CHICAGO, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- LEAP Innovations, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization working to transform learning by connecting education and innovation for teachers and students, today announced the selection of seven Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to receive $280,000 grants, totaling $1.96M, as part of the Breakthrough Schools Chicago program.
"I am proud of the ingenuity and hard work by our devoted teachers and students who participated in the Breakthrough Schools program to inspire new and innovative models for learning across the city," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Chicago is grateful for our partnership with the LEAP Innovations Breakthrough Schools program, as it prepares students with the 21st century skills they need to be successful in college and their careers."
Last year, during the first phase of the program, educators from 15 schools served as creative agents for innovation by engaging their students and the school community in a process to design and pilot transformative, whole-school personalized learning models developed to meet the needs of their unique student populations.
LEAP Innovations supported school teams to completely reimagine education for their students through a total of $450,000 ($30,000 to each school) in planning grant funds, along with monthly workshops, over 150 hours of coaching from local and national experts, and site visits to West Coast schools with innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
"At a time when expectations are rising and budgets are shrinking, we need innovative approaches in our schools more than ever," said Forrest Claypool, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools. "We are grateful to LEAP Innovations and the principals and educators who dedicated their time to design these impactful new models that will tailor learning to each individual student's needs."
The schools took their learnings from the first phase to develop grant proposals to implement their new models, which were vetted by a panel of experts via onsite visits and evaluations. Of the seven schools receiving $280,000 implementation grants, there are four elementary and three high schools, in neighborhoods across the city:
- CICS Irving Park
- Disney II High School
- Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
- Joseph Lovett Elementary School
- Lindblom Math and Science Academy
- Patrick Henry Elementary School
- University of Chicago Charter School – Donoghue campus
"At LEAP Innovations, we believe in the power of personalized learning to maximize the potential of each student," said Phyllis Lockett, CEO of LEAP Innovations. "With forward-thinking educators and innovative technologies, we can create new models to transform education."
"This grant will ensure that every single student will have the opportunity to maximize their potential," said Dr. LeViis Haney, principal of Lovett Elementary School. "We are proud of what we've already achieved through this program, and we look forward to continuing to innovate and create the best possible learning environment for our students."
Breakthrough Schools Chicago is one of seven regional funds of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), an initiative of EDUCAUSE. Additional funding for the Chicago program comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Chicago Public Education Fund, IMC Financial Markets, The Joyce Foundation and Northern Trust.
"When we decided to pilot NGLC regional programs, we approached LEAP because of their leadership in education innovation," said Andy Calkins, Deputy Director at NGLC. "Due to the success in Chicago and in our other pilot city, Washington, D.C., we've since expanded to five additional regional sites across the country."
"We support Breakthrough Schools Chicago because it recognizes and rewards innovative educators who are creating a personalized experience for every student, every day," said Heather Y. Anichini, CEO of The Chicago Public Education Fund, the lead local funder. "With the programmatic support of LEAP Innovations, the participating school teams have the potential to serve as examples of what's possible, here in Chicago and across the nation."
To learn more about the Breakthrough Schools Chicago program, please visit http://www.leapinnovations.org/breakthrough.
About LEAP Innovations
LEAP Innovations is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that connects innovation and education to reinvent our one-size-fits-all system and transform the way kids learn. Headquartered at 1871, Chicago's incubator for digital startups, LEAP works directly with educators and innovators to discover, pilot and scale personalized learning technologies and innovative practices in the classroom and beyond. For more information, please visit www.leapinnovations.org.
About Breakthrough Schools Chicago
An initiative of the Next Generation Learning Challenges, Breakthrough Schools Chicago is a program that supports local educators as they develop transformative, whole-school personalized learning approaches to serve as models for the future of education through workshops, access to national experts, and funding.
About Personalized Learning
At LEAP Innovations, we define "personalized learning" as learning that is:
- Learner connected, with learning opportunities that transcend the classroom in relevant and accredited ways, connected to families and communities.
- Learner focused, with learning opportunities that reflect an understanding of each individual's needs, strengths, interests.
- Learner demonstrated, with learning opportunities that allow learners to progress at their own pace based on demonstrated competencies.
- Learner led, with learning opportunities that empower learners to take ownership of their learning so that it can adjust dynamically to their skills, curiosity and goals.
Managing Director, External Affairs
SOURCE LEAP Innovations