Open Call for Education Innovators

We are looking for Education Innovators that want to build the future of school today!

We are seeking individuals (or teams) that are dissatisfied with the status quo in public education and want to imagine and build better ways of ensuring students reach their full potential. We are seeking innovators that want to bring to life the classroom and school models that the future demands. We are seeking new ideas and proven approaches to teaching and learning, like:

  • putting students in the driver's seat of their own education and life
  • challenging students to flex their curiosity muscles 
  • tapping into the magic of peer-learning and teamwork
  • inspiring students to create and publish meaningful work
  • affirming students’ identity and provoking them to be culture-makers
  • blurring the lines between the traditional school and the real world
  • producing community change agents and engaged global citizens
  • leveraging the latest in technology and learning science for deeper learning
  • harnessing the creative energy of teachers and students to make the world a better place now

We want models that we haven’t thought or heard of yet.

We are excited to learn about your ambition for what the future of school can be. The only non-negotiable is that your model prepares every student to thrive in college and life. If you want to reimagine what is possible, let’s build the future of school together.


Launching and running schools (or pathbreaking classroom concepts) is a complicated and risky proposition. This is particularly true in Chicago’s current educational climate. By partnering with CICS, you are joining an established organization -- with a 20-year track record of delivering results across the K-12 continuum -- that is committed to innovating in service of student success. CICS currently operates 14 campuses, serving over 8,000 students from kindergarten through high school across Chicago.  

We are looking for Education Innovators to build on our platform by testing, refining, and implementing new approaches to teaching and learning fast. We’ll do heavy lifting around operations, administration, finances, and politics, and generally clear hurdles that would otherwise get in your way. You do what you do best: design and execute a set of high-impact learning experiences that the 21st century demands of our students. If you want to innovate in service of Chicago’s children, then we want to hear from you. 

We are looking for educators for a range of opportunities, including:

  • Designing and launching new classroom models
  • Designing and launching “fresh start” schools
  • Leading the transformation of an existing school
  • Leading the transformation of multiple schools

We are actively looking for Education Innovators to build on our platform today, tomorrow and the years ahead. We will review all candidates on a rolling basis; however, for educators looking to work on their school of the future in the 2018-19 school year, we encourage you to apply no later than November 1st.


Every Education Innovator will receive a customized package of supports designed to position them to successfully launch and execute a school of the future. 

✔ Personalized Learning Journey 

The guiding document of your fellowship. A codeveloped personalized learning plan providing you with the skills, knowledge and mindsets needed to successfully realize your vision. 

✔ Coaching 

Opportunity to leverage coaching support from field experts and CICS staff. Regular check-ins with a coach and CICS’s Chief of Innovation.

✔ Peer Learning

Structured learning opportunities with leaders at a similar stage (e.g., launching a new school) and with later-stage leaders. 

✔ School Visits

Visits to some of the most innovative schools in the country (and world) as well as structured debriefs.

✔ Living Stipend

A salary to live and explore.


As a CICS education leader, you are working with an organization committed to investing in your vision –and development through a range of supports and services, including:

  • Access to a vibrant community of talented education leaders and entrepreneurs
  • Thought partnership around academic issues
  • Student recruitment and enrollment support
  • A school facility and help maintaining that facility
  • Food services and other operational services
  • Access to external partnerships
  • Strong existing relationships with families and communities
  • Centralized advocacy, policy, and community relations
  • Finance, budget, and reporting support
  • Data and accountability systems
  • An innovation engine committed to supporting the vision of instructional leaders


Successful candidates will come from a variety of backgrounds. Each opportunity varies in the expected qualifications and experiences (i.e., a school innovator should have different experiences than a classroom innovator). 

The following lists some of the mindsets, competencies, and abilities that we are looking for:

  • Very high expectations for student success
  • An innovation disposition
  • Compelling vision for a school or classroom of the future
  • A track record of results  in your professional efforts, ideally within a classroom, across multiple classrooms, or across schools
  • Deep understanding of effective instructional design and delivery with experience overseeing high-quality curriculum development
  • Experience leveraging data to develop and drive strategy
  • Ability to build and maintain a student-centered school culture characterized by high standards and compassion
  • Robust coaching and people management skills, including experience leading professional development
  • Strong relationship building skills and a high degree of emotional intelligence
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to influence, inspire, and motivate students, families, staff, and community members
  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree preferred


Chicago International Charter School (CICS) is a vibrant network of unique Chicago charter schools, that prepares students to thrive in college and life and empowers educators to innovate and lead. We strive to be a hub of excellence and innovation in Chicago education where every student flourishes, every school meets the unique needs of its students and community, and every success catalyzes citywide improvement.

CICS is entering an exciting time, embarking on the implementation of a new strategic plan. Joining our organization at this critical point in our history is an opportunity to be a part of leading CICS in a new direction. We will continue to partner with high-performing school operators, but we will sharpen our focus on innovation, recruiting talented education entrepreneurs and supporting their efforts to innovate inside our schools and classrooms—ultimately, better serving Chicago’s students and their families.

Our plan is to develop CICS into a consistently high-performing network of academically rigorous, pedagogically diverse, forward-thinking schools that prepare every student for success in college or career.


Our values keep us honest and help us determine the best course of action to meet our mission and vision.

  • We are determined optimists. We believe quality of our schools must match the boundless potential of our students. We are uncompromising on quality and equity, fueled by the urgency to improve, and grounded in the belief that anything is possible if we keep striving.
  • We are driven to make the world better for students. Our core purpose is to improve our world through education. All decisions are made through the lens of what is best for students. We have the courage to make tough calls that benefit students in the long term and a deep commitment to our work.
  • We nurture new ideas. We give brave approaches the space to take root and the support to flourish. We are driven by data, embrace constant iteration, and have the curiosity to learn alongside our students so we can constantly improve.
  • We get stuff done. We believe in hard work and humility. We're focused on delivering results and we always maintain high expectations - for our students and for ourselves.
  • We are powered by people and partnership. We value our partners and our relationships. We maintain trust through transparency, direct communication, and integrity. We work together with compassion and without ego because we know the best solutions are forged collectively.
  • We prioritize diversity and authenticity. Diversity and authenticity are non-negotiable in education. We bring our whole selves to work and school, tackle questions of race and equity, listen, and tap into the power of our differences individually and as a network.

Chicago International Charter School provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.


Chicago International Charter School

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Chicago, IL, 60603
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