Concept Featured in IL 

State Charter School 

Commission Report

Concept Schools was 

fortunate to be given the 

opportunity to share our 

experience opening Horizon 

Science Academy-Belmont 

and Horizon Science 

Academy-McKinley Park this 

past year in the 

Illinois State Charter School Commission's first biennial report,"Chartering!"   published on the  Commission's Website   this March .

4,700 Students Compete in Concept's MathCON

More than 4,700 students from 71 schools across the Midwest competed in the online round of the 2014 MathCON on March 24-April 4, and the competition was fiercer than ever! This year's competition saw a 42% increase in participants, with 1,500 students from 40 different schools outside of the Concept network, competing in the online round. 

The top 510 finalists will be invited to take the second-round, paper-based test at the University of Illinois at Chicago on May 10, 2014, where they will be given the chance to win iPad Minis, gift cards, medals and certificates. 

Concept Schools hosts this annual competition to inspire students to get excited about math. MathCON consists of grade-specific tests and is open to all charter and public schools in 5th-12th grades in the Midwest.

Watch next month for the 2014 MathCON champions!

Noble-Columbus Students Show Their Support, with-Socks-on, Down Syndrome Awareness Day Students at Noble Academy Columbus, Ohio showed their social awareness and caring attitudes by hosting a "Crazy Socks" event to mark Down Syndrome Awareness Day on March 21st.


The students took time to research the event online and received consent to host this school-wide event, where both students and teachers wore crazy, bright-colored, or mismatched socks to help create awareness of Down Syndrome. 


They also publicized their support for Down Syndrome Awareness via the school's Facebook page and were given special thought-provoking writing assignments in recognition of this one area of disabilities. 


Some students in the Concept Schools network have Down Syndrome and receive support through individualized education plans and our dedicated Special Education teachers. 


To learn more about Down Syndrome, you can visit the National Down Syndrome Society Website .

Stay Connected!

Concept Foreign Language Students Dazzle Audience in Turquoise Art and Language Contest

World culture took center stage Saturday, April 12 as 200 Turkish and Spanish Language Learners in grades 5-12 from all 30 Concept Schools participated in the 2 nd

Annual Turquoise Art and Language Contest at the Rosemont Theater near Chicago.  


Congratulations are in order for the following Concept students:


Singing Category

Runner Up: Biviana Benitez, HSA-McKinley Park in Chicago (English song)

3 rd  Place: Asanatu Kamara, HSA Columbus Elementary (Turkish song)


Group Folk Dance

1 st  Place: HSA Toledo High School

3 rd  Place: HSA Dayton Downtown 


The Turquoise event was a wonderful chance for students to celebrate art and culture from around the world, including Africa, Bosnia, Ecuador, India, and Turkey. 

STEM Expo at Illinois State House Draws Congress Members

The four Concept Schools in Illinois (Chicago Math and Science Academy, Horizon Science Academy Belmont, Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, and QUEST Charter Academy in Peoria) had a chance to show off their award-winning science projects, math manipulatives, and robots at the STEM Expo at the IL State House on April 7th,  2014.


Over 30 students were in attendance, including the reigning IL State Champions, the HSA McKinley Park Robotics Team, who will compete in the World Championship in St. Louis, MO April 23-26. Many Illinois congress members took the time to talk with our students about their projects and asked them questions. Some students and their teachers were even able to visit the congressional offices and share their success stories with the congressmen and women.


By participating in the STEM Expo, we hoped to showcase the great work that our students are doing in the areas of math, science, technology, and engineering and for students to be able see up-close how their state government works and that they too can run for office someday! 

Writing in the Real Word: HSA Columbus Students Work with Published Author


Shelley Pearsall, award-winning author of 
Trouble Don't Last  and 
All of the Above , visited Mrs. Kish's HSA Columbus' sixth-grade English classes to engage them in a creative writing workshop.  Students utilized the writing process based on an Elvis-inspired theme of "Walk a Mile in My Shoes." 


Not only did students learn about the hard work that goes into creating memorable characters, they also learned first-hand challenges that come with crafting and structuring a good novel. As Mrs. Kish noted, "nothing can replace the real-life experience of students meeting and learning from a real-world author."

HSA Columbus students engaged in a discussion