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


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


*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.

Catalyst Circle Rock Scholar and Family Handbook 2020-2021

Hello Catalyst families!

We hope that you are safe, healthy and doing well! Plesae find the Catalyst Circle Rock Scholar and Family Handbook linked here.

Please contact our team at the contacts linked here with any questions or concerns. Thank you and stay safe!

Do you need assistance with child supervision during the first quarter of remote learning?

Dear Catalyst families,

We hope that you are safe and healthy.  

Chicago Public Schools, Catalyst Schools and the City of Chicago are surveying families to better understand who may need help this fall finding a safe space for their children during traditional school hours.  As we assess parental needs throughout the city, we are evaluating opportunities to provide potential support with child supervision for families who have school-age children under 14 years of age.

Families who live in high-need communities or transitional housing will be prioritized.

We are currently evaluating potential opportunities to establish sites across the city where families can register their children to attend during remote learning days. Here is what a family may expect at a potential child supervision site:

  1. Children will be assigned to spaces with children of the same age group and an adult who will be assigned to the group for the duration of the program. The number of children per room will be limited to ensure proper social distancing per City of Chicago’s Be Safe: PK-12 Education Guidelines.
  2. While the adult will ensure that your child will have a safe and suitable space to engage in remote learning, please note that they will not be qualified to teach or provide educational support.  
  3. Children will be provided with breakfast and lunch every day. 
  4. Children and staff will be required to follow all health and safety protocols including wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and completing a daily symptom screener.
  5. To ensure proper social distancing, families will follow a staggered schedule and be assigned a time to pick up and drop off their children.
  6. This program will be prioritized according to need. Families with school-age children under 14 years of age who live in high-need communities or transitional housing will be prioritized. 
  7. Computing devices will not be provided although high-speed internet access will be available at the site. Families are required to bring their own computing devices or get a loaner device from their child's school. 

If you are interested in potential assistance, please complete the survey by Friday, August 28, at 5 p.m. Please be sure to provide your contact information so we can follow up in the coming weeks. 

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.