Distinctive Schools High School Fair


Join us for the 4th Annual Distinctive Schools High School Fair at CICS Bucktown on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Take advantage of this great opportunity to gather information about the many high school options available in the City of Chicago. CICS Bucktown parents are encouraged to attend from 10:40-11:40 a.m.

High School Counseling Sessions and Important Information

Scheduling a Session
As the high school application and selection process ramps up, we recommend at least one 45-60 minute guidance counseling session to help you navigate the wide variety of school choices. Please click here to schedule a session with Ms. Pullappally. She looks forward to meeting with you and your student(s). Please click here to access a document that outlines the many available options and action plans.


Scholarship Options
Please click here for information about various scholarship options. The Daniel Murphy Scholarship application is due October 24, 2014.

High School Fairs
The Daniel Murphy High School Fair (private schools) will be held at Saint Ignatius on Monday, October 13 from 5:00-7:30 p.m.

Stay tuned for information about Distinctive Schools’ upcoming high school fair!

Reminder: No School on Monday, October 13


Have a great three-day weekend, CICS Bucktown Buddies!

Costume Fundraiser

Have you started shopping for your Halloween costume yet? When you order costumes or party supplies from costumeandpartyfundraiser.com, you’ll get 10% off your order and CICS Bucktown will receive 15% of your total purchase. Just enter the following promo code: FUN4095

2015-2016 Applications

Applications for the 2015-2016 school year are now available.

Apply online today!

Download an application: English | Español

Questions? Call the CICS Network Office at 312-651-5000.



Bucktown Buddies

CICS Bucktown has started a new buddy program! The process began at the end of last school year when middle school students took a survey detailing their needs and wants at school. Over the summer, a group of five teachers met to analyze the survey and accommodate the needs of our almost 700 students. From this student survey it was clear that students were thirsty for positive peer and teacher relationships. We brainstormed how to make this happen and one quote repeatedly resurfaced throughout the conversations, “They’re not my kids, they are our kids,” a message that students at CICS Bucktown do not answer to any one teacher or cohort of peers, necessarily. It is the job and responsibility of everyone to nurture all students. Consequently, we decided that “Bucktown Buddies” would include consistent peer and teacher mentorship, both by students’ homeroom teachers and by staff from varying subjects and grade levels.

Bucktown Buddies consists of three groups – “Bigs” (students in grades 6-8), “Littles” (students in grades 3-5), and “Minis” (students in grades K-2). Each group has at least three students and every student has different responsibilities as a mentor. The program kicked off on the third day of school and each member of the buddy family, led by at least two teachers, was linked with a specific buddy from another family. As expected, students were shy and reserved at first but it was incredible to see how the Bigs (or sometimes the Littles!) took responsibility and facilitated conversations in order to learn more about their buddies.

One major aspect of “Bucktown Buddies” is that students sit with their buddies during Friday assemblies, the Big in the middle, flanked by a Little and Mini at either side). This has been a fabulous change for our assemblies because the students hold one another accountable. Even if someone from a different buddy family is not following directions, a Big, Little or even Mini will help correct their behavior – a solid example of, “Not my kids, but our kids.”

We will not have an assembly on the last Friday of each month so the time can be designated solely for buddy group activities. Future buddy activities include school-wide art projects, study sessions, peer meditation, and community service field trips in the spring!

SEHS Open House Dates

The following selective enrollment high schools (SEHS) will host open house events for prospective families this fall. For more information about the application process, please call the CPS Office of Access and Enrollment at 773-553-2060. It’s never too early to get a jump on your high school plans!

Brooks College Prep High School
250 E 11th St
November 1, 2014
9:00 a.m. to Noon

Northside College Prep High School
5501 N Kedzie Ave
October 26, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Jones College Prep High School
606 S State St
October 18, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Payton College Prep High School
1034 N Wells Ave
November 8, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

King College Prep High School
4445 S Drexel Blvd
November 8, 2014
9:00 a.m. to Noon

South Shore International High School
1955 E 75th St
November 15, 2014
10:00 a.m. to Noon

Lane Tech High School
2501 W Addison St
November 2, 2014
Noon to 3:00 p.m.

Westinghouse High School
3223 W Franklin Blvd
November 8, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Lindblom Math & Science Academy
6130 S Wolcott Ave
November 1, 2014
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Young Magnet High School
211 S Laflin St
October 19, 2014
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Save the Date: CICS Northtown Open Houses

CICS Northtown invites prospective parents and students to open house events on the following dates:


Saturday, November 1 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon
Monday, December 8 from 4:45 to 7:45 p.m.

Please visit the CICS Northtown website for more information.

Second Grade Scientists

CICS Bucktown 2nd graders have been learning about inquiry by making predictions about science experiments. For this particular experiment, teachers told students that they would pour liquid into a bottle, add powder to a balloon, and then put the balloon on top of the bottle. Some kids predicted that the balloon would explode, others thought the bottle and balloon would fly into the air, and a few even predicted that the balloon would be sucked into the bottle. You can see for yourself what actually happened, and why these 2nd graders are silly about science!

Celebrating Summer Writing

Mrs. Schmitz challenged her 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade EL students to write in journals over the summer. These 13 students brought their journals back to share this fall and celebrated their writing with a special lunch last Wednesday. Students have documented some great memories that they can always treasure. Great job, Eagles!

After School Program Registration


Registration for after school programs is tomorrow, September 9 from 7:00-7:45 a.m. in the gym. View a complete menu of after school program choices by clicking the Programs page from the main menu.

Outlook in First Grade is First Rate!


Ms. Holtzman, Mrs. Barton, Mrs. Smiguel and their students are having an awesome year in Room 105! After spending kindergarten together, they are already off to another great start in first grade. Isayah Rodriguez spent all summer reading and now he is even reading to his first grade friends… way to go, Isayah!

Here’s to another great year at CICS Bucktown!

Can You Carpool?

The CICS Bucktown community is currently looking for parent volunteers who may be interested in starting a carpool for families that live near the intersection of Sedgwick & Division. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Social Worker Akua Agyeman at 773-645-3321 or aagyeman@distinctiveschools.org.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Become a Charter Ambassador


Live on the South Side? Click here for information about training near you!

BPTL & Title 1 Meeting

You are cordially invited to our first CICS Bucktown Parent Teacher League meeting of the 2014-2015 school year on Thursday, September 4 at 4:00 p.m. in the cafeteria.


  • Title 1 funds/budget and questions with Ms. Krier
  • Advocacy
  • School calendar


Refreshments will be provided. We look forward to seeing you!

Runner’s Edge Announcement

An announcement from Runner’s Edge uniform company:

Runner’s Edge will be at CICS Bucktown on September 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please note that September 10 is an 11:30 a.m. dismissal day.

The purpose of our visit is to deliver all remaining orders that were selected by parents to be delivered to the school. Orders are still being accepted on the website for delivery to your home via UPS. We will have a limited amount of product available for purchase on September 10, including sweatshirts, hoodies, and sweatpants. Purchases will be cash only, please.

We will also be processing a limited number of size exchanges, but only under the following circumstances:

1. All requests for size exchanges must be delivered by email to Nancy at schoolsedge@gmail.com. To be considered, these requests must be submitted by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 3. We will not be at the school on September 3. You must request by email. Sorry, but no phone requests can be considered.

2. When you request a size exchange by email by September 3, you will be given an exchange authorization number. If you do not receive an EA number, please contact us by email.

3. You must bring this EA number to the school on September 10.

4. You must also bring the items you are exchanging with you to the school on September 10. No exceptions will be made. New sizes will not be delivered unless the original pieces are returned.

5. All returned items must be in new and unused condition. Any items that have been worn and/or washed will not be accepted for exchange. Sorry, but no exceptions can be made.

*If you do not have access to a computer or do not have an email address, please visit the reception office at CICS Bucktown to use the computer or request assistance from Ms. Ramos or Ms. Sheahan.

Back-to-School Information

CICS Bucktown Families,

We are eager to welcome students back to school on Monday, August 18. In the meantime, we have some important announcements that will help all families prepare for the 2014-2015 school year.

New Start Time
As mentioned recently on the website and our Facebook page, our school day will begin a little earlier this year. Doors will open at 7:50 a.m. and close at 8:00 a.m. Students who arrive after 8:00 a.m. are expected to report to the reception office for a tardy pass.

8th Grade Meeting
All incoming 8th graders are invited to discuss expectations for the school year and to explore plans for graduation celebration week on Wednesday, August 13 (2:00-3:00 p.m.).

Please note that this student meeting is in addition to the 8th grade parent meeting at the back-to-school open house on August 14 at 7:00 p.m. Student attendance at the parent meeting is optional.

Back-to-School Open House
You are invited to open house on Thursday, August 14. Please refer to the following list for your arrival time (according to last name).

4:00-5:00 p.m. Last name begins with A-I
5:00-6:00 p.m. Last name begins with J-R
6:00-7:00 p.m. Last name begins with S-Z

All families with students entering 8th grade will be attending a mandatory meeting at 7:00 p.m.

At open house, you can drop off school supplies, visit your child(ren)’s classrooms, meet teachers, pick up uniforms (if your order was placed by August 7), sign up for after-school care with Springboard, complete registration, and pay fees.

*All registration paperwork must be completed and fees paid before the first day of school.

New Gym Schedule
This school year, all students in grades K-5 will have gym every day. Students have the option of wearing their CICS Bucktown polo shirts and khaki pants (khaki shorts are also allowed through September) or CICS Bucktown gym t-shirts with navy blue CICS Bucktown gym shorts/joggers.

There may be days where students are required to wear polo shirts and khakis for special events. On these particular days, families will be notified in advance. Please note that uniforms may not be “combined.” For example, the polo shirt may be worn only with khaki pants/shorts and the gym shirt may be worn only with gym shorts/joggers. Further details about the uniform dress code will be available at the back-to-school open house on August 14.

Middle school students (grades 6-8) will have gym once per week for the entire school year and are expected to wear a gym uniform only on the day they have gym class. Polo shirts and khaki pants (khaki shorts are also allowed through September) are to be worn every other day of the week. Students will be given their schedules the first week of school.

Please contact our Dean of Students, Mr. Kliebert, if you have any questions about the dress code. He can be reached via email at kkliebert@distinctiveschools.org or by phone at 773-645-3321.

Please call with questions. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces!

New Start Time Begins August 18

We did a little math this summer and realized something very important: 10 minutes per school day x 192 days = 32 hours of added instructional time! Consequently, please note our new morning procedure below… beginning on Monday, August 18.

Doors will open at 7:50 a.m. and close at 8:00 a.m.

Every student who arrives after 8:00 a.m. is expected to visit the reception office to receive a tardy pass. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Uniform Update

Do you still need to order uniforms? Order today by clicking here.

Our uniform vendor, Runner’s Edge, has again extended the order deadline. Orders placed before August 7 will ship to you before school starts or will be available for pick up at the CICS Bucktown Back-To-School Open House on Thursday, August 14. Orders placed after August 7 will be shipped to you in early September. Please note that Runner’s Edge will have a limited inventory of uniforms to purchase at open house. Please be prepared for extended wait times in the purchasing lines.

Runner’s Edge will be at CICS Bucktown on Friday, August 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to help with any additional uniform needs before the first day of school.

1500 Club

Join the CICS Bucktown 1500 Club, a summer learning challenge that will keep your brain sharp until school resumes on August 18, Eagles!