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Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 18°F

Educational Resources for At-Risk Students

Youth Connection Charter Schools (YCCS)
A Leading provider in alternative education, YCCS is the only chartered alternative education system that is solely dedicated to serving dropout and at-risk students in Illinois. There are over 20 campuses in Chicago with graduation rates reportedly higher than regular public schools. A member of ASN.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
Alternative Education and Transition programs work to reduce the dropout rate through prevention and credit recovery options, and assist dropouts in their efforts to return to school. Resources offered include:

Alternative Safe Schools
Students temporarily removed from school for behavioral violations can continue to receive credits for their studies.

Saturday Morning Alternative Reach-Out and Teach (SMART)
Students who are expelled from school for violating the CPS Student Code of Conduct don’t have to get behind in their coursework. This program provides an educational alternative. To learn more contact the SMART hotline at (773) 553-2300.

Chicago Public Schools, Office of Student Support and Engagement
The office of Student Support and Engagement at CPS has resources to help students that need credit recovery, tutoring, mentoring, and much more. For more information, contact CPS at (773) 553-1000.

Communities In Schools of Chicago
Communities In Schools of Chicago (CISC) connects Chicago Public School students with programs and services they need that their schools often cannot provide. From health promotion and arts enrichment, to mental health and violence prevention, the services that CISC links to students are provided at no cost to schools. During the 2011-2012 school year, CISC connected more than 71,000 students to nearly 1,500 services they otherwise would not have received. The CISC network includes 170 Chicago Public Schools and more than 170 service providers. CISC is a non-profit affiliate of Communities In Schools, Inc., the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization.

After School and Extra-Curricular Programs

After School Matters
A Chicago non-profit offering innovative out-of-school time programming in arts, communications, science, sports and technology. These programs allow teens the opportunity to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for their future. A significantly positive experience for Chicago teens.

America Scores—Chicago
After-school programming is offered to student from K-8th grade at fourteen Chicago Public Schools on the city’s west side. Commitment, leadership and teamwork are created through a unique program of soccer, writing, creative expressing and service learning. Children improve their literacy skills while learning about health eating habits, daily fitness and making an impact on their community.

American Indian Center of Chicago
This center helps to promote cultural understanding and sustain the cultural, artistic, and avocational pursuits of American Indians in Chicago’s metropolitan area. Programs are available for children and teens.

Better Boys Foundation (BBF)
A North Lawndale community organization providing a myriad of academic support, mentoring, prevocational, recreational and cultural activities year-round and after school for children ages 1 to18. Participants are eligible to apply for BBF Memorial Scholarships for college and vocational training.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago
A successful mentoring organization which pairs a child or teen with a positive adult role model to help them reach their full potential and set them on a brighter path for the future.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago
Boys and Girls Clubs of Lake County
After school and out-of-school programs for young people providing a safe place to learn, caring adults, life-enhancing programs and experiences, instilling hope and offering opportunity. Multiple locations available in the city and suburbs.

By The Hand Club for Kids
An after-school program serving school-age children 5 to 18 with an emphasis on academics and a commitment to nurturing the whole child—mind, body and soul. The organization works with parents, teachers, and volunteers to help kids succeed in school and in life. Participants are referred to this program by the Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Urban League
A leader in building strong sustainable African American communities and creating opportunities with the power to transform lives, Chicago Urban League provides several programs that help to guide youth to successful adulthood with an emphasis on education and career development.

Free Spirit Media (FSM)
A youth media organization using hands-on and project-based media production opportunities to help young people develop their authentic voice as they learn about and address community issues. Programs are located at a number of Chicago high schools.


Alternative Schools Network (ASN)
Alternative Schools Network is a not-for-profit organization in Chicago working to provide quality education with a specific emphasis on inner-city children, youth and adults. The member schools of ASN are non-profit, independent, and self-governing schools as well as youth and adult educational organizations. In addition to supporting community based and community run programs, ASN also brings to light the myriad of issues related to the dropout crisis by commissioning research and bringing public awareness to the reports.

America’s Promise Alliance
Founded in 1997 with General Colin Powell as Chairman and chaired today by Alma Powell, America’s Promise Alliance is a cross-sector partnership of 400+ corporations, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and advocacy groups that are passionate about improving lives and changing outcomes for children. The Alliance has made a top priority of ensuring that all young people graduate from high school ready for college, work and life. It has a wealth of resources for schools and community members.

University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (CCSR)
The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research is one of the nation’s leading research organizations regarding urban education. Over the past 20 years, the Consortium has been analyzing Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and working with CPS to create evidence-based approaches to school reform. Their landmark report, “What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools”, was instrumental in identifying ninth grade as the most important year in regards to graduation rates. The Consortium is a wealth of knowledge about Chicago schools and practices.

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