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

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 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 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!

Important Information About School Uniforms

Please note that CICS Bucktown requires all school uniforms be purchased through Runner’s Edge and, despite the pictures on their website, purchased items will have CICS Bucktown logos. The folks at Runner’s Edge are currently working to correct the erroneous pictures. We apologize for the confusion.

Because of the misunderstanding, Runner’s Edge has extended their deadline- all uniforms purchased by July 23 will be available for pickup at open house on August 14.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Please call with further questions.

Springboard After School Program Begins August 18

CICS Bucktown is excited to announce that we will partner with Springboard After School to provide daily after school programming for 2014-2015 school year. Springboard’s after school programming is designed to extend student learning time and opportunities beyond regular school hours. Programming will begin on August 18, 2014, and will run each day until 6:00 p.m.

Springboard’s after school program is comprised of research-based curriculum delivered by a team of licensed and certified on-site teaching professionals whose materials are created to provide a well-rounded, fun and enriching environment for every student. Each day of programming will include guided homework support, team building, read aloud’s, SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) and inclusive enrichment.

Please click here for details.

Representatives from Springboard will be present at open house on August 14.

Primary Students Sing About Science

CICS Bucktown students in kindergarten and 1st grade are known to take an active role in science. Toward the end of each school year, each primary grade puts on a performance about a specific science topic. The students make their own props, learn songs in music class, and memorize lines and poems for each show. Kindergarten students learned all about plants and were able to sing and and perform in front of the school this quarter for their annual plant show. They dressed up as different parts of plants and sang songs about plants and how they grow. They are getting more and more ready for 1st grade! Not to be outdone, 1st grade students learned about space and performed for their annual Spring space show. They were very excited for the performance and worked hard at practicing their songs. “What It Is Like On The Moon” and “The Earth Turns Around” were two of the highlights!

Committed to Greatness

We made the CICS newsletter, Eagles! Click here to check it out.

Thank You, Carnival Donors!

CICS Bucktown would like to thank the many generous donors who helped make our carnival a huge success:

Ice for Less, Paleteria Y Neveria Bombon, Ashland Division Currency Exchange, Alpha Baking Company, Leona’s Restaurant, Chavela’s Face Painting, The Warwick Allerton Chicago Hotel, Stella Barra Pizzeria, Café Ba Ba Reeba, Trio Los Primos, Mary Kay baskets courtesy of Lucia Saenz, My Gym Chicago, Mamma Mia Restaurant, WhirlyBall, Chicago Wolves, Toast Restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, Logan Theatre, Chicago Spine and Sport, Shiraleah

We also want to thank CICS Bucktown parents/families who donated food, basket items, and volunteered their time. Thank you!

CICS Bucktown Carnival: May 21

The 10th Annual CICS Bucktown Carnival is this Wednesday, May 21 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the back parking lot. The carnival is open to the public, so please bring friends and family to enjoy…

Snow cones, cotton candy, a dunk tank, an obstacle course, Pop-A-Shot, other cool carnival games, raffles for great prizes, and more! Admission is free. You may purchase tickets for 25 cents apiece or five for $1!

*Students may pay $2 to dress down on May 21

Holocaust Survivor Provides Authentic Context for CICS Bucktown Reading Students

Ms. Ellie Merar, Holocaust survivor, spoke to Ms. Walchak’s seventh and eighth grade reading classes recently about her life in Germany during the Holocaust and her subsequent journey to America. Ms. Merar, who speaks regularly at the Skokie Holocaust Museum, delivered a 50-minute presentation at CICS Bucktown that featured photographs and a question and answer session. Prior to the presentation, classes had read both The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Diary of Anne Frank. Our students loved hearing Ms. Merar’s firsthand accounts and were able to connect many of her experiences to their reading. We are extremely thankful to Ms. Merar for providing such a meaningful learning experience for our kids!

Teacher Recruitment Fair: Wednesday, May 14

Qualified candidates are invited to join us at our North Side Teacher Recruitment Fair this Wednesday at CICS Bucktown.

  • Meet Campus Directors
  • On-site Interviews
  • Explore Curriculum
  • Meet Distinctive Schools Teachers

Wednesday, May 14 from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.
CICS Bucktown
2235 N Hamilton
Chicago, IL 60647