To: Our School Community, Allies, Supporters and Friends
From: Emily McCann, CEO and Jeanette Castellanos-Butt, Executive Director CSI
Re: Citizen Schools to Close Regional Program in Illinois
Date: April 25, 2017
Since Citizen Schools first opened its doors in Chicago, we have helped equip more than 1,800 students with the skills, access and beliefs they need to thrive as students and succeed as adults in the modern economy.
Unfortunately, we have been operating in an environment that can't support the model we have created. It was our hope that Chicago would embrace Expanded Learning Time as a solution to the city's challenges. While we found support from school and corporate partners, it wasn't enough to overcome the dearth of public investment in educational innovation.
Thus Citizen Schools has made the difficult decision to close its regional program in Illinois, effective at the end of the current academic year.
In making this announcement, we want to honor the contributions of our team in Chicago. Our students have benefitted from the expertise and extraordinary efforts of our colleagues, friends, teaching fellows, school and community partners. There is so much to celebrate here: thousands of students served, student growth that exceeded district standards and our own internal goals, and deep roots in our communities. It's been our honor to serve all of you.
We are hard at work to mine the lessons from our experience in Chicago. One of those lessons is that we need to design a better solution for students in under-resourced districts, like Chicago Public Schools—because, they, like their peers around the country, deserve access to opportunities that cultivate the skills and mindsets they need to thrive as students and succeed as adults. It'd be our greatest joy to one day return to Chicago with this new approach.
Going forward, our top priority in making a thoughtful transition will be to support our school partners and students in identifying high quality afterschool opportunities for the fall semester. Should you have any questions about this process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.