Instituto del Progreso Latino Announces Formation of Alternative Schools

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationIn the wake of recent reports documenting the estimated 60,000 Chicago youth currently out of school, Instituto Justice and Leadership Academies (IJLA), a high school multi-site alternative charter, announced it is expanding its quality education options with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. Instituto was joined by teachers, students, CPS representatives, and key community and education leaders including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Alderman Ricardo Muñoz, Alderman Daniel Solis, and CEO and President Juan Salgado, to launch this expansion.

IJLA is dedicated to increasing Chicago’s high school graduation and college completion rates by providing high quality learning environments for re-engaged youth ages 16-21. IJLA’s first model campus, the Rudy Lozano Leadership Academy (RLLA), was created in 1996 and currently serves 165 students. Instituto’s approach to reach out-of-school youth through a student-centered environment that promotes critical reflection and academic achievement has a proven success record. In the most recent school year, RLLA achieved a graduation rate of 75 percent, out pacing the public school average of 60 percent. Already this year, as RLLA has transitioned into the IJLA charter, 50 percent of its students are enrolled in post-secondary paths. In the next four years, Instituo plans to open similar campuses across Chicago’s southwest side in Brighton Park, Chicago Lawn, and Little Village, ultimately reaching over 1,000 students with its innovative curriculum to re-engage students.

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