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Acero - Sandra Cisneros

About Us » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Our Approach
We share the goal that every parent has for their child: to achieve at high levels and be successful in life. The Cisneros approach focuses on building the requisite 21st Century Skills students need in order to be successful in high school, college, and beyond. Teachers are squarely focused on student understanding; they put learning before teaching. As a result, we are able to effectively close the gap between traditionally low performing and high performing students. The Common Core Standards drive our work and provide the academic backdrop teachers need to build rigorous units of study. Our emphasis is not on the summative assessments at the end of the school year, though we do believe they are important. Instead, we focus on the learning occurring throughout the school year and implement a course correction system that is responsive to student data outcomes at the individual classroom level. 
Our Success
We measure our success through our mission. The mission of Sandra Cisneros Elementary School is to be the best school in Chicago at graduating minority students who are prepared for the challenges awaiting them in high quality high schools. One indicator of this success is the percentage of students who receive a seat at one of Chicago's selective enrollment high schools. In the 2017-2018 school year, 41% of the graduating class received a seat at one of these prestigious schools. And, in the 2016-2017 school year, 31% of the graduating class received a seat. That places Cisneros in the top 30 elementary schools (out of 448!) in the city at getting students into the highest quality high schools the city has to offer. Beyond selective enrollment high schools, we aim to send our students to other high quality options that have proven that they can get students to and through college including Acero Schools and Noble. 
Adam Sparks, Cisneros Principal
B.A. Elementary Education, Berea College
M.Ed. Teaching and Learning Leadership, Liberty University
Ed.S. Education Administration, Liberty University
As a first-generation college graduate, Adam Sparks strives to help students reach higher each day. “Education plays an important role in closing the opportunity gap,” he said. “At Cisneros, we offer an academic program that can propel our students into strong high schools and, hopefully, colleges and careers." Mr. Sparks began his career as a college readiness coach in a rural school district. Four years later, he found himself teaching fifth grade in an urban charter school before moving to kindergarten. Mr. Sparks left the classroom to lead a nonprofit organization serving children with social, emotional, and behavioral deficits. Most recently, he served as the founding leader of Massachusetts' first ever private-public-nonprofit partnership school, a prekindergarten feeder school for Massachusetts' sixth-largest school district. Even now, Mr. Sparks hasn't lost the ability to recite his ABCs backward in less than 15 seconds!
Contact information
Phone: 773-376-8830
Fax: 773-376-8825
or email the leadership team:
Adam Sparks, Principal:
Jill Keller, Assistant Principal:
Erick Schroeder, Student Services Manager:
Kristen Meyer, Instructional Coach:
Lynette Contreras, Dean: