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Office of Innovation & Incubation

The Office of Innovation & Incubation (I&I) provides incubation, management, and oversight of charter, contract, and alternative schools as options for CPS students and families. This department also leads the district’s Academic RFP process, which provides school communities across the city with access to highly demanded programs.

Office of Innovation & Incubation


42 W. Madison St., 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

We oversee a portfolio of 129 schools and programs, including charter school campuses, contract schools, Alternative Learning Opportunities Programs (ALOP) and SAFE Schools, which together educate well over 60,000 students. The Office of Innovation & Incubation’s work is aligned with NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing, a set of national best practice standards for authorizers to open and sustain high-quality schools.

Options Schools include ALOP programs and SAFE Schools, but also certain charter and contract schools.

This Office is responsible for:

  • Authorizing and supporting a diverse set of schools
  • Evaluating new school proposals and charter and contract school renewals
  • Overseeing the incubation process for new district neighborhood, charter, and contract schools
  • Identifying and sharing innovative models and promising practices across the district
  • Leading the Academic Program RFP Process, to identify areas of academic need and provide opportunities in district schools for additional academic investment through a transparent and equitable process.