Alain Locke Charter School, founded by brothers and former teachers Pat and Rob Ryan, opened its doors in September 1999 to provide world class educational opportunities for children in high poverty, high crime areas where traditional public schools fail most. Named after the first African American Rhodes Scholar, Alain Locke is guided by the principle of absolute excellence and dedicated to producing globally competitive students.


The mission of Alain Locke Charter School is to serve as a demonstration for urban charter schools by exemplifying excellence in academics, the arts and personal and social development. In doing so, Alain Locke produces students who are globally competitive.

Alain Locke Charter School is one of the country’s most high-performing charter schools. Since 2006, it has been named a Spotlight School by the Illinois State Board of Education, a distinction which is given to schools serving a population of at least 50% low-income students with 85% passing state reading and mathematics tests. In 2007, the school was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as 1 of 7 schools in the United States “Best Closing the Achievement Gap.” This recognition was earned by having Alain Locke Charter School’s students achieve the greatest test score gains in Chicago in the history of Illinois’s State Achievement Test (ISAT). During the 2012-2013 academic year, the ISAT, along with standardized tests throughout the country, incorporated Common Core questions into their testing. While scores dropped nationally, Alain Locke continued to see growth, even with the more challenging test.

Alain Locke Charter School is part of Accelerate Institute, which maintains the singular focus of closing the education gap by creating high-impact school leaders who accelerate student achievement. Alain Locke is one of  four innovative programs: The Ryan Fellowship, which identifies and selects the most highly qualified educators, and prepares them through a yearlong fellowship to become transformational leaders for urban charter schools nationwide; The Accelerator, which trains sitting principals alongside Ryan Fellows; The Ryan Award, a national award recognizing principals who have accelerated the results of underserved students to create high-performing schools; and Alain Locke Charter School. To learn more about Accelerate Institute, please visit accelerateinstitute.org.


Important information before you begin

Please note: Admission to Alain Locke is by blind lottery. Filling out an application does not ensure admission.

Download the LOTTERY APPLICATION FORM 2018-2019 School Year here.

  • Forms must be received by Friday, April 20, 2018 at noon/12:00pm to be entered into the lottery. Parent and students must be residents of Chicago. Lottery drawing will be held on Friday, April 27, 2018.
  • Those applying for Pre-Kindergarten must be 4 years old by September 1, 2018. Those applying for Kindergarten must be 5 years old by September 1, 2018.
  • School Hours are 8:00am-4:00pm, Monday through Thursday. All Students are dismissed at 1:00pm on Friday.
  • After the lottery, enrollment forms are added to the waitlist or offered a seat on a first come, first served basis. Only the applicants eligible to fill the next openings are contacted by phone.
  • 2018-2019 School Year begins Monday, July 16, 2018.

Leadership Team

Patrick Love


Vonyell Foster

Dean of Students & Operations

Jeannette Porter

School Manager

Marisa Matthews

Higher Education Counselor

Board of Directors

Claire Hartfield


Nora Ligurotis

Chief Executive Officer, Accelerate Institute


Pat Ryan, Jr.

Founder, Accelerate Institute
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, INCISENT Technologies

Susie Cummings

Vice President
SWC Technology Partners

Nosa Ehimwenman

President and CEO
The Bowa Group Inc. | Bowa Construction

Robert Horne

Dodge Capital

Laura Hulce

Jenner & Block

John (Tiny) McLaughlin

Vice President, Social Infrastructure

Jim Palos

Executive Director
Hyde Park Institute

Steve Perlman

Marketing Director
The Marketing Store

Brad Sullivan

Managing Member
Broken Dice Trading & Research

Rob Ryan (Advisory Director)

Executive Vice President
Interactive Metronome

Associate Board

Shianne Baggett

Spark Foundry

Tchalla Brown

Northeastern Illinois University

Sarah Cole

United Health Group

Connor Gifford


Martin Hunter

Wells Fargo

Andrew Kenger

McKinsey & Company

Matt Ligurotis

Chicago Financial Planning Group

Daniel Rosenstein

Computer Science Teacher’s Association

Andrea Simari

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Reily Sullivan

The Bank of New York Mellon