Friday, June 15, 2007
Unfortunately, the meeting was postponed due to the evacuation of fire code violations at 2435 N. Western. The PTO is currently looking for a location where we can hold meetings for the community.
The PTO will hold a meeting for the parents within the following week and will keep you informed about the location and time at www.aspirapto.blogspot.com
Salvador Díaz- PTO President
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
An Open Faculty Letter to Aspira Board Members:
The faculty of Mirta Ramirez Computer Science Charter School is committed to continuing to build a model of educational and leadership excellence for our community. We are proud of the fact that, in 2005, our students were ranked as the #1 most improved in CPS. Based on our PSAE scores of our first graduating class of 2006-2007, our school ranked 13th out of 80 CPS non-selective schools. Most importantly, we are proud that nearly 100% of our first graduating class has been accepted to two- or four-year colleges. We hope that our high standards have equipped them to continue their successes while attending college.
Our united faculty has developed an educational leadership model based upon Aspira’s mission – “commitment to the self-determination of Latinos through education, leadership development and cultural awareness” -- by developing a personalized, project-based curriculum with a common intellectual mission that bridges the digital divide. The foundation of our school’s success is a united faculty that has always worked relentlessly to build upon our successes while striving for constant improvement. We are ready to continue that work next year and for many years to come.
To make next year successful, we urge the Aspira Board of Directors to meet with the Mirta Ramirez PTO to work out an Agreement for Success. Our community – teachers, students, parents -- is depending on you.
Manuel Avila Christine Bobowski Liz Brown Dianne Daleiden
Bernardo Juarez Cameron Louis Bernadette Medina Jose Morales
Patricia Munoz Jacqueline Sanchez Paul Shafer Ashley Sinnott
Words by Mirta Ramírez, founder of Aspira of Illinois, to the Assembly of the Mirta Ramírez Computer Science Charter School
The staff of this school, faculty, parents and students under the leadership of Mrs. Patricia Muñoz have worked hard and with commitment during 4 years to develop a learning model with the vision of attaining excellence for all. They have a lot to accomplish yet. The passion for achieving excellence for all requires a constant effort. The effort has demonstrated that “yes, we can”: 78 out of 79 graduates of the first graduating class in this building walk firmly towards different universities and we know they will succeed. Aspira was not created in New York as an intellectual exercise, but because there was a need for our youth to be respected, to build their self-esteem so they could be valued as the dignified human beings they are. Also in Chicago, it was founded because here, as in other States of this nation, this need exists. Following its principles and ideals Aspira of Illinois initiates a new phase of direct intervention to improve our youth’s education through the “charter school movement”.
Now I find that there is uncertainty, mistrust and lack of communication at all levels. That we have to vacate this building because the Fire Department is demanding it and that the enrollment of this school will be reduced, endangering the mission not only of Aspira, but of the school. I have the bad feeling that the Mirta Ramirez School could be victim of a disproportionate reaction to an apparent lack of planning which foreshadows situations like the ones that exist today. Furthermore, I cannot accept that a bureaucracy is being built which seems more like a caricature of the failed Chicago Public School system.
With all due respect to Mrs. Sanchez, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and to Mr. Rodriguez, Aspira of Illinois’ CEO, I ask you to start the dialogue and to honor your word by fulfilling the promise of these four (4) years that the Mirta Ramirez School have its own building. And this is very simple: postpone the start of the Aspira Early College and locate the Mirta Ramirez School with its full enrollment of 350 students in the building just rebuilt at Pulaski and Belmont. If I am here tonight is in defense of my name. And to be sure that Aspira does not stray away from its mission, principles and integrity. My solidarity is with the community in this school, faculty, students, parents and support staff.
Palabras por Mirta Ramírez, fundadora de Aspira de Illinois, a la Reunión de la Organización de Padres y Maestros de la Escuela Mirta Ramírez
El equipo de trabajo de esta escuela, la facultad, los padres y los estudiantes bajo el liderato de la Sra. Patricia Muñoz ha trabajado arduamente y con compromiso por 4 años para desarrollar un modelo de enseñanza con la visión de lograr la excelencia para todos. Todavía les queda mucho por hacer. La pasión por la búsqueda de la excelencia para todos require esfuerzo constante.
El esfuerzo a demostrado que sí se puede: 78 de los 79 graduandos de la primera clase graduanda en este plantel caminan firmemente hacia diferentes universidades y sabemos que triunfarán.
Aspira no se creó en Nueva York como un ejercicio intelectual, si no porque había la necesidad de que nuestra juventud fuera respetada, de fortalecer su autoestima y de ser valorados como los seres dignos que son. Tambien se estableció en Chicago porque aquí como en otros estados de esta nación existe la misma necesidad.
Siguiendo sus principios e ideales Aspira inicia una nueva etapa de intervención directa para mejorar la educación de nuestra juventud por medio de las escuelas “charter”.
Ahora me encuentro con que hay incertidumbre, desconfianza y falta de comunicación en todos los niveles. Que hay que desalojar este lugar por orden del Departamento de Bomberos y que la capacidad de la escuela será reducida poniendo en peligro la misión no solamente de Aspira, si no también de la escuela. Tengo la mala espina que la Escuela Mirta Ramírez pueda ser víctima de una reacción desmedida a una aparente falta de planificación que anticipe situaciones como la que hoy existe. Tampoco puedo percibir que se esté constituyendo una burocracia que parece más una caricatura del fracasado sistema escolar de Chicago.
Con todo respeto a la señora Sánchez, Presidenta de la Junta de Directores y al Sr. Rodríguez, CEO de Aspira de Illinois, les pido que se comience el diálogo y honren su palabra cumpliendo su promesa de estos cuatro años de que la Escuela Mirta Ramírez tenga su edificio. Y la solución es bien fácil: pospongan el comienzo del Early College y ubiquen a la Mirta Ramírez con su matrícula completa de 350 estudiantes en el edificio reconstruído en la Pulaski y Belmont.
Si estoy hoy aquí es en defensa de mi nombre. Y en estar segura de que Aspira no pierda su misión, sus principios y su integridad. Mi solidaridad es con la comunidad de esta escuela, maestros, estudiantes, padres y personal de apoyo.
Friday, June 8, 2007
On Tuesday May 29, 2007, the PTO had its first meeting with Mr. Jose Rodriguez, CEO of Aspira and Ms. Sonia Sanchez, Chairperson of Aspira Board to pose questions and concerns of the students and parents.
On Wednesday May 30, 2007 the PTO provided parents and student with a recap of the previous meeting with Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Sonia Sanchez.
On June 6, 2007 the community and the media attended the first official PTO meeting with Mr. Rodriguez and Ms. Sanchez. The purpose of this meeting was to present five requirements for a successful 2007-2008 school year to the Aspira Board of Directors - The Agreement for Success . On this day copy petitions were sign by the community that agreed with the Agreement of Success.
On June 7, 2007 the Agreement of Success was delivered to the Aspira Board of Directors along with a petition of 39 pages of signatures of parents, students, and staff.
On June 11th, the PTO, the students and parents of Mirta Ramirez Charter School, Sonia Sanchez (Chairperson of Aspira Board, Jose Rodriguez (CEO), and Mary Ravid (CIO) held a meeting with the Alderman Manuel Flores to address the issues with Mooz Elementary School.
Currently, the PTO and MRCSCS are still waiting to negotiate the Agreement of Success with the Aspira Board of Director by June 13, 2007.
Dear Students, Parents, Guardians and ALL Community Members: The staff, faculty, and PTO of Mirta Ramirez sincerely thank all parents and students for your physical and emotional presence at the Wednesday, June 6, 2007 MR(cs)2 PTO meeting. We appreciate and value your support and concern for the future of your children—our students. The meeting, though successful in bringing the community together, ended unresolved. At that meeting on 6/6/07, Mr. Rodriguez suggested we may be able to share space with Moos Elementary School. That is highly unlikely. It is exactly the same failed approach as the past four years’ unsuccessful attempts to share with Chopin and Carpenter elementary schools. Most community members prefer separate elementary and high schools and it is our understanding that the Moos community feels the same. In the words of Mrs. Mirta Ramirez, the Aspira Board should “honor your word by fulfilling the promise of these four years that the Mirta Ramirez School have its own building. And this is very simple: postpone the start of the Aspira Early College and locate the Mirta Ramirez School with its full enrollment of 350 students in the building just rebuilt at Pulaski and Belmont.” The purpose of the 6/6/07 PTO meeting was to make our voices heard and present five requirements for a successful 2007-2008 school year to the Aspira Board of Directors. This Agreement for Success—attached—was delivered to Jose Rodriguez, CEO and the Aspira Board of Directors on 6/7/07 along with 39 pages of petitions signed by students, parents, and teachers. We need Aspira’s attention and cooperation now to get an agreement signed by June 13, 2007. Knowing that you have stood behind us before, can we contact you again to come back to a short-notice meeting or place a call when requested? If so, please sign and check the box below and return this letter to your student’s homeroom teachers on Monday, June 11. We have no time to waste. The time is now. Our PTO must negotiate with the Aspira Board of Directors by June 13.
Again, thank you for your support and good luck to us all!
Salvador Diaz, President
President Rosa Rodriguez, Secretary
Mary Escobar, Vice President
Evelyn Rodriguez, Student Representatives
Chris Escobar, Student Representatives
Camilo Angeles, Secretary
Bernardo Juarez, Sargeant Arms
If you would like more information or have a comment, please don't hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We request that Board officially meet with the PTO to attain a successful arrangement for the future success of MRCSCS. The PTO is willing to meet everyday to attain this goal before June 13th.
Exigimos que la Junta de Directores de Aspira de Illinois se reúna con la Organización de Padres y Maestros de Mirta Ramirez para llegar a un acuerdo razonable para el éxito futuro de la Escuela Mirta Ramirez. La Organización de Padres y Maestros está dispuesta a reunirse diariamente para lograr este objetivo antes del 13 de junio del 2007.
The PTO requests that the following 5 main points be met to continue the quality education of our students and to follow in the Aspira model.
La Organización de Padres y Maestros exige que los siguientes 5 puntos se logren para continuar la educación de calidad de nuestros estudiantes y seguir el modelo de Aspira.
1. MRCSCS should continue at 2435 N Western after addressing all fire code violations, until a permanent building has been secured.
La Mirta Ramirez debe continuar en donde estamos en el 2435 al Norte de la Western después de resolver todas las violaciones al código de fuego, hasta que se consiga un edificio permanente.
2. Summer school should be offered to all students, enabling them to continue in their education and which without them their chances of graduating on time is adversely affected.
Las clases de verano deben ofrecerse a todos los estudiantes, para que puedan continuar su educación, sin las cuáles se afecta la posibilidad de graduarse a tiempo.
3. Board representation and voting privileges for 3 MRCSCS parents, 3 MRCSCS students, and 3 MRCSCS Faculty.
Exigimos representación en la Junta de Directores con 3 padres, 3 estudiantes y 3 empleados de la Mirta Ramirez
4. MRCSCS should remain autonomous, operating as it is currently operating, without change to curriculum, mission, enrollment cap, name, staffing, student body.
La Mirta Ramirez debe permanecer autónoma, operando como ahora lo hace, sin cambiar el currículo, misión, total de estudiantes, nombre y personal.
5. The PTO and Aspira board will meet as necessary to obtain agreement and success of MRCSCS by June 13th.
La Organización de Padres y Maestros y la Junta De Directores de Aspira de Illinois se reunirán las veces que sean necesarias para lograr un acuerdo satisfactorio para el éxito de la Escuela Mirta Ramírez para el 13 de junio próximo.