VISION 20/20

Reset. Restore .Reform

The Vision 20/20 Campaign was created out of a social movement to impact and support the public school system in Chicago. We (a small group of citizens) set out to RESET the mindset of our community at-large, RESTORE faith in a broken system and REFORM an antiquated educational system. 100 % of proceeds from this campaign will support the Chicago Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy. Our fundraising goal is $100,000.00. This amount will prove to the Board of Education that we can execute our plan to open Chi-STEM Academy Fall 2019. We seek to accomplish this through fundraising, and engaging community partners, donors and corporate sponsorships. 

Why Chicago STEM Academy? 

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is an integral part of our academic program. These skills are in demand in today’s economy. Our school community utilizes a blended learning model that includes independent study, small group instruction, online courses, and ability grouping for the primary grades. Chi-STEM will teach students research based strategies provides strategies to persevere through difficult times, with an understanding that mistakes are normal when people try difficult things. In addition, we focus on the whole child by providing services for students socially and emotionally. A team of individuals who are relevant to the well-being of the child or youth (e.g., family members, other natural supports, service providers, and agency representatives) collaboratively develop an individualized plan of care, implement this plan, and evaluate success over time.

Vision Statement

The Chicago STEM Academy prepares students for the future economy through the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math. It is a growth mindset educational environment that emphasizes failure as an opportunity to grow, not a limit of abilities. 

Ms. Tina Walker 

Founding Principal

“The most exciting aspect of this endeavor is the opportunity to bring high quality STEM education to Chicago’s underserved youth.” 

Ms. Tina Walker is a proud Chicago Public Schools alum, having graduated from Lincoln Elementary School and Lane Technical College Prep High School. After several years as a stock options trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, she discovered her passion as an educator through volunteerism. Ms. Walker went on to earn a BA in Elementary Education from National Louis University, an MA in Administration and Supervision from Concordia University, and is currently pursuing an EdD in Urban Education at UIC. Ms. Walker has served as a middle school teacher, coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal in her more than 15 years of service. 

and Results

At Chicago STEM Academy our mission, through combined efforts of staff, parents, students, and community, is to provide students with an education that provides an in depth understanding of science, technology, engineering and math. In addition, to fostering a positive work ethic, and creating an environment that supports rigorous instruction, respect and responsibility. It is our belief that all students’ have the innate ability to achieve academic success regardless of their racial, ethnic or economic background.

Education Philosophy

Student Support Services. 
Our school community will meet the social and emotional needs of every student by eliminating barriers in the learning space. We will provide extensive support services to children and their families. Our school will follow a social and emotional learning curriculum the explicitly teaches students skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, displaying empathy and being self reflective.

Teachers have the greatest impact on student success. Therefore, our school community will recruit exceptional talent from local, regional, and national education partners and universities. 

Student -to- Teacher Ratio.
In order to provide individualized and differentiated instruction to our students, we will keep the class size small with no more than 24 students per class. Grade Pre K will have 1 teacher and 1 teacher assistant. Kindergarten through third grade will have one teacher per classroom, in addition to three experienced and certified. 

Reading Specialist. 
Ability Grouping. K-3: Increases student achievement by reducing the disparity in student ability levels, and this increases the likelihood that teachers can provide instruction that is neither too remedial nor too advanced for students. This approach will allow the teacher to increase the pace and raise the level of instruction for higher achieving students and to provide more individualized attention, repetition and review for lower achieving students. 
Extended School Year. To ensure that our students have sufficient time for instruction, our students will have a total of 40 weeks of instruction. 

Program Rigor. 
We will provide a rigorous, differentiated academic program, serving the needs of all children, including those below grade level and advanced.

Strong Management Support. 
With our team of experts, we are able to provide extensive support academically, socially-emotionally and operationally. Combined our team has more than 10 years of experience in each category. 

Education Plan/Model & Culture

With high expectations, a high quality curriculum, engaging lessons tailored to student’s individual levels combined with individualized support, students at Chicago STEM Academy will excel. We have decided to follow the Next Generation Science Standards for our science instruction. NGSS will guide teachers in delivering comprehensible science lessons. Science units will be organized according to major Science topic areas such as Astronomy, Meteorology, Plant Structures and Processes, and many more. Language Arts and History will be taught using the Core Knowledge Curriculum (CKLA). Core Knowledge integrates content across subjects by grade level, and builds on previous learning. In addition, CSA will use Singapore Math. Singapore Math provides both instant improvement and long-term mastery. Singapore math teaches students the how and why of foundational math through the steady build of concepts and skills with the goal of preparing students for more advanced topics, all aligned with CCSS. Students will also receive additional instruction in art, music, technology, physical education, and French/Spanish.The instruction at Chi-STEM guides students to ask relevant, intellectual questions and apply their findings to the world around them. 

Math and Language Arts instruction is provided in flexible groupings to maximize student performance. To quantify a student rate of improvement or responsiveness to instruction we will use a progress monitoring tool. Evidence from the tool will allow us to regroup students or single out students that need individual support from teachers, Reading or Math Specialists. Diverse Learners will be evaluated by the student support team and provided with additional support per an IEP, or 504 plan. 

Our students, teachers and leaders will adopted a culture of developing a growth mindset, seeing failure as an opportunity to grow and not a limit of their abilities. We will use Brainology, a blended learning approach that encourages classroom discussion, reflection, and application of mindset principles.  

Students: “Students tackle challenges because they understand that learning takes a lot of effort. They don't give up when things get difficult, because they have strategies to persevere. They take risks, participate in class, and understand that mistakes are normal when people try hard things.”

Teachers: “Teachers reflect on fixed mindset practices they’ve used in the past and learn how to change their own mindsets. They take more risks with lessons, and collaborate with others to get feedback, learn, grow, and improve their practice. They learn how to develop a growth mindset in their students and shift the culture of the classroom.”

Leaders: “Leaders support their teachers’ learning and risk-taking by modeling those behaviors themselves. They are responsive to honest feedback, and seek to build skills by learning from their teachers. They learn to value and praise hard work and effort in their staff, and they in turn work harder to overcome challenges and ensure student success.”

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