Located on Chicago’s Near West Side, The Hope Learning Academy is a unique partnership between Hope and Chicago Public Schools. Opened in September 2009, this K-5 elementary school is a place where children receive an individualized education suited to their specific needs and where diverse learners with a variety of learning styles all are given the skills to succeed.

Fast Facts
• Opened in 2009 with grades K-3
• Currently serving grades K-5
• 250,000 square feet of bright classroom space in a completely updated physical plant
• Fully-staffed library
• Learning garden
• Chicago Blackhawk sensory gym
• Community health center serving students and their families
• Full-time clinical staff including speech therapists, social workers, applied behavioral analysts, nurses and occupational therapists
• Outstanding after-school programming



Vision and Mission


The mission of The Hope Learning Academy is to create a learning environment that supports students to achieve optimally, regardless of socioeconomic background, learning style, or disability.


The vision of The Hope Learning Academy is to create a demonstration school that serves to change the way that children are educated in Chicago by the responsible inclusion of diverse learners within the general education classroom.

Academic Leadership


Mr. Michael T. Jakubowski has distinguished himself as an intercollegiate athlete and as an educator. He has worked with Hope children since 2010. Mr. Jakubowski started his teachering career on the Northwest side of Chicago at Dirksen Elementary where he taught fourth grade for five years. Mr. Jakubowski came to HILA in 2010 as a second grade teacher. He worked for two years as an educator and is currently in his second year as Principal. Mr. Jakubowski feels that HILA provides a unique opportunity for all students to truly learn about differences, strengths, and challenges. This is something that will influence students’ choices and attitudes for their entire lives. HILA’s inclusive educational program changes cultures and communities.

Mr. Jakubowski completed his undergraduate education in Elementary Education at Bradley University, where he served for two years as captain of the Bradley Braves baseball team. He completed his master’s degree in educational leadership at the American College of Education in Chicago and holds an Illinois Type 75 Administrative Leadership Certificate. Mr. Jakubowski is a member of the Chicago Principal’s Association, and the International Reading Association.

Throughout his career, Mr. Jakubowski has demonstrated his ability to bring about improvements in student learning. HILA has increased its overall performance policy rating between 2011-12 and 2013-14 by 42.3 points, from 16.7% of possible points to 59.0% of points. Mr. Jakubowski’s collaborative leadership style allows HILA staff and families to have a voice. On the Chicago Public School ‘My School, My Voice’ Parent Survey (2012), families stated that they would highly recommend HILA to another family (8.5 out of 10 possible points). The school’s “Making Reasonable Progress” designation was driven by increases in the school’s ISAT Reading and Science scores. In 2011-12, 26.7% of students scored “Meets” or “Exceeds” (% M/E) in Reading, 20.0% M/E in Math, 52.2% M/E in Science; in 2012-13, 32.6% M/E in Reading (an increase of 5.9 percentage points (ppts) 19.6% M/E in Math (a decrease of 0.4 ppts), and 65.2% M/E in Science (an increase of 13.0 ppts).

Mr. Jakubowski ensures all teachers follow The “Workshop Model” framework. The Workshop Model references HILA’s belief that students must spend the vast majority of time as active learners. HILA teachers develop strong routines in the classroom that lead students toward effective independence. They teach skills and introduce concepts in directed mini-lessons, provide meaningful work and activities, and then serve as facilitators for students as they actively produce. The Workshop Model asks students to be creators and responsible actors in their own learning and understanding. Through a workshop model, students are consciously engaged in their work. Teachers actively work with students individually or in small groups, assess student understanding and learning in real-time, and provide individualized meaningful supports. The model has allowed teachers to spend more time working with small groups of students; therefore providing intensive instruction and intervention when needed.

Mr. Jakubowski challenges HILA students to develop as civic leaders that contribute to the greater good of society. He aims to ensure each child is prepared for college and career. His current goal is to get the district’s approval to expand HILA’s K-5 program to a K-8 program, and achieve a Level 1 status within the Chicago Public School system.

Assistant Principal

Mr. David Quanz is excited to be able to work with the students and families during his 2nd year as the Assistant Principal. Mr. Quanz served at HILA as the library/media specialist and technology coordinator during the 2010/2011 school year. His experiences in developing proactive, positive behavior support strategies will enable each child to succeed. By overseeing the implementation of these strategies, Mr. Quanz continues to work to reduce misbehavior and increase academic engagement, resulting in improved student achievement. He excels at building collaborative relationships with all stakeholders to promote student growth. Mr. Quanz has been recognized for his ability to support learning in a variety of instructional settings using best practices to support student achievement at all levels.

Mr. Quanz holds a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from St. John Fisher College and a M.S. degree in Educational Technology from Nazareth College, both in Rochester, NY. Upon moving to Chicago, he completed an Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision at National Louis University in Chicago.

Special Education Coordinator

Ms. Laura Tye has been with The Hope Institute Learning Academy since December 2009. As the Special Education Coordinator, she facilitates writing and implementing high-quality learning plans for our students that support our inclusion model. Through observation and analysis of data, she ensures that plans are implemented with fidelity. She supports the teachers, paraprofessionals and related services staff in providing the highest quality services to all students by providing professional development, coaching and mentoring.

Mrs. Tye has been a special educator in Chicago for 15 years. After a successful career in the computer field, she completed her Master of Arts degree in Special Education at Northeastern Illinois University and became a special education teacher in the Chicago Public Schools in 1996. Her experience at a CPS elementary school and a therapeutic day school provides her with a wide range of expertise which she brought to HILA in 2009 as Case Manager. She has been recognized throughout her career for her ability to engage families to support student success. Because of her performance in ensuring compliance, collaborating with departments at CPS and the ability to demonstrate success using data, she has been asked by CPS to mentor some of their case managers.

Mrs. Tye is committed to the inclusion model at HILA and the benefits it provides to all students. Through participation on the multi-tiered support system team, she uses her unique experience to ensure that every HILA student is provided the tools to reach their highest potential.

Behavior Analyst

Ms. Megan Morien has been with The Hope Institute Learning Academy since opening in 2009 and has served as the Behavior Analyst since August 2010. Mrs. Morien assists the Highly Supported classrooms with ABA programming, implementing evidence-based interventions and providing support to the inclusion model. She also leads Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), coordinates the behavior component of the multi-tiered support system and provides supervision to graduate students studying Applied Behavior Analysis.

Mrs. Morien has educated students with autism and other disabilities for over 12 years. She completed her undergraduate degrees at Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development in 2005. After years of providing in-home ABA therapy for children with autism, teaching in classrooms and working as a Behavior Specialist in multiple school settings, Mrs. Morien continued her education. She completed her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2010.

Mrs. Morien strives to promote pro-social behavior and create a safe and trustworthy environment for all students at HILA. She has had the opportunity to coach teachers and paraprofessionals on individualized behavior plans, make data based decisions, and provide high rates of praise to create an enriched learning environment. Teaching students, watching them grow and collaborating with families and the excellent teaching staff at HILA has proven to be a truly rewarding experience for Mrs. Morien.

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