State Representative Esther Golar (6th District) visited Catalyst-Maria along with staff from Illinois Network of Charter Schools. The visit was an opportunity for Representative Golar to learn more about the great things occurring at charter schools like Catalyst Maria!
United States Department of Education awarded Catalyst-Maria at 6727 S. California a $400,000.00 grant that will assist the Educational Team plan, design, and implement ongoing learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The grant will fund development of science and computer labs as well as math programs and classroom libraries.
The USDOE conducted a national competition among Charter Schools for a grant to facilitate “Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation. According to the USDOE,” the purpose of the grant is to increase national understanding of the charter school model and to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of plans, as well as dissemination of information on charter schools.
Seventy-one high-quality charter schools entered the competition and the top ranked 16 applications were recommended for funding. Catalyst-Maria was one of the 16 recommended and then chosen to receive these funds.
The Catalyst Schools and Catalyst-Maria have demonstrated rigor in the academic program design and implementation. This grant will be given over the next two academic years and be a great asset as Catalyst-Maria grows toward full capacity.
The current 800 scholars in grades K – 12 will grow to a record number 1100 by the time the full grant has been received. The Catalyst-Maria building once housed 1500 young women. Because of the inability of families to pay tuition at a private school, the school closed and was sold to Catalyst. The families of Chicago Lawn and surrounding neighborhoods, where Catalyst-Maria is located, continue to have a choice about their children’s education.
The Catalyst community is grateful for the award and will see that it benefits the children and families of the local community who have chosen Catalyst-Maria as their school.
Catalyst's new home is in Chicago Lawn. The school will become part of the fabric of this new community with time. Following in the footsteps of the Sisters of St. Casimir who owned and operated Maria High School (pictured here), Catalyst will be an asset to the people of this neighborhood. The building is a city block long. It has four floors to be used for educational purposes. Looking at it, one would not suspect something else going on in this community.
Mrs. Dawn Sandoval has been named prinicpal of the new Catalyst-Maria High School. Mrs. Sandoval brings a wealth of experience as an educator and an administrator to this new enterprise. In addition to her work in the field of education, Mrs. Sandoval was a Ryan Fellow through which she served an internship at Urban Prep West Charter High School. The entire Catalyst community is pleased to have Mrs. Sandoval join the team. Catalyst-Maria High School begins the first day of class on August 20, 2012. Catalyst-Maria Elementary School begins the first day of class on August 27, 2012. The Catalyst Schools follow a common academic calendar from August 27, 2012 forward and have 195 days of instruction in academic year 2012-2013.