¡Dîa de los Niños!

Thank you to Ms. Concepcion, Ms. Rivera, and the parents of the Bilingual Advisory Committee (BAC) who organized El Dîa de los Niños/El Dîa de los Libros for CICS Prairie students in grades K-4. El Dîa de los Niños is Children’s Day and an important and festive celebration in Mexico. On Children’s Day, adults arrange activities to make kids feel special!

On Friday, April 24, our parents organized a fun, cultural morning experience. Each class had an awesome time reading bilingual books, playing Loterîa (Spanish Bingo game), dancing to Zumba, and creating artwork with Ms. Rivera. The event culminated with students smashing a piñata and scrambling for the toys inside.

We hope our Dîa de los Niños celebration becomes an annual CICS Prairie tradition!

Earth Day Landscaping

Each school year, Ms. Shields gathers a group of responsible students to not only collect recyclables from each classroom, but to educate each class about the recycling process. In addition, they deliver Earth-friendly facts on the morning announcements. On Earth Day, this group of globally-conscious students helped beautify our campus by adding plants and other greenery, and from the looks of it, they had a great time!

Community Clothing Drive

CICS Prairie middle school students unloaded four crates of clothing today to donate to community members in need. The clothing will be distributed on campus next Monday and Tuesday (April 20 and 21) from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thanks to the Glencoe PTO for helping us organize yet another successful clothing drive!

Thank You, Ms. Bassett , Mr. Morales, and Ms. Fink!


We would like to thank CICS Prairie parents Stephanie Bassett, Pedro Morales, and Prairie teacher Ms. Fink for speaking about charter schools at the most recent Chicago Public Schools monthly board meeting. They did a great job advocating for school choice and providing updates about the many student, parent, and community engagement initiatives at CICS Prairie!

Social Studies Symposium


Our students present their projects in a conference-style setting at the CICS Prairie Social Studies Symposium!


Art Club Students Share Their Creations!

Fall semester art club had a great time experimenting with wire sculptures and refining their painting and drawing skills.

We would like to send shout-out to Zavier Griffin (pictured left) for his focus and hard work on his self portrait!

Visit CICS Prairie soon to see all of the beautiful artwork adorning our walls! More pictured below…

CICS Prairie Math & Science Night


Join us on Thursday, February 26 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. for CICS Prairie Math & Science Night. Every Prairie family is invited to enjoy light refreshments and the opportunity to learn fun math games and exciting science experiments! We look forward to your company.

CICS Prairie Supports ‘Handfuls of Love’ Campaign!

CICS Prairie 3rd graders responded to a request from Lurie Children’s Hospital by creating and sending Valentine’s Day cards to patients!

PARCC Assessment

In March, CICS Prairie will administer the PARCC Performance Based Assessment for students in grades 3-8 (English Language Arts and Math). We invite you to learn more about the assessment and how students will be able to demonstrate mastery towards Common Core State Standards. Please click the following link for more information: parcconline.org/frequently-asked-questions

The PARCC website offers several practice tests for students in grades 3-8. Please click the following links to access the practice tests: English Language Arts Practice Tests | Math Practice Tests


Save the Dates: Distinctive Schools Music Festival


The music programs at CICS Irving Park, CICS Prairie, and CICS West Belden have united to bring you three special performances that celebrate the multicultural magic of music! Join us for the inaugural…

Distinctive Schools Music Festival

Monday February 23 at CICS West Belden (2245 N McVicker)
CICS Prairie & CICS West Belden perform at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 26 at CICS Prairie
CICS Irving Park & CICS Prairie perform at 11:00 a.m.

Monday, March 2 at CICS Irving Park (3820 N Spaulding)
CICS West Belden & CICS Irving Park perform at 10:30 a.m.

Alderman Beale Visits CICS Prairie


CICS Prairie welcomed Alderman Anthony Beale and his legislative aide, Nick Smith, for a school tour last week. Both commented on how every teacher was engaged with the students and noted how staff and students seemed genuinely happy! The positive experience will go a long way in strengthening our school-community relationship and advocacy efforts. As a result of the meeting, we will be working together to try and acquire a vacant lot space so our kids have a safe “green space” to play. Alderman Beale was also very impressed with our student tour guide, Julisa Clark. He is following up with her about a potential private tour of Gwendolyn Brooks High School as she navigates the high school selection process. Keep up the great work, Prairie!


School Choice, Honors Acknowledged at Assembly


CICS Prairie celebrated National School Choice Week during our quarterly honors assembly last Friday. Students were awarded with A honors, A/B honors, most improved, citizenship, MLK essay, and attendance awards. Families and students also enjoyed performances by Ines and Jacinda, Josiah singing James Brown, an original rap by the School Choice Girls, and a Zoomba line dance by the School Choice Dance Club!

CICS Board Meeting: February 10

The next CICS Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 10 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the CICS Network Office (11 E Adams, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60663). CICS Board Meetings are open to the public.

Celebrating National School Choice Week!


“The right to choose CICS Prairie means that our families can attend a school that embraces student voice and choice in setting personalized goals… a place where students create a path to success!”

– Ms. Shaw

CICS Video Contest

CICS is launching a new fundraising initiative called “Every Child, Every Day” and we want our scholars to participate. Click here to find out how your child can win two iPads – one to keep and one for his or her teacher!

Happy New Year, Eagles!

More pictures from the holiday show…



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…


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!


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.”