Parents testify in support of district schools at 5/27/15 BOE meeting

Testimony from Roberta Salas, LSC Chair for Murphy Elementary

I was going to list to you all the wonderful things that are happening at Murphy, my neighborhood school with a Level 1+ rating, but instead, I’ve just made copies of it because I don’t have enough time. (I distributed a double sided sheet listing great things happening at the school.)

Small magical moments are happening every day at neighborhood district run schools.

My kids will walk those couple of blocks to their neighborhood school, seeing the other kids as they leave their houses to walk to meet in the same place. 

Our principal, who has spent the last 20 years at the school and who just a couple of weeks ago was awarded her PhD, setting an example to all her students that learning never ends, will greet each of them by name.

Our band will play on because the local community organization came to its rescue and donated the needed funds. 

Our teachers will continue to provide art and coding and math and social skills by using their hard earned experience in teaching and grant writing to fund what CPS cannot or will not. 

Neighborhood public education will survive by natural selection.

This isn’t about pension funding or CTU contracts or toxic whatever swaps. 

This is about how kids and parents and families and neighbors and community members gather to make sure that our local neighborhood district run school is there for our kids and the future kids. 

There is no assessment that will measure the resilience of a community dedicated to doing what they know in their hearts is right and that is why neighborhood district run public education survives now and will survive in the future. 

There are great things happening in the neighborhood schools all over Chicago.  I only hope that you can see what we see. 

Thank you.

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Testimony from Teria Stamitis, PTO President at  LaSalle 2

Hello, My name is Teria Stamatis and I am the parent of a LaSalle 2 Magnate Language Acadamy student…a district run school where I serve as the President of thePTO and it is my pleasure to provide this board with a parent’s perspective on the great things happening at this Chicago Public School.

This school is only 6 years old, yet LaSalle 2 has emerged as a Level 1 school . With Ms. Wang at the head of our Chinese program our students regularly achieve highest marks on the Chinese Government’s proficiency tests.  Our students have travelled to Chile and will be going to Madrid and China this summer.  We have in turn hosted students from France and Spain.  Our parents are so enthusiastic about our language program that on our own initiative have joined other parents at LaSalle, Jackson and Murray to encourage this board to open a district run Language Magnate High so that children with 9 years of daily language instruction have an opportunity to build on those skills in H.S. I am presenting a letter from the co-chair of our committee for your information.

Our language students recently went to the State Science competition under the guidance of our amazing Science teacher Mr. Taff , our newly formed Athletic department has been in championship games already in just the first year of our program.

Our LSC recently selected Ms. Lauren Albani to be our new principal, and this dynamic leader has set about improving our school culture, focusing on the middle school…but despite her efforts I am sad to report that I personally know 8 families that are leaving Chicago  in the middle school years because the High School selection process is so nerve raking for families.  Hence the parent motivated push for a language H.S.  Parents at this school have raised funds and completely renovated our campus.  We have raised $35,000 towards our next initiative-a livable cafeteria.  Many of our district schools have great need for basic infrastructure improvements-even our flagship magnate schools.  At this time of fiscal crisis, and in the wake of 50 closed schools, I urge this board to conserve our taxpayer dollars by improving the district run facilities and putting a moratorium on charter expansion.

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