Distinctive Schools

Distinctive Schools Distinctive Schools manages selected charter schools to accelerate the performance of students and educators.

Operating as usual

"Distinctive champions a very unique teacher model; their motto is: for teachers, by teachers, with teachers. Through th...
11/19/2020
From classroom to leadership: one Detroit educator's professional pathway

"Distinctive champions a very unique teacher model; their motto is: for teachers, by teachers, with teachers. Through this, they invest in their teachers and provide opportunities for teacher voice and leadership, where teachers are shown how valued they are."

Read more about an amazing teacher and leader, Mrs. Dietz from Distinctive College Prep - Harper Woods in an article from @MICharters, "From classroom to leadership: one Detroit educator's professional pathway". We're so proud of Mrs. Dietz and all of our amazing educators and leaders! #WeAreDistinctive

Read more here: https://bit.ly/Pathways_Dietz

For this Detroit educator, her journey began in a kindergarten classroom. Now, she serves as a rockstar Assistant Principal.

Please consider a donation to the Thanksgiving Edition of the #BetterTogether Fund – https://bit.ly/DS_BetterTogether – ...
11/10/2020
Donate Now | The Better Together Fund by Distinctive Schools

Please consider a donation to the Thanksgiving Edition of the #BetterTogether Fund – https://bit.ly/DS_BetterTogether – and give back this #GratefulGiving! As our families are spending time together this holiday season, we would love to brighten their Thanksgiving celebrations. Our goal is to raise $7,000 in the next two weeks! These funds will support over 90 families during the upcoming holiday!

FAMILY, FEAST, FUNDRAISE: The spirit of Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude! We are grateful for your support of families in need. Your spirit of generosity will m...

This CEO Spotlight celebrates an amazing school leader – the Director of CICS Prairie, Jenn Harth! Jenn leads her team w...
10/30/2020

This CEO Spotlight celebrates an amazing school leader – the Director of CICS Prairie, Jenn Harth! Jenn leads her team with compassion and drive, and has developed common campus wide and community focused goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. She strives to build ongoing trust, openness, and hope for our students, families and staff. Thank you for the passion and commitment you bring to this work and for your relentless drive to make our school community, our network, and the world the best it can be. Jenn, the spotlight is on you today – thank you for everything! #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive

4,000 Students, 4,000 Kids, 4,000 Futures, 4,000 Dreams.Can we count on your support? Donate to the #InnovateToEducate f...
10/28/2020
Donate Now | Innovate to Educate by Distinctive Schools

4,000 Students, 4,000 Kids, 4,000 Futures, 4,000 Dreams.
Can we count on your support? Donate to the #InnovateToEducate fund today, to provide the resources and opportunities Distinctive students so deserve. Learn more: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/distinctive-schools/innovate-to-educate

This school year is different from any other. We have an opportunity to change education for our students. We need additional funds to innovate and design for the futu...

10/19/2020
LEAP Innovations

We love to see the ways our students are exploring and sharing their heritage – for National Hispanic Heritage Month, CICS West Belden students celebrated their culture and were featured by LEAP Innovations! #HispanicHeritageMonth

For LEAP partner schools, celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month was even more important this year. Estamos en la lucha! #HispanicHeritageMonth

This CEO Spotlight celebrates an incredible TRIO – our Regional Directors of Operations, Frank Santa, Brooke Lynch, and ...
09/30/2020

This CEO Spotlight celebrates an incredible TRIO – our Regional Directors of Operations, Frank Santa, Brooke Lynch, and Melissa Brown! Frank, Brooke, Melissa – your contributions to our schools are incredible and vast; we are so grateful for your positive, proactive approach, your careful planning and guidance, your understanding and knowledge of the needs of each our campuses, and your amazing ability to make it all work! Our schools are better because of your vision, and we are so grateful – especially this year, for *all* that you have done to ensure that our students, staff, and families are safe and cared for. The spotlight is on each of you today – thank you for everything! #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive

“I worry our opportunity to work with teachers and shift systems will close if we don’t think reflectively about what re...
09/30/2020
Purpose & Practice: Redefining Our Why as Educators | NGLC

“I worry our opportunity to work with teachers and shift systems will close if we don’t think reflectively about what really counts.” –Emily Kurth

Jane Szot, Regional Director of Coaching & Development, spoke with Distinctive Schools Instructional Coaches to learn more about how this year is challenging and inspiring our teams for this edition of the Next Generation Learning Challenges blog! Read the full post here: http://bit.ly/DS_PurposePractice

Coaches—instructional leaders who are also classroom teachers—describe what teaching during a pandemic looks and feels like.

Congratulations, CICS West Belden! We're thrilled to see your hard work, commitment, and innovative mindset recognized! ...
09/29/2020

Congratulations, CICS West Belden! We're thrilled to see your hard work, commitment, and innovative mindset recognized! Thank you to Clayton Christensen Institute, Transcend, and Chicago International Charter Schools for your support and partnership – we are so grateful! #WeAreDistinctive #CanopyProject #SeeTheTrees

We’re proud to be included in The Canopy – a collective of innovative schools across the nation – to share our story, and how the innovative practice at CICS West Belden can help other schools to grow and advance student-centered school models! We’re grateful for our partnership with Clayton Christensen Institute and Transcend, representing Distinctive Schools and @CICSschools in the #CanopyProject. Learn more: www.canopyschools.org

We're Better Together – 4,000 students, 4,000 kids, 4,000 dreams, 4,000 futures – support Distinctive Students on their ...
09/29/2020

We're Better Together – 4,000 students, 4,000 kids, 4,000 dreams, 4,000 futures – support Distinctive Students on their path to reaching their full potential! To learn more and make a donation, visit https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate #ALLin #InnovateToEducate

Please consider donating & help us #InnovateToEducate! Our students & staff need you now more than ever. Please consider...
09/28/2020

Please consider donating & help us #InnovateToEducate! Our students & staff need you now more than ever. Please consider giving anything you can to support the Distinctive mission and model. Learn more: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

Help Support the Future of Learning, and build a better future with us! Act now, and support the #InnovateToEducate camp...
09/26/2020

Help Support the Future of Learning, and build a better future with us! Act now, and support the #InnovateToEducate campaign. Donate at: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

We’re operating a Community of Care - we need your support to provide innovative learning opportunities! Your generosity...
09/26/2020

We’re operating a Community of Care - we need your support to provide innovative learning opportunities! Your generosity supports 4,000 Distinctive students and over 400 Distinctive staff members– learn more at: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

Culture, Equity, & Access: We’re working toward a brighter future, and we need your help. Support the #InnovateToEducate...
09/26/2020

Culture, Equity, & Access: We’re working toward a brighter future, and we need your help. Support the #InnovateToEducate campaign, and be part of something greater! Learn more: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

Make a Difference Today: your generosity will help us to support innovation, remote learning, & Community Care programs ...
09/25/2020

Make a Difference Today: your generosity will help us to support innovation, remote learning, & Community Care programs for Distinctive Schools! We are #BetterTogether – we need your support! Learn more: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

We're excited to welcome a new board member, Dr. Shelton-Young to the PEC board! Dr. Shelton Young was recently featured...
09/24/2020

We're excited to welcome a new board member, Dr. Shelton-Young to the PEC board! Dr. Shelton Young was recently featured in Crain's Detroit Business: 40-Under-40, and we're thrilled to have her perspective and guidance on the PEC board. Welcome, Dr. Shelton-Young!

Read more: https://www.crainsdetroit.com/awards/deirdre-young-40-under-40

Please consider donating & help us #InnovateToEducate! Our students & staff need you now more than ever. Please consider...
09/24/2020

Please consider donating & help us #InnovateToEducate! Our students & staff need you now more than ever. Please consider giving anything you can to support the Distinctive mission and model. Learn more: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

4,000 students, 4,000 kids, 4,000 dreams, 4,000 futures. Make a donation today to support 4,000 Distinctive Students on ...
09/23/2020

4,000 students, 4,000 kids, 4,000 dreams, 4,000 futures. Make a donation today to support 4,000 Distinctive Students on their path to reaching their full potential! To learn more and make a donation, visit https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate
#ALLin #InnovateToEducate

09/17/2020
INNOVATE TO EDUCATE

Make a donation to the Distinctive Schools Innovate to Educate Giving Campaign! Distinctive Schools is fundraising for EQUITY and ACCESS – raising funds to do the essential work for students, staff, families, and communities. We need additional funds to start a hub of on-demand learning resources for each of our regions, support our community care model, and ensure that Distinctive Schools continue to operate at the highest level. In securing additional funds, we are confident that we can continue to keep our CULTURE strong and at the core of everything we do. Visit: https://bit.ly/DS_InnovatetoEducate

In partnership with some incredible leaders, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School created this guidebook on developing stu...
09/09/2020

In partnership with some incredible leaders, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School created this guidebook on developing student identity and agency to provide more equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students. It aggregates the leading research, thinking, and strategies from experts in sociology, psychology, special education, educational equity, social justice, and student-centered education to support educators in this work. Learn more: https://www.equitybydesign.org/identity-and-agency-guidebook

#EQUITYBYDESIGN #LEARNERAGENCY #STUDENT-DRIVENLEARNING

Today is an incredible day for Distinctive Schools! We officially launch the 2020-2021 school year at all NINE of our ca...
09/08/2020

Today is an incredible day for Distinctive Schools! We officially launch the 2020-2021 school year at all NINE of our campuses, and enter our TENTH year together – lighting the way for a Distinctive Decade! We have big plans for our tenth year, stay tuned! #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive #DistinctiveDecade #LightTheWay

TODAY at the LEAP Innovations InnovatED conference – John B. King Jr., President and CEO of The Education Trust and Form...
09/02/2020

TODAY at the LEAP Innovations InnovatED conference – John B. King Jr., President and CEO of The Education Trust and Former U.S. Secretary of Education, will join LEAP Innovations Founder and CEO Phyllis Lockett in a fireside chat about ways leaders can energize organizations and embrace innovation alongside change in this moment. Community Discussion led by Scott Frauenheim, CEO of Distinctive Schools to follow! Join us: http://bit.ly/LEAP2020Summit

08/31/2020
CICS Prairie

We are JUST as excited as our CICS Prairie campus to kick off the 2020-2021 school year! ICYMI – CICS Prairie put together a warm(up) welcome last week! #ALLin #BetterTogether

Little warm-up!

08/31/2020
CICS Irving Park

We are excited to kick the 2020-2021 school year off, as we welcome our Chicago International Charter Schools
students this morning! ICYMI – CICS Irving Park put together a warm welcome! #ALLin #BetterTogether

We can't wait to see everyone remotely on Monday! More information is coming later today from Mr. Kuebler! Be on the lookout!

This CEO Spotlight celebrates Anthony Claypool! Anthony is a Distinctive Schools founder, supporting the mission and vis...
08/28/2020

This CEO Spotlight celebrates Anthony Claypool! Anthony is a Distinctive Schools founder, supporting the mission and vision from our very beginning. He is a trusted and respected professional across the education ecosystem, and brings systems leadership and vision to our organization by collaboratively leading initiatives to help leaders and teachers work smarter not harder. We appreciate Anthony's commitment to Distinctive and his ongoing work as an educational practice leader. Anthony, today the spotlight is on you! Thank you for everything you do, and who you are. Your Distinctive spirit is an incredible driving force in our network and we appreciate you deeply! #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive

Jane Szot shares three ways to ensure new teachers feel they belong, they are prepared, and they are excited, even with ...
08/20/2020
3 Ways to Support New Teachers Joining Your Team This Year | NGLC

Jane Szot shares three ways to ensure new teachers feel they belong, they are prepared, and they are excited, even with the COVID-19 pandemic changing our back-to-school traditions – in our latest contribution for the Next Generation Learning Challenges blog! Distinctive Schools is committed to teacher success! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/NGLC_newteachers #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive

Three ways to ensure new teachers feel they belong, they are prepared, and they are excited, even with COVID-19 changing back-to-school traditions.

08/11/2020
Live in the D

Distinctive Schools was on Live in the D this morning, and we're excited to continue #TalkingWithTati LIVE at 12:00pm! Check it out here: https://bit.ly/DS_FBliveintheD

Distinctive Learning has more on live in the D!

Live! Check out the Youth Truth webinar: Students Weigh In: Learning & Well-Being During COVID-19. Listen in and learn f...
08/11/2020

Live! Check out the Youth Truth webinar: Students Weigh In: Learning & Well-Being During COVID-19. Listen in and learn from a panel of experts including Distinctive Schools' Mike McCarthy! Check in on Zoom (meeting ID = 967 1834 6060 / Passcode: survey). #StudentsWeighIn #WeAreDistinctive

We're so excited – tune in Tuesday morning to see our very own Cassie Williams on Live in the D! We are checking in with...
08/10/2020

We're so excited – tune in Tuesday morning to see our very own Cassie Williams on Live in the D! We are checking in with Tati to share more about the amazing things Distinctive Schools has to offer! Will we see you then? Can't wait! Learn more about our Michigan campuses at: DistinctiveMI.org
#ALLin #WeAreDistinctive #LiveIntheD

We are proud to launch our innovative reopening plan for Fall 2020, the Distinctive Schools Community Care Plan! Review ...
08/05/2020

We are proud to launch our innovative reopening plan for Fall 2020, the Distinctive Schools Community Care Plan! Review the full plans, designed in consideration of the diverse needs of Distinctive Schools’ families, students, and staff, on our website: https://bit.ly/DS_communitycareplan

This CEO Spotlight celebrates Katie O’Connor! Katie has been #ALLin for Distinctive Schools from the very beginning. She...
07/28/2020

This CEO Spotlight celebrates Katie O’Connor! Katie has been #ALLin for Distinctive Schools from the very beginning. She is a founder of DS, and our proud Chief Schools Officer. Katie is a brilliant educational leader – focused on equity, academic excellence, and leading with empathy for all. She is truly incredible, and brings a wealth of knowledge, compassion, and deep commitment to serving our students, families, teachers, and staff. Katie, today the spotlight is on YOU! Thank you for everything you do – you are an integral part of the Distinctive Schools network, and deeply appreciated. #WeAreDistinctive

What did 20,000 students say about learning at home this spring? Learn about the national findings, hear how education l...
07/27/2020

What did 20,000 students say about learning at home this spring? Learn about the national findings, hear how education leaders are responding, and join us in putting student voice at the center of plans for 2020-21! Distinctive Schools' Executive Director of Student Services Mike McCarthy will share his perspective during a webinar on Tuesday, August 11th. Learn more: https://bit.ly/MMC_YouthTruthWebinar

DCP–Harper Woods has been awarded a $1.25 million, two-year expansion grant! The award, part of the highly competitive C...
07/23/2020

DCP–Harper Woods has been awarded a $1.25 million, two-year expansion grant! The award, part of the highly competitive Charter School Program grants, is one of only four expansion grants issued this year – read more about the amazing opportunities coming to DCP Harper Woods here: https://bit.ly/DCPexpansiongrant

“We are poised for success, the structures our team has established over the past three years puts teachers and students in the driver’s seat, with CSP grant funds fueling innovation for Distinctive College Prep.” – Cassie Williams, Distinctive Schools’ Regional Executive Director. #ALLin #WeAreDistinctive #DCPPrideInMe

"During the pandemic, many of our children are feeling uncertainty and upheaval, just like us parents. They miss school,...
07/17/2020

"During the pandemic, many of our children are feeling uncertainty and upheaval, just like us parents. They miss school, their friends, and playing sports like they did before. For young children who don’t have the breadth of words to express their worries and fears, or older children who don’t have the emotional agility to get through tough moments, it can be overwhelming."

Read more about how showing compassion to our children can help them to cope and build important skills in this article from The Greater Good Science Center: https://bit.ly/PandemicCompassion

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Distinctive Schools

The mission of Distinctive Schools, an educational practice leader committed to social justice and the elevation of access and achievement in historically marginalized communities, is to support each child in becoming an engaged and curious learner, a confident self-advocate, and a creative problem-solver by setting high expectations and nurturing a positive culture that honors diversity, collaboration, and optimism.

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