Business/Nonprofit Partnership Launches New, Innovative Chicago Elementary School

CHICAGO – July 16, 2009 – A unique collaboration between a new Chicago elementary school and an education and technology company with strong ties to the Chicago area aims to set students on Chicago’s Near West Side on the path to individual success. The Hope Institute Learning Academy (HILA), which will open in September 2009 at 1628 West Washington, and Pearson today announced their partnership.

HILA is a Chicago Public Schools contract school operated by The Hope Institute for Children and Families. HILA will open with grades K-3, and expand to grades K-12 over the next several years. A breakaway approach to education called the Maximum Benefit© Model will allow HILA to design its programs and services and integrate Pearson’s curriculum, assessments and online resources to provide personalized learning to ensure that each student is successful and achieves to his or her full potential. The Maximum Benefit© Model is designed to support all students by focusing on personalizing education, using data-driven decision-making, engaging students in learning through experience-based instruction, and ensuring that the school is agile and responsive to changing student needs, while always focusing on achieving optimal outcomes for students.

“We are honored that HILA has been selected as a Pearson innovation school,” said Dr. Joseph E. Nyre, President and CEO of The Hope Institute for Children and Families. “At The Hope Institute Learning Academy, we are bringing forward a new model of education in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools to serve the greater Chicago area. To be able to collaborate with the world’s leading education and technology company and benefit from its revolutionary approaches to 21st century learning, including the use of full digital pathways, will be an added benefit for the children we serve. Thanks to this collaboration, our students will have the newest and best learning materials and the most relevant and engaging lessons, all taught using instructional approaches that support every student, improve student outcomes and allow each child to reach his or her maximum potential.”

Pearson chose HILA as a Pearson innovation school because of the Academy’s unique approach to inclusive instruction and its commitment to differentiating learning so all students achieve at the highest level. Pearson has deep roots in the Chicagoland area. The nearby suburb of Glenview has been the home of Pearson’s Scott Foresman elementary school publishing for more than four decades, and the company has more than 1,000 employees in Illinois.

“Our company has a long history in and a deep commitment to Chicago and Illinois,” said Pat McHugh, Pearson’s Vice President for Illinois. “Our collaboration with Chicago Public Schools and The Hope Institute for Children and Families to support this new school will allow us to significantly enhance our investment in the children of Chicago, as well as to work closely with the school’s faculty as they implement our curriculum and assessment products.”

McHugh added, “Pearson employees from around the Chicagoland area are enthusiastic about having a Pearson innovation school in our community and are eager to volunteer their time and energy in any way necessary to ensure its success.”

At HILA, students will learn with Pearson’s print and digital curriculum programs, including the award-winning enVisionMATH, the first-of-its-kind elementary math curriculum that combines visual animation and next-generation technologies with a comprehensive foundation in math skills, and Scott Foresman Reading Street, a preK-6 reading program designed to help teachers build readers through motivating and engaging literature, scientifically research-based instruction and a wealth of reliable teaching tools, including a full digital path. In addition, the company will provide ongoing professional development support – both through hands-on workshops and online – to ensure that HILA teachers are prepared to make the most of the core and supplemental curriculum products they will have in their classrooms.

The Pearson Foundation will also support the school both by documenting HILA’s approach to differentiated learning and instruction and by helping HILA share this approach with teachers and educators across Chicagoland. In addition, HILA will be designated as an official Education Partner Site of this year’s Jumpstart Read for the Record Campaign. Pearson Foundation president Mark Nieker said, “As a Chicago native, I’m personally looking forward to the success of this initiative. It’s great to see Pearson give back to the Chicago community through our support of the HILA.”

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