Catalyst Schools are a two campus Chicago charter network providing college-preparatory and
values-based K-12 education to children from urban communities that allow them to thrive in
their academic and social-emotional growth. The network is guided by a mission in which a child
is holistically educated by a school community committed to “Teaching minds and touching
Over 90% of the scholar population of Catalyst Schools qualifies for the federal free and
reduced-price lunch program, and scholars range in age from 5 to 18.
The 520 scholars at Catalyst-Circle Rock (K-8; Austin) and 1,100 at Catalyst-Maria (K-12; Chicago Lawn)
are provided a rigorous academic curriculum with a heavy emphasis on balanced literacy and
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and frequent exposure to technology
through the use of iPads, Chromebooks and more. Scholars learn social-emotional skills through targeted instruction
around leadership, positive character traits and values, which scholars and staff embody in their daily
interactions. Catalyst partners with several non-profit organizations that provide external
instructors for the network’s fine arts enrichment initiative, including
Ravinia Reach*Teach*Play, Chicago Children's Choir and May I Have This Dance? Ballroom Dancing.
The schools also provide Post-Secondary Success and Graduate Support programs to augment scholars’
academic instruction to ensure that scholars have the social-emotional tools and vision to graduate from high school and pursue post-
The Catalyst Schools are school communities where staff, scholars and families holistically
develop children and their ability to be active collaborators in their education and lives. This
mission allows children to open minds and hearts to life, to love, and to knowledge.