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Chicago Achievement Academies

Chicago Achievement Academies

The Chicago Achievement Academies are small schools that serve struggling students significantly below grade level in core areas such as literacy and mathematics.  Located within seven high schools in Chicago, the Achievement Academies provide one or two years of intensive academic and social supports to ease students’ transition into high school and prepare them for success.  Independent research finds that the Achievement Academies have cut in half the dropout rate among over-age and under-credited students.


An Achievement Academy is a two-year program developed for students aged 15 and older who have not met the promotion criteria to enter high school. Achievement Academy programs are a collaborative effort between Chicago Public Schools and John Hopkins University;s Talent Development Secondary, aimed at providing each over-aged student an individually tailored path to graduation.


Achievement Academies support students through a three-tier process:

  • An integrated approach. Achievement Academies combine both a positive school climate and unique instructional innovations to successfully transition students into high school academics.
  • Strong academics. Teachers work in collaborative teams committed to creating a friendly but firm learning environment as well as a rigorous instructional program clearly defined by student engagement. Ongoing professional development for teachers and staff also supports successful implementation of the instructional program and unique organizational structures.
  • Social-emotional support. Student advocates are assigned to each Achievement Academy to work with students to resolve non-instructional issues such as those related to attendance and behavior.

Students who attend Achievement Academies will be able to:

  • Earn an 8th-grade diploma
  • Earn the 14-16 high school credits needed to be promoted to the 11th grade
  • Make significant gains in reading, math and writing
  • Develop social and academic skills necessary for success in adulthood
  • Formulate personal, educational and career goals
  • Prepare for a meaningful postsecondary career path
  • Learn self-advocacy

Elementary students who turn age 15 by September 1st of the current school year and have not met the 8th-grade graduation requirements will be referred to the Achievement Academy program.

Achievement Academies are located in the following eight participating high schools: Chicago Vocational Career Academy, Crane Tech, Fenger Academy, Nicholas Senn, Paul Robeson, Roberto Clemente, Tilden Career Community and Wendell Phillips.

For More Information

For more about the Chicago Achievement Academies, click here.

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