Winter Wonderland Holiday Show

This week, our students showcased songs and dances at the CICS Prairie Winter Wonderland Holiday Show. We want to thank every supportive parent who attended the performance. Above, 3rd grade shares their stirring rendition of the holiday classic, “Let It Snow!” Happy holidays, Eagles!


We Proudly Present…

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Science Fair Winners

Last week, our 4th-8th grade students participated in the CICS Prairie Science Fair. Our middle school students worked really hard designing experiments that followed the scientific method and presenting the results to their classmates. Under the guidance of Ms. Noone and Ms. Brown, the students conducted peer evaluations to determine who would move on to the actual judging in the multi-purpose room. While it was difficult, they eventually managed to narrow the field and award top honors to a few of the students and boards pictured above. Congratulations to each of our winners!


Common Threads Cooks Up Food for the Soul!

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The Common Threads after school program allows CICS Prairie students to “travel” to a new country each week to learn how to prepare a different national dish. Through group cooking classes, students not only learn about healthy eating, but they also develop important social-emotional skills that foster success both in and out of the classroom. 3rd grade student Xavier V. discussed how he and his classmates learn teamwork by preparing meals together. “We pass things to people when they need it,” Xavier said. “Different people do different jobs. Like one person does tomatoes, one person does onions. Then we also use teamwork when we do dishes- one person does soap, one person does the water, and one person dries. After, we set the table, and we help pass the food out so we can eat together.” The social awareness and interpersonal skills learned in the kitchen support the collaborative learning and peer relationships in the classroom.

Julianna J. and Nakia W., also in 3rd grade, weighed in about what Common Threads teaches them about self-management and self-awareness. “We learn about responsibility,” Julianna said, “Like you don’t turn around and talk to someone with a knife in your hand.” Adding to that Nakia said, “We are always careful when we are cutting the fruits and vegetables. We use special techniques so none of us get hurt.”

Julianna and Nakia discussed how Common Threads encourages them to try new things and exposes them to new foods. “We learn about new foods that I’ve never even heard of!” Nakia said. “Sometimes I don’t like trying new things,” added Julianna, but in Common Threads, she is not just willing to try new things, she enjoys the challenge! In learning about foods from different cultures, students embrace the value diversity central to the mission of Distinctive Schools. “My favorite part is tasting foods from different countries,” Julianna says. “We learn that different places may have different things that they see all the time, but we don’t.” The kids’ favorite foods so far? Nakia: “Shish kabobs.” Julianna: “The quesadillas and the mango lassi.”


CICS Prairie High School Fair

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Our middle school students explored potential next steps today at the CICS Prairie High School Fair, where representatives from 14 area high schools shared information with our kids. Eighth grader Ines appreciated the opportunity, stating, “I learned new information about a lot of high schools so I can be more prepared and comfortable throughout the recruiting process!”


Dressing Up a Design

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CICS Prairie 5th graders just finished a unit on fashion design in which a lesson asked kids to design a costume for Ms. Torres. One student’s design was chosen and Ms. Torres brought his design to life!

Congratulations to Flavio Rodriguez!


Percussion Discussion


CICS Prairie 8th graders worked in groups to create a three-layered rhythmic ostinato. First, our kids created the rhythms. Next, they made decisions about which percussion instruments would sound best for each part. And last but not least, they performed it… for you!


Distinctive Schools High School Fair

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Join us for the 4th Annual Distinctive Schools High School Fair at CICS Bucktown (2235 N Hamilton) on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Take advantage of this great opportunity to gather information about the many high school options available in the City of Chicago. CICS Prairie parents are encouraged to attend from 9:40-10:40 a.m.

Please click here for information about the variety of scholarships available for qualifying students.


Family Fun at “Fall into Reading” Night



CICS Prairie families had a great time at our “Fall into Reading” curriculum night!

Students were able to expand their home libraries by choosing from a variety of new and used books. Then, families learned a few effective techniques to boost reading at home: Ms. Roberts showed students how to record their voices on a tablet while others learned sight word games with Ms. Arogeti.

Thanks for coming out and we’ll see you again soon, Eagle families!


2015-2016 Applications

Applications for the 2015-2016 school year are now available.

Apply online today!

Download an application: English | Español

Questions? Call the CICS Network Office at 312-651-5000.

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Purdue Persuasion

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As you may know, Ms. Harkins went to Purdue and is a proud representative of her alma mater. Recently, she announced that she would lead a field trip to the college campus, but only 12 kids could attend. How did she decide who would go? Well, she left that job to the students and their persuasive techniques! Students submitted their cases via essays, thinking maps, pictures, or posters designed to persuade Ms. Shields that they deserved the opportunity. The winners are pictured above. Below are pictures from the trip, where students had a blast touring the Purdue University campus. Thanks to Ms. Harkins for providing this great opportunity and to Ms. Shields for acting as judge and jury!


You are Invited to…

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SEHS Open House Dates

The following selective enrollment high schools (SEHS) will host open house events for prospective families this fall. For more information about the application process, please call the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060. It’s never too early to get a jump on your high school plans!

Brooks College Prep High School
250 E 11th St
November 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. to Noon

Northside College Prep High School
5501 N Kedzie Ave
October 26, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Jones College Prep High School
606 S State St
October 18, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Payton College Prep High School
1034 N Wells Ave
November 8, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

King College Prep High School
4445 S Drexel Blvd
November 8, 2014
9:00 a.m. to Noon

South Shore International High School
1955 E 75th St
November 15, 2014
10:00 a.m. to Noon

Lane Tech High School
2501 W Addison St
November 2, 2014
Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Westinghouse High School
3223 W Franklin Blvd
November 8, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Lindblom Math & Science Academy
6130 S Wolcott Ave
November 1, 2014
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Young Magnet High School
211 S Laflin St
October 19, 2014
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.


Jackie Robinson West: The Kings of the Diamond

CICS Prairie middle school students Yorel Harris and Antoinette McCauley wrote and performed a rap to celebrate the return of their classmates who played on the U.S. Little League Champion Jackie Robinson West baseball team!

Some of the lyrics:

Congratulations to the kings of the diamond,
Jackie Robinson West, the kings of the diamond.

A lot of violence going on in Chicago,
Fighting, robbing, killing, stealing and shooting in Chicago.
Many say there is no hope but they’re dead wrong,
The Jackie Robinson boys proved everybody wrong.

Congratulations to the kings of the diamond,
Jackie Robinson West, the kings of the diamond.


Become a Charter Ambassador

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We will have a translator on site and lunch will be provided.

Live on the North Side? Click here for information about training near you!

Please direct specific questions to Lori Fink at 773-928-0480 or lfink@distinctiveschools.org.


U.S. Champions Play for World Series Title



Led by Joshua Houston and Marquis Jackson of CICS Prairie, Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West won the Little League World Series U.S. Championship yesterday and will play South Korea today for the world title!

Coverage begins at 2:00 p.m. on ABC.


JRW Watch Party Information

Please click here for information about Little League World Series U.S. Championship watch parties on Saturday.

The nearest location to CICS Prairie is:

Kroc Center
1250 W 119th St

First pitch is at 2:30 p.m.

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Good luck to Marquis, Joshua, and the rest of the Jackie Robinson West team!


CICS Prairie Students Help South Siders Unite

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If you haven’t heard, perhaps you’re just really into that book you’re currently reading, but CICS Prairie students Joshua Houston (above) and Marquis Jackson are part of a very special team of Little Leaguers that has made the city of Chicago, particularly the South Side, very proud. With a win tonight vs. Rhode Island, Joshua and Marquis’ team, Jackie Robinson West, will be in serious contention for the tournament title. The effect of JRW’s magical run on the local community is even more impressive, as folks have gathered at Jackie Robinson Park, 10540 S. Morgan Park, to watch each game.

“South Side of Chicago is not all about shootings, it’s kids coming to play baseball, African-American kids that are doing the right thing,” said Marquis Jackson.

Catch tonight’s game on ESPN 2 at 7:00 p.m. or at Jackie Robinson Park on the big screen!


Inching Our Way Toward a New School Year!

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year, Eagles!

CICS Prairie 4th graders spent several art classes toward the end of last school year working on a collaborative animation of the Eric Carle story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.


Thanks to the help of Mr. C, students were able to make their first animation a success.


Check it out…


New Start Time Begins August 18

We did a little math this summer and realized something very important: 10 minutes per school day x 192 days = 32 hours of added instructional time! Consequently, please note our new morning procedure below… beginning on Monday, August 18.

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Doors will open at 7:55 a.m. and close at 8:00 a.m.

Every student who arrives after 8:00 a.m. will receive a tardy pass. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.