February 10, 2017
Crews 108 and 207 displayed illustrations they created at 345 Art Gallery, located in East Garfield Park neighborhood. Students created symbols to represent core ideas around their study of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Bomb. Through symbols, they have synthesized the complex content that also allows them to have an authentic personal voice and explain the science behind the Manhattan Project to others.
February 3, 2017
Polaris Charter Academy is proud to celebrate 8th grade students Ezekiel Boose, Chyna Cannon, and Nina Escobar who have been awarded prestigious scholarships from the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund (DMSF).
The DMSF recognizes Chicago students who demonstrate outstanding academic potential, leadership skills, and strong character, and provides these students with four-year high school scholarships and educational support. The DMSF helps give them an opportunity to attend an elite private Catholic, independent or boarding school on the scholarship.
Chyna, Ezekiel, and Nina were selected as three of 130 awardees from more than 1,000 applicants throughout the City of Chicago.
Congratulations to the DMSF Scholars Class of 2021!
January 27, 2017
Polaris students doing Fieldwork at last Friday’s Protest and also at Saturday’s Woman’s March. Students are working on a podcast project titled ‘listen’. Students interviewed protesters both days; learning to listen and understanding that everyone’s story matters.
January 18, 2017
3rd grade students are studying the history of Chicago and specifically the Great Chicago Fire. To give students perspective on the fire and how different Chicago was in 1870s we did some research on the early formation of the city. Students read that the population boomed in the mid-1800s due to immigration. To our 8 and 9 year olds immigration is a brand new idea and confusing, so we planned a trip to the Swedish American Museum where students could actually travel back in time in their Children’s Museum. Students got passports, boarded a ship, left their small cottage in Sweden and traveled to their uncle’s log home in America. This dramatic play allowed students to put what they’ve been reading about into context and illuminate their understanding of the past. Although not a full study of immigration this experience allowed our students to understand the tough decision and extreme journey immigrants took to live in America. This knowledge will come into play when we discuss the Irish immigrant family, the O’Leary’s and the part they played in The Great Chicago Fire.
December 18, 2016
December 15th, 2016 Polaris Charter Academy hosted Family Fun Night.
Students and families enjoyed the evening by visiting PCA’s holiday market to make crafts and ornaments. Afterwards everyone enjoyed The Polaris Drama Troupe, under the direction of Georgette Verdin, performing A Seussified Christmas Carol.
Thank you PCA Players and to everyone who made this evening possible.
Wishing you all Happy Holidays!
October 31, 2016
PCA hosted the 10th “Book Character Costume Day”, this is a day that celebrates and promotes literacy and creativity. Students and staff dress up like their favorite book character or topic. It could be a character from ones favorite literature, or it can even be a topic from an informational book- connected to expedition topics or something else you’re interested in.
October 30, 2016
In this blog post, Anne Vilen, a writer for EL Education and co-author of Transformational Literacy: Making the Common Core Shift with Work that Matters and Learning that Lasts: Challenging, Engaging and Empowering Students with Deeper Instruction, discusses how teachers can create lessons that meet standards and are meaningful to students, using Polaris Charter Academy’s Peacekeeper Project as an example.
October 21, 2016
This piece was written by Michelle Navarre, Head of School, at Polaris Charter Academy in Chicago, and Linda McEvoy Grein, Former Math Instructional Guide at Polaris Charter Academy and Executive Director, EduQuate LLC, and was originally published on Education Week’s Learning Deeply blog.
October 19, 2016
Through this fieldwork 7th grade students began to embark on a journey through the scientific world with the Lincoln Park Zoo and their Young Researchers Collaborative program! Throughout the school year, students will conduct their own research project by collecting scientific data in their neighborhood as well as at the LPZ Nature Boardwalk. This was our first visit to Nature Boardwalk to study the interactions between living organisms and their nonliving environment by taking a biodiversity survey.
October 15, 2016
On Friday, October 14th, students welcomed US Senator Dick Durbin for his first visit to Polaris Charter Academy. Senator Durbin became interested in Polaris after reading Paul Tough’s article, “How Kids Learn Resilience” in the July issue of the Atlantic magazine where Polaris was highlighted as an example of a school helping students succeed despite challenges stemming from stress and trauma. Polaris 7th and 8th graders led Senator Durbin on a tour of the school where he learned about the Points of Polaris, Light Leaders, and Learning Expeditions. He joined an 8th grade Crew meeting and heard students share the ways they apply what they have learned at Polaris to their lives outside school. During a subsequent panel discussion, he pushed this conversation further to include how Polaris students are using what they learn to effect change in their community. We are grateful for the opportunity for Polaris students to engage and learn from Senators Durbin, a true Active Citizen.