Our History

The History of Rowe

Northwestern Settlement has operated community programs in arts, education, and social services for Chicago’s West Town residents for more than 125 years. In 2008, the Chicago-based Renaissance Schools Fund helped partner Northwestern Settlement with Bain & Company, a global business and financial consulting firm with a deep interest in actively participating in public education reform. The two organizations joined forces to create a new contract grammar school campus based on intensive research and national best practices.

In 2009, the John Rowe family and Exelon Corporation joined the team, adding to the financial and operational strength of the newly named Rowe Elementary School, which opened at the Cleaver location.

In 2014, Rowe Middle School opened.

Rowe’s first class graduated in 2016. 100% of scholars were accepted to high performing high schools, including some of the most elite schools in the country such as Walter Payton, Whitney Young, Lane Tech, Jones, St. Ignatius and St. Andrews in Delaware. This year also marks the completion of the new expansion to the Rowe Middle School building.

Today, over 150 Rowe Alumni are enrolled in 50 different high performing college prep schools across the country.

Meet The Rowes

Rowe Elementary School is named in honor of the Rowe family – John, the Chairman Emeritus of Exelon Corporation, his wife Jeanne, and their son Bill, an attorney. The Rowes have long supported education reform in Chicago, to provide students from low-income backgrounds in Chicago with access to an education that goes far beyond the norm, helping to ensure a future of hope and opportunity. By naming Rowe Elementary School, they cast their vote along with Mayor Emanuel and the education reformers from across the country who believe that public charter schools bring choice and opportunity to disadvantaged families and that a brighter future is possible when children receive the level of education and support that they both need and deserve.

The Rowe family prioritizes providing minority students from low-income backgrounds in Chicago with access to high quality education, helping to ensure a future of hope and opportunity. Additionally, the Rowe family is key partner who shows a remarkable willingness to commit their time, energy and resources to helping Rowe Elementary School reach its goal of becoming the best charter grammar school in the city, supporting over 1000 scholars each year as they journey toward college and beyond.

Rowe Today

There are many factors that go into a school being an exemplary school –specifically, Effective Leaders, Collaborative Teachers, Ambitious Instruction, Involved Families, and Having AA Supportive Environment.

Rowe continues to build strong, trusting, and respectful relationships with scholars, parents and the community; and we’ll achieve set goals by continuing to make sure that every child at Rowe has an excellent teacher in front of them every single day.

Our scholars are passionate and motivated, continously striving for sucess. Their academics skills and determination has opened doors for them to enroll in high performing high schools including Walter Payton, Whitney Young, Lane Tech, Latin School of Chicago, among others.