QuestBridge Finalist in Running for Full Scholarship

Felicia Kanu, HSA Columbus senior, has been selected as one of the finalists for the QuestBridge scholarship program. QuestBridge is a platform bridging the nation's brightest underserved youth and leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities.

The QuestBridge winners gain admission and full scholarships to top-tier colleges.

Good luck, Felicia, with your final run.
MathCON Photo Contest 2016

Stemmed from the idea that Mathematics is all around us, the MathCON Photo Contest is a fun and creative part of the annual MathCON online competition.

Students from all over the U.S. can capture their own math-related photos for a chance to win cash prizes! In 2015, we received hundreds of math photos ranging from the Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio to various objects in nature. Then the top ten math photos were voted for by a large group of online participants and the top three were awarded their prizes at the MathCON 2015 Finals.

Qualifying photos for the 2016 MathCON Photo Contest will be exhibited at the MathCON Finals in Chicago on Saturday, April 23, 2016, where three winners will be awarded with their cash prizes. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible to enter the photo contest.

October History Heroes

The Concept program History Heroes is designed to promote success in and out of the classroom. We want to recognize students acting as civics leaders in their communities or schools, and students who are going above and beyond in their Social Studies classrooms.

Kaliya Turner- HSA Dayton Elementary 
Luis Gallegos- HSA McKinley 
Paree Chinary- Noble Academy Columbus 
Justin Wilton- Michigan Math and Science Academy

CONSEF Design Contest 

Engage & encourage your students not only with the STEM fields, but also with the art of STEM in the Concept Schools' Design Contest to inspire them to become tomorrow's innovators and artists.

Send your students' entries by
December 18, 2015.
Here are a few rules about how to apply:
-Students in grades 5 through 12 are eligible to enter.
-Entries must be on an 8.5"x11" sheet of white paper.
-The design MUST be oriented PORTRAIT, NOT LANDSCAPE.
-Include the words "Concept Science & Engineering Fair" in your design large enough to be seen on your original design.
-The design must be original and may be computerized.
-The design must be in black and white.
-Only one entry is permitted per person during the Contest Period.

The design committee will judge all entries. The entries of the top ten finalists will be displayed at the Fair in April. The winning design will be printed on program booklets and the CONSEF T-shirts.
-First Place: $250
-Finalists: $25
-Winning Sponsoring Art Teacher: $100

For more information, please click
ConceptSIS Updates
In an ongoing effort to improve the reporting capabilities and daily functioning of ConceptSIS for administrators, teachers, students, and parents, we have added the following new features:


- NWEA National Percentiles and Grade Equivalencies are now part of the Individual Scores report.

- The Report Card page now has a Spanish option.

- Employee Paid Time Off deduction reports

- Units to logbook module for CYSP-related items

- HR department will receive a notification for staff account changes (new staff, deactivating staff account, staff address change).


Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) is among the highest-performing public schools, both charter and district, in Chicago.

According to the recent 2014-15 data (including NWEA scores, attendance, survey results, college persistence, and ACT Growth) released by Chicago Public Schools, 
Chicago Math and Science Academy:

  • earned a 'Level 1+' rating
  • received the highest overall score in Combo (K-12) school category
  • received the highest score on ACT growth from 10th grade to 11th grade
  • received the highest College Persistence Rate

College persistence refers to the number of students who return for their second year of college. We congratulate CMSA on another successful school year and look forward to more great things to come!
A Book in Every Child's Hand
This is the goal of author Joe Brown, who has begun visiting Concept Schools to read from his new book "Come On, Get On."  Joe Brown began publishing his many books when at age 70, after a career as a lawyer, his own children said, "Dad, we think you need to share all the stories you told us with other children." Part of his important message to our students is that writing can change, enhance, and expand our lives whoever we are and whatever field we choose, and it is never too late to begin!   
Concept English was thrilled when Mr. Brown agreed to read from his new book, engage our 3rd-6th grade students in activities to elicit and reinforce the power of our imaginations, demonstrate the connection between the illustrator and the writer, and provide each student with an autographed copy of the book to take home.  Mr. Brown's first stop was HSA McKinley Park and will be followed up by a visit to HSA Belmont on November 24th and Milwaukee Math and Science Academy on December 10 and December 15.
Click here for pictures, and for more information on Joe Brown, visit the Illinois Authors website
HSA Belmont Improvements in Literacy

The teachers (along with literacy coach Dr. Krista Robinson-Lyles) at HSA Belmont have been working hard at improving the literacy skills in their K-2 classrooms. Dr. Lyles is continuing her work with Belmont and has brought in such programs as conferring with students about their reading, organizing productive literacy centers, and on structuring a true balanced literacy model. Our HSA Belmont teachers have done amazing things in their classrooms and the students continue to blossom as readers and writers.

The students in Ms. Ellis' 1st grade are meeting with her during small group Guided Reading time. They are working on building fluency and comprehension skills using books from Reading A-Z.
The students in Mrs. Whittenberg's first grade class were working on the laptops as one of the reading workshop rotations. They were at the technology center working on a reading app together.

Two students in Ms. McGrath's class are reading together during partner reading as one of the reading workshop rotations.
Writing Crime Stories!

GASP! The Director of Upper Elementary Education would like to report a "crime" being committed in the fifth grade ELA classroom of Ms. Jillian Folk at Horizon Science Academy-McKinley Park, all in the name of narrative writing. One day recently, Ms. Folk's students left for their special and returned to find their room trashed! Students needed to come in and write down all of the things they saw that were out of place (trash can tipped over, headphones on the ground, snack wrapper, books, chair tipped over on the opposite side of the room). Then, they wrote a narrative.

The first paragraph was setting up the scene using lots of details. The second paragraph was about what they saw when they walked into the room. The third paragraph was what they inferred happened. If they couldn't back up their inference with evidence, then they couldn't use it. They also had to revise and edit especially well because their inferences had to be turned into the "police" to help them solve the investigation. It's a pleasure to see great activity, engaged learning, and student fun in the writing setting. Nice work, Ms. Folk!

Spanish Language Classes Celebrate Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Dia de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions.

The day focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who died and help support their spiritual journey.

Spanish language learners at our schools made and displayed various projects about Day of the Dead throughout the month of November.  
Concept Schools | (847) 824-3380 | | 2250 E. Devon Ave.
Des Plaines, IL 60018
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concept schools | 2250 E. Devon Ave. | Des Plaines | IL | 60018