Principal talks about what’s next with 8 Points parents, students

By Gary Scott on October 28, 2015 at 8:34am

The principal of 8 Points Charter School gave parents and students a glimpse last night into how things might look if the school’s board decides to appeal a decision by the school district to not renew a contract.

The District 117 school board authorized Superintendent Steve Ptacek to prepare a non-renewal document for the school last week. During a parent-teacher organization meeting at the school, Bridget English said the charter school board may vote to appeal.

English said if there’s an appeal, the Illinois State Board of Education would step in to determine if District 117 has to stay in its current relationship with 8 Points. However, she said she’d prefer to see the school board have a second vote on the issue “with all the facts”.

Although the 8 Points board is scheduled to meet tonight to possibly discuss an appeal, English says no action will be taken.     She says the school has 30 days to respond after District 117 notifies the state charter commission of its non-renewal notice.

English encouraged supporters of 8 Points to keep the public discussion on this issue positive. One parent who spoke to us, Tiffany White, who’s stepson is in seventh grade, plans on doing just that.

“Home life was pretty rough. He didn’t really want to talk to us about anything. Getting him to dress like a human being was difficult, and act like a human being was difficult. Within starting school this school year, he talks to us now, he expresses emotions in appropriate manners. He dresses with pride, he takes pride in himself,” says White.

“And getting him to come out of his bad moods is easier, because all I have to do is say, ‘Would Miss Bridget like that, is that how you act at 8 Points?’ And he goes, ‘No, that’s not how we act at 8 Points.’ And he fixes it. You don’t get that from just any old school, you only get that from a community, and that’s what 8 Points gave us,” she adds.

English says supporters should write letters telling personal stories like the one you just heard, to the school board and to 8 Points.

“We will need copies of those letters, because we want documentation that they’ve been sent, and we may need to use them down the road. We have encouraged our PTO to start a petition. We strongly urge the local school board to revisit this in the interest of fairness, to sit down and let the school have its day in court, so to speak, to state its case, to talk about what we’re proposing as we move forward, to give it some consideration before a final decision is made,” says English.

“And, we’re asking our students to continue to work as hard as they ever have.”

English discouraged supporters from attending tonight’s District 117 meeting regarding contract presentations for renovation at Lincoln Elementary.

She discussed many aspects of the charter school’s recently-released proposal for renewal of the contract with District 117.

You can hear the full speech by English to parents and teachers last night by clicking below.