September 23, 2009

 ABCs to College Degrees: Newest CPS Charter School’s Focus Cultivates Expectation and Desire to Attend College in Elementary School Students 

 Northwestern University Settlement launches new charter school in West Town with support from Rowe Family Charitable Trust, Exelon Corporation and Bain & Company 


CHICAGO (Sept. 23, 2009) — With the college enrollment rate of Chicago Public Schools graduates at just 52.5 percent, the system’s newest contract school campus will open this fall with a focus on making college an expectation for each student. Graduating from college will be a goal for every student at Rowe Elementary School, opening in the West Town neighborhood this fall.

The school is funded primarily through financial contributions from the Rowe Family Charitable Trust, Exelon Corporation and Bain & Company.
“A college degree is an invaluable investment for the future success of every CPS student, and we must continue to make every effort to teach our students that college is attainable,” said CPS CEO Ron Huberman. “Thanks to the civic-minded individuals like John, Jeanne and Bill Rowe and committed support from corporate citizens like Exelon and Bain, we can reach even more students to show them that a high school diploma is not an end, but a first step toward a successful career.”

Rowe Elementary is operated by the Northwestern University Settlement. The students and their families will benefit from the programs already offered by the Settlement, marking the first time an agency has fully incorporated all of its services into the daily activities of the school.

“Northwestern University Settlement offers programs in the community ranging from early childhood education to adult services,” said Ron Manderschied, Northwestern University Settlement president and CEO. “We will wrap these services around the school with many of them taking place in the elementary school to ensure students and their families can easily take advantage of after-school or family programs.”

At capacity, the new school will serve 600 students in kindergarten through eighth-grade. Contracted through CPS’s Renaissance 2010 initiative, which seeks to create 100 high-performing schools in designated communities of need by 2010, Rowe Elementary opened on Sept. 8 with 150 students in six classrooms across grades K-2. 

This is the second CPS school supported by Exelon Corporation and Rowe Elementary’s namesakes, Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe, his wife Jeanne and son Bill, and the Rowe Family Charitable Trust. These schools are the culmination of the family's life-long commitment to education and providing children with access to the kind of education needed to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

“A solid education can drive individual success and transform communities,” John Rowe said. “This elementary school will provide a positive environment for its students to spark their interest in education at an early age and motivate them to work toward successful careers attainable through a college degree.”

Bain & Company, the global business consulting firm, has partnered with the Settlement to develop the school’s blueprint by researching best practices in elementary education from across the country. The firm’s expertise and proven track record of achieving results for both business and pro-bono clients was used to develop a strategic and operational plan for the Rowe Elementary School. From designing the school strategy and operating plan to supporting preparations for opening the school in September, significant Bain consultant resources have been devoted to ensuring a top-caliber educational experience for all students.

More information about the school and enrollment can be found at



Northwestern University Settlement was founded in January 1891 by leaders of Northwestern University as a separate and financially independent institution. It formally opened its doors at its current location – two miles northwest of the Loop – in 1901. Northwestern University Settlement is the oldest settlement in the city of Chicago to remain in continuous operation, second in age only to Jane Addams Hull-House, and it is one of the few traditional settlement houses remaining in the entire country. The Settlement equips its neighbors with the tools they need to succeed through a program based upon the concept of individual and family self-help, and the underlying philosophy that every person deserves to maximize his or her potential to become a productive member of society. 

Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with nearly $19 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to 485,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.

Bain & Company is a global business consulting firm dedicated to helping to make companies more valuable. Their clients have historically outperformed the stock market by 4:1.  Bain was founded in 1973 on the principle that consultants should deliver results - not just reports - to their clients. Since then they have worked for over 4,150 clients in virtually every industry.