Catalyst Schools Re-Opening Plans March 2021

Hello Catalyst families! 

We hope that you are safe, healthy and are doing well! Please find Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria's re-opening plans linked below, and while these may be updated moving forward, please reach out to our school teams with questions or concerns! Thank you for all that you bring to the Catalyst community and stay safe!

Catalyst Circle Rock Re-Opening Plan March 2021

Catalyst Maria Re-Opening Plan March 2021 


COVID testing sites

CPS has verified a list of locations that offer COVID-19 testing for children from information provided by the city of Chicago. Testing centers may require an appointment and many sites have a minimum age limit- please find a list of sites linked here.

Locations of testing sites through the City of Chicago can be found at this website.

COVID vaccine sign up open at Catalyst Circle Rock and Loretto Hospital

Catalyst is teaming with the City of Chicago, Rush and Loretto Hospitals, and community organizations to establish Catalyst Circle Rock as a COVID-19 vaccination site for the Austin neighborhood beginning March 13, 2021.  

Any Austin resident age 18+ can now sign up for the COVID vaccine, regardless of priority grouping.  There are two ways to register for a COVID vaccine:

  1. To register to receive COVID vaccine at Catalyst Circle Rock, call 312-563-0767or register online at rush.edu/Austin. Vaccines are being scheduled through Rush Hospital, who will administer the vaccines at Catalyst Circle Rock.  Vaccines will be scheduled on Sundays beginning March 13, 2021.
  1. To register to receive Covid vaccines at Loretto Hospital, follow this link:  Protect Chicago Plus: COVID-19 Vaccine Registration.  Vaccines at Loretto will be scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays beginning March 12, 2021.

Technology support and meal distribution over winter break

Hello Catalyst families,

We hope that you are safe, healthy, and are doing well. In anticipation if the upcoming winter break from 12/19/20 through 1/5/2021, we want to make you aware of the items below: 

Food Distribution:

Normal meal distribution will continue on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:00am – 1:00pm during break.

Technology Assistance:

When school is in session before and after break, if you are having an issue with your Catalyst issued device please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you have a technology emergency situation (such as no internet at home or if your Google meet is not working to reach a class), you can call 773-527-7330 for assistance.

 Please stay safe and reach out to the school or network teams with any support we can provide. 

Catalyst Remote Learning 2nd Quarter

Dear Catalyst community,

We hope that you are safe, healthy and doing well. We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of Catalyst parents, staff, scholars and partners who have worked tremendously to make remote learning as successful as possible.  We have been able to get 100% of scholars connected at home (with a Catalyst device available to all), and we are seeing ~94% average daily attendance across the network.

When we made the decision in August to remain remote, it was informed by our parents and staff and based on the safety of everyone in our community. Staff and parents have worked incredibly hard towards an online learning platform that has worked well. In determing how we move forward into Quarter 2 was again driven by community safety and our capacity to ensure an excellent and accessible online platform for our scholars. Here’s what is known:

  • Survey feedback from parents and staff members have indicated a strong sense of success with online learning;
  • Scholar attendance has been strong, closely aligned to what would be expected during in-person learning;
  • Parent feedback has indicated satisfaction with our approach 
  • Parent feedback indicates that ~30% at Maria and 37% at CCR would send their child back to campus for in person learning after Q1;
  • The remaining percentage of parents have said they are unsure or would not send their child back at this point;
  • COVID19 infection rates are increasing in almost every state, including IL;
  • The medical community has been warning of a second wave and believe we may be entering it;
  • We are approaching flu season which complicates health issues;
  • We do not have access to a vaccine or treatment;

In considering these items, we have determined that this compels us to continue our current remote learning platform through Quarter 2. After numerous conversations and surveys, school and network leadership are in alignment on this. We will smartly reassess when we return from winter break with the earliest date of return to on-site instruction for scholars being the start of Q3, February 8, 2020. At this point, the one thing we know for sure is that we need to reach and teach every one of our scholars

Be well, stay safe, and much peace and grace to our Catalyst families. Stay connected and do not become isolated- please reach out and let us know what we can do to support you.

-The Catalyst Schools team

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.