The Success Project in Chicago Public Schools

In the summer of 2014, UChicago Impact, Chicago Public Schools, Academy for Urban School Leadership, and the Lefkofsky Family Foundation launched the Success Project

In the summer of 2014, UChicago Impact, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Academy for Urban School Leadership, and the Lefkofsky Family Foundation teamed up to launch the Success Project, an initiative designed to support certain Chicago Public Schools in preparing more middle grades students for high school. This initiative was designed in response to 2007 research findings from the UChicago Consortium on School Research regarding the importance of an effective transition into 9th grade.


The Success Project provided students with enhanced academic and social supports, and help in identifying “right fit and match” high schools. Together, schools and Success Coordinators implemented the 6to16 High School Success Curriculum and partnered to help improve the number of students “On-Track” in the middle grades by increasing grades and attendance.


The Success Project staff focused on direct support of 10 CPS elementary schools from the summer of 2014 through the spring of 2017. Administrators and teachers were provided with coaching and tools needed to promote student learning, while participating students developed skills necessary to help guide their educational future.


  • By the end of the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year, 23% of Success Project students fell into the High Opportunity category—meaning they have a 90% chance of graduating high school. At the start of the project, only 9% of the students were considered High Opportunity.
  • Success Project students attending Level 1 and Level 1+ high schools increased from 5% during the 2014-2015 school year to 15% during the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Overall, the 10 Success Schools have increased their middle grades On-Track by 10%.


We acknowledge and thank the partners, schools and their staff, and Success Project Coordinators and staff who worked tirelessly on the Success Project:



Academy for Urban School Leadership

Chicago Public Schools

Lefkofsky Family Foundation

UChicago Consortium on School Research

UChicago Impact



Cather Elementary School

Chavez Elementary Multicultural Academy

Claremont Academy Elementary School

Fiske Elementary School

Ida B. Wells Preparatory Elementary

Kozminski Elementary Community Academy

Nathan Hale Elementary School

Nicholson Technology Academy

Oscar Depriest Elementary School

Pasteur Elementary School

Westcott Elementary School


Success Project Staff, 2014-17

Brittney Autry, Success Coordinator

James Ballard, Success Coordinator

Nycole Buckner, Success Coordinator

Anne Frazier, Assistant Director

Angelica Fuentes, Manager

Justin Gumiran, Manager

Alexandra LeBlanc, Success Coordinator

James McKinney, Success Coordinator

Grisel Maldonado, Director

Lynn Mathurin, Success Coordinator

Ceily Moore, Project Manager

Michael Rammer, Success Coordinator

Jessica Staff, Success Coordinator

Whitney Taylor, Success Coordinator

Jurl Vinegar, Success Coordinator

Stacy Williams, Success Coordinator

Melissa Wylen, Assistant Manager