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Two middle grades educators at a professional development session at their middle school

Eight new schools selected for our second cohort

The set of Chicago Public Schools in the To&Through Middle Grades Network (MGN) represents diverse middle grades structures and student bodies, as well as a deep commitment to reimagining the middle grades experience. The impact of the pandemic makes it more urgent than ever for educators to focus on the unique social, emotional and academic needs of middle schoolers. MGN is excited to partner with our new cohort of schools, so our students can emerge from the pandemic on the path towards realizing their full potential.


MGN Cohort 2 School



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Academy of Social Justice


(Southwest Side)

Duke Ellington Elementary School


(West Side)

Kelvyn Park Junior & Senior High School


(North/Northwest Side)

Lenart Regional Gifted Center


(Far South Side)

Nash Elementary School


(West Side)

South Shore Fine Arts Academy


South Shore
(South Side)

Sumner Math & Science Community Academy


West Garfield Park
(West Side)

Talcott Fine Arts & Museum Academy


West Town
(West Side)


The pilot cohort of MGN schools includes Brighton Park Elementary School, Columbia Explorers Academy, Florence Nightingale Elementary School, Hernandez Middle School, John B. Drake Elementary School, and the UChicago Charter School Woodlawn (UCW) Middle School. The cohort is focused on developing and testing solutions related to the following problem of practice:


"Our students and families do not always feel they belong in our school communities because of school and societal barriers caused by systemic racial/ethnic injustice and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning. As adults, we need to create caring and equitable relationships where middle school students and families are seen, valued, and engaged.”


Explore MGN's two cohorts of schools through our interactive map and download the pilot cohort's problem of practice profiles below.

Brighton Park Elementary

Brighton Park Elementary School is developing strategies around intentional relationship building to strengthen student-educator relationships.

School Team: Sara Haas, Principal; Andrew Collingham, Assistant Principal; Cecilia Mendoza, 5th & 6th Grade Science Teacher; Zach Rivera, 8th Grade ELA Teacher; Nancy Fernandez, Counselor.

Columbia Explorers Academy

Columbia Explorers Elementary Academy is developing strategies around intentional community building to strengthen student-educator relationships.

School Team: Eileen Considine, Principal; Beth West & Veronica Barrera, Assistant Principals; Monica Galvez & Ricka Guerrero, Regular Teachers; Samantha Saqri, SPED Teacher & Case Manager; Cristina Santoyo, Counselor; Simon Toledano, 5th Grade Writing Teacher; Casey Feeney, 8th Grade Science Teacher; Eugenia Huang, 8th Grade ELA Teacher

Drake Elementary

John B. Drake Elementary School is developing strategies around interest-based activities to strengthen student-educator relationships.

School Team: Sydney Golliday, Principal; Willona Abner-Adkins, Assistant Principal; Nai Colton, Math Teacher; Smitha Mathen, Teacher; Shawnton Mickles-Kuykendall, Counselor; Christopher Robbins, Teacher; Adam Turry, Social Worker; Monica Cherry, SPED Instructor; LaShonda Wiggins, 6th Grade ELA Teacher; Janice Sanders, Upper Grades Cluster Program Teacher

Hernandez Middle School

Irene C. Hernandez Middle School is developing strategies around intentional community building in advisories to strengthen peer to peer relationships.

School team: Luis Tellez, Principal; Kate Graham-McHugh & Cy Hendrickson, Assistant Principals; Lucy McGowan, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher; Salina Rivera, Teacher; Maricella Salazar, English Learners Program Teacher

Nightingale Elementary

Florence Nightingale Elementary School is developing strategies around elevating student voice to build student-educator relationships.

School Team: Adriana Arias, Principal; Meaghan Esposito, Dean; Michelle Soto, Assistant Principal; Anne Rohan, Counselor; Jackie Sanchez, 5th Grade Math Teacher

UChicago Charter Woodlawn Middle School

UChicago Charter Woodlawn (UCW) Middle School is developing strategies around Zoom family socials to strengthen school-family partnerships.

School Team: Donald Gordon, Director; DeVear Peters, Dean of Instruction; Shalon Eggleston, Dean of Student Culture; Kate Carter, STEM Instructional Coach; Christopher Louis, SPED Teacher/LBS1; Tom Rouleau, 6th Grade Literacy Instructor