EECS was founded in 2005 in response to Renaissance 2010, Mayor Daley’s challenge to create 100 new schools in the City of Chicago to provide high-quality public education and choices for Chicago parents who want the best learning experience for their children. EECS was built on the strong foundation of the nationally accredited preschool program at Erie Neighborhood House, a social service agency that has been serving and educating Chicago’s low-income immigrant population since 1870. Grounded in this rich tradition, EECS responds to the urgent need to provide Chicago’s low-income children with a high-quality education.
EECS is a tax-exempt 501c3 organization that still works closely with Erie Neighborhood House. The two organizations share many values and some common board members, but are financially and organizationally distinct.
EECS provides Chicago children with a high-quality bilingual education that values their unique life experience, language and culture. The EECS strategy is centered on an innovative curriculum, high expectations, outstanding educators, strong governance and enriching partnerships. With the value-driven culture at EECS, we can foster leadership, create stronger communities, and most importantly, provide our students with self-confidence and prepare them for a bright academic and personal future.
Erie Elementary Charter School is a caring and collaborative community for children in grades K-8. Children learn in the context of small class size in a developmentally-appropriate academic environment. At EECS, children, parents and educators work together to educate students who are challenged by and engaged in their learning, independent and self-confident, proficient in Spanish, knowledgeable about their own culture, compassionate and ethical, and understanding of the collaborative requirements for citizenship in a democracy. They are prepared to undertake a rigorous secondary school program and are firmly placed on a path to higher education.
Charter schools are public schools, tuition-free and open to any student living in the city of Chicago. Charter schools, like EECS, exercise increased autonomy in curriculum, budget, staffing, calendar and governance. In return, they are held accountable for academic results and fiscal practices to the Illinois State Board of Education, Chicago Board of Education, sponsors, parents and funders.
Charter schools are important to Chicago’s families because they empower parents with the ability to choose the best education for their child. At EECS, students are presented with opportunities that are not always available in other schools—bilingual education, field trips, socio-emotional support, music and various after school activities.