The mission of Erie Elementary Charter School (EECS) is to nurture and empower students to successfully and productively engage in the local community and broader society. EECS is a community where students, parents and educators work together to develop children who are confident in their culture and ethnic origin, bi-literate in Spanish and English, achieve academic excellence and are firmly placed on a path to higher education.

Curriculum and Programs

Habits of Work, Mind and Heart

At EECS, we work to develop children who are not only good students, but good people. This core philosophy drives all programming and focuses all of the activities at EECS. The “Habits” framework creates a culture characterized by leadership, ethics and responsible interactions in a safe and nurturing environment. They are meant to foster, in each of our students, the desire to work hard to be their best, know how to think, not what to think, and to do the right thing.

  • Habits of Work: Organization, Collaboration, Revision, Focus and Punctuality
  • Habits of Heart: Respect, Perserverance, Nonviolence, Confidence and Communication
  • Habits of Mind: Evidence, Curiosity, Open-Mindedness, Relevance, Viewpoint and Reflection

The “Habits” are integrated into the curriculum, classroom management, teacher-student relationships and family participation.


At EECS, students stay with the same teacher for two years to allow for stronger partnerships between students, teachers and parents. Keeping students and teachers together creates more meaningful relationships and contributes to a sense of comfort in the classroom, which ultimately has a positive impact on student achievement.



Socio-Emotional Learning Development (SELD) Program

To respond to the needs of every child, we have crafted a comprehensive program to support the social and emotional development of every EECS student. We believe that a child who has socio-emotional issues will face considerable difficulties in their academic life as well—if a child feels isolated or scared, he or she will have trouble building relationships and taking appropriate risks, and will face obstacles in the classroom.


Academic Curriculum

Responsive Classroom

The following principles guide teachers everyday in the classroom:

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs during social interaction
  • There is a specific set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful academically and socially: Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and Self-Control (CARES)
  • Knowing the children we teach--individually, culturally and developmentally--is as important as knowing the content we teach
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach
  • How we, the adults at the school, work together is as important as our individual competence.

Dual Language

The dual language program is new in the 2009-2010 school year. Beginning with one kindergarten and one first grade classroom this year, the program will add a grade level each year, through 8th grade.

The goal of the dual language program is to develop bi-literate students--children who can read, write and speak in both Spanish and English by the time they reach 8th grade.

In dual language classrooms, half of the student are English-dominant and half are Spanish-dominant and serve as language models for one another.

In the dual language kindergarten, 80% of instruction is in Spanish. Literacy is taught in the child's native language, while Math, Science and Social Studies are taught in Spanish. This balance gradually shifts, so that by 5th grade, instruction is 50% in English and 50% in Spanish.

So why dual language? Students learning a second language:

  • Learn to embrace other cultures and appreciate differences in others
  • Are better prepared for advanced courses in high school and college
  • Have a foundation for learning more languages
  • Have higher employment opportunities as adults
  • Have access to broader knowledge and information

For more information, or if you would like to enroll your child, please contact Principal Velia Soto at vsoto@eriecharterschool.org or (773) 486-7161.


A balanced literacy program is fundamental to the teaching/learning at EECS.  All classrooms beginning in kindergarten use the Making Meaning and Being a Writer programs, both developed by the Developmental Studies Center, which focus on comprehension strategies and various writing techniques. Teachers also incorporate guided reading, read aloud, word study, shared reading, independent reading, and independent writing throughout the balanced literacy block.

Math & Science

All grades use the Math Trailblazers curriculum and the FOSS science curriculum.


All kindergarten through third grade students are given the STEP (strategic teaching evaluation program) assessment, three times a year to measure growth in literacy concepts.  Fourth and fifth grade students are given the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) throughout the school year to measure literacy growth.  Beginning in the third grade, students will take the required state standardized test.  

Report Cards

Report cards are distributed 3 times a year. The fall and winter report cards require a parent teacher conference at the end of the trimester; the final report card is sent home on the last day of the school year.  All report cards are based on the Illinois Learning Standards.  Kindergarten through second grade report cards are developmentally appropriate, track a student’s progress and strengths across subject areas and indicate performance indicators for each subject area.  Letter grades are not given.  Third grade through fifth grade report cards give a standards grade for standards under each grade level as well as performance skill indicators.