We apologize for the delay but Concept Central Office was in the process of moving to our new location:

1336 Basswood Rd.  
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

We have also been on the road visiting schools in the North Ohio Region.

Here are 3 areas of updates:

Literacy Planning for 2018/2019
Spoken Word and Writing Competition
Curriculum/Unit Status

Literacy Planning for 2018/2019

In anticipation of state testing and preparation for the 2018/2019 School year we have begun working on focused literacy in each of our schools. This includes:

Our work has focused on how to take the Concept Balanced Literacy approach (see two images below) in 6-12 and create a focused literacy approach for all content areas so students are more prepared for academic success. It is our goal to get feedback, via Department Chairs, and finalize the information in this PowerPoint Literacy Slides for 2018:2019  by April 1st.  We are also more than happy to come and help your team create the above referenced materials as soon as you are ready to plan.  You may reach out to aflaherty@conceptschools.org or by phone 773-655-1029.

Spoken Word Event in Indianapolis was a huge success:  A Change is Going to Come. 

And what talented students we have in Concept Schools.  I know that Ms. Brooks will have more photos and videos soon at http://socialstudies.conceptschools.org/spoken-word/.  However, here is the letter that Concept English  shared with leadership:

Dear Teachers, Assistant Principals, and Principals,

I wanted you to know how proud I was of your student’s exemplary behavior at this year’s Concept Spoken Word competition in Indianapolis.  Not only were students well mannered and prepared, they supported their fellow competitors in a respectful and dignified manner.

We at Concept try to provide opportunities for our students to have what we call “real life” experiences.  We understand that our network focus is STEM, but we also know how critical the ability to speak and write about topics is to our student’s success.  All our state standards refer to “language use” and how our students need to be able to articulate a clear and concise opinion, explanation, or argument that is elaborated with evidence. This is exactly what I saw on display from our courageous and talented students at this event as they spoke about trying to change the worlds while articulating their beliefs.

I was so proud to be part of the event that Clare Brooks, Director of Social Studies, put together.  While sitting on the floor taking pictures and tweeting, I was able to absorb the incredibly powerful performances of our students.  This event was on the caliber of my work with Louder Than A Bomb and the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. 

Ms. Brooks greeted each student, assembled their mics to fit each need, and hosted the event with professionalism and grace.  As Ms. Brook’s said, “This program is about allowing students to stand up and say what they believe even if it is different than what we believe or think or even feel comfortable hearing.”  I recalled my own experience at a similar event and how transformative it was in my life.

As a student I spoke with said, “When I am allowed to explore my ideas and experiment with words while writing about things I care about, my school writing and test writing gets better because it strengthens my skills.”  This is one smart student because it is exactly what the research says. 

In addition, Ms. Brooks’ hard work locating judges paid off – we had men and women who are real world artists who reflect our student populations face to face with our kids! Not only did they perform brilliantly, they took detailed notes for each student, met one-on-one and with groups to encourage and ultimately inspire our students.  This personal, engaged approach is what has been missing in years past.

Finally, I hope those of you who attended returned to your school communities, as I did, with a renewed passion for writing.  Academic success is interwoven with personal success, and I am certain one impacts the other.

If you are interested in information about how to get talented painters, writers, and musicians involved in your school to build student skills and confidence, please let me know.

Writing Competitions:  It’s A Matter Of Words

We had an overwhelming response to this years STEM based prompts.  Thank you to over 300 students who submitted their work.  We will let you know at the end of the month who one and what we will chose to publish in our Second Annual publication.

Curriculum/Unit Updates

We know that you are getting ready for your state tests and you will need to do what your school leadership suggests.  You may always reach out to us for ways to embed your test prep into your current units.  If you are following our Concept curriculum in accordance with the Collections text, all of us are near the end of Unit 4 and moving on soon to Unit 5.  

Let us know, as always, how we can be of assistance.