AGC Educator a Finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching

8 Feb

We are thrilled to announce that Saskia Gorospe-Rombouts is a finalist for the Golden Apple award for excellence in teaching.

Over 650 outstanding educators from around the Chicagoland area were nominated this year, a record for the Golden Apple awards. While nominee should be celebrated for their contributions, only 5% of nominated educators were selected as finalists. Ms. Rombouts joins a group of 30 of the best educators in the region. These incredible teachers serve different communities at diverse school models.

Ms. Rombouts has been inspiring teachers and students alike at the Academy for Global Citizenship for 8 years. Ms. Rombouts joined our community in 2010 to create AGC’s Dual Language program.

A native of Spain, Ms. Rombouts has spent her career improving bilingual education, as a writer, educator, consultant, and a teacher-trainer.

As a bilingual educator, and the parent of a bilingual child, she felt passionately about the need to support bilingualism in schools. At the time, Dual Language immersion programs were even more uncommon within public schools. Ms. Rombouts created AGC’s Dual Language program over two years of study and observation of existing models. Based on best-practice research, her approach is a two-way immersion model, with native Spanish speakers, native English speakers, and simultaneous bilingual students learning collaboratively. Instruction begins at 80% in Spanish and 20% in English and shifts gradually to 50-50. The objective is for all students to read, write, and speak in both languages fluently by fifth grade.

Ms. Rombouts embodies the qualities we seek to develop in our students. She is a creative and tenacious leader and an empathetic global citizen. She is driven by her passion for helping students find and develop their strengths, and one of the hardest working people we know.  In addition to leading 1st grade Dual Language, Ms. Rombouts coaches educators an emerging Dual Language program at Spry Elementary (a partnership made possible through a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education) and teaches a Methods and Materials course for New Language Learners at Erikson Institute.

We are so proud of Ms. Rombouts and all of the outstanding educators in our school and our city.

Ms. Rombouts joins her colleague, Berenice Salas, in this honor. Ms. Salas,  who teaches Individuals and Society, a Middle School social studies course at the Academy for Global Citizenship, was recognized as a finalist for the 2017 Golden Apple Awards.

Saskia Gorospe-Rombouts, hiking with her son Itxaso, who is currently a 4th grader in AGC’s Dual Language program.

 

Annual Golden Apple Awards Finalists Announced
Awards recognize excellence in teaching and outstanding school leadership
CHICAGO (February 8, 2018) – Golden Apple, a leading Illinois nonprofit committed to developing great teachers, today announced the finalists for the organization’s prestigious educator awards: the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching and the Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award.
A record number of nominations for the 2018 Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching were submitted this year, totaling more than 650 Pre-K through 3rd grade teachers from the Chicagoland area. Five percent of nominees were selected as finalists, for a total of 30 educators who will be considered for the award this spring. The 2018 finalists include the highest percentage of Chicago Public School teachers ever selected, many of whom are bilingual and teach in two languages to help English-language learners.
The Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award, presented in memory of Stanley C. Golder, a founding board member of Golden Apple, honors exemplary performance and excellence in school leadership of a Pre-K through 12th grade principal or head of school from the Chicagoland area. Seven school leaders were recognized as 2018 Golder finalists. Nominations nearly doubled from previous years.
“This year’s award finalists, selected through an anonymous process, represent accomplished educators who are embracing very complex assignments to enrich and advance the lives of students,” said Alicia Winckler, Golden Apple President and CEO. “These awards shine a bright light on the incredible work happening in our schools. On behalf of Golden Apple, we applaud the teacher and school leader finalists for their initiative, innovation, dedication and perseverance.”
Fellow educators, students, parents and community members nominate teachers and school leaders for the awards each year. For more information and photos of finalists, visit www.goldenapple.org/celebration.
2018 Stanley C. Golder Leadership Award Finalists:
1. Kathryn Baal, Loyola Academy, Wilmette
2. Victor Iturralde, Solorio Academy High School, Chicago
3. Gregory Jones, Kenwood Academy High School, Chicago
4. Jason Patera, The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Chicago
5. Catherine Plocher, Augustus H. Burley School, Chicago
6. Stacy Stewart, Belmont-Cragin, Chicago
7. Jose M. Torres, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora
2018 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching Award Finalists: 
1. Julie Ahern, Andrew Cooke Magnet Elementary School, Waukegan
2. Erica Barraza, Lotus Elementary School, Spring Grove
3. Lisa Buchholz, Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Glen Ellyn
4. Lisset Carrasco, Grover Cleveland Elementary School, Chicago
5. Jodi Christoforou, Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary School, Arlington Heights
6. Nancy Cordova, Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language, Chicago
7. Meghan Dolan, John M. Palmer Elementary School, Chicago
8. Heather Duncan, South Shore Fine Arts Academy, Chicago
9. Jeri Faber, Ringwood School Primary Center, Ringwood
10. Gwendolyn Faulkner, McKenzie Elementary School, Wilmette
11. Ann Fehser, John Laidlaw Elementary School, Western Springs
12. Cheryl Frawley, Betsy Ross Elementary School, Forest Park
13. Maureen Gallagher, Arthur Dixon Elementary School, Chicago
14. Carrie Garrett, Lynne Thigpen Elementary School, Joliet
15. Michael Golub, Mary Gage Peterson Elementary, Chicago
16. Saskia Gorospe-Rombouts, Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago
17. Melissa Halusek, Pleasantdale Elementary School, La Grange
18. Melissa Holland, Jordan Community Elementary School, Chicago
19. Rebecca Kelly, Arbor View Elementary School, Glen Ellyn
20. Alyssa Lipuma, Brook Park Elementary School, La Grange Park
21. Dawn Majer, Ardmore Elementary School, Villa Park
22. Xenia Martinez-Downs, Little Village Academy, Chicago
23. Kristin Mitchell, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School, Evanston
24. Caitlin Reusche, Suder Montessori Magnet School, Chicago
25. Megan Shore, Oakbrook Elementary, Wood Dale
26. Daneal Silvers, Edison Regional Gifted Center, Chicago
27. Anita Unzueta, Little Village Academy, Chicago
28. Lisa Washington Kuzel, The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago
29. Brittany Williams, Brentano Math & Science Academy, Chicago
30. Kary Zarate, George B. Swift Specialty School, Chicago
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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.

chi_climate_forum

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! 

What Does Peace Mean to You?

20 Sep

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Tomorrow, AGC’s community will come together once again for a Peace Parade through our neighborhood to celebrate International Peace Day. Click here to read about last year’s Peace Parade in a student article published on Education Post.

Our Third graders at the Academy for Global Citizenship have been helping to plan this event. They have been putting various communication skills into practice to understand and celebrate peace.  Our Third graders are in the middle of a six week study on communication as a tool to connect and impact the world around them.  The classes have been immersed in discussions and explorations of verbal and nonverbal communication, human innovations in communication, as well as expressing themselves through symbols and various written languages.  Throughout the day, teachers model and provide opportunities for students to develop a common understanding of the skills needed to be an effective communicator.

A goal for each unit in the IB Primary Years Program is for students to take some kind of action, whether small or large, local or global. This gives students a purpose in exercising what they have learned and helps to develop leaders looking to stand up for change and make an impact.  The third grade has taken on the task of planning a peace celebration at AGC in honor of the UN’s International Day of Peace on Thursday September 21, 2017.  They are planning an assembly, a march with chants and signs throughout the neighborhood and some appreciation circles to spread peace in our own school community.

To start the conversation and to put their listening, writing and speaking skills to practice, students were tasked with conducting “man on the street” interviews.  Students, visitors and staff were all asked the question: “What does peace mean to you?” They recorded and transcribed these quotes and took photos that represent peace to them and are eager to share these reports across AGC’s social media in a “peaceful” takeover of school communication with the world at large.

“What Does Peace Mean to You?”
“I think peace means everybody agrees with each other and nobody
fights with each other. You can have disagreements but instead of
fighting you can talk it out with people. You shouldent hurt other
people.” -Delilah, seventh grade
Peace means to me evrything and evryone gets along and evry one
appreciates each other and nobody means aney harm to each other.
Evreybody has agreements and disagreements but it also ends up not
harsh.” -Lucy, seventh grade
Peace to me feels like when I’m free to do what I like to do and I
also feel safe in doing it.” -Patrick, international visitor
Peace means respect from one person to another, respect towards the
things that everybody has, respect to every bodys beliefs.” -Mr. Bryan
Soto, wellness teacher
“It means that everyone can be calm and no more fighting.” -Valentina, first grade
“To me peace means you get to be free and give the same respect to
everyone else and how you want to be treated. And it means to be calm
and keep the peace.” -Bella, fifth grade

Peace means to be kind to each other or you are being kind to the
world.” -Sofia, fifth grade

Peace means that the country should be free and that everyone should
be welcome.” -Violeta, fifth grade
“I think peace means everyone being with each other and no
discrimination. That means where no one is being rude to each other.”
Mimi, sixth grade
Peace means to me a happy, joyful feeling.  People being together in harmony and helping each other.”
-Richie, sixth grade
“Paz significa para mi no hay nada malo tambien no pelear con alguien.
Siempre estar feliz y tener emaptia. Tambien solo ayundando a las
personas y tambien respetarlos, no enorjarte con ellos y si te enojas
can ellos hace una estrategia.” – Angel, fifth grade dual language
Peace means being helpful and stuff and not polluting or anything.
It means being nice and not doing bad stuff.” -Oscar, fifth grade
Peace means no wars, no violence.  Peace means friendship.” -Judas,
sixth grade

AGC Wellness Program Shared as Best Practice by Illinois State Board of Education

1 Jun

We are thrilled to announce a collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) the Illinois Principals Association and the Education Leaders Network. INCS selected AGC from among Illinois charter schools as a prime example of innovation and what is possible in education. ISBE is helping to share AGC’s innovative approach to whole-child wellness by hosting best-practice workshops with school leaders and developing a webinar which will reach thousands through the Education Leaders Network and ISBE.

Hear from AGC’s phenomenal teachers and students in this video, which shines a light on our unique approach to whole child education through the Wellness Wheel:

Implementing Educational Innovation from ISBE Video on Vimeo.

Our wellness program is just one example of innovation in action at AGC. As a laboratory of innovation in education, AGC shares this work open-source through initiatives like this collaboration with the Illinois State Board of Education. Through this unique vision of scale, including a School Sustainability Handbook and 100% Organic school food pilot, AGC has impacted over 950,000 students around the world. As a Chicago public charter school, AGC relies on philanthropy for 25% of our operating budget, and we needs your help to continue to share best practices open-source.

Click here to make a one-time or recurring gift to support innovation in action at AGC.

AGC and the Lonely Whale Foundation Panel at Soho House

2 Mar

 

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Dr. Liszt with Shedd’s Bridget Couglin and Hip Hop Caucus’s Liz Havstad.

 

This weekend, our friends at the Lonely Whale Foundation invited Dr. Amy Liszt to speak on a panel about sustainability and urban communities. To a packed house in the Music Room at Soho House

The panel featured Bridget Coughlin from the Shedd Aquarium, Leslie Pappas from The Common Ground Foundation, Jessica Yagan from Impact Engine, and Liz Havstad from the Hip Hop Caucus alongside AGC’s Dr. Amy Liszt. Emma Riley, of the Lonely Whale Foundation, who led the conversation didn’t intend to curate an all-female panel but the celebrated the coincidence nonetheless. Lonely Whale Foundation co-founder and AGC advocate Adrian Grenier introduced the event remotely, as he is in Bali working on ocean advocacy.

The discussion focused largely on the importance of fostering environmental stewardship within communities through schools, youth organizations, and community organizing groups. Ms. Havstad, of the Hip Hop Caucus, discussed the particular relevance of environmental issues within marginalized communities, reminding the audience that Flint, Michigan is still without safe drinking water, over a year after AGC families organized to send bottled water to Michigan.

We are grateful to the Lonely Whale Foundation for including us amongst such an inspiring group of leaders! We are honored to partner with the foundation on a dual-language marine science curriculum for K-5th grade.

Click here to learn about the Lonely Whale’s advocacy initiatives, including a campaign to remove 500 million straws from our ocean in 2017. 

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