Quick Dates - for full details please see below:
Jan 15 - School Funding/Graduated Income Tax Meeting
Jan 16 - Early Childhood Education Meeting, CPS
Jan 24 - Standardized Testing Forum
Jan 26 - Meet your State Rep
Feb 28 - Raise Your Hand Annual Winter Party Fundraiser
STANDARDIZED TESTING: ACCESS, Dibels, REACH, NWEA – Map, CCQ, ISAT, Explore, PLAN, mCLass, Compass - there are 22 different tests listed on the CPS website. A forum will be held on Thursday January 24th on alternatives to standardized testing with Monty Neil of Fair Test and PURE. Raise Your Hand for IL is also looking for reps at each CPS on this standardized testing. Please let us know if you want to get involved: email@example.com. Now is the time to be part of this important conversation as CPS pilots a state kindergarten assessment, and MAP becomes a critical measure of our children’s academic performance. Location TBD.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION - Illinois PTA Advisory Meeting - January 16, 2013. 10am – 12pm.
These monthly meetings are usually attended by a PTA Board Member, however we are looking for Blaine parents (PTA members) interested in the future of early childhood education at CPS to attend this one. Discussions will be about early childhood education and outreach programs. Adrienne M. Stewart, Director of Parent and Community Engagement for the Office of Early Childhood (OECE). There are 2 ways to attend the meeting, in person at 125 S. Clark(Clark & Adams), Dewey Conference Room on the 5th floor(use Adam St. elevators) or by phone. Please contact us for more information.
SCHOOL FUNDING: A chance to talk to State Reps. Sara Feigenholtz, Ann Williams, and Senate President John Cullerton as they host a public “Coffee and Conversation” session on Saturday, January 26, 10am to 11:30am at Safari Cup, located at 3404 North Southport. In “Coffee and Conversation” sessions, residents can discuss community and legislative issues and most importantly ask about school funding and why is Illinois last in the nation on funding education for all our children??
SCHOOL FUNDING/GRADUATED INCOME TAX: Are you available to join in a conversation with Raise Your Hand on January 15th from 2pm-5pm? A possible solution to the dire budget situation is to join with 20 community organizations to get a referendum for a constitutional amendment on the ballot for a graduated income tax in 2014. Raise Your Hand would like one or two participants from Blaine School to be in on this conversation as we have shown leadership on the funding issue in the past. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPS PARENT SCHOOL FOOD ADVISORY GROUP: Are you interested in being an influential participant? CPS is seeking applications from parents to provide feedback and input into the school menus, as well as suggest ways to improve the healthfulness and sustainability of food served to students. If you’d like to be considered please complete this application online: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K79L2FM. For questions please contact email@example.com.
ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD: Thank you to those of you who gave your feedback on this issue. Although results from a small pool, the consensus was 59% for an elected school board; 22% against; 19% not sure. A referendum in 327 city precincts in the Nov. election found 87% in favor of an Elected Representative School Board for the Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Teachers Union supports the campaign for an elected board, charging that the board is packed with those favoring a transition to non-union charter schools. You can still give your feedback to Blaine PTA: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/J6CDQR9. Learn more about the Board: http://www.cpsboe.org
GUN SAFETY: Given recent events and the ongoing violence in our city, we want to share with you what the National PTA has to say on gun safety: http://www.pta.org/files/local_leader/elearning/course2/pdf/FAQ_Shooting%20at%20Sandy%20Hook%20Elementary%20School_FINAL1.pdf. If you wish to have your voice heard on proposing strong regulations on guns, you can sign this petition to the White House Task Force from Credo: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/biden_taskforce/?p=biden_taskforce&r=6994862&id=53197-4445606-df7UEbx. Deadline to sign is Tuesday.
ANNUAL WINTER PARTY to help raise funds for Raise Your Hand to continue its great work for Chicago Public Schools will be held on Thursday February 28th at Mrs. Murphy and Sons. They are looking for items for their annual raffle. They are also buying a few items for the raffle (an ipad is one) and are looking for people to help share in underwriting a few items in this way. Blaine PTA works closely with RYH on many legislative issues affecting our children. Please support if you can. Thank you.
SCHOOL CLOSINGS: Your PTA works beyond our own backyard - one issue we are concerned about is how space utilization is the key to what schools will be closed by CPS. RYH carried out independent research and revealed data that show that the CPS formula exaggerates under-utilization, under-reports overcrowding and ignores other factors reducing classroom size such as percent of special education students served. Even though CPS has said they agree with the data, it appears that CPS is still planning to use their formula to calculate whether buildings are efficient or not. Chicago Education Facilities Task Force Launches “Second Saturdays” Community Hearings every "Second Saturday" through April, the CEFTF will hold Community Hearings in various neighborhoods to get stakeholder input on school actions. The CEFTF was appointed by the state legislature to ensure broad public input regarding all CPS facility-related decisions. We encourage you to visit the Raise Your Hand website for more information on all issues affecting Chicago Public School parents and students. http://ilraiseyourhand.org