Excel Academy leaders and students participate in United Black Male Educators of Chicago Public Schools inaugural conference

Several members of the Excel Academy community recently participated in an important event hosted by the United Black Male Educators (UMBE) of Chicago Public Schools. Students along with Dr. Anthony Haley Jr., regional director, Chicago, and Tyree Booker, school director, Excel Academy Roseland, who are members of the UBME, attended the organization’s inaugural student empowerment conference. The landmark event, held at Olive Harvey Community College, aimed to educate, empower, and elevate Black male students in grades 7-12 from across the District and the city. The conference is one initiative by CPS that helps address the [...]

Excel Academy leaders and students participate in United Black Male Educators of Chicago Public Schools inaugural conference2024-05-16T10:58:19-04:00

Excel and Safe Achieve Academies of Chicago Host Black History Quiz Bowl

In a spirited celebration of Black History Month, students from each Excel Academy (Englewood, Roseland, Southwest, and South Shore) and the Safe Achieve Academy competed in the annual Black History Quiz Bowl last month. The Academies are part of the  Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network. During the exciting “Jeopardy”-style showdown, team members showcased their knowledge of influential Black Americans and their significant contributions to society. There were 100 questions covering a range of topics including history, politics, arts, entertainment, science and discovery, and sports. Now in its 10th year, the quiz bowl brings together [...]

Excel and Safe Achieve Academies of Chicago Host Black History Quiz Bowl2024-04-08T10:47:15-04:00

Excel Academy of South Shore Students Take their Shot at Inaugural Summer Basketball Camp

While other students might be taking it easy this summer, 25 students from Excel Academies’ South Shore, Englewood and Roseland campuses, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network, took their hoops skills to the next level at a basketball camp hosted at Excel Academy of South Shore. The camp was sponsored by the schools and Xsposure Runs. Summer 2023 marks the first year of the camp, which will become an annual event thanks to Chicago Public Schools Out-Of-School time (OST) funds and other supplemental grants and donations. The clinic provided students direct high-level mentoring and coaching to build and hone [...]

Excel Academy of South Shore Students Take their Shot at Inaugural Summer Basketball Camp2023-08-18T08:50:16-04:00

Excel Academy of South Shore celebrates graduates of inaugural EMR training program

Leadership at the Excel Academy of South Shore recently held a special ceremony honoring nine high school students, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network, for their successful completion of Superior Ambulance's accredited Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) training program. The students each received a certificate and an elective credit. This impressive achievement for the students marks the second time Excel Academy students were offered enrollment into the EMR program – a 56-hour state approved course taught by certified EMS instructors. Through the partnership with Excel, Superior provides all textbooks and coursework materials, instructors, equipment including CPR manikins, AED trainers, and various [...]

Excel Academy of South Shore celebrates graduates of inaugural EMR training program2023-03-31T12:14:48-04:00

Excel Academies and Safe Achieve Academy of Chicago Commemorate Black History Month with fun challenges

Students and staff at the Excel Academies and Safe Achieve Academy, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Option Network celebrated Black History Month by taking part in several special activities Leadership at The Excel Academy of Roseland held their first annual Black History Month Trivia Competition and luncheon that highlighted Black culture, history and food. Students and staff also participated in the Urban Trivia challenge, where teams answered questions on Black television, film, music, sports and other topics. For the students, it was an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of Black culture, while building genuine camaraderie among their peers. They [...]

Excel Academies and Safe Achieve Academy of Chicago Commemorate Black History Month with fun challenges2023-04-11T15:57:21-04:00

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

For National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), students at the Excel Academy of South Shore, part of the Chicago Public Schools’ Options Network, studied the contributions of Hispanic Americans to our culture and society. The month culminated with an assembly where students showcased what they learned about Hispanic culture throughout the month. The lively event included song and dance performances and presentations on notable persons, food and historical events. “What a fantastic job students did in presenting various topics celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Principal Shani K. Hawkins, M.A. Ed. “They exceeded expectations and made us [...]

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage2022-11-14T16:33:02-05:00

I’m a teacher, but I was also “that student”

A teacher’s background – as someone who struggled in school – deepens her connection with alternative education students By KARYN L. DRISCOLL, English 4 Teacher, Excel Academy South | September 5, 2022 - This fall, I will return to the classroom for my second year teaching English at Philadelphia’s Excel Academy South, an accelerated high school experience for students seeking a smaller, more personal setting, intensely focused on elevating social skills, emotional wellness, and academic success. My colleagues and I are committed to helping students succeed by developing meaningful relationships with each of them, therefore understanding their individual needs, challenges, and strengths. When students feel safe and valued, they become empowered to take charge of [...]

I’m a teacher, but I was also “that student”2022-09-07T13:12:02-04:00

Excel Academy students overcome struggles to graduate and achieve academic dreams

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Imagine the feeling of setting a goal you thought was unrealistic – only to achieve it despite huge odds. Dozens of grads at the Excel Academy schools did just that. CBS 2's Steven Graves met some of the students who are getting a second chance to achieve their academic dreams. The graduation ceremony for the multiple Chicago campuses of Excel Academy was held at Christ Universal Temple, 11901 S. Ashland Ave. At the ceremony, each tear shed is a heavy emotional release. There is joy, fear, shock, and happiness from students - or even a grandmother who could [...]

Excel Academy students overcome struggles to graduate and achieve academic dreams2022-06-10T12:30:22-04:00

SESI Alumnus and Student Mentor Discusses Personal Journey in Chalkbeat Essay

Raynard Gillespie, an alumnus and program mentor at Excel Academy of Englewood in Chicago, wrote a personal essay featured in Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization reporting on education across America. Raynard shares his journey of dropping out of school in ninth grade and then returning to high school at age 19 and graduating from Excel Academy. "At this new school, the teachers and staff didn’t give up on me and always pushed me to improve. If my classmates or I got a C, they helped us work toward a B, and then toward an A. Having someone in my corner [...]

SESI Alumnus and Student Mentor Discusses Personal Journey in Chalkbeat Essay2022-01-28T16:15:44-05:00