LEAP Innovations, Chicago, Ill. K-12 Breakthrough Models

Breakthrough Schools: Chicago is a multi-year, citywide initiative to cultivate the next generation of school models in Chicago through support programs and funding mechanisms. The grant competition is for school designers and other entrepreneurial educators to develop and launch next generation schools that provide personalized instruction.

The 2015 cohort of Breakthrough Schools: Chicago grant recipients were announced in June 2015.

A pilot site in NGLC's Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools, LEAP Innovations was also selected to join the 2014 Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools initiative.

The local-national partnership, led by Chicago’s LEAP Innovations, along with Next Generation Learning Challenges, aims to propel the nation’s third largest school district toward a critical mass of powerful, next generation schools, disseminating best practices so all students are prepared to succeed with 21st century skills. Chicago and Washington, D.C., were home to the first two of these regional NGLC efforts. 

Podcast: Listen to Phyllis Lockett and Amy Huang discuss personalized learning at Leap Innovations. Produced by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.

The 2014 cohort of school design teams competed for $100,000 planning grants. Winners include new startups as well as existing traditional public schools, charters, magnets, and turnarounds. Although their models may differ, they all share a clear vision: blended teaching and learning in which each student is engaged and empowered to take charge their own learning, while each educator uses robust data to pinpoint student needs allowing them to accelerate or remediate students. The result: a new cadre of next generation schools in some of the most challenged Chicago communities.

A Summer Design Program, launched by the Chicago Public Education Fund, spurs educator-led innovation and prepares a pipeline of principal-led teams to participate in Breakthrough Schools: Chicago. The series of workshops helps school design teams and others create strong planning grant applications.

In addition to the planning grant winners announced in late April 2014, Chicago also can claim several NGLC grantees (KIPPIntrinsicFoundations) who are transforming public schools into 21st century learning experiences. The newest cohort of planning grant recipients was announced in June 2015. 

For More Information 

Chicago Tribune article on Breakthrough Schools: Chicago grant recipients.

Contact: Jennifer Cline, jen@leapinnovations.org.

LEAP Innovations is part of the 2014 Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools initiative.