Chicago Educators: Apply Now for the Summer Design Program 2015 (applications due by 5pm, March 23)


The Summer Design Program (SDP) enables educators to create and implement innovations to transform student learning in their classrooms or schools. Educator teams from public schools across Chicago engage in a series of sessions led by TrueSchool Studio and the Chicago Public Education Fund. Together, we clarify a school-based, student-centered challenge, identify new or known solutions in Chicago and elsewhere, and design a classroom or grade level innovation. School teams include the principal, at least one classroom teacher, and one additional member of the staff.

At the conclusion of the SDP, teams have the opportunity to earn financial resources and additional support to implement their innovations in the coming school year.


Core Commitments for participating in The Summer Design Program:

  • Team of 3, including the principal, at least one classroom teacher, and one additional member of the staff.
  • School leader attends one kick-off event.
  • Full team attends all three 1-day in-person sessions and one evening event.
  • Engage in team meetings, independent research, and collaborative preparation of projects during the weeks between in-person sessions (approximately 10-20 additional hours per person total).
  • Collaborate and coordinate as a team to submit deliverables on time.
  • Be open to feedback and adjust course as needed.
  • Share insights and findings, including interviews, written documents, photos, and videos to track progress, measure impact, and build knowledge around best practices.
  • To create a big, bold vision for your innovation and to act with focus and urgency.
  • Have fun!



  • Monday, March 23:  Applications deadline
  • Early April: School selection
  • Saturday, May 16: In-person session one
  • Thursday, July 16: In-person session two
  • Thursday, July 30: In-person session three


Focus Areas for the Summer Design Program 2015:

Teams will have the opportunity to work to create solutions focused on addressing one of three identified challenges:

  • Personalized Learning: How might we rethink teaching and learning through the inventive use of our schools resources (e.g., time, space, staff) to more effectively meet the learning needs of each individual student?
  • Transitions: How might we ensure smooth and successful transitions from early childhood education to elementary school, of middle grades to high school and from high school to post-secondary?
  • Professional Development: How might we create more time for collaboration during the school day and identify opportunities to personalize growth opportunities for teachers based on their needs and interests?