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

hearts.” This mission aims to nurture well-rounded scholars with bright academic, professional,

and personal futures that will become change agents for their communities and world.


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 campuses are serving

over 1,600 scholars this chool year, 75% of whom are African American and

23% of whom are Latino.


Scholars at Catalyst-Circle Rock (K-8; Austin) and Catalyst-Maria (K-12; Chicago Lawn) campuses

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. Scholars learn social-emotional skills through targeted instruction

around 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 the Chicago Children’s

Choir, Ravinia Festival and May I Have This Dance? Ballroom Dancing. The schools also provide a

Graduate Support program to augment scholars’ academic instruction to ensure that scholars

have the social-emotional tools and vision to graduate from high school and pursue post-

secondary studies.


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.

Support Catalyst    

Please join our efforts as a champion for changing lives at The Catalyst Schools. If you would like to speak with a Catalyst staff member about your donation, please call us at 773-295-7001.