We are honored to congratulate Paige Ziegler, Math teacher at Quest Charter Academy in Peoria, for being named the 
2013 Illinois Charter School Classroom Hero by Illinois Network of Charter Schools, INCS. Paige Ziegler was the recipient of the 2013 Concept Teacher of the Year Award.

On an annual basis, INCS recognizes outstanding individuals who have demonstrated achievement, passion, and innovation within the Illinois charter school community. Award recipients are honored at the INCS Statewide Charter School Conference.

Also,  Concept Schools congratulates Michelle Lopez, a senior at Chicago Math & Science Academy (CMSA), for being selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Illinois Network of Charter Schools as an Outstanding Illinois Charter School Senior!  


Concept's new school, Horizon Science Academy-McKinley Park in Chicago, celebrated El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) in a creative way.  With the help of their Spanish teachers, students built altars in the remembrance of a loved one or role model to be displayed in the school's hallways.

In Hispanic culture, "El Dia de los Muertos" is similar to "Halloween" in American culture. As the name suggests, people remember loved ones who have passed away.


Concept Schools' Annual Spelling Bee is here. Best spellers from each Concept school will be showcasing their talents at the Annual Concept Schools Spelling Bee in Chicago at the student center of the University of Illinois on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
For more information, visit our website


Another platform for our students to show their talents, the Design Contest is an art competition and part of our largest annual event, CONSEF


The entries of the top ten finalists will be displayed at the Concept Science and Engineering Fair on March 22, 2014. The winning design will be printed on program booklets.



  • First Place: $250
  • Finalists: $25
  • Winning Sponsoring Art Teacher: $100

For more information visit:


Charter Schools' six states concluded a first set of regional professional development sessions. These workshop sessions enriched our teachers in all content areas to utilize best practices through self-reflection of their classroom management styles; how to analyze student differences; and how to apply effective researched based strategies for helping "all" students be successful. 


Staff completed hands-on activities and  

individual reflections of their management styles and were tooled with valuable takeaways. 


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Concept Schools attended the seventh annual Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools statewide Conference on November 14-15.  Concept Schools  was Gold Sponsor of the conference, helping to contribute to the success of the-two day event.


Concept Schools Vice President Salim Ucan was on a panel with Tom Vander Ark and other charter leaders discussing the future of the charter movement in Ohio and around the country in addition to a breakout presentation about public relations and outreach for charter schools.  


Several other Concept School team members also participated in the conference as breakout presenters, introducing and discussing import ant  Charter School topics. These team members included:  Ali Uslu-CAO,  Dincer Coach - Director of Science Education, Cengiz Karatas-Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events, Erin Schreiner -Director at HSA-Springfield Onder Sechen,  Director at HSA- Columbus ,  and Michael Bidwell-Instructional Coordinator at HSA-Cincinnati


Concept Schools also had the privilege of having two of our schools receive honorable mention awards: Horizon Science Academy of Cleveland   and Horizon Science Academy of Columbu s .


MathCON  is a two-round math competition, open to all charter and public schools students in 5th-12th grades throughout the Midwest states; the first round, which is taken online, is then followed by an "on site" paper based test in Chicago.  It is a great way to inspire our students through an academic activity outside their regular math classes. 


Registration is due by Friday, Feb 21, 2013. All participating students will receive certificates. The highest scoring student from each grade level will be invited to the finals, which will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago on May 10, 2014, for a paper based test. The winner in each grade at the finals will receive an iPad Mini. 


For more information, visit:  


The second annual Chicago International Conference on Education (Chicago ICE) will take place May 22-23, 2014, at The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, located in the heart of downtown Chicago within walking distance of local hot spots.  This year the goal of the conference is to target a diversified field of international experience and expertise related to the four keys areas of teaching and the classroom: The role of the teacher, traits and practices of effective leaders in education, key components of getting parents and the community involved in schools, and the changing role of technology within the classroom.  Papers discussing primary and secondary education and the best practices to use will be presented and disseminated, creating an international platform to discuss and exchange ideas around critical educational topics.  Chicago ICE is an exceptional opportunity for academicians and professionals in related fields to come together and share their opinions on K-12 education. 

For more information visit:



This year's STEM Conference will be held in Cleveland, OH, at the Cleveland Convention Center, May 20-22, 2014.  STEMCON is designed to bring leaders and educators from around the United States together to discuss topics that impact K-12 STEM education and determine how to create a stronger STEM foundation in schools. Professionals and children will come together to share their work and ideas in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  The goal of this conference is to encourage students to get interested in STEM-related topics, leading them to an easier college transition and preparing them for their futures.  It will begin with a welcoming dinner, award ceremony, and conference for innovators and leaders that have made an impact within the STEM-related fields this past year and will lead into a science and engineering fair for students to show off their independently created projects.      

For more information visit:


Teachers who are interested in presenting at the STEM Conference are encouraged to respond to the "Call for Presentations" at: 


History teachers are engaged in best practices. Dale Vinson teaches a 7th grade socials studies class at Horizon Science Academy (Dayton Downtown).  Recently his students began learning about the mummification process from Ancient Egypt. After learning the steps in and reasons behind mummification, students took turns becoming actual embalmers. The class was broken into 3 groups, and each had to "mummify" a member. But first they pretended to remove the brain (cauliflower), lungs (socks with rice), stomach (lemon juice holder), and intestines (rope) and put the organs into jars (baggies). Next, the students had to clean the body with spices (hand sanitizer) by putting the spices on the group mummy's hand and finally wrapping their mummy with toilet paper and tape. Finally, the students made a sarcophagus by outlining their mummy on the floor. Mr. Vinson was able to bring history alive and connect his students to a practice that took place thousands of years ago.