The College Scholarships Are Rolling In!

Concept Schools seniors have been receiving college acceptances with scholarships from top institutions in the nation. Here are just some of the acceptances that are making us so proud.

Denzel Akosa - Chicago Math & Science Academy Northwestern University ($200,000)

Denzel Akosa - Chicago Math & Science Academy Northwestern University ($200,000)  

Chaun`tyana Hummons - 

HSA Dayton

Bellarmine University ($89,000)

CMSA Students Win Top Spots in

Roosevelt University Poetry Contest   

Two Chicago Math & Science Academy students, Sidney Hunt and Ololade Taiwo, wrote brilliant poems that reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of "beloved community" that won first place and runner-up in Roosevelt University's "Too Hot to Handel" student poetry competition at the historic Auditorium Theatre. 
Their entries were among hundreds of submissions from students throughout CPS for this contest honoring Dr. King's legacy. This was also the first year that both the first place and runner-up winners came from the same school. Sidney and Ololade had the honor of performing their poems for audiences of over 2,400 people, and their poems are currently on display in the theater. We congratulate these two young men on their accomplishments! 
HSA McKinley Park FTC
Teams Dominate

Look out Illinois Institute of Technology and the FTC Illinois State Championship!


The two FTC teams from Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park in Chicago, the RoboMinds and the TecKnow Bots, are heading your way, after dominating the Illinois state qualifier in Decatur, Illinois. The teams took 1st and 2nd place (Winning Alliance Captain and Finalist Alliance Captain) out of 27 teams from all over the state.  


Good luck, RoboMinds and TechKnow Bots!  

Meet January's History Heroes


The Concept program History Heroes is designed to promote success in and out of the classroom. We want to recognize students acting as civics leaders in their communities or schools, and students who are going above and beyond in their Social Studies classrooms.


The winners for the month of January are:

  • Jayda Lynch from Horizon Science Academy-Dayton Elementary
  • Abdulrahman Mohamud from Horizon Science Academy-Columbus Middle School
  • Gabby Ramirez from Indiana Math and Science Academy- North
  • Jeremiah McKinney from Horizon Science Academy-Toledo

Stay tuned for more History Heroes!

MathCON 2015 Goes National

Math is one subject that is a constant in any student's life, and MathCON is taking the time to embrace it. The first annual nationwide MathCON competition is taking place as we speak. With 340 schools in 42 different states and 40,000 students registered, this core curriculum-based math test has proved to be a hit!  


Students from all over the United States are competing by taking a 40-minute, 40-question online test in an attempt to be one of the finalists to come to Chicago for the paper-based MathCON Championship on Saturday, April 25, 2015.


The fun doesn't stop there-students can also participate in a Math-based Photo Contest, taking photos of things around them that represent or relate to the world of Math. We are accepting photos until April 11, 2015. Cash prizes will be awarded for creativity.  


We are thrilled to see the numbers of competitors increase so quickly each year and so many students across the United States excited about math!  Visit and see what we are all about!

2 Celebrations in 1: School Choice & Math Night

Horizon Science Academy-Belmont in Chicago recently celebrated National School Choice Week the best way they know how-with their 2nd annual Math Night. Thirty stellar math students donned the NSCW yellow scarves during a rigorous, timed competition that tested their math skills and knowledge in a series of math games. The students squared off against each other in Unhinged, Soma Cubes, IQ Link and other brain-busting challenges. Winners were awarded points and one talented mathlete from each grade was named the victor.


Supportive parents and families who choose HSA-Belmont were invited to join in the fun and compete against one another as well, showing the sense of family and cohesiveness that is ever-present at HSA-Belmont. Congratulations to the math geniuses: 4th grader Dakota Adams, 5th grader Jeri Guzman, and 6th grader Kanari Byndum!

School Subjects Collide at HSA-McKinley Park!

The Elementary grades (grades K-3) have done a fantastic job using the Department of Elementary's Interdisciplinary Units this year. Teachers have blended reading, writing, science, social studies and technology together under specific unit concepts.


During the Kindergarten unit "Observation," Ms. Jones' and Ms. Neil's students learned all about becoming scientists and the different observations and learning they could incorporate by using their five senses. First grade teachers Ms. Skrbec and Ms. Johnson focused on the unit concept "Relationships" with the essential question "How are things that seem opposite related to one another?"


Second graders dived into global and societal issues in their interdisciplinary unit "Change." With the help of their teachers, Mr. Cann and Ms. Hetzner, students were able to make all kinds of connections about change, The students in Ms. Vigil's third grade loved investigating the deepening questions in the unit "Cause and Effect" and in Ms. Wade's 3rd grade class students explored the question "What is energy?" in their "Dynamics" unit..

A special thank you to the building leadership of Ms. Johnson, Mr. Vedziovski, and Mr. Cengiz for help in supporting this style of instructional delivery!

Beyond Compliance: Serving Students with Disabilities

Concept Schools Special Education West Region staff 

Has anyone ever asked you whether your school (a charter school) accepts students with disabilities? The answer is-of course- yes! Charter schools, as public schools that received federal and state funding, must comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) like any other school. And here at Concept, we have a robust team of highly qualified and caring teachers and administrators whose sole responsibility it is to not only comply with IDEA but provide the best and most enriching education for students with disabilities.


One essential part of IDEA is the Child Find mandate. It's the part of the IDEA that requires all school districts to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and regardless of whether the school is providing special education services to the child. Because, after all, if you don't know who needs specialized services, how can you offer it to them? And how will they thrive in school?


Child Find applies to all children, including those attending private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state; this includes children who are suspected of having a disability and those who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." 

To learn more about Concept Schools' implementation of IDEA and Child Find, please visit