Rowe Elementary Charter School: A Founding Story

Northwestern Settlement has operated community programs in arts, education, and social services for Chicago’s West Town community for more than 125 years. In 2008, a group of organizations and businesses joined forces with Northwestern Settlement to create a brand new elementary school that would serve Chicagoans and provide a school option based on nationally-recognized instructional best practices. In 2016, Rowe Middle School opened to build on the success of their elementary school.

Together, both schools provide strong academics through best practices, such as reading and math interventions, small group instruction, WIN (What I Need) block, and differentiated instruction.  Rowe teachers collaborate to provide instruction that is meaningful and relevant to scholars. For example, Rowe scholars participate in science fairs, wax museum projects, and the Mikva project. With using a Common Core aligned curriculum, Rowe teachers implement grade level content and scaffold to make this accessible to all scholars, regardless of their academic level. Rowe strives for not only grade level attainment, but also individual scholar growth. They also prioritize building strong relationships with scholars, their families, and the community. These bonds help to propel scholars into passionate young men and women who strive for success even after they leave Rowe.

The results of this first graduating class were truly amazing. 100% of scholars were accepted into high-performing high schools in Chicago and some of the finest high schools across the country. Today, over 150 Rowe Alumni are enrolled in 50 different high-performing college prep schools around the country, and the first graduating class is determining their post-high school life with acceptances to prestigious universities nationwide.

*The above collage contains photos of the following: 

  • Top left – The Westinghouse Advisory
  • Top right – Parents and the Rowe CEO
  • Middle left – Trip to a UIC basketball game
  • Bottom left – Family potluck dinner
  • Bottom right – College Day