Co-curricular programs will play a significant role in the culture of HSA Southwest Chicago. Students will be engaged in projects and activities before and after school. Horizon Science Academy students will participate in five main categories of events: clubs, special interest groups, annual school wide events, field trips, and sports.
Clubs – All teachers of HSA Southwest Chicago will sponsor and lead at least one club. Individuals from partnering organizations, in particular those who can offer expertise in math, science, and technology, also will sponsor clubs. Clubs activities will last from 45 minutes to an hour after school. Some clubs may meet more than once a week or even on the weekends. Concept-managed schools currently offer a wide array of clubs, including yearbook, science, table tennis, cooking, world cultures, newspaper, chess, engineering, drama, movie, book, and folk dance.
Special Interest Groups – These groups are specifically designed for students who are performing at higher levels and need more advanced academic activities. These groups will participate in local, regional, or state competitions. One example of an advanced study group is a science project team that will compete in local and state science fairs. Other advanced study groups will include: Science Olympiad, Math Leagues (American, Continental), Lego League, Spelling Bee, Extreme Challenge Team, Robotics Team, and Power of the Pen.
Annual School-wide Events – HSA Southwest Chicago will organize annual school wide events geared toward the parents, students, and the larger community. School-wide events are critical to building community, school pride, and a culture of collaboration, learning, and excellence. The whole community gets involved in all aspects of events, including the planning, marketing, and execution. Some of these events will include:
- Community Breakfast – Each year, community leaders, elected officials, and business leaders will be invited to attend a breakfast at the school and take a tour of the school when it is in session. Guests will meet with students, parents, board members, and staff. This event will engage the larger community and foster community partnerships
- Annual School Showcase – Students will have an opportunity to showcase what they have learned at Horizon Science Academies. The community will participate in curriculum-related presentations, shows, and games that are interactive and fun. The showcase will be organized to celebrate and share the school’s success with the community.
- International Dinner – This cultural event will involve the community in celebrating diversity and the cultures of the world through food, dance, and presentations.
- Honor Roll Parent Dinner – Horizon Science Academies will organize a dinner for parents of students who make the honor roll to recognize the parents’ contribution to the success of their children. Parents and their children will attend the catered dinner, watch presentations, listen to speakers, and mingle with Horizon Science Academy staff.
Local, National, and International Trips – Resources within the community will be used to enrich the curriculum. Horizon Science Academy will sponsor trips to venues such as museums, science centers, local colleges/universities, and hospitals to learn more about careers in science, math, and technology as well as participate in problem-based learning activities. In addition, field trips will be planned to a national and/or international destination at a specific point in the curriculum. Both parents and teachers will be encouraged to accompany students on these trips. Concept students and parents have participated in trips to Malaysia, Thailand, Europe, Philippines, Turkey, Africa, Russia, New York City, Washington, D. C., Florida, California, and Niagara Falls.
Trips are on a voluntary basis with parents covering the expenses. Students will fundraise throughout the year to reduce the cost of trips. Students also must meet certain criteria related to GPA, discipline, and attendance in order to participate in such trips. Horizon Science Academy will also have incentives, such as discounts on these trips for high GPAs and excellent behavior.
Sports – HSA Southwest Chicago will have sports teams and compete in the appropriate leagues. HSA Southwest Chicago will first seek its teachers to coach the sports teams. The schools also will reach out to members of the community and involve partner organizations to provide in-kind services, coach, sponsor events, and provide facilities for the sports programs. HSA Southwest Chicago plans to have basketball, baseball, volleyball, track, and softball teams when the school is at full capacity. Teams will be developed as the school grows in number of students based on the levels of student interest.
Concept Inter-School Competitions – Within the family of Concept-managed schools, there are many opportunities to compete and work with students from other cities and states. These range from academic to arts to sports competitions.
Accelerated students will have the opportunity to participate in special-interest after-school programs. These programs will have a project-based, challenging curriculum and provide students the opportunity to participate in local, national, and international competitions. Examples of programs/activities include Math Counts, Math League, robotics team, science fairs, Olympiads, bridge building, Destination Imagination, and Word Masters. HSA Southwest Chicago will also organize winter and summer programs for accelerated students in order to meet their needs and challenge them to perform to their full potential.