Rally for Writing

This year's Concept Schools' Writing Competition focuses on the role of writing in daily life. To "rally" means to come back from something that you have struggled with or might have even defeated you.  


We are looking for stories, essays, and poems that express how students have taken action to change themselves and the world around them. There are prompts for elementary, middle, and high school students that encourage them to search their backgrounds and minds for specific details to creatively share their experiences. 


For prompts and rubrics please visit the  English website .


All entries are due by February 25, 2014.

Concept S. Studies Department Launches its Website 
The Social Studies department has an official Concept webpage located 
on the Concept home page. Teachers can find resources to supplement their current lessons and new free lesson plans to revitalize their classrooms.

Also featured will be a history spotlight, which will highlight specific months dedicated to specific groups' histories, current events, and other historical points of interest.

Another great feature of the website is going to be the History Hero Concept Project where elementary, middle, and high school teachers and administrators can nominate students each month who are excelling at social studies or are being civic leaders in their schools and communities.  
Keep checking in for updates about textbooks and curriculum. 
Dedication to Special Education Students

Happy New Year from the 
Office of Special Education 
Services! Did you know that 
our charter organization 
supports students who have
Individualized Education 
Plans with iPads in  our schools?

An iPad has 
many features that enable  special education students to read  and write. Text to speech,  or TTS, allows students to  hear the words they are  reading and also enables all  students to hear the proper pronunciation  of the words  as they "read" their lessons.  Apps for the iPad help  students with spelling and  grammar and also help the  students select appropriate  words to use in their writing  assignments.

Apps can also 
empower students to use  pictures to communicate  and express their ideas!   Students can complete  assignments often without  the assistance of their teachers, strengthening their independent functioning.  We are fortunate to have assistive technology supports, such as the iPad, as another way to foster differentiation and best learning practices for our learners.
CMSA Celebrates the Holidays with its alumni 

On January 3, 2014, the Chicago Math and Science Academy started the year off with a bang.

About 80 teachers, administrators, and CMSA alumni had the chance to come together and reconnect with one another.  The alumni dinner was hosted at the Holiday Garden Inn Chicago North Shore in Evanston, right after the New Year in order to start a new tradition of annual alumni dinners.

The dinner gave alumni one last holiday festivity to enjoy before going back to school and work.  Raffles and games were played, laughs were shared, and memories were exchanged, making the 2014 CMSA alumni dinner a true success.
Hurry up to send the students' applications for Concept Science and Engineering Fair 2014. The projects entries are due by February 24th. For more information, please visit www.consef.org
Stay Connected!

The Robotics team of Quest Charter Academy in Peoria, AKA Quest Gators competed in a competition in Gary, Indiana and advanced to the state finals upon receiving the first place. Six robotics teams from the Concept network competed in the same competition, North Indiana FTC Qualifier.  
Congratulation to the Quest Gators and all the teams on their achievements and hard work.  

HSA-McKinley Park's all-girls robotics team, Pink Technobots, walked away from their first two competitions with trophies. They received the "Best Rookie Award" at regional competition in Chicago and recently the "Motivation Award" in Gary, Indiana.

Pink Tehnobots is one of the few all-girls robotics teams and they compete against high school students at most competitions. Although opened just about five months ago in Chicago, HSA-McKinley Park is already making a difference by motivating girls to go into the STEM fields.

Over 5,000 students are expected to register for  MathCON , a two-round math competition. The first round will be online, followed by an "on-site," paper-based test open to public and charter school students in the Midwest.  The online round will be conducted between March 10-20 at each school.  Of all those registered, 510 qualified students will be invited to the University of Illinois at Chicago on May 10, 2014, for a chance to win prizes such as iPads.



33 Horizon Science Academy Cleveland High School students and their teachers spent half of their winter break studying at Maumee Bay State Park. The group was also joined by two HSA alumni, sharing their experiences in college and serving as role models. Not only did the students work hard in Math and Science, but also they had fun winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.   

Ohio State Representative Sandra Williams
visited HSA Cleveland High school, and met with parents and students. Representative Williams was very impressed with the science and robotics demonstrations.  
Luke Messer, Congressman for Indiana's 6th Congressional District, visited IMSA North. The STEM demonstration team presented science and robotic shows during his visit.
Horizon Science Academy Springfield students presented several STEM experiments to the community members after a community breakfast that the school organized.

Tech Access TV Interviews Concept Schools Regina Armour and Salim Ucan

Chicago's longest-running, technology-focused TV show, Technology Access Television, interviewed Dr. Ragina Armour and Salim Ucan of Concept Schools. Dr. Armour and Ucan spoke about how Concept promotes STEM at its schools.