Mural unveiling at Kehrein Center for the Arts 9.13.23

Please join us for the public unveiling of the beautiful new mural (pictured below) on the Kehrein Center for the Arts at Catalyst Circle Rock on September 13, 2023 at 9:00am. 

Speakers confirmed for unveiling include Barrett Keithley (muralist), avery r. young (Poet Laureate of Chicago), Orbert Davis (Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra), Representative La Shawn Ford, Reesheda Graham Washington (Kehrein Center Board of Directors) and Catalyst Circle Rock Principal Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn. A community conversation with the artists hosted by WTTW's Angel Idowu will be held after the unveiling.

Mural unveil 2

Men Bring Your Child to School Day at Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria 9.13.23

Please join us at Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria as the school communities celebrate Men Bring Your Child to School Day on September 13, 2023! This is an incredible event that has been held at Catalyst Circle Rock for many years (last year is pictured below), when the school welcomes all men of the community to greet scholars as they enter for the day. This will be the inaugural year at Catalyst Maria, and these are incredibly powerful events that have previously been featured on Fox 32 News, linked here. Please connect with Charles Myers at CCR (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Naurice Olivera at CM (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for additional information.

Men Bring Your Child to School Day 2022

Mrs. Jill Castro named Catalyst Maria K-8 Principal!

Dear Catalyst families,

I hope you are having a wonderful summer and you are ready for another great school year! We are very excited to see you.

I want you to know about an important enhancement in our Catalyst Maria K-12 leadership: Our K-8 Assistant Principal, Mrs. Jill Castro, will now serve as Principal of the K-8 elementary school, while Mrs. Dawn Donati will focus her efforts as Principal of the high school (9-12) and as Executive Director of the overall K-12 program. Mrs. Castro will continue to report directly to Mrs. Donati.

This initiative comes from Mrs. Donati's leadership and reflection on how to best serve our families, and probably comes as no surprise. Mrs. Castro is beginning her sixth year at Catalyst Maria, 22nd year in education, and is completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Castro helped start a network of charter schools in Florida, where she taught advanced middle school math, served as Director of Specialized Services, and as Assistant Principal. Her degrees are in elementary education, Special Education, and she has a Masters degree in Teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This enhancement will provide greater clarity and distinction of  the elementary program and greater efficiency in decision making. We are extraordinarily lucky to have her at Catalyst Maria.

I also want you to know that the Safe Passage program will continue to provide before school and after school adult presence on streets bordering the school, and several parents have been hired as crossing guards. We can’t wait to see your children this Monday! May you have a blessed weekend and we look forward to our best year yet.

Mr. Gordon Hannon,


Catalyst Schools


¡Espero que estés teniendo un verano maravilloso y estés listo para otro gran año escolar! Estamos muy emocionados de verte.

Quiero que sepan acerca de una mejora importante en nuestro liderazgo de Catalyst Maria K-12: Nuestra subdirectora K-8, la Sra. Jill Castro, ahora servirá como Directora de la escuela primaria K-8, mientras que la Sra. Dawn Donati enfocará sus esfuerzos como Directora de la escuela secundaria 9-12 y como Directora Ejecutiva del programa general K-12. a Sra.  Castro continuará reportando directamente a la Sra. Donati.

Esta iniciativa viene del liderazgo y reflexión de la Sra. Donati en cómo servir mejor a nuestras familias, y probablemente esta decisión no sea una sorpresa. Castro está comenzando su sexto año en Catalyst Maria, y 22 años de carrera educativa, y está completando su Doctorado en Liderazgo Educativo con un enfoque en Currículo e Instrucción. Castro ayudó a iniciar una red de escuelas charter en Florida, donde enseñó matemáticas avanzadas de secundaria, se desempeñó como directora de Servicios Especializados y como subdirectora. Sus títulos son en educación primaria, educación especial, y tiene una maestría en enseñanza de sordos y personas con dificultades auditivas. Esta mejora proporcionará una mayor claridad y distinción del programa primaria y una mayor eficiencia en la toma de decisiones. Somos extraordinariamente afortunados de tenerla en Catalyst Maria.

También quiero que sepan que el programa Safe Passage continuará proporcionando presencia de adultos antes de la escuela y después de la escuela en las calles que bordean la escuela, y varios padres han sido contratados como guardias de cruce. ¡No podemos esperar a ver a sus hijos este lunes! Que tengan un fin de semana bendecido y esperamos nuestro mejor año hasta ahora.

Sr. Gordon Hannon,


Escuelas Catalyst

Castro 2023

Faith's Law Resources for Catalyst Parents and Guardians

We hope that you are doing well and are looking forward to an exceptional 2023-2024 school year!

Illinois recently enacted legislation—known as Faith’s Law—to improve how schools handle allegations of sexual misconduct by school employees when the victim is a student. Alongside Faith’s Law, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) published the Sexual Abuse Response and Prevention Resource Guide(Faith’s Law Resource Guide) on their website (www.isbe.net/faithslaw). ISBE will continue to make ongoing updates to Faith’s Law Resource Guide as necessary.

The Faith’s Law Resource Guide provides students, parents, guardians, and staff with information about sexual abuse response and prevention resources that are available in their communities, including the contact information for organizations that provide services for victims of child sexual abuse and their families/caregivers. Catalyst is working with both ISBE and Chicago Public Schools to best serve our scholars, their families and our school communities on this important item.

The Resource Guide, along with this Faith’s Law Guidance and FAQ document, are all linked in this email, and are also available on the following links:

Additionally, parents and guardians can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a PDF version of theSexual Abuse Response and Prevention Resource Guide.

Back to School celebrations at Catalyst on August 18th!

Please join the Catalyst Maria school community on Friday August 18, 2022 for a Back to School event from 1:00-3:00 pm and the Catalyst Circle Rock community for Open House on the same date from 3:00-6:00 pm.  We are so excited to welcome our scholars and families to the 2023-2024 school year, which we are confident will be the best ever!


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.