Since its inception in 2006, the Catalyst Schools’ team strives to positively impact thousands of lives through its commitment to teaching minds and touching hearts in the Austin and Chicago Lawn communities. Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria are deeply embedded in the communities and are driven by the core value of right relationship – between staff and scholars, staff and families, and staff and the greater Austin and Chicago Lawn communities.
The 1,620 K-12 scholars receive a robust academic program through balanced literacy, STEM programming K-12, and daily access to robust instructional technology including Chromebooks and tablets. The teams at Catalyst Circle Rock and Catalyst Maria also work diligently to ensure that they are holistically educating each of its scholars through extensive social-emotional programming. Through programs including The Leader in Me and a discipline model emphasizing restorative justice practices, Catalyst provides arenas for scholars to grow and thrive as unique individuals. Catalyst also partners with several organizations that provide external instructors for the network’s fine arts emphasis.
Critical to the Catalyst mission is supporting each of its scholars in finding success once they graduate from school. The results from 2020-2021 demonstrate Catalyst’s success in preparing scholars for success beyond graduation: a 100% graduation rate for 8th Grade at Catalyst Circle Rock and 100% graduation rates for 8th and 12th Grades at Catalyst Maria. 40 of the 61 graduates (66%) in Catalyst Maria’s 8th Grade Class of 2021 will remain at Catalyst Maria for high school, with an additional 6 (10%) attending CPS selective enrollment high schools. Catalyst Maria High School’s Class of 2021 (97 seniors), despite being remote for the second half of their junior year and their entire senior year, earned $9,699,700 in scholarships, had 418 acceptances, and 97% accepted to college.