schools students. The student fee at Passages Charter School covers field trips and other school-related activities; additionally, Passages offers assistance to families who need help paying the fee. Becky Carroll, chief communications officer for Chicago Public Schools, which also has student fees, said "charter schools don't cost more to attend." Alderman Joe Moore, who did not attend Sunday's meeting, told the Chicago Tribune that "with future charter schools, it might be possible for more lower-income students to attend"....Read updated article >>


Carondelet Leadership Academy to host Pi Night on 3.14

March 8, 2013 - On March 14, Carondelet Leadership Academy staff, students and families will celebrate Pi Night from 5:30-7:00pm. The celebration will include actors, stories, measurement activities, foods in the shape of a circle, and a Pi bee....View flyer >>


STEM education at the root of Thea Bowman Academy science project

March 7, 2013 - Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education is a reality at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy. Twenty students from grades 3-6 participated in the Wired for Wind Science Challenge with materials provided by Lake County 4-H Department. The Wired for Wind project was designed to explore how to engineer renewable energy technologies....Continue reading >>


EDUCATION NEWS: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) releases tool to prepare schools and districts for rigorous 21st century assessments

March 5, 2013 - PARCC released a new planning tool today that will help districts and schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia get ready for new assessments in the 2014-2015 school year. The PARCC consortium includes Illinois and Indiana. The guidance released today is the first in a series of publications that PARCC intends to release over the coming months....Read More >>


Discovery Charter School raises nearly $8,000 in support of the American Heart Association�s Jump Rope for Heart program

March 4, 2013 - Discovery Charter School participated in the Jump Rope for Heart program for the third year in a row and raised $7,800 to benefit the American Heart Association. The Jump Rope for Heart program helps students learn or improve their jump rope skills while also empowering them to enrich their own health and help other kids with heart-health issues. Over three years, Discovery has raised more than $16,000 for this cause. To celebrate exceeding last year's fundraising total, Discovery will have a Pajama Day for grades K-4 and Dress Down Day for grades 5-8 on March 15....Learn more about Jump Rope for Heart program >>


Carondelet Leadership Academy among the schools on St. Louis charters tour

March 4, 2013 - On February 26, the Missouri Charter Public School Association co-hosted a tour of several St. Louis charter schools in coordination with Mayor Francis Slay's office. The tour drew community leaders from across the city and metro areas and received great reviews....Read More >>


Bowman Academy Eagles win Class 2A Wheeler Sectional for second straight year

March 2, 2013 - Thea Bowman Leadership Academy's boys basketball team beat Bishop Noll to win their second straight sectional title....Read local coverage >>


WGCI visits Plato Learning Academy

March 1, 2013 - The host of "Dime Time Radio" on 107.5 WGCI-FM spoke to students at Plato Learning Academy today to motivate them for upcoming ISAT testing....Retweet here >>

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February 2013

Plato Learning Academy and Passages Charter School renewed for five year terms

February 28, 2013 - At Wednesday's board meeting, Chicago's Board of Education approved the recommended five-year renewal of Plato Learning Academy and of Passages Charter School. Every charter and contract school up for renewal this year was reviewed on several factors, including contract compliance, charter governance, academic growth, parent input, and history of fiscal management....Read More >>


Discovery Charter School to host summer science camp, registration open to all students in Duneland area

February 28, 2013 - Discovery Charter School is the host site for the Camp Invention summer enrichment program to be held from June 10-14. The program is open to students entering grades 1-6 throughout the Duneland area, not just Discovery students. The weeklong camp will focus on science and technological education using problem-solving and hands-on teamwork. Parents who register their child(ren) online receive a discount on program costs....Read More >>

Click here to register online for Camp Invention and receive a discount


It all adds up for Lake County mathletes

February 28, 2013 - Eighteen region schools, including East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, competed in Thursday night's M.A.T.H. Bowl hosted by Kahler Middle School. It was standing room only at the Dyer, IN school as parents crowded into the gymnasium to watch and cheer on the teams....Read local coverage >>

View Elementary M.A.T.H. Bowl results


Plato Learning Academy cheerleading team advances to citywide competition

February 27, 2013 - Plato Learning Academy's 7/8 grade varsity team has won regional cheerleading competition and will advance to City championship on March 23....Congratulations Plato Learning Academy cheerleading team 2012-13 >>


EDUCATION NEWS: Character education seen as a student achievement tool

February 26, 2013 - All AQS campuses incorporate character education into daily classroom activities. Education Week is reporting that a growing body of research supports its effectiveness, and educators say they've seen a difference in students when positive value lessons become part of the school's culture....Read More >>


Indiana Charter School Board visits Thurgood Marshall Academy

February 20, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy heard a report Tuesday from the state's Charter School Board about its accountability system for charter schools. The state board authorizes the school's charter. Claire Fiddian-Green, the state board's director, spoke to Thurgood Marshall Academy's board after visiting the school. Ms. Fiddian-Green said with the increase in the number of charter school authorizers in Indiana, a greater emphasis has been placed on accountability....Read More >>


EDUCATION NEWS: Smarter Balanced begins pilot test of next-generation student assessments

February 20, 2013 - More than 1 million students in 6,000 member schools of the Smarter Balanced Consortium today began administering a Pilot Test of the new assessment system. The Pilot Test is the first of two large-scale tryouts of the assessments prior to implementation in the 2014-15 school year. Smarter Balanced member states include Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan....Read More >>


Open House schedule for Thurgood Marshall Academy

February 19, 2013 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy in Fort Wayne will host informational meetings on February 21 from 10-11 am, March 26 from 6-8 pm, and April 25 from 6-8 pm. The school is registering students for Grades K-8 for the 2013-2014 school year....Comment, share or like >>


String workshop at Urban Enterprise Academy

February 15, 2013 - The Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra performed classical music of major composers at East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy. The Orchestra explained the string instruments to sixth grade students who had completed a unit on the topic....View and share photos >>


Musical review hits a high note at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy

February 13, 2013 - Kindergarten through third grade students at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy held their annual music program on Tuesday. Each grade chose a different song to sing, some with musical accompaniment and some with a skit or play. Students announced what they had learned as they began. Courage, cooperation, hard work and persistence were among the lessons the students talked about....Read More >>


EDUCATION NEWS: President Obama remarks on high-quality preschool programs and redesigning high schools in his State of the Union address

February 12, 2013 - Excerpts from the President's State of the Union address: Today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Every dollar we invest in early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, and hold a job. We know this works. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let's also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Four years ago we started Race to the Top, a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards. Tonight I'm announcing a new challenge to redesign America's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And we'll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math - the skills today's employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future....Full text >>


New website for Passages Charter School, applications for 2013-2014 school year are now available

February 11, 2013 - Passages Charter School has launched an improved website offering a new look and enhanced functionality for current and prospective families. Families can access student applications for the 2013-2014 school year, learn more about the enrollment process, find contact information for all staff members, and keep up to date on events at Passages through the school calendar....Go to Passages Charter School website >>


Urban Enterprise Academy students and Discovery Charter students to participate in IASP M.A.T.H. Bowl competition

February 4, 2013 - Fourth, fifth and sixth graders from East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy and Discovery Charter School will compete (separately) in the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) 2013 Elementary M.A.T.H. Bowl. The competition is made up of four rounds with three different team members competing in each round. The Urban Enterprise Academy team will compete on February 28 beginning at 5pm at Kahler Middle School in Dyer, IN. The Discovery team will also compete on February 28 beginning at 5pm, at Boone Grove Elementary School in Boone Grove, IN....Complete list of participating schools >>



January 2013

EDUCATION NEWS: NWEA's Measures of Academic Progress - Myths and Truths

January 2013 - All American Quality Schools campuses administer NWEA's Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments up to three times per year. Developed by educators, researchers, and psychometricians, MAP is a computer-based adaptive assessment that provides precise and immediate feedback so teachers can pinpoint current student learning needs, personalize instructional planning and promote student engagement. In recent months, with educators being asked to do more with less and instructional time increasingly threatened by high-stakes accountability exams, some questions have been raised about the validity and value of standardized tests, including MAP. To aid educators and decisions-makers, NWEA has provided the following document to ensure that facts are governing future decisions....Read Myths and Truths >>


Illinois State Board of Education celebrates school academic achievement and improvement across the state

January 31, 2013 - Passages Charter School was one of six charter schools in the state and one of four charter schools in Chicago to be named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. Passages was recognized with the Academic Improvement Award for its substantial increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) from 2011 to 2012....Read More >>


Character Counts! at Plato Learning Academy

January 31, 2013 - A mini-movie from Plato Learning Academy premiered today during the school's Character Counts! assembly. With its significant focus on the Character Counts! program, Plato Learning Academy hopes to solidify the values and pillars of character....Watch Movie >>


Trackers send comfort to children

January 30, 2013 - The Discovery Trackers 4-H Club members made four security blankets for Project Linus as their community service project at this month's meeting in the library of Discovery Charter School. Project Linus collects donated blankets for sick or traumatized children. Pictured showing their artwork are, from left....Continue >>


EDUCATION NEWS: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools 2013 model law rankings

January 29, 2013 - The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) today released its rankings of the country's 43 charter school laws. Forty two states and the District of Columbia received a score on its law's strength based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS model law, which include measuring quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities and limited caps on charter school growth. The top ten states with laws best positioned to support the growth of high-quality charter schools includes Indiana....Read NAPCS 2013 Model Law Rankings report >>


Discovery Charter School practices safety drills to improve school security

January 25, 2013 - Staff at Discovery Charter School, as well as representatives from local law enforcement agencies, participated in an eight-hour active shooter and intruder response course designed to bridge the gap between responding officers and the school in the event of an active threat situation. The course included training to assist school personnel in their ability to prevent, report, and if necessary, protect themselves and their students from an active threat during the critical moments while waiting for law enforcement. "Schools are relatively safe, but that doesn't mean we don't want to be prepared," said school director Ernesto Martinez....Read More >>


EDUCATION NEWS: Illinois State Board of Education raises ISAT performance levels

January 24, 2013 - The Illinois State Board of Education raised the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for elementary and middle school students during Thursday's Board meeting in Springfield. The new performance levels will align with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math and prepare for the higher expectations of a new assessment system set to debut in 2014-15. "The Board today took a significant step in changing how we measure a student's progress," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. "The lower expectations of the previous performance levels did our students a disservice by not adequately assessing their ability to succeed after high school." The higher expectations of the new ISAT cut scores will cause a downward shift in the number of students who meet or exceed standards....Read More >>


Thea Bowman students witness history with Obama's inauguration

January 21, 2013 - Tacarra Holden didn't mind the fact that her legs were aching Monday as President Barack Obama appeared on the Capitol's steps to take his oath and speak. "All I wanted to do was just to look at him," she said. "And then I thought, 'Wow. I'm actually hearing him in person.'" The high school senior was one of seven Gary students chosen to go to the inauguration with the Barden Gary Foundation. Teneia Martin, 18, knew she was witnessing a historic event. The Thea Bowman Leadership Academy senior said she appreciated Obama for asking people to come together to help one another. While the other students also appreciated that they were able to witness the presidential oath, there were other parts of the weeklong trip that left lasting impressions. Marcus Lloyd, also a Thea Bowman senior, said his favorite part of the trip was learning about Congress. He liked participating in many of the events because it's something he will never forget. "I'll appreciate (inaugurations in the future) because I came here," Marcus said. "I'll be able to say, 'I was part of that. I was a part of history, of something huge.'"...Read More >>


Carondelet Leadership Academy to host event during National School Choice Week (January 27-February 2)

January 8, 2013 - Carondelet Leadership Academy will host an event from 6:00pm-7:30pm on January 31 as part of National School Choice Week, the world's largest celebration of education reform. 'School Choice Night' at Carondelet Leadership Academy will include a musical number by fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students; storytelling by Sue Hinkle, president of St. Louis Storytellers; a book exchange; games and craft activities; and a magic presentation. National School Choice Week (January 27-February 2, 2013) provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the need for effective education options for all children, including high-performing public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, virtual schools, private schools, homeschooling and more. Planned by a diverse and nonpartisan coalition of individuals and organizations, the week will feature 3,500 independently-planned events across all 50 states, and a cross country, 14-city whistle-stop train tour for education reform that will include stops in Chicago, IL (Union Station) on January 29, and South Bend, IN (Notre Dame) on January 30....Learn More about National School Choice Week >>

School Choice Night at Carondelet Leadership Academy

EDUCATION NEWS: New Gallup survey indicates the longer students remain in school, the less engaged they are

January 7, 2013 - Gallup research strongly suggests that the longer students stay in school, the less engaged engaged they become. The Gallup Student Poll surveyed nearly 500,000 students in grades five through 12 from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 states in 2012. Nearly eight in 10 elementary students who participated are engaged with school. By middle school that falls to about six in 10 students. And by high school, only four in 10 students are qualified as engaged. "Imagine what our economy would look like today if nearly eight in 10 of our high school students were engaged - just as they were in elementary school," wrote Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education. Among the possible reasons for the drop in engagement? "Our overzealous focus on standardized testing and curricula to our lack of experiential and project-based learning pathways for students, not to mention the lack of pathways for students who will not and do not want to go on to college," suggested Busteen....Read More >>



December 2012

Alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas School and Parish make contribution to Plato Learning Academy

December 24, 2012 - During the holiday season St. Thomas Aquinas alumni made a donation to Plato Learning Academy. The Plato Middle School campus on N. LeClaire Street is the site of the former St. Thomas Aquinas School....Read More >>


Seven Gary high school students to attend Presidential Inauguration

December 11, 2012 - Two students from Thea Bowman Leadership Academy will be among the seven high school seniors from Gary attending the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. The students wrote winning essays around the idea of creating a city of Gary "where anything is possible," which earned them an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The essays asked the students to showcase their leadership abilities while complementing a variety of skill sets, such as writing, logic, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. In addition to attending the swearing-in ceremony on the U.S. Capitol steps, the students will participate in a week-long immersion into the political landscape, meetings with members of Congress, and visits with representatives from various cabinet departments....Read More >>

Read the winning essays here

REVEREND LEWIS L. FLOWERS

December 10, 2012 - American Quality Schools sadly announces that Reverend Lewis Flowers, a member of the AQS board of directors, passed away on December 9, 2012. He was a member of the AQS board since August 2011, and also served as chairman of Plato Learning Academy. Reverend Flowers was president and chairman of the Westside Ministers Coalition, a founding partner of Westside Services Providers Network, and was involved in many other community and service oriented projects and programs. On behalf of everyone at American Quality Schools, we extend our most sincere condolences to Reverend Flowers' family, friends, and colleagues. A celebration of life service >>

Statement from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the Passing of Reverend Flowers


Google apps coming to Discovery Charter School

December 6, 2012 - Students and teachers of Discovery Charter School will join the Google world in a few weeks. The school board gave Integrated Technology teacher Jennifer Frankowski permission to download Google Apps for Education, which will keep classes connected with collaborative study programs. Frankowski said using the technology will cut down on the school's cost for paper supplies and that will add to the reputation for "going green." The apps are free to schools like Discovery. School director Ernesto Martinez said it would be more feasible for the older students to use the technology first, then introduce it gradually to the younger classes....Read More >>


Thea Bowman student attends summer MIT program

December 3, 2012 - A 16-year-old Thea Bowman Leadership Academy senior participated in the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology summer program....Read More >>



November 2012

'Dinner with a purpose' at Marshall Academy showcases character

November 26, 2012 - Thurgood Marshall Leadership Academy's Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday night had all the traditional fixin's. But this gathering was about more than celebrating the November holiday. "It's a dinner with a purpose," said Tameka Wilson, the school's interim principal. The "Stand up, speak out, feed out bullying" community dinner was a gathering of students, families and members of the community and gave students the opportunity to show off what they'd learned in character education, a national program focusing on six pillars of strong character. For the past month, Marshall Academy students have been learning about the pillar of respect, which includes bullying awareness....Read More >>


Plato Learning Academy among eight Chicago schools awarded 'Action for Healthy Kids in Schools' grant for 2012-2013 school year

November 1, 2012 - Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) announced today that it has awarded 400 schools nationwide with 'Action for Healthy Kids in Schools' grants. The grants, funded by the Walmart Foundation, are part of AFHK's School Grants for Healthy Kids program, which is designed to improve access to healthy foods at school and bolster nutrition education for over 270,000 children. The grants have been awarded during a time that many of the nation's children are subject to the epidemics of childhood obesity and....Read More >>

Complete list of funded schools



September - October 2012

American Quality Schools hosts All-Staff Professional Development Day

October 8, 2012 - American Quality Schools held its first All-Staff Professional Day of the 2012-2013 academic year on October 5 at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy High School campus in Gary, Indiana. More than 275 teachers, social workers, deans, and instructional aides....Read More >>


LEAD College Prep Academy prepares its students for college

September 15, 2012 - Although it has only been operating for three years, LEAD College Prep Academy high school is working hard to prepare its students for the future. According to principal Nehemiah Thomas the motto of the school is "Our students don't just go to college, they are successful in college"....Read More >>


State Superintendent talks choice, competition during stop in South Bend, visit to Xavier School of Excellence

September 6, 2012 - Welcome back. Now get ready to work hard. That was the message from State Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett, who spoke to the students at Xavier School of Excellence in South Bend, a public charter school. Bennett continued his pep talk to schools around the state and right here in our area, but he also talked to the students about something else: choice....Watch Video >>


LEAD College Prep featured in Post-Tribune article

September 1, 2012 - Mike Suggs said he has no doubt LEAD College Prep can become the premiere educational institution in Northwest Indiana, and maybe the state, with up to 100 percent of graduates going on to college. "I think we have a good story," said Suggs, president of LEAD's school board. "I think we can create an enviroment where the whole neighborhood....Continued >>



August 2012

Data from the Missouri Assessment Program show more charter schools surpassing achievement levels of St. Louis Public Schools, including Carondelet Leadership Academy

August 20, 2012 - Charter schools were introduced to St. Louis more than a decade ago as independent public schools that would be an alternative to struggling city schools. And test scores from the Missouri Assessment Program released last week show that several of the charter school campuses are performing better than St. Louis Public Schools on math and communication arts - some by wide margins. The latest results for Carondelet Leadership Academy show significant improvement - with performance more than doubling compared with last year....Read More >>


Legacy Foundation awards $260,000 in college scholarships for 2012, recipients include Thea Bowman Academy students

August 16, 2012 - The Legacy Foundation manages thirty scholarship programs on behalf of donors and community organizations that wish to help Lake County students achieve their educational goals. Alexandria Artis from Thea Bowman Leadership Academy was the recipient of the Joseph Trent Morrow/Urban League of Northwest Indiana Scholarship, and Avery Davis, also from Thea Bowman, was one of two recipients of the Patrick Lindsey Memorial Scholarship....Read More >>


Education News: Charter, private schools show increased enrollment

August 12, 2012 - Thousands of students across the state are enrolled in 72 charter schools, including a dozen in Northwest Indiana. In addition, nearly 7,500 students have enrolled in Indiana's voucher program, which allows families to use tax dollars to send children to private schools. Indiana Department of Education spokesman Alex Damron said the number of students participating in the voucher program has nearly doubled from last year. Currently, 24 schools in Lake and Porter County accept voucher students. Michael Bakalis, President and CEO of American Quality Schools, which operates several charter schools in Northwest Indiana, said the state....Read More >>


Urban Enterprise Academy students display their artwork

August 10, 2012 - East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy students shared their love of creativity with the community by hosting their first Art Show. Students presented original works of art which ranged from sketches to three-dimensional sculptures. Guests included friends and family of students, ECUEA school board members, and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland, who enjoyed light refreshments and casual conversation with the art patrons....Read More >>



June - July 2012

Passages Charter School has highest percentage-point increase in composite score on the state test among Chicago charter schools

July 16, 2012 - State test results released today shows the overall percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards at Passages Charter School jumped to 82% in 2012 from 71.4% in 2011, an increase of 10.6 percentage points. According to data published in the Chicago Sun-Times, this represents the highest percentage-point gain on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) among all charter schools in the city....View 2012 ISAT results from Chicago Sun-Times >>


Passion for writing leads Oak Brook student to help Chicago school

June 26, 2012 - Young Oak Brook resident Serena Rathi has always wanted to help people any way she could. The soon-to-be junior at Hinsdale Central has a great love of writing and combined her passions to help others. While talking over ideas with her aunt, Rathi learned of Passages Charter School in Chicago, where her aunt volunteers. Rathi contacted Passages principal Nicole Feinberg last fall to pitch her ideas....Read More >>


Discovery Charter School receives grant for special education department

June 4, 2012 - The Special Education department at Discovery Charter School received a grant for $69,000 from the Indiana Department of Education. This grant, the Special Education Improvement Award, focused on purchasing different technology tools to help further increase learning for special education students both within the resource room and the general education classroom. Star boards will also be purchased. Star boards, similar to Smart boards, will allow students a more interactive and visual approach to learning. A portion of the grant has been reserved for the special education staff to attend professional conferences in order to improve instruction within the general and special education settings. Professional development will also include training on the Star boards so that they can be utilized to their fullest potential....Read More >>



May 2012

Discovery Charter School middle school students embrace challenge at Howell Nature Center

May 8, 2012 - The focus was on expanding awareness of the world and taking on personal challenge when fifty-five middle school students from Discovery Charter School travelled to Howell Nature Center in Howell, Michigan. The students visited an International Global Village where they were introduced to lifestyles of different cultures around the world. They experienced typical rural homes from Mozambique, Thailand, Peru, and several others, and learned about the specific challenges faced....Read More >>


Urban Enterprise Academy teacher receives Excellence award from East Chicago Education Foundation

May 3, 2012 - Michelle Jordan, a fifth grade teacher at East Chicago Urban Enterprise Academy, is among the recipients of the Teachers of Excellence award from the East Chicago Education Foundation. The East Chicago Education Foundation honors Teachers of Excellence voted by their peers for their dedication and commitment to education. Previous Teachers of Excellence award winners include first grade teacher Carla Gillis (2011) and third grade teacher Amy Rummel (2010)....View 2012 honorees >>

Watch Video of Teachers of Excellence Ceremony 2012



April 2012

Autism awareness gets a boost in Gary

April 13, 2012 - Students and parents from the Thea Bowman Leadership Academy joined Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson as she proclaimed April as Autism Awareness Month in Gary. The students are members of the organization Autism Speaks, and they work on volunteer projects....Read More >>


Service learning project at Xavier School of Excellence

April 2, 2012 - Grades 6 & 7 students at Xavier School of Excellence have been preparing for a service learning project at the Cardinal Nursing Home, where the students will share gifts with residents, interview the residents, and create oral history documentaries as they learn about the history of the South Bend community. A representative from the Pearson Foundation New Learning Institute provided professional development to staff and students on March 27-28 and led podcasting and interviewing preparation activities with students. The students practiced interviewing skills using Nokia phones as digital recording devices loaned by the New Learning Institute's Model Classroom program. Xavier teacher Justin Zobrosky is the lead teacher on this service learning project. The project is supporting the Model Classroom's Tania Grimes (principal of Xavier), who designed a mission based learning project supported by digital media and tools....View Slideshow >>



February 2012

State Board of Education celebrates academic improvement in Chicago Public Schools District 299

February 27, 2012 - For the second consecutive year, Plato Learning Academy has been named to the Illinois Honor Roll for substantial improvement on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 94 schools in Chicago Public Schools named to the 2011 Illinois Honor Roll during a morning assembly at....Read More >>


KSDK News highlights 1:1 program at Carondelet Leadership Academy

February 9, 2012 - Times are changing in many classrooms across the country. There's now a push to replace textbooks with technology. This morning, we're highlighting two schools participating in what's called the "1 to 1 program". 1:1 means every student is provided with a take home iPad or a laptop. Carondelet Leadership Academy gave 106 of their elementary school students iPads. It was part of a $91,000 technology-based grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The students use the iPads in class and at home....Watch Video >>





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