Frederick Reilly Elementary School, Chicago Public Schools


Reilly Elementary School is a public school located in Chicago, IL. It has a preschool, elementary, and Middle school in the City of Chicago School District 299. It serves approximately 1130 students with 95% Hispanic and 97% Free and Reduced Lunch.

The school leaders and faculty invited Illinois21 to help them increase communication skills as well as reading and math skills by bringing high engagement PBI to all students.

The leaders and faculty at Frederick Reilly spent a year adding MindQuest21’s project-based-inquiry to its instructional methodology. After its initial 4 day summer workshop and a year of monthly grade level team planning conferences, each team had collaborated in planning and implementing at least one PBI unit. In June, the faculty spent one final professional development day in a PBL Gallery Walk. In this half-day session, each team presented its project to the whole faculty. Other teams asked questions, took notes, and discussed “how did it go?”

Our Goals

  • Learn how to collaborate as grade level teams in the design of PBL units which would engage our students and help us close their achievement gaps.
  • Create one or more PBL units for our grade level curricula with an emphasis on writing and speaking to strengthen our students’ English Language Learning as well as the 4Cs.


Following a one- hands-on summer workshops, all teachers and administrators met once per week in grade level teams during common planning periods. Once per month, the ILC21 team worked with the teams to develop their PBL units. As each team finished its unit, including gathering the materials and equipment they would need for interdisciplinary studies, they brought it to their classrooms. ILC21 consultants visited the classrooms, observed the units in action and gave feedback. At the end of the year, IlC21 scheduled a Gallery Walk with guiding questions. Teacher teams moved from station to station in the walk with their questions. After a complete rotation, the teams met and discussed what they had learned.

  • Spring: Illinois21, Reilly administration and grade level leaders prepared a plan action implementing Project-Based_Inquiry in every classroom.
  • Summer: 4 day workshop with teachers and administration. Learn how to design Project Based Inquiry units and make plan to introduce them into the classrooms.
  • Fall: Two days per month for onsite coaching. Illinios21 consultants visited classrooms and conferenced one class period per team with follow-up feedback to school administration.
  • Fall: Institute day for added input re PBI. Peer coaching meetings started and consultant coaching days continue. .
  • Spring: Teams prepare for Gallery Walk with guiding questions template
  • Spring: Gallery Walk and final report.