Chicago’s Foundations College Prep (FCP) will create 800 seats in a neighborhood where half the students drop out and only two in 100 are ready for college. IFF’s 2004-2008 school studies identified the Roseland community as among the top 25 Chicago areas most in need of performing elementary and high schools.
The charter school, which opened this month with over 100 sixth- and seventh-graders, will expand each year until it serves students up to 12th grade. IFF, the building’s owner, provided a $1.2 million loan for FCP to renovate the space it’s leasing. In the next few years, FCP intends to buy the 25,000 square-foot property, which also will benefit the area by creating at least 40 full-time jobs by 2019.
The charter school, whose mission is to empower youth to thrive in college and life, plans to redesign the school day and the way teachers do their jobs, including pairing novices with expert educators. FCP is a 2012 Next Generation Learning Challenges grant recipient and one of the four founding members of Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture Charter School Network.