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Illinois Horizon Schools to Watch

School Characteristics and Replicable Practices
Academic Excellence
At Little Village Academy, we inspire all students to become global citizens by providing them with a rigorous and integrated instructional program that is inclusive to meet their academic and social-emotional needs. To support international mindedness at our school, we have initiated the the process of of offering an International Baccalaureate Program. As an Independent School Principal, school administrators and teachers have the autonomy to provide teacher-led professional development.
Developmental Responsiveness
At Little Village Academy, we create a safe environment that is nurturing and student-centered in which all voices are heard and diversity is respected. Through our dedicated and passionate staff, parents, and community members, we empower students to become self-motivated, selfaware and self-advocating individuals preparing them to become lifelong learners as they pursue post-secondary education. Little Village Academy is recognized internationally by PATHS for their work around SEL practices. A yearly SEL retreat is scheduled during the school day to support our students' social and emotional needs.
Social Equity
At Little Village Academy, we strive in celebrating and embracing different cultures and individuality. Students are exposed to cultural differences through novels embedded in instructional units. To enrich their native language and promote biliteracy, a World Language Spanish Class is offered to students. To provide an all inclusive academic experience, we implement a co-teaching model in all the content areas to support the diverse needs of students.
Organizational Support
Little Village Academy was one of seventy-five schools out of 650 total Chicago Public Schools to be considered an Independent School Principal (ISP). This allows school leaders to streamline systems and structures which resulted in increased autonomy. At Little Village Academy, common bells schedules were created to allow teachers to collaborate in vertical team meetings across the content areas. Individual student schedules were created to allow students to experience Middle School Algebra and advanced math classes. A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS Team) was formed to support teachers' understanding on targeted instruction based on students' academic, social and emotional needs. Funds are allocated for teachers to attend professional learning opportunities, conferences, workshops based on their content or instructional need.