First College Acceptance
 
Concept Schools is proud to announce that our first college acceptance came from Michigan Math & Science Academy. Rebecca Palka, a senior in the first graduation class, has been accepted to Saginaw Valley State University. She is happy to get accepted but is working on more applications and will pick the college that offers quality education and best fits her expectations. Rebecca is in the first graduating class of MMSA.

GSA- Highest Math Scores in Town Again !

 
While building up its programs and expanding,
Gateway Science Academy  received top scores in the 2013 State Math MAP once again. With the highest ranking out of 23 St. Louis charter schools, GSA also surpassed St. Louis public schools: GSA has 58.5% of students at or above the required math proficiency rate. GSA also reached over 1,000 students with a waiting list and started serving in its third building earlier this school year.
Foreign Language

 

Spanish learners are celebrating Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 to October  15.

 

Besides doing activities and projects in their Spanish classes as a  curriculum requirement , Spanish learners are also organizing extra-curricular activities or events such as inviting parents and special guests to the schools to demonstrate  their work and projects on Hispanic Heritage month or to perform their songs and dances. Students, teachers, parents and guests are also coming together after school to have dinner and spend a good time at these events. 

Dr. Nicholas Fey at CMSA
 
Dr. Nicholas P. Fey, from the Center for Bionic Medicine at the  Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, spoke to CMSA students and demonstrated  some ways biomedical engineering and prosthetics make life  easier for people in need of limb replacement.
 
Design Contest  

 
Design Contest is an art competition providing another platform for our  students to shine. Encourage your students and send their design by December  13, 2013. 
 
For more information visit

  

Student Experiments Wow Participants at BGSU
 
Horizon Science Academy was proud to partner with BGSU for their STEM in the Park exhibition on Saturday, September 7, 2013. With over 3,000 spectators in attendance, our students led science experiments ranging from robotics, square bubbles, lava lamps, walking on eggs, and many more. This was a tremendous opportunity for our students to lead in the community, and we are very proud of them.

MMSA's Turtle Robot STEM project on YouTube  
Michigan Math and Science Academy Turtle robot STEM Project  
 
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CMSA Ranks Among the Top 10 Non-Selective High Schools out of 112 in Chicago 

Chicago Math and Science Academy achieved a Level 1 "Excellent Standing" status in the 2013 School Level Performance Policy Report released by Chicago Public Schools. Out of 112 non-selective high schools, only 10 schools received a Level 1 rating. The report is based on school performance metrics such as Prairie State Achievement Exam / ACT scores, drop-out rate, attendance rate, and student growth in math and reading.

 

Opened in 2004, CMSA serves 600 students in grade six through 12 with another 400 students on its waiting list. 94% of students are eligible for free and/or reduced lunches. The school takes great pride in diversity of its students; 60% Latino, 26% African American, 8% Asian, 3% White, and  3% multiracial.  

Concept is in the Common Core Review Team!


Ayhan Caputlu, the Director of Math Education at Concept, has been nominated to work on the task reviewing committee of the Illustrative Math Project. The Illustrative Math Project is led by Bill McCallum, a lead writer of the Common Core Standards.

 

Illustrative Mathematics provides guidance to states, assessment consortia, testing companies, and curriculum developers by illustrating a variety of mathematical work of the Common Core State Standards, and by publishing other tools that support implementation of the standards. 

 

Illustrativemathematics.org is one of the most credible websites on Common Core math tasks to which all Assessment Companies, including PARCC and Smarter Balanced look to when designing their own assessments for the upcoming year.

Special Education News
 
The Concept Schools Directors continue to visit our seven regions, with the purpose of evaluating and monitoring the programs at each of our schools.  Our Special Education teachers continue to demonstrate having high expectations for all of our students through a variety of ways:  Co-Teaching in Inclusive Settings; Resource Instruction and through Self Contained Core Academics. We are privileged to have such talented Learning and Behavior Specialists who are passionate about helping students with diversities. Our teachers have been enthusiastic in each of these realms additionally, with Assistive Technology.  I Pads, Smart Boards, Laptops and Desktop PC's support creative ways to accommodate our IEP students to understand the state learning standards in each of the regions.  
 

Lastly, we welcome you to visit our charter's Special Education website, located at:  http://specialeducation.conceptschools.org/ which includes tabs about News; Compliance; Help Links and Teacher Resources, where everyone is welcome!

Literacy Initiatives Reported from South Ohio Region

           

 

Concept Schools has talented Instructional Coaches, per region, who work with our schools to build capacity in our teachers.  Kendra McNutt, South Ohio, submitted these two wonderful activities that were part of her regions ELA initiatives. A portable word wall was used by Ms. McGinnis and her second graders at Dayton Elementary. This allows students to go to the wall, take the letter they need and go back to their seat and use and then replace it on the wall later. 

 

Another literacy activity is the Birthday book bin. At Dayton Downtown students are getting excited about reading when they receive a book for their birthday from the staff. 

 

The Concept English website is up and running again.  English teachers have until November 18 to enroll their winners in the December 7th Chicago Bee. Go to  http://english.conceptschools.org/spelling-bee/   to submit your enrollment.

Primary Sources 
 
One of the social studies topics for our professional development days is Using Primary Sources. Primary sources play such an important role in a social studies classroom. By reading and analyzing primary source documents, students are able to arrive at their own conclusions based on their understanding of the documents. This empowers students as they find themselves in the roles of historians. Use of primary source documents can enhance student understanding of a historical time period. 
 
Primary sources provide windows into the daily lives of individuals living in the past. An analysis of documents can reinforce the themes and content learned from the textbook or in class discussion. Click on the link below to read more about primary sources and for links to primary source activities 
Students and the Internet

Concept Schools' vision is to provide the best possible technology in the market to students. Today it is required to provide internet access for students' use. However, as useful as it is, the internet can also be dangerous for their young minds. Therefore it is our goal to teach them how to avoid online danger. We aligned our curriculum to make our students responsible  Digital Citizens. 

 

Ms. Laura Knapp's 3rd grade class from Gateway Science Academy South, created comic strips to show who to trust and talk to if they face a threat while using the internet.