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Being born and raised in Chicago, I have met some wonderful people and been a part of many a neighborhood meal. The relationships I have built as a parent and a teacher make me proud to be a Chicagoan.

Being a parent, you have to make a lot of important decisions. When I had to decide on the best kindergarten choice for my son, I took into consideration all of my experiences in education, as well as the advice others had given me. I knew my son had special needs but was capable of being in a regular classroom.  When my hopes of finding the perfect school to fit his needs were not realized, I decided the best choice would be to homeschool him and figure out how to keep a roof over my head later.

Two days after I decided to homeschool my son, I received a call from a K12 representative. He told me that there was a new school opening up a hybrid blended program in Chicago and asked if I would be interested in learning more.

“Yes, of course I would!”

I attended the initial meeting to learn more about how the hybrid model worked, how the curriculum would benefit my child, and how I could help support my child’s education and the school philosophy. I cried when I left the meeting because I knew I had found something that would work.

My son started as a kindergartener at Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS). I loved everything about the program.   I loved the fact that he met children from all over the Chicago area.  He was invited into their neighborhoods and ate meals at their tables.  I worked part-time at the school as a substitute, tutoring, as a state test prep teacher, as well as fighting downstate against people who did not believe in our program and philosophy of education, and supporting our parent connection. We built friendships that would last long after we left CVCS.

When the time came for my son to move on, I was deeply saddened because I wanted to continue to support my Chicago Virtual Charter School family.  As if someone heard my thoughts, I received a call asking if I was interested in interviewing for a teaching position at CVCS.

Not a year goes by that I am not thankful for our time with CVCS. I love hearing my name called by current and former students when I am at the zoo or a museum. I am thankful for the relationships that I have formed, and I will always have a spot at my dinner table for “Chicago’s Finest!”

About The Author

Jennifer Roberts

Jennifer Roberts is a reading interventionist/ASP K-2 teacher at Chicago Virtual Charter School (CVCS). Previous to joining CVCS, Jennifer was a reading interventionist in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and taught her oldest son using the K12 curriculum via CVCS. Jennifer graduated from Robert Morris University in 1992 with an associate of applied science in business administration, and from DePaul University in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and humanities. In 2001, she received a master’s degree in reading from Northeastern Illinois University. Jennifer lives in Illinois with her husband and two sons - Vincent, who is on the ASD scale, and Trevor. Jennifer loves reading, researching and supporting causes in relation to autism, education and animal care, and spending time with her boys.

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