In 2012 LUC established Loyola University School Partners in order to grow a community within the schools in the Rogers Park area, aligning Loyola University’s resources with local PK-12 public schools. Currently LUSP reaches across the Rogers Park, West Ridge, Edgewater, and Uptown communities in Chicago. LUSP and its partner schools practice the Community Schools Model which fosters a mutually beneficial framework for identifying and addressing key issues faced by our students and families. In 2017 we developed the Schools Partnerships that grew to partnerships with multiple schools who are still under the current LUSP initiative today. The schools are: McCutcheon Elementary School, Gale Community Academy, DeWitt Clinton Elementary School, Roger C. Sullivan HS, Joyce Kilmer Elementary School and New Field Primary School. Together, the six partner schools and Loyola students, faculty, and staff learn from and engage with one another and contribute to school communities. We collaboratively designed this grant project through specific goals, objectives, and outcomes, as well as through evidenced-based strategies and ongoing formative evaluation.
Clinton Elementary Community School
Clinton Elementary School became one of Loyola's school partners in 2019. In its first year, Loyola worked to identify needs that a community school could fulfill and to establish a community schools culture within the school, with the goal of developing beneficial programs for students and adults. Currently, LUSP provides a number of before and after school programs, such as: Mission Propel, which focuses on female empowerment through yoga; Bit Space, an extracurricular STEM exploration program; orchestra and band; art and mixed media; as well as academic enrichment programs. Community partnerships have also begun to be developed focused on aligned services and resources around youth behavior and mental health services and adult English Language programs.
Field Elementary School
LUSP employs elements of the Community Schools approach to support schools in Rogers Park. Particularly at Field, LUSP supports the provision of robust, SEL programming during out-of-school times. Through a partnership with the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, Field students meet weekly for their before-school Anime Club. SPJA’s sponsorship of a yearlong Funimation account allows for students to watch classic anime shows through an SEL lens; in particular, students engage in conversations around ideas of strength, agency, emotional intelligence, decision-making and more. Via other partnerships with organizations like C.H.A.M.P.S Male Mentoring and Alternative’s Girl World, middle school students of color are provided with a safe space to engage in activities with role models as they grow into productive young men and women, in and out of school. Through this project, LUSP plans to continue this approach of embedding SEL practices into the day-to-day life of students and to expand community-building programs and services to families and community members through Community Circles.
Gale Elementary Community Academy
LUSP is working closely with Gale to support the development of student leadership groups such as its Student Ambassador Program. This program meets bi-weekly to develop leadership skills among students and creates opportunities for youth to make positive changes in their school and community. Along with Women in Leadership-Loyola (W.I.L.L.), a Loyola student organization, LUSP also provides workshops for 6th-8th grade girls at Gale Elementary. Each workshop focuses on a different theme such as self-confidence, health and wellness, conflict resolution, planning for the future, public speaking or professionalism. The workshop series will be followed by a culminating event that will include mock interviews, student presentations and guest speakers. Also included is the culminating event of a “business lunch” wherein students will dine with female mentors representing various professions. Loyola also hosts a Civic Engagement Summer Camp that is open to students from all LUSP partner schools including Gale.
New Field Primary School
Along with Loyola’s Center for Science and Math Education (CSME), LUSP launched a Professional Learning Community (PLC) for teachers from New Field Elementary and other partnering Rogers Park elementary schools. The PLC focuses on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Inquiry-Based Learning. Fifteen teachers are currently taking part in the PLC, which held its first of four quarterly workshops in October 2017. Participating teachers also benefit from regular coaching visits from CSME faculty. The project included a special principals-only workshop wherein principals learned NGSS principles so they can better support their teachers when implementing NGSS in the classroom.
Kilmer Elementary School
At Kilmer, LUSP is exploring ways that our neighborhood elementary schools can better prepare students for the transition into high school. A graduate-level intern from Loyola’s School of Education is currently examining the high school transition experience for schools and students, and looking into how schools share information about individual students during the transition period. The project is limited in its initial scope and is currently focusing only on the articulation between Kilmer Elementary and Sullivan High School. If funding is secured, the work will provide the foundation for a summer transition program for a small group of students attending Sullivan as freshmen next fall. This project will serve LUSP long-term vision of K-12 alignment in Rogers Park schools.
McCutcheon Elementary School
John T. McCutcheon Elementary School educates the whole child through an inquiry based educational experience. McCutcheon Elementary is committed to maintaining an inclusive and collaborative educational environment, which supports all learners. We value a caring environment through strong school-community relationships. We partner with our students, parents, and community to make decisions that are in the best interests of our children. We dedicate ourselves to meeting the individual needs of every student in order to be empowered critical thinkers who will be college and career ready.
Sullivan HIgh School
The Sullivan community is driven to implement a personalized, standards-based curriculum that prepares all learners for real-world, postsecondary success. As a Chicago refugee high school, Sullivan strives to create a positive, supportive learning environment that nurtures independence and critical thinking in our students, while we guide them towards postsecondary success. Through LUSP Sullivan has been able to provide 20 programs in areas like medical, bio-medicine, english language learning, math club, guitar glub, student council, poetry, digital arts, and more. These programs are offered for all levels of students to advance academic and career futures. Students are also able to participate in skill development groups and clubs that offer stipends at the end of each semester.