School-within-a-school: A group of teachers within a school who organize around a curricular focus and serve the same group of students each year. At two large elementary schools, Phillip Sheridan and Piccolo, most faculty members and students are grouped into small schools; Sheridan has 12, and Piccolo now has four. Elementary schools that have only one small school- within-a-school are Esmond Elementary (Mae Jemison), Mozart Elementary (Mozart Middle), Healy Elementary (New Millennium), Spry Elementary (Peace School), Eli Whitney (SCOPE) and Nash Elementary (Transitions).
Multiplex: Several teacher-led small schools that operate inside a single facility and under the legal umbrella of a shared principal. The Cregier Multiplex houses three small schools: Best Practice High, Foundations Elementary and Nia Middle.
Scatterplex: Several schools that operate in different facilities but under the legal umbrella of a shared principal. Ariel Community Academy, located in Kennicott Park fieldhouse, and Woodlawn Community Academy, located in Wadsworth Elementary, form the city’s only scatterplex.
Charter school: Typically but not always small, a charter school operates under a contract with the Reform Board but is free of most city and state regulations.
Source: CPS, The Chicago Panel Initiative Status Report on Small Schools