Incredible Grants Awarded to Quest
Quest Charter Academy is the recipient  of two amazing grants. The Caterpillar Foundation awarded Quest with $150,000 over three years, primarily for computer lab equipment, science lab tools, Project Lead the Way supplies, and specialty training. The Walton Family Foundation bestowed an incredible $250,000 expansion grant to cover expenses related to a high school start-up program including textbooks, furniture, supplies, computers, instructional equipment, and more. Congratulations to Quest, and many thanks to the generous donors.
HSA Dayton Staff Member Wins Grant
The McDonald's Corporation annually provides funding up to $500 each to deserving teachers for stimulating, educational projects. The grant is issued to teachers as McDonald's way of commending teachers' creativity and commitment to excellence. This year, HSA Dayton Elementary's Public Relations Associate, Dorinda Nusum, is among the winners. Ms. Nusum received $432.90 for her project, which focuses on time preservation through the use of time capsules. 
Cleveland Chess Champions
The HSA Cleveland High School chess team excelled at the National K-12 Championship in Orlando, FL.  They tied for second place but were awarded third place after the tie-breaks were administered.  Many students boasted individual placements in their division, while the Horizon team placed fifth in the blitz tournament. For the third consecutive time, David Allen and Calvin Marshall tied for first in the National Coach's tournament.
Dynamic International Event at IMSA West
IMSA West hosted a culturally stimulating International Dinner event in the first week of December. The guests had a delicious meal as they enjoyed a live performance of students singing Turkish songs. This exciting event brought together Hispanic, Turkish, and American guests to experience delicious food, beautiful decorations, and lively music.
HSA Toledo Students Explore Higher Education
Like many other Concept-managed schools, HSA Toledo visited the University of Toledo on December 10, 2012. Students explored the opportunities they could have at the campus while two university students gave a tour of the facilities. After the tour, students got a taste of campus life at an amazing open buffet lunch in the cafeteria before an admission counselor discussed the history of the school, majors the university offers, the scholarship opportunities available for students as well as job opportunities after they graduated.  
HSA Springfield Students Wow Parents with Science
HSA Springfield students demonstrated various science experiments at the school's parent night event.  Parents and guests got to witness first-hand the excellent science education their science club students are receiving through innovative, creative demonstrations. 

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Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings to all. We hope that everyone has an opportunity to rest and recharge from the busy school year during the holiday season; it is well deserved. At this joyous time of year, we are appreciative for your continuous dedication that makes the Concept School network so successful. We wish you happiness, peace and good health in a new year filled with hope. 

HSA Springfield Prepares for Spelling Bee Finals 


Preparations for the Annual Concept Schools Spelling  "To Bee or Not To Bee," to be held in Chicago March 22, 2013, are well under way in our schools.  At HSA Springfield, in-class bees were held in November culminating with a school-wide bee on November 29. While we are not having official Regional Bees this year, Coach Erin Schreiner is coordinating efforts to hold a "second round" practice bee in Toledo, complete with fun t-shirts for participants, to help  students prepare for the Chicago finals.   

Register For MathCON Today!
The excitement and preparations for MathCON is growing, and the online math competition is now officially endorsed by the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, OAPCS, and the Ohio Coalition for Quality Charter Schools. Teachers can begin registering students online. 5th-12th grade individuals, schools, and class-level teams from the Illinois and Ohio charter schools are all eligible to compete in the competition. The online test will be administered between Monday March 18, 2013 and March 22, 2013.   The top three students from each grade level group will be invited to Chicago for a final round on April 20, 2013. View the MathCon promotional video here to see how quick and easy it is to register! 
Chicago International Conference on Education 

Concept Schools is proud to announce the first Chicago International Conference on Education (Chicago ICE) that will take place on June 3-4, 2013.  


This conference offers a unique opportunity for academics and other professionals all around the world to present a wide array of perspectives, scholarship, and expertise in the pursuit of excellence in education.  


We would like to extend the invitation to every academician to submit their proposals to present at the conference. If you know members of the higher education community who are experts in their fields, please forward this information to them. 

Robotics Teams Take the Lead in FLL Competitions

CMSA's middle school robotics team won two trophies this past Saturday at the FLL Robotics Illinois Regional Tournament and qualify for the state tournament. If the team advances from the state tournament, they will participate in the nationals, which is attended by teams from 40 countries. Twenty-four other schools participated in the tournament, but RoboMinds was the only team to earn the most prestigious  trophies: one for best robot design and programming and one for performance. These two awards are the most prestigious awards given out. In Ohio, HSA Youngstown joins CMSA's successes with their first place in common core at their FLL tournament.  Congratulations to all teams! 

Best Practices


Tonya Schauwecker, English teacher at HSA Toledo, worked with her English II students on a poetry unit. After students read and analyzed the poem "Trail of Tears," they created posters to represent the feelings they had read about.  Many educational organizations discuss the importance of visual literacy and how "students need visualization skills to be able to communicate using imagery." In the case of Ms. Schauwecker's class, we see how letting students create their own visual images requires us to interpret the patterns they present to determine what they have learned.     


In math every month, two winners of "best classroom moment" will be chosen and awarded with $50 gift cards. Classroom moments may include projects, real-life math applications, and common core practice. This month's winner is Jessica Begines from IMSA North for her Party Project.    You can share your math stories by submitting it to by the last Friday of every month. Links, resources and hand-outs are welcome and you may submit them in video, picture, and/or text format.

Please send us pictures and descriptions of best practices from your classroom or school to Ali  Uslu at by the 11th of each month to be considered for the next newsletter.