Project Lead The Way STEM programming thrives at Catalyst!

Catalyst has placed an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming in grades K-12! This educational priority has been done in collaboration with the national organization Project Lead the Way (PLTW).  One example of PLTW in action has been demonstrated by  scholars in grades 3-5, who are energetically learning about the six simple machines that are seen and used in our everyday lives  (such as a lever, incline plane, pulley, screw, wedge, wheel and axle). Scholars have been given a design challenge to work in teams and rescue a tiger that fell into a moat at the zoo. In order to determine which structure will be the most successful in our design problem, scholars have been using Vex IQ kits  to construct each of the six simple machines. Catalyst Circle Rock's K-5 PLTW teacher Mrs. Carlos was selected to present at the organization's Illinois conference!  Mrs. Carlos said of the work scholars are engaging "It is inspiring to see scholars' genuine engagement throughout the engineering design process and the teamwork that goes into each project."  Check out a picture of this collaboration below!


Catalyst Maria High School Open House- December 10, 2014

Catalyst Maria High School will host an Open House for prospective students and their families this Wednesday, December 10, 2014. This event will be held from 1:45-3:30 PM.  A detailed schedule is below:

1:45-2:00       Teachers in auditorium lobby to greet potential families

  • Parents and scholars will sign in and review an enrollment application when they arrive
  • Snacks will be provided

2:00-2:30       Presentation in Auditorium

2:30-2:45       Scholar ambassadors speak on their experience at Catalyst Maria

2:45-3:30       Tours with Scholar Leaders


We hope that you will join us!

Ms. Fawaz selected as OneGoal Program Director at Catalyst Maria!

Catalyst's Maria's Director of College Readiness and Assessment Ms. Sasha Fawaz was recently selected as the OneGoal Program Director at Catalyst Maria! 

As a OneGoal Program Director, she will be a catalyst for student growth and achievement for the students in the high school at Catalyst Maria.

Great leaders like Ms. Fawaz are the heart of our work and the foundation of the OneGoal program model. As the nation’s only teacher-led college persistence organization, she will lead scholars to reach their full potential and graduate from college.

As it stands, only nine percent of CPS ninth graders are expected to graduate from college by age 25.  In stark contrast, 87 percent of OneGoal’s high school graduates have enrolled in college. Of those who enroll, 83 percent are persisting in college or have graduated with a college degree.

OneGoal has seen incredible school-wide impact as a result of our model. GPAs and ACT scores rise, with individual students, in classrooms and school-wide.  OneGoal will welcome Ms. Fawaz as part of a unique collaborative of talented educators who support each other, share best practices, and whose feedback enables us to continually improve upon our curriculum, program model and organization as a whole.   

Congratulations Ms. Fawaz and the Catalyst Maria team!

Catalyst Debuts New Network Videos!

Catalyst has developed videos over the past several months that highlight our mission and the incredible staff members and scholars that embody it! These videos are shared on the website Vimeo, where the world can view a snapshot of the life-changing work taking place every day at our schools! The videos can be accessed from the Vimeo icon on the bottom of our homepage or by clicking here!

Catalyst Maria Leaders to present at ACT Conference

Catalyst Maria's High School Principal Dawn Sandoval and Director of Instruction Elizabeth Ahrens will be presenters at the Illinois ACT 2014 annual conference, Remapping the Road to College and Career Readiness!  This event is being held on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at the DoubleTree Chicago Oak Brook in Oak Brook, IL. The conference will have over 300 school counselors, administrators, and outreach representatives from Illinois’s postsecondary institutions in attendance. Mrs. Sandoval and Mrs. Ahrens will be presenting on:

Session Title: Blending Humanities and Writing with STEM to Increase Student Achievement

Session Time: 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 

Congratulations to Mrs. Sandoval and Mrs. Ahrens on this incredible accomplishment!

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.