Last Thursday, over 100 parents from all over Noble Schools gathered at UIC College Prep and online to hear about Noble’s upcoming charter renewal. The evening served as a place for parents to hear more about the status of our charter renewal, ask questions, and find out how they can support the process.
Claudia Rodriguez, chief of public affairs at Noble Schools, kicked off the session with information on what charter renewal is and looks like. She was followed by Rochelle Washington, director of performance & accountability at the Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Innovation and Incubation (I&I), who went through the process in more detail. Here’s a quick summary of what they both talked about:
In January, Chicago’s Board of Education will vote on whether to renew Noble Schools’ charter contract and for how long it will be renewed. According to state law, a charter school contract can be renewed for up to ten years.
The Chicago Board of Education will be presented with comprehensive data from Noble Schools and CPS assessors to make this decision. The Office of I&I has already begun assessing all of our campuses. During the assessment, CPS examines three domains: academic, financial, and operational performance.
Rodriguez handed the mic over to Kyle Cole, chief education officer at Noble, and Mireya Diaz, Noble’s financial controller, to talk through Noble’s results on the academic and financial performance assessments.
Kyle Cole, chief education officer at Noble Schools, explaining Noble Schools' overall academic performance for 2020 and 2022.
For academic performance, all of Noble’s campuses except one passed with flying colors – the one campus that did not meet standards is now receiving targeted support. Cole is optimistic that, with the extra support, the campus will be back up to standards by the end of the school year.
“We’ve been rated commendable in our academic performance. We are meeting our mission of being a college preparatory environment,” Cole said, “Our middle school campus was targeted for their work with students with IEPs. When we did a root cause analysis of that work, we found that this was almost entirely because of an alignment issue. That school was still very much focusing on NWEA Map Growth and hadn’t quite shifted yet to the Common Core standards. That team is doing a lot of rework around curriculum, alignment, and professional development instruction. They did a stellar job in their last assessments – they saw double English growth and almost tripled in math growth.”
As for the financial portion, the network has also been doing well.
“Noble has met and then exceeded standards in most of the areas (for 2022). We are also just completing our 2023 fiscal year audit, and I am happy to report that, as it stands now, we will exceed standards in all areas,” Diaz said.
The slides shown at the charter renewal meeting, showing Noble Schools' performance ratings in academics and finances.
The operational performance results will be available in January.
After presenting Noble’s results, the speakers opened up space for Noble parents to ask questions about the charter renewal process. Parents asked questions about Noble’s finances (you can view last school year’s finances here) and what would happen if CPS did not renew Noble’s charter.
“This is such a good question,” Rodriguez said upon receiving a question from a parent about what would happen to their junior if Noble’s charter wasn’t renewed. “I believe, at this time, there is no reason for our charter not to be renewed. We have to go through the process to make sure that the CPS board, the City of Chicago, and CEO Martinez hear from you so we can keep Noble Schools open for generations to come.”
While Rodriguez, Cole, Diaz, and other Noble leaders are confident that CPS will renew our charter, they are unsure how long the term will be. For Noble, being renewed for the maximum number of years means we can devote more time and energy to building stronger school communities, academics, and college opportunities. As it stands now, the charter renewal process is cumbersome and requires charters to divert our time and resources away from serving our students and families. Therefore, our goal is to get renewed for as many years as possible so we can best pursue our mission of creating multigenerational change for Chicago families.
To increase our chances of getting renewed for the maximum number of years, they need help from Noble parents.
In addition to looking at the data, the Chicago Board of Education will be holding space for community members to comment on Noble’s charter renewal. This is where Noble parents come in.
“Board members will listen to you – they will read all your feedback – and that will help them determine our renewal term and their recommendation for Noble,” Rodriguez said.
For the last part of the evening, parents had the opportunity to talk and work on filling out a CPS family survey or submitting letters or videos of support for Noble’s charter renewal. Across the UICCP gym, parents and Noble leaders gathered in groups to work together and discuss the renewal process.