Chicago Public Schools, IL - 2011 Transformation Award Winner

June 28, 2016 Mary Kate Appel

Transformation Award: For education through individualized and continuous education for diverse student populations. 

The CPS Credit Recovery program, utilizing FuelEd Credit Recovery (formerly Aventa) courses, started as a pilot program in 2008 and has been hailed as a successful option to retaining—and graduating students—who may have otherwise dropped out of school. Further, CPS offers FuelEd original credit courses, electives and AP courses to 75 of the Chicago district’s 125 schools. Since July 2010, over 10,000 students have participated in one or more of these programs.

They also offer full-time virtual schools to serve students. The Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS) is helping Chicago students in grades K–12 reach their true, personal potential. Youth Connection Charter School (YCCS) Virtual High School is designed to help students 18–21 who, for a variety of reasons, haven’t been able to finish their high school education. It combines online work, classroom work, and flexible hours into a unique high school learning experience that adapts to the student’s schedule and situation.

Most recently, CPS adopted the Middlebury Interactive Languages curriculum so their world language department could fill in languages not currently offered and serve the need for higher level language courses. Each school's world language department has met to determine which implementation would be the most effective plan for their students. All teachers within the 25 schools have committed themselves to using Middlebury courses and are enthusiastic in their efforts to support world language learning.

The unique composition of their virtual school is that they are serving students of multiple populations (neighborhood schools, charters, alternative education and adjudicated youth). What this ultimately happening here is that courses follow students. Students are able to complete what they started and earn credits toward graduation. This is contrary to students having to conform to a brick and mortar schedule.

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