21stCenturyLearners

Catalyst celebrates Latinx Heritage Month!

Catalyst continues to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month! In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched a week-long celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of Latinx communities to America’s national heritage.  Since then, the one-week event has evolved into a commemoration from September 15th to October 15th that uplifts the cultural legacy and countless contributions of Latinx communities.

Latinx Heritage Month

Catalyst launches Alumni Persistence Fund

Dear Catalyst supporters,

We hope that you and your families are safe, healthy and doing well.

We are extremely excited to announce the establishment of The Catalyst Schools Alumni Persistence Fund, made possible by the generosity of long-time Catalyst friends Terry and Monica Toth. The fund's purpose is to help Catalyst alumni meet urgent needs that might otherwise be an obstacle to continuing post-secondary education. Terry and Monica established this fund to honor the spirit and legacy of John Baptiste De La Salle, patron saint of teachers of youth. Funds will be shepherded by the Catalyst Maria Post-Secondary Success Team and granted to students who need help with items such as books, computers, transportation costs, supplemental fees or other costs that interfere with progress. 

This is a terrific gift that complements the existing Sisters of St. Casimir Legacy Scholarship, also established by Terry and Monica, and The CMHS Leadership in Diversity Scholarship, established by CMHS Post-Secondary team member Victoria Coriano and funded by CMHS faculty and friends. These remarkable contributions will enhance Catalyst's already superb college going and college persistence rates, as well as other post-secondary endeavors of our awesome graduates!

Catalyst Board of Directors September 28, 2020 Meeting Agenda

The Catalyst Board of Directors will hold a meeting September 28, 2020 from 3:00-5:30 pm. The agenda and meeting information are below. If you have questions, please contact Catalyst's Director of Administration Michael Kasang at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Catalyst Schools- Board of Directors Meeting

September 28, 2020 3:00- 5:30 PM

https://meet.google.com/fno-xdfg-bqh

Or dial: +1 385-352-0435 PIN: 409 196 068#

AGENDA

*3:00-3:20- Welcome: Dr. Colleen Reardon, Chair and Mr. Gordon Hannon, CEO

  • Review of agenda
  • Review and vote for approval of May 11, 2020 Board of Directors meeting minutes, July 7, 2020 Finance Committee meeting minutes, and August 13, 2020 Academic Committee meeting minutes
  • Review and vote on renewal of three-year term to Catalyst Board of Directors for Terry Toth
  • Review and vote on renewal of three-year term to Catalyst Board of Directors for Steven Brown
  • Review and vote on renewal of three-year term to Catalyst Board of Directors for Rick Hurd
  • Review and vote on renewal of three-year term to Catalyst Board of Directors for Larry Williams
  • Introduction of Monica Smith, Catalyst Circle Rock parent, as candidate for Board membership

*3:20-4:10- Academic and Mission Committee Introduction: Dr. Catherine Burns

  • Dr. Catherine Burns- SY20-21 planning: Response to Two Challenges: Pandemic and Racial Unrest
    • Ed Siderewicz: Focus on social justice
  • Gordon Hannon
    • EOY Report for SY19-20: How was each campus performing on the SQRP measures?
  • LeAnne Wagner and Imran Shamim
    • Start-up: Successes, Challenges, Next Steps

*4:10-4:30- Finance and Strategic Issues Committee: Mr. Steve Brown

  • FY20 recap and audits update
  • FY21 budget overview
  • KCA campaign closure and Austin Renaissance Council update

*Public comment (limited to 2 minutes per speaker)

*4:30-5:30- Independent board compliance trainings

Meal distribution at Catalyst SY20-21

Dear Catalyst families,

We hope that you are safe, healthy, and are doing well! In addition to the Catalyst families being able to access meals at 450 Chicago Public School locations, Catalyst families are also able to obtain meals for their household at Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria every Monday and Wednesday from 10:00-1:00.  Please contact the Catalyst team for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website below to find the CPS location providing meals closest to your home. 

CPS Grab-and-Go Meal Sites

Focusing on social justice

Social Justice

Accompanying the Catalyst Schools’ core value of relationship are its 5 principles of social justice, faith, quality education, inclusive community, and respect for all persons.  This year, the Legacy Teams at each school have decided to focus their year upon the principle of social justice.

“There is a certain poignancy and timeliness to this theme, given the grave social injustices that have been committed against traditionally oppressed groups very visibly in the past months, and also systematically and intentionally since before our country was founded” said Catalyst Maria Legacy Chair, Tom Kingsbury.  “We are working to articulate the role that each one of us at Catalyst plays in deconstructing the systems that promote inequity and in working toward authentic racial reconciliation.”

Some of our teachers and leaders at Catalyst began engaging staff in conversations around racial justice and equity a few years ago, and we decided it was time to put these conversations front and center as we begin our work at the start of the new school year.  We started this work over the summer with a book club, continued it with our new teachers and staff last week, and this week we continued the conversation with our entire staff.  What we’re learning is that these conversations, though uncomfortable for some, are bonding us closer together as a staff and strengthening the fabric of which we are all a part.

For more on Catalyst’s commitment to social justice, check out their “Guiding Themes for a Just and Peaceful Society” from their Legacy booklet:  The Legacy of Lasallian Education in the Catalyst Schools.

Thank you to our partners at Elevate Chicago, who have included this on their blog linked here.

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.