Elizabeth Purvis
Elizabeth Purvis

Adjunct Lecturer of Social Enterprise

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Dr. Elizabeth Purvis, Ed.D., CEO of Chicago International Charter School, came to CICS in March 2003 with more than 15 years experience working with children with disabilities and their families. After completing her doctoral degree in 1997, Dr. Purvis was a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago where her work focused on research and personnel preparation in urban education.

Under the leadership of Dr. Purvis, Chicago International has added nine campuses and more than 6,000 students. In addition, the organization successfully designed and implemented a performance evaluation system that resulted in significantly improved student outcomes and continued financial efficiency. As of the 2012-2013 school year, students at a Chicago International campus open for three or more years are performing at or above the level of their more privileged peers. Chicago International high school campuses are among the top performing in the city in terms of student gains, graduation rate, and college placement.

Dr. Purvis currently serves on the boards of the Illinois Network of Charter School and the Illinois State Advisory Council to the Illinois State Board of Education. Previously she served on Charter Review and Evaluation committees for Chicago Public Schools; was President of the Illinois Division of Early Childhood, 2003-2004; and was an Executive Board Member of the Illinois Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Purvis has served on the editorial review board of two peer-reviewed professional journals, has published and presented numerous papers, and been awarded various grants in her field. She recently completed the prestigious Broad Superintendents Academy.

Dr. Purvis earned her B.S. in educational research from Bucknell University, her M.A. in special education from Teachers College at Columbia University, and her EdD in special education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children.

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Ph.D., 1997, Education, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
Master of Arts, 1988, Blindness and Visual Impairment, Early Childhood Special Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Bachelor of Science, 1987, Educational Research and Elementary Education, Bucknell University

Academic Positions
Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998-2003

Other Professional Experience
Chief Executive Officer, Chicago International Charter School, 2003-present
Associate Director, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998-2003
Early Childhood Special Educator, Tennessee’s Early Intervention System, 1995-1998
Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Montgomery County Public Schools, 1988-1993

Print Research
Purvis, Elizabeth, K. K. Wong and F. X. Shen. 2010. Resource Allocation & Performance Management in Charter Schools: Connections to Student Success.
Purvis, Elizabeth, T. B. Hancock and A. P. Kaiser. 2003. Teaching parents of preschoolers at High Risk: Strategies to Support Language and Positive Behavior. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 22(4): 191-212.
Purvis, Elizabeth. 2001. The effects of teaching parents blended communication and behavior support strategies. Behavioral Disorders. 26(2): 93-116.
Purvis, Elizabeth. 2001. Including Young Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Education Programs: The Administrator’s Role. Young Children. 56(5): 66-71.
Purvis, Elizabeth and A. P. Kaiser. 1996. The Effects of Poverty on Parenting Young Children. The Peabody Journal of Special Education. 71: 66-85.
Book Chapters
Purvis, Elizabeth and A. P. Kaiser. 2001. "Responsive Conversations Between Teachers and Children: Creating Opportunities Naturalistic Teaching." In Teaching strategies: What to do to support young children’s development, edited by S. Sandall, M. Ostrosky, Longmont, CO: Sopris West.
Purvis, Elizabeth, A. P. Kaiser, J. Tapp, N. Solomon, S. S. Ezell, P. P. Hester and T. B. Hancock. 2000. Behavioral observation: Technology and applications in developmental disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

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