A Job Well Done: Great Rankings by Our Schools

We are proud to announce that out of 27 Concept-managed schools, 4 were designated as Excellent, 7 as Effective, 3 as B rated, and 7 as Continuous Improvement. Some schools, though successful, do not have designations since their states do not have ranking systems. GSA boasts #1 math and #2 reading scores out of all St. Louis charter schools. The scores are based on standardized test and performance index scores, as well as meeting the indicators. Please click here for the list of schools and their designations.
Quest Teacher Surprised with $1,000 Grant

Anna Yee of HOI 19 News surprised Marlene Leitch, Quest Counselor and 5th grade Life Skills teacher, in her classroom. Yee announced that Marlene was selected to receive a $1,000 Kids Count One Class At A Time grant from HOI 19 News and CEFCU. Mrs. Leitch plans to use the grant for health and wellness classes through the Hult Health Education Center. Click here to view the whole story and news coverage of this exciting honor. 
GSA Brings Together Family and Literacy


GSA held its first annual Family Reading Night and book fair on Thursday, October 4.  Families brought blankets and pillows to cuddle up and read.  Mrs. Bridges was the guest reader and read Ladybug Girl & the Bug Squad.  This book was chosen across the United States to try to break a world record.  GSA's Reading Night helps the important efforts of increasing literacy by exposing students and families to reading for enjoyment.      

Robots to Take Over CONSEF!
Concept Schools is introducing a new, exciting event for K-12- students: the CONSEF Sumo Robot Competition, RoboCON. The event will consist of building an autonomous robot which is able to push another team's robot out of a designated area. This challenge requires students to build a robot from scratch, use sensors, and create a program on computer. More information will be posted on CONSEF's website soon.
Celebrating Diversity During Hispanic Heritage Month
In order to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, many of our schools celebrated in different ways. Indiana Math and Science Academy's high school Spanish classes took a trip to Indiana University Kokomo for a lecture on the Spanish language. HSA Cleveland welcomed Lucy Torres, Hispanic Liaison for Cleveland, to their dinner program that received coverage on Fox News. WGN TV news anchor Lourdes Duarte kicked off CMSA's assembly joined by radio reporter Michael Puente.
CSSIS Updates


There are some new, exciting features on the CSSIS database.  With the new updates, it is now possible to:


- take period attendance using a tablet


- see the number of tardies and absences in the attendance screen


- print the attendance book report with one click


- manage grade book settings and eforms within one page through different tabs


We know you will enjoy the easy-to-use new format and features.

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Another Big Success: HSA Columbus High Receives 2012 Blue Ribbon Award
Horizon Science Academy Columbus High School is one of only 269 schools nationwide designated as a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The award-winning school joins HSA Cleveland High School who was named a Blue Ribbon School in 2009. HSA Columbus is the only charter school in Ohio to receive the prestigious Blue Ribbon School award and the only public or charter school from the Greater Columbus area to receive the award. 


HSA's director, Mr. Sechen, commented on this great honor: "This reward affirms the great work done by our dedicated staff, hardworking students, supportive families and commitment of our management company, Concept Schools." The schools will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. 

10,000 Lives, 1,000 Heroes, 1 Concept: Student Achievement
We are very excited to bring 1,000 successful teachers, administrators, staff, and outside members of the educational community together for two days during a dynamic professional development opportunity on October 26-27, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to the  various, valuable breakout sessions, we look forward to welcoming three exceptional keynote speakers:  author Samuel Casey Carter, original 'freedom writer' Manual Scott, and award-winning teacher and author Salome Thomas-El. This is an exciting, productive way to share best practices and learn new concepts.  This will be a time for celebrating our success, recognizing some of our heroes, and seeing transformation of our students.
2009 conference members enjoy networking opportunities
To Bee or Not to Bee
To Bee Or Not To Bee is the theme for Concept Schools' Spelling Bee, which will be held in Chicago on March 22nd. Ideas for how to build programs in your schools and tool kits for spelling bee preparation will be sent to your school's Spelling Bee Coordinator soon. Writing Contest submissions for this year's theme I Think, Therefore I Write will be due on March 22. Also, stay tuned for more information on the Spoken Word competition, Mouth Full of Wordsto be held in Toledo April 26th.  
Concept Fosters Stronger Math and Brighter Futures with Math Olympics

This year's Math Olympics, MathCon, kicks off on January 21 where students will be challenged with 30 multiple choice questions. MathCon, open to all charter school students in grades 5-12 in Illinois and Ohio, is a great way to inspire charter school students by participating in an academic activity outside the regular math classes. Prizes will be awarded to the top students per grade level, and the highest scoring student from each grade will be invited to the Finals held in Chicago on  April 20. Stay tuned for detailed information regarding registration.  
Horizon Seniors Get Motivated at College Fair
On September 30, 2012, Horizon Science Academy Cleveland seniors and some IMP juniors attended a college fair held at Lakeland Community College. Jasmine H. from the HSA class of 2013 describes the event: "LCC had invited more than 105 colleges to come out and represent their schools and to give us young ones a heads up on the great big college life."  We look forward to learning the decisions of all senior students as they learn more about their higher education choices through college guidance counselors and fairs.
The New Stem Exposition Will Blow Your Mind
Concept proudly announces that the 10th Annual Concept Science and Engineering Fair on March 9, 2013 will be held at the IX Center in Cleveland and will now include a Stem Exposition. The Exposition is designed to encourage students to showcase results of their stem studies. Students will apply knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math to conduct in-depth, "real-world" investigations. It is open to all students, parents, and community members to explore the excitement science offers. Please check it out on the web for submission deadlines and more information.
Best Practices

Andrea Pierce implemented Incentive Jars at Quest Charter AcademyEach class has an incentive jar, and their goal is to fill it up with pom poms.  Once filled, they will receive a reward. Each student starts a 90 minute class with 3 popsicle sticks attached to their desk.  Popsicle sticks will be removed as procedures and expectations are not followed.  At the end of the class, they will be rewarded. Please click here for a list of the individual and class rewards.


In her Kindergarten class at IMSA North, Lindsay Krieger displays a "collected print" version of a Word Wall. This is a very unique and clever way of doing a relatable and real Word Wall, such as Jimmy Johns and Jell-o for "J" and Macy's and McDonald's for "M." Students love finding real-world examples from their lives to contribute to the wall.
Please send us pictures and descriptions of best practices from your classroom or school to Ali  Uslu aauslu@conceptschools.org by the 11th of each month to be considered for the next newsletter.