Earlier today, the Chicago Board of Education approved CICS ChicagoQuest's application to open the first of three planned 6-12th grade charter public schools designed to prepare the thinkers that tomorrow needs – creative, flexible, collaborative, and innovative. ChicagoQuest is on a mission to re-imagine learning – bringing together a talented team of leaders, teachers, curriculum and intervention specialists, game designers, and technologists to provide students with a rigorous curriculum that requires creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and productive collaboration. ChicagoQuest, like all of its CICS sister schools, will prepare its students to succeed in the four-year college and careers of their choice. ChicagoQuest graduates also will be prepared for active and sophisticated participation in a globally connected, digitized world.
Serving students from the Near North and West side neighborhoods, as well as communities across the city, the first ChicagoQuest campus will open in August 2011 with 312 6th and 7th grade students. The CICS ChicagoQuest campuses will receive support from MacArthur. Through this partnership, MacArthur will provide Chicago International with the financial support to build the capacity of a management organization responsible for the operation of three campuses.
For Chicago's students, the CICS ChicagoQuest campuses will offer 21st-century learners an innovative and dynamic academic environment. "The mission of ChicagoQuest is to engage, challenge, and prepare all of our students to impact their communities and the world as problem-solvers, inventors, designers, and innovators," says Director of Education and Leadership, Dr. Sybil Madison-Boyd. "If your child is curious about how things work, is always asking "Why?", or needs to be turned on to learning again, ChicagoQuest could be an exciting learning environment for her or him."
ChicagoQuest adapts an innovative education model currently being implemented in a New York City public school called "Quest to Learn." Quest to Learn is designed to enable students to "take on" the identities and behaviors of explorers, mathematicians, historians, writers, and evolutionary biologists as they work through a dynamic, challenge-based curriculum with content-rich "questing to learn" at its core. For Quest to Learn, games and other forms of digital media are used to model the complexity of "systems." Understanding and accounting for this complexity is a fundamental literacy for today's students. The Quest to Learn model is also supported by Chicago's John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which seeks to improve education by applying what we know about how digital media are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize and participate in civic life. ChicagoQuest also draws upon CICS's effective High School Curriculum developed through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
To learn more:
- Meet some of ChicagoQuest's educators at the New Schools EXPO this Saturday, January 29th from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Soldier Field
- Visit www.chicagointl.org for parent fact sheets, student enrollment applications, and teacher recruitment information
- Coming soon: Visit the ChicagoQuest website and watch for updates at www.chicagoquest.org.