Skip to main content

New Middle School Planning to Open in Greater Lawndale

New Middle School Will Host Information Meetings for Parents and Students in November 

Chicago, IL (November 1, 2012) - Altus Academy is a new private, non-profit, college prep middle school. Altus will welcome its inaugural class of 5th grade boys on August 7, 2013.  School leaders will host information sessions at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Youth Center (3600 W. Cermak Rd., Chicago, IL 60623) on Thursday, November 15 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, November 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. for interested families.

College preparation should start in middle school, according to educators. At this age, boys and girls begin selecting future careers and shaping their future lives. By attending Altus Academy, Latino and African-American students from our neighborhoods will acquire a solid academic foundation and the character needed to succeed in selective high schools, college, and their adult lives.  Both school and family support are essential, so families will be included in Altus’ programs.  

“Our approach provides scholarships and a comprehensive suite of full-time school and supplemental support programs such as long-term mentoring, tutoring, and after-school and weekend activities for students and their families. Altus will foster strong character development in an educational culture that learns, values and practices human virtue, and that provides excellent academic preparation that will allow students and families to have a choice of the college prep high schools best suited to them,” says Altus founder and President Dr. John Heybach.

Altus Academy is partnering with Northern Illinois University (NIU) to develop curriculum and support programs that will help students gain 21st century learning skills.  "Our partnership with Altus presents excellent opportunities for NIU faculty to support the design and operation of an inner city college prep middle school and for NIU students to practice the art of teaching at a high quality site serving the greater Lawndale neighborhoods," says Dr. John Peters, President of NIU.

Dr. Jorge Pena, Academic Dean of the Altus Academy explains that “Our educational model is unique because it provides to students a rigorous, project-based learning middle school curriculum in single-gender classroom environments with academic support, co-curricular activities, and character development to ensure that our students are prepared to excel and succeed in high school and college.”

“At the core of the mission of Altus is to not only equip our families with academic preparation, but through our pedagogy of social justice practice, to inspire them to be agents of social change,” says Felipe Mejia, Altus founder and Director of Community Development.

“Our goal is to give these students the tools and inspiration to succeed in life” states Sean Haley, Vice President of Sage Products and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Altus Academy.

 Visit us at 

For Further Information, Contact:

John Heybach, PhD, President

Altus Academy - 773 281 9170 or

Altus Academy is registered as a non-profit corporation in the State of Illinois and as a Charitable Organization with the Illinois Attorney General Charitable Trust Bureau and is a tax-exempt public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Altus Academy admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.

Posted in Schools and Education

This is your portal

This portal is owned by you, the Pilsen community. Your stories bring it alive.

We want to hear from you. Share your news tips, events, and get listed in the directory for free.

Tell a friend. Get them to help too!

Stay connected

Stay up to date with the latest news and events around Pilsen: