HSA Southwest Chicago is authorized by Chicago Public Schools. Chicago Public Schools Board of Education approved HSA Southwest Chicago on January 22nd with a final approval on April 23rd. As a charter public school, HSA Southwest Chicago is open to ALL students. There is no testing to attend HSA Southwest Chicago. However, residence in the City of Chicago is required.
HSA Southwest Chicago serves special education students, homeless students (temporary or not), and students with ELL (English Language Learners) needs. HSA Southwest Chicago does not discriminate based on nationality, race, economic status, religion, sex, and disabilities.
HSA Southwest Chicago opened with Kindergarten through 8th grade in the fall of 2014. HSA Southwest Chicago accepted 450 students in its first year (50 students, two sections in each grade). The class size is maximum 25 at HSA Southwest Chicago. HSA Southwest Chicago added one grade each year to be a K-12 campus. HSA Southwest Chicago now serves 750 students.
HSA Southwest Chicago is located at 5401 S. Western Avenue Chicago, IL 60609 and accepts students citywide.
HSA Southwest Chicago implements the Concept Schools design, which is a proven successful, student-centered, and evidence-based educational design, currently being implemented in 30 charter schools across the Midwest. Four of the 30 schools are located in Illinois. They are Chicago Math and Science Academy, Horizon Science Academy-McKinley Park and Horizon Science Academy-Belmont.
The main characteristics of the HSA Southwest Chicago are:
- Rigorous college preparatory curriculum with Math, Science, and Technology emphasis
- Longer school days and extended school year
- Small school and class sizes
- Personalized education
- Data-driven instruction through ongoing assessment of learning
- A comprehensive academic support system for all students
- Higher standards and expectations for all students
- Knowledgeable, dedicated, and skilled staff
- Increased student engagement beyond classroom
- Increased parental involvement
- Sustainable relationships with students and parents
- Productive community partnerships
HSA Southwest Chicago is operated by Concept Schools. Concept Schools in an Illinois based not-for-profit charter management organization, which established its first school in Ohio in 1999, and has since expanded to 30 charter schools spread across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The accolades that Concept-managed schools have received over the years include, but are not limited to, two Blue Ribbon Awards by the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Title I Distinguished School Award, “Excellent” and “Excellent with Distinction” and “Effective” ratings by the applicable state Departments of Education, and being portrayed in the research about high-performing schools such as “Needles in Haystack” of the Fordham Foundation. Concept was also was among the highest performing charter networks in a 2013 research study by CREDO of Stanford University. A summary of the study may be found here.