School Highlight: Pope Francis Global Academy, Chicago, Illinois

Pope Francis Global Academy is one of only two in the United States named for our current Pope. It’s located in Chicago, Illinois, with two campuses. Here’s some of their history and what makes them noteworthy.

Brief history of the school:

Pope Francis Global Academy opened its doors in August of the current school year as a regional Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Chicago. Pope Francis Global Academy is the transformation of four founding school communities into one faith-filled academic center of excellence on two campuses. Between the two campuses, we currently serve more than 520 students, Pre-K through eighth grade with a rigorous curriculum delivered through a global lens.

Situated on the northwest side of Chicago, our school is one of only 2 in the United States named for our current Pontiff and was founded on a Spiritual Charter written specifically to mirror the values and teachings of Pope Francis himself. The six major tenets of our Spiritual Charter are used as day-to-day guideposts for our students, teachers, and administrators:

  1. Encounter the Living Christ
  2. Go to God Together
  3. Follow the Catholic Way of Life
  4. Meet Christ in Prayer and Worship
  5. Be Committed Disciples of Christ
  6. Be Citizens of the World

School motto:

Our motto, “Inspiriting a Mindful Global Consciousness” reflects our purpose … producing students that embody the virtues of good citizenship, social responsibility, and compassion for all. In a city as large and diverse as Chicago, students need not wait until they “grow up” to be inspired by these words. They’re given the opportunity to put these words into action regularly.

Pre k south smiling teacher

What makes your school special? What is the best thing about being part of your school community?

Our teachers are amazing and make our school special. They have enjoyed (endured!) an inordinate number of hours of professional training over the last year, as so much of the curriculum is new. Eureka Math, School-wide ELA, and Responsive Classroom are just some of the training programs they’ve taken, and they continue to expand their knowledge base on these programs and more.   

Teachers, students, administrators, and parents recognize the unique situation we are in offering something completely new. We’re all excited to be a part of something fresh and innovative. People are approaching this inaugural year with an open mind, and that leads to the belief that there are endless possibilities here at Pope Francis.

What programs has your school held in the last year? Tell us a bit about them.

One of the new Global Initiatives we are very excited about is a partnership with Maryknoll’s Missionary Discipleship Institute (MDI). From their website*: “This is a year-long 3-part faith and outreach experience for our seventh graders which provides a framework for students to encounter the lives of their neighbors on the margins and gain awareness of injustices that they face; reflect on how the Church is responding in love and the disturbance this creates in our own sense of discipleship; and discern, develop, and execute a missionary service response.” Developed in Seattle, we are their pilot Chicago-based school.

5th north laughing in hallway

In addition to academic and service-learning programs, as a new school formed from four existing schools, we’ve spent a good deal of time this year building community. We have a new mascot, the Wolf (taken from the St. Francis Wolf of Gubbio story … St. Francis is the patron of Pope Francis) as well as new sports teams that incorporate kids from both campuses. We have an extremely active Parents’ Club, as well, who have planned programs to bring the students from the two campuses together, such as a Secret Santa Workshop going on this week. Our Transition Year task force also organized outings and social gatherings to bring all of our families together throughout the last year.

You can visit the MDI website here.

School information:

Pope Francis Global Academy

North Campus:
6040 West Ardmore
Chicago, IL 60646
(773) 763-7080   

South Campus:
6143 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 736-8806