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Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for your support and partnership
in changing the lives of our students.

With Gratitude,

The Distinctive Schools Family

The "Grateful Tree" design is featured courtesy of the imagination of CICS Irving Park 8th grader Luana Fernandez, and the inspiration of her outstanding art teacher, Molly Nolan.


The Heart of the Matter: Readying Kids to Learn

Whether you’re an adult going to work or a child going to school, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to leave the complexities of our personal lives at the door. Each student brings a unique set of personal life circumstances with them to school each day, and without acknowledging that baggage and addressing related issues, we’re not giving each student a fair chance to be his or her academic best. Students can’t grow academically if they’re not concurrently growing their social and emotional awareness. All of us need to learn how to best process our personal feelings and be aware of our interactions with others, and this is just as important as any other required subjects taught in school. The students of the Distinctive Schools network are fortunate to have invaluable supports from all of our dedicated student services professionals to help them through the complexities of life so they can be successful in school and for the rest of their lives.  Full story...

Commitment Spotlight: Social Justice

In the third installment of this school year's series on Distinctive Schools' six Core Commitments, we look this month at "social justice."

Anyone who has ever attended school knows how those “first-day jitters” feel. Adults often associate the predictable, yet unnerving, feeling of “butterflies” fluttering in their stomachs with their first days of school, long ago. Coming to school means removing oneself from the homogeneity of family life, and meeting people from different backgrounds. Full story...


Parent Profile: Kim Karall, CICS Irving Park

This month, we interview Kim Karall, whose son Seth a is a 7th grade student at CICS Irving Park.

Ms. Karall describes why she chose CICS Irving Park and how she supports her son's education at home. 

Read the interview...


News from the Schools

CICS Bucktown provides opportunities for students' social-emotional growth .

CICS Irving Park middle school students are enjoying their health and wellness elective

CICS Jackson is designing character education classes

CICS Prairie students in Common Threads cook up recipes for life!

CICS West Belden students celebrate diversity with 'Mix It Up at Lunch' Day!"