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AGC is Hiring and Offering a $2,500 Referral Bonus!

11 Aug

AGC is hiring for the 2018-2019 school year! Please share the opportunities below with your networks to help us reach best-fit candidates for our unique school.

The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) is a non-profit Chicago public charter school, located on the Southwest side. Our mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their communities and the world beyond. Our innovative and holistic approach aims to foster systemic change and inspire the way society educates future generations. AGC values:

AGC Values

AGC is an internationally recognized laboratory of innovation in education, with a Dual Language program, an International Baccalaureate MYP and PYP program, and a progressive approach to multi-stakeholder collaboration. Please help us identify good-fit candidates for the following roles! Click the links below for full job descriptions.

We are looking for staff who…

  • Have a big heart to match a big brain
  • Want their work to define best practice
  • Respect and thrive in a dynamic, changing, and growing environment
  • Know extraordinary things can happen when people work hard together
  • Want to participate in a laboratory for innovation in education
  • Are (ideally) bilingual in English and Spanish

Working at AGC means…

  • Being surrounded by thoughtful, inquisitive students and hard-working, like-minded colleagues
  • Thinking outside of the box to do what is best for our students
  • Promoting student profile qualities of the International Baccalaureate Program: inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk takers, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.
  • Having high academic expectations for every student in the school every day
  • Getting your hands dirty in our school garden
  • Enjoying 100% organic, scratch-made meals prepared by our on-site chef
  • Working in an environmentally sustainable school culture

    For hiring-related inquiries, please contact hiring@agcchicago.org.

    We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age national origin, or disability.

Recess Credit Eva and Daniel Gillet

Seeking Exemplary applicants for the 2018-2019 School Year

Those who refer a candidate who is hired and employed by AGC for the 2018-2019 school year for one of the three positions listed above will receive a $2,500 referral fee.  For additional questions, please contact AGC’s Executive Director at sarahelizabeth@agcchicago.org.

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We Want Peace

14 Mar

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This morning, at 10:00 am, AGC students across grades K-8 stepped outside to share a message of peace with students around the country following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida one month ago.

Students at our K-2 building walked outside chanting “we want peace,” and formed a peace sign in the parking lot. They then recited a poem about peace in Spanish and English. AGC’s curriculum doesn’t explicitly explore such tragedies before it’s developmentally appropriate, however, these young students were curious and concerned after learning about the shooting through the news and were interested in sending a message of peace today.

The walkout at our 3rd-8th grade building was planned and lead by our Middle School Changemaker Advisory group. These students led their peers outside, and then took turns speaking about the reason behind the walkout. “We are walking out to show that we care, and by participating, you show that you care too,” they said, “even though the event that brought us here was tragic, we want to honor the victims by spreading positivity.”

AGC students then read the names of all 17 victims, and held a moment of silence in their honor. For 60 seconds, 300 students in grades 3-8 stood in absolute silence.

Finally, the student leaders broke their peers into small groups to discuss how students can get involved in the movement for safe schools, or to spread peace and positivity among their communities.

Participation at both buildings was completely optional, and students were invited to stay warm inside with several staff members if they did not wish to participate.

We are proud of our students for choosing to advocate for peace, positivity, and progress, and for adding their voices to a national student movement today.

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Democracy in School Leadership

9 Mar

What is a Democratic School?

Democratic schools each embody the spirit of democracy in their own way. They are as distinct as the communities they support. The spectrum of democratic runs the gamut from the anarchistic Free Skool concept, to schools who host weekly parliamentary meetings. These schools value the distribution of power across a learning community through seeking feedback, encouraging freedom of choice, and engaging with horizontal leadership structures.

This is What Democracy Looks Like (at AGC)

In 2014, AGC took steps to formalize an existing philosophy of power-sharing into more formal systems of democratic participation. On a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, elected multi-stakeholder groups make recommendations to inform school management based on constituent feedback. Those democratic structures (described below in italics) seek to activate feedback from all staff, channel the parent voice, and tap into student perspectives. Our goal is for a majority of decisions affecting the whole school are made through a democratic process.

Within each classroom, democracy is also upheld as a value. AGC follows the best practices of Responsive Classroom, Restorative Justice, and student-led inquiry-based learning. Within our International Baccalaureate framework, students have tremendous agency to drive their own learning.

Our Democratic Structures:

The School Planning and Management Team, is a group of elected representatives from each staff department alongside a parent representative, with participation from the student council when appropriate.  

The AGC Community Council (ACC) is an elected group of parents, staff, and parents who are also staff (a huge percentage of our staff are also parents of AGC students.) The ACC is tasked with channeling the parent voice and helping to organize parent engagement. 

An elected Student Council represents student voice. Additional student committees and publications bolster open feedback and dialog.

An array multi-stakeholder committees tackle specific needs, such as the budget committee (made up of parents and staff) and the hiring committee.

Why Democratic Education?

Democracy can be messy and labor-intensive, but power sharing in the classroom and in school leadership also has tremendous benefits.

We are truly greater than the sum of our parts. To reimagine what’s possible in public education, we need every member of our community to be fully and authentically contributing to our vision for change.  A diversity of perspectives within multi-stakeholder groups also helps to enrich decision making.

In his book exploring democratic learning environments, American Schools, Sam Chaltain describes the balance that American institutions strike. “These two universal needs,” he says, “for freedom on one hand and structure on the other — are particularly relevant to our nation’s school leaders, who must strike the right balance between the two in order to create healthy, high-functioning learning environments.”

Responding to Change

AGC was founded in 2008 with 100 students and a handful of staff. As our school has grown and evolved — developing our Middle Years Program in 2013, incorporating a Dual Language program in 2014, graduating our first 8th-grade class in 2016 and now, in our 10th year — our staff structure has grown and changed organically to meet the needs of our community. Our democratic structures have emerged, ebbed and flowed responsive to changing needs.

Recently, we sat down as a community to draft a staff model that best meets the needs of our community today. After ten years of intense growth and change, we’re no longer adding a grade level each year and, because change is truly the only constant, we’ve grasped an opportunity to reflect and redesign our leadership approach.

As a laboratory of innovation in education, we look for the best path, which is often not the most common or the easiest one. As a community driven by a unique mission, vision, and values, we are accustomed to innovative problem-solving.  Over the last year, AGC’s democratic multi-stakeholder groups have spent countless hours developing a vision for the future of our leadership structure.

Innovating on School Leadership

To begin this process, we held open parent and staff meetings across two evenings to collect feedback on what the goals of a new leadership structure should be. Parents, staff, and students walked silently around the multipurpose room, pausing in front of chart paper taped to the walls to answer probing questions: “What makes our community unique? What will AGC be remembered for in 10 years? What is the primary role of leadership?” We then split into small, multi-stakeholder groups to reflect and offer feedback. All of the days’ notes were collected and analyzed by the School Planning and Management Team (SPMT). This feedback and generated 11 models, each reflecting a unique approach to leading a democratic school.

After several rounds of feedback and Q & A on shared google docs, the 11 models were reduced to 4.  Those 4 models were taken to staff who, during a professional development day, broke into small groups to observe the problems in school leadership each model solved, created, or failed to address.

It has been an inspiring experience to watch our staff collaboratively innovate and problem solve, week after week throughout this process. AGC’s incomparable staff boasts an average of 11+ years of experience, which is uncommon in the Chicago charter community. AGC also retains 90% of our staff year-to-year, so we must be doing something right!

What’s Next?

With this revamped leadership model, we’re now looking for progressive, innovative, and bilingual school leaders to join our team. We are exploring internal and external candidates simultaneously and accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Please share our 2018-2019 staff openings with the like-minded educators in your network!

Revised Leadership Roles, Hiring for 2018-2019

Teaching Positions, Hiring for 2018-2019

The Day my Teacher Was Arrested

20 Feb

For me it was a normal partly cloudy Tuesday. I had just finished my breakfast and was getting ready to go upstairs to Mr. Thompson’s class. I was chatting with my friends when I noticed posters that really freaked me out. Here is what some of the posters said: “Big brother is watching you,” “freedom is slavery, and “war is peace.”big brother

I felt something was really different with Mr. Thompson when he started separating us into three groups by giving us different colored stickers. I thought he was grumpy because he didn’t have his coffee. We had to do different activities based on our sticker color.when it was time for recess The people who had yellow stickers had to stay inside for 20 minutes and only had 6 minutes of recess. The highest ranked people had blue stickers. I had a blue sticker. If you lost your sticker, you had to sit in a box outlined by tape to the floor. My friend got a promotion from yellow to green, but then he lost it when he shouted out.  After lunch we headed upstairs to watch  CNN 10 as usual, but he didn’t let us finish and made us do math instead. Usually we start math at 2:10 but it was only 12:05. I was so confused.

Suddenly, the security coordinator, Mr. Jose came and arrested Mr. T. out of nowhere! Then Mr. G came in and introduced himself as the the leader of a rebellion called The Fist. We were freaking out! Then we had a trial. I was trying to take in all of this weird commotion, so I just left it to the new leader, Mr. G, who was taking action into his own hands for freedom, which sounded better than Mr. Thompson ordering all of us around.

Then, it was three o’clock, and Mr. Thompson came back. We were happy when he came back because he wasn’t a mean old grumpy man anymore. He wasn’t mean anymore because the government simulation was over.

I’m just a typical 5th grader in Mr. Thompson’s class and this week we were studying government. In our government unit, we actually recreated what happens in government systems. For a whole week, we simulated different forms of government.  

For instance, the next day, we had a simulation about monarchy. Brianna was assassinated on her way to a ceremony. Then Gigi, her sister, took over leading the class, until she “died” of coffee poisoning. Then Melanie took over, but she made the boys sit on the floor. She “died” when her sisters’ ghosts haunted her. Their youngest brother, Ray took over next. He was King Ochoa the first. He made the girls clean up and do work in their math books.

After that day, it was communism, we all had the same thing and nobody was different. For instance, if there weren’t enough chairs for everyone to sit at a table we all had to sit on the floor. It made me feel a little bit bummed because my lesson spot is a chair. A lesson spot is the place where a student chooses to do their work.

Mr. T. could have use the boring old method of teaching with the stick against the chalkboard. And I don’t like that way. I mean sure we had to fill out a packet but we gained memories. And that was the end of my really weird week studying government. 

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— Miguelito V., 5th grade

This blog post was written by a student serving as a brand ambassador in AGC’s after-school club “Telling our Stories.”

Middle Schoolers Help the Homeless and Hungry

6 Feb

In every classroom at the Academy for Global Citizenship my friends and I placed a jar for donations.  Students, families, and teachers put money in this jar for a food drive.

My advisory group was taking action with a food drive. My advisory group is called “The Change Maker Advisory,” because we are a classroom of students who take action for positive change. The food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository helps homeless and hungry people by donating canned food as well as money. Only one dollar buys three meals which is surprising. The whole school was involved. Students, teachers, and parents brought in money or canned food.

We collected a lot of money to help homeless or hungry people.  We were excited because the people receiving the food would be very happy and fed by all of those who helped donate. This also helped us finish our first task towards participating in WE day. WE day is a day where many schools come together to stand up to fight for equality and equity. WE day is also a day to learn about our world and what is going on.

My advisory group collected donations in both of our school’s buildings. We passed out jars and boxes for food and put up posters that gave information about the food drive and the Chicago Food Depository.

On the Monday before the food drive ended, Ms. Hagen went into her classroom and noticed something seemed to be different. When she looked in her desk for the food depository money, she saw that the coins were left but the bills were all gone. The change maker advisory had a sad morning when we heard that our money has been stolen. The whole advisory was surprised. Ms. Hagen told each and every class that they about this horrible problem. Ms. Hagen was heartbroken.

The 7th graders went hunting in their backpacks for all the spare change they could find.  That day alone we raised $75 dollars and only a few days after that we raised $200.

Parents also heard about the incident and donated more and helped bring us over our goal by 100 dollars. Our community gladly raised another $200. It’s so nice to know people care and were trying to give back what was taken. This was a thoughtful action taken by the students and parents. We appreciate all  the donations that we received and were able to give to the Chicago Food Depository. This organization will make so many meals for people with all the love and kindness AGC orcas have showed.   

In total, we collected and donated 112 pounds of food and $832.81. Overall, this provided about 2,600 meals for our neighbors in need!

We are happy we were able to make a difference for the homeless and hungry people.

This blog post was written by a student serving as a brand ambassador in AGC’s after-school club “Telling our Stories.” Stay tuned for more!

My Night at the Museum

9 Jan

It was a late Sunday night with over two thousand people in one place. Even after a last minute venue change, this massive number of people was not expected and thus chairs were insufficient. What was this major event? Where was this and why were there two-thousand people in attendance? If you crave the answers, continue to read.

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It was the day of the Chicago Community Climate Forum. This meant that people from all different ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds congregated for one night in the city.  The Field Museum had allowed the Chicago Community Climate Forum (CCCF for short) to use the space to teach many others about many different topics. What is the CCCF you might be wondering? Well The Chicago Community Climate Forum is a gathering of civic leaders and engaged residents focused on building strong communities and taking action on climate solutions in the Chicago region.” according to the event’s invitation. I was going because I had been interviewed for a video by FREE SPIRIT MEDIA that was shown  at the event. 

When we arrived at the field museum there was easy parking and I had thought that possibly there was not going to be many people at this event. The time we got  there was about seven pm. As we went inside of the Field Museum we noticed that there was many people for all of the noise had proven us to be true and when we continued there were tables set up for registration. My mom had pre-registered my family, so we continued to settle down and put our coats away and found a spot to sit.

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When we sat down we examined the place. There were many, many people that had all joined to learn more and teach about this topic. We learned many things and had a poetry performance were they danced and taught us about air pollution and how it affects communities. Also different speakers talked about important topics such as lead in water. It was an inspirational sight seeing that many people were caring for this event and to me this was astonishing for I’ve never seen so many people in such important event. Also from what was expected to be a 200 person event ended as a 2,000 person event which by itself is amazing that we can go over and beyond expectations. With all of these people it really does makes all the news about climate change destroying the planet a lot less depressing.

Overall this was a event that gave us all more information about ways we can improve our environments and awareness to all of these problems and also teach others about it and it would be amazing if all communities and people were able to join these events for I’m sure that it would at least make an impact on our everyday lives and reshape the way we think about things.

— Joaquin V., 7th grade

This blog post was written by a student serving as a brand ambassador in AGC’s after-school club “Telling our Stories.” Stay tuned for more! 

Academy for Global Citizenship Receives Top Rating from Chicago Public Schools!

27 Oct

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AGC is thrilled to announce that we have received a Level 1+ rating from Chicago Public Schools’ School Quality Rating Program! We received the highest possible ratings for our school culture, as measured by the 5Essentials “My Voice My School” assessment,  students’ reading growth, and our ability to close the achievement gap for high-risk demographic groups, among other measures.

Our students experienced reading and math growth better than 94% and 76% of US schools, respectively, as measured by the NWEA MAP assessment. The results of our 5Essentials assessment shows that AGC is a well organized to prepare our students for success, including engaging students, families, and staff in organizational leadership.

Flip through these slides to explore some My Voice My School analysis.

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The Academy for Global Citizenship was created in 2008 by a group of idealistic young educators who sought to reimagine school based on the needs of the 21st century. AGC was inspired by two critical problems: the inequity in access to high-quality schooling, and the urgent need to prepare engaged citizens who care for the earth, their communities, and themselves. We have worked ever since to challenge what’s possible in public education.

Those of you who have followed AGC’s journey over the last 10 years have heard the story of a 23-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Ippel riding her bicycle to the board of education to demand that they join her in reimagining public education. Her proposal was all but laughed out. Would-be supporters of this movement gently suggested that this was a great model… for a different population. They suggested that she make AGC a private school. Healthy organic food, mindfulness education, and the rigorous International Baccalaureate programme, they suggested, would be a big hit in a wealthy community. These suggestions only served as fuel for the fire, and Sarah Elizabeth was even more convinced of the urgency of  bringing this model to a community that needed high-quality public schools. Sarah Elizabeth returned to that board room with increasing determination until our charter was granted.

As we look back on the last 10 years, we are inspired by the growth as much as we are by the steadiness. The role of education is to prepare young people to inherit the world. As the world changes, so must we, and therefore we often say “the only constant is change.” The soul of our school — the mission, vision, values — and the things that make us unique, have been an outstanding constant.

Recently, while cleaning out an old closet, I came across a box of papers from 2007 –flyers and grant proposals written before AGC opened. I was struck by how little has changed. We had not yet hired staff or welcome students, and yet the school that was described is the school where I work every day. Although our staff model, budget, and facilities have changed dramatically, we are still doing the same work that was detailed in that very first proposal. Students participate in daily yoga and mindfuless, eat a healthy organic breakfast, learn about the natural systems of the earth in our school garden, and collaborate on globally relevant issues in their International Baccalaureate units of inquiry.

For AGC, reaching Level 1+ status is evidence of the incredible things that are possible in public education. This is proof that developing mindful global citizens can be a means to, and not a distraction from, excellence in education.

We have said for years that it is hard to quantify why we feel AGC is such a fantastic place for kids to learn, because the effect doesn’t always show immediately in a standardized score. There are so many factors in making this place special – mindfulness, passion for social justice and taking action, environmentalism, sustainability and asking ever so many questions. Our staff works so hard to meet every student where they are and think about them as a whole person. How do you measure all that? In the immortal words of Trey Thompson, ‘We are not a number!’ However, it is nice when the number you are assigned matches what we all know – AGC is the place to be.” – Internal Memo

To everyone who has contributed to making AGC what it is, thank you.

To everyone else — we want you to join us. Join us in this movement to reimagine education. Support a community that believes the impossible is possible. Come help us transform children into leaders, scholars into innovators, and classrooms into communities.

Click below to get involved:

WORK WITH US

HELP FUND OUR WORK

VOLUNTEER WITH US

ENROLL A STUDENT

OR, SIMPLY STAY IN TOUCH! 

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