FEBRUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER
Dear HSA McKinley Park Families,

As we transition into the month of March I would like to remind everyone there is still an adequate amount of time for students to continue improving their grades. Since we are in the middle of the third quarter this will be a perfect opportunity for you to review your child’s Concept SIS account and all school grades and correspondences concerning your child. This will ultimately help your child succeed in the long run.  

Our school lottery is happening on March 4th. Please make sure you have re-enrolled or make sure to let us know if your child will not attend HSA next year. This is important for us to know so we can make sure everything is in order for the 2022-2023 school year.  

Help Your Child in School - Build the Habit of Good Attendance!

Did you know?

Missing 10%, or about 2 days each month over the course of a school year, can make it harder to learn to read and learn the teacher’s lesson. 
Students can still fall behind if they miss just one or two days every few weeks.
Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

What You Can Do
  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session. 
  • Keep in mind that complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors and other parents for advice on how to make your child feel comfortable and excited about learning.

Serving You, 

Mr. Vedziovski
2245 W. Pershing Rd. Chicago, IL 60609
(O) 773.247.8400 | (F) 773.247.8401
Operated by Concept Schools
High School Science Fair
We wanted to express our appreciation to all that helped make our High School Science Fair such a success! Thank you to our Science Department especially Ms. Solmaz and to all of our judges, we appreciate all of your time and effort to make sure the day went by without any glitches. Also a special shout out to all of our students who prepared awesome projects, we are proud to announce that 12 of our high school students will represent HSA McKinley park at the IJAS (Illinois Junior Academy of Science) competition being held on March 12th. We wish our IJAS selected students the best of luck!
100 Days of School
On February 16th our KG-2nd grade students celebrated their annual 100 days of school celebration! Our students and staff all dressed up as 100 year olds and proudly walked through our halls in the annual parade. We apreciate all of our students who came decked out with their wigs and canes. We are so proud of our students, they are 100 days SMARTER!
Math League Competition
HSA Mckinley Park Math Department is happy to announce that 12 students of our students qualified to the next round in the Math League contest that was held on Saturday, February 12th. We are proud to share our students fabulous success in this contest.


Math League is known as the largest network of local and state math competitions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the United States and abroad, mathleague.org runs more than 400 contests globally and reaches over 30,000 students each year.

Thanks to all participants who took part in this kind of math competition for the first time at our school.
Community Partnership Taking OFF!
We are so grateful for the partnership we have developed with the Aviation Institute of Maintenance. It is so awesome having this amazing institute in our very own neighborhood. Since the beginning of this school year we have visited the insititute with different students and groups. One of the groups that visited and seized the opportunity to develop a partnership was HOTH 5125 Robotics team. They have coordinated to host their practice field in preparation before major competitions at their facility. Thank you AIM! We are so thankful for your kindness and partnership!
FTC Chicago League Qualifier
On Saturday, February 19th we played host to 19 team from all around Chicago. It was our first large robotics event since COVID began in March 2020. Over 150 students were hosted by FIRST 5125 Hawks On The Horizon and FTC 7030 Robominds as they competed for a spot to advance to the Illinois State Championship. We are grateful for the over 30 volunteers that provided their expertise in judging, refereeing and inspections as well. 

The teams that advanced to the State Championship include:
- FTC 7030 Robominds, HSA McKinley Park
- FTC 14401 Wildcats, Lake View High School
- FTC 14630 Sprockets & Screws, UChicago Lab School 

We are so excited to host competitions live this year! We have one more robotics competition to host being held on March 26th, The FIRST Lego League Explore Expo, and we hope to make it such a success as this one!
High School
Blind Date with a Book Event

HSA McKinley is continuing to share the love of literacy with all of our students. Special shout out to Ms. Manzella, our school librarian, for hosting this awesome high school literacy event this year.

Our high school students had the opportunity to come by on Valentine's Day, February 14th, to pick up a book and a special treat. "Blind date with a book" is without knowing the author or title, our students were able to choose their book based on a set of clues that were handwritten on the wrapping paper of the book.

Our students enjoyed this event so much last year and we were so happy to host it again for them this year.

March is Literacy month as we are extending the invitation to all families to stop by our Spring Book Fair!


Please JOIN US
for our
Spring Book Fair
starting on
March 7th to March 11th
Open Daily
8am-4:30pm
ESPORTS Tournaments
Our HSA McKinley ESPORTS students competed in two Super Smash Brother tournaments this month. The first event was held at Naperville North High School, where we had 4 students compete against various schools in IHSEA league.

Their second event was held at Springfield High School in Springfield, IL. At this tournament we had 5 students participate with one student placing 43 out of 72.

Overall, our team placed 32nd out of the 53 schools participating. Since this was our very first year competing in ESPORTS we are very proud of our students competitiveness and we are looking forward to the upcoming ESPORTS season.  
Three Point Super Senior
Congratulations to Nareen Aydogan, our very own Senior who has advanced to the Three-Point Contest Super-Sectionals. If she advances there, she will then go to State. We are so proud of her and her dedication to our Girls Varsity Basketball team.

We wish her the best of luck and hope she makes it to State!
Girls Varsity Basketball
After a slow start, the Varsity Girls Basketball team finished their season strong with seven wins in their final 12 games, including a victory against Universal School to secure third place in the Metropolitan Prep Conference. The team's seven wins for the season marks the most in school history. The Hawks were led by seniors Nareen Aydogan, Alejandra Garcia, Gladys Mora, and Caitlyn Zuno.
Boys Varsity Basketball
The Varsity Boys Basketball team set a school record with 13 wins, including a third-place finish in the Metropolitan Prep Conference and a victory in the IHSA State Series Regional Quarterfinals. The team's .650 winning percentage ranks as the best for any team in school history. The Hawks will say goodbye to seniors Santiago Barba, Omer Cengiz, and Anthony Ramirez.

Save the Date
College & Career Corner
We are so proud of our Senior Class of 2022! Our College and Career department has updated us with this amazing news: Currently and still growing our Seniors have been awarded over 5 million dollars in scholarships and have been accepted to over 40 Universitites and Colleges! Way to go HSA Hawks! We are sooooo proud and excited for you all!!!
Staff Spotlight:
Benita Johnson
This month's staff spotlight shines on:
Benita Johnson

Benita was born in Chicago and raised in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s south side. She attended a neighborhood CPS school and it was there where she was inspired to become an educator after learning from teachers that looked like her. She attended Gurdon S. Hubbard high school located on Chicago’s southwest side and pursued a teaching degree after she graduated.
After her first year of college she put her education on hold to enter the workforce. I worked in the medical field for many years as a claims adjustor before deciding to return to her first love, education. She received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education for K-3rd grades, from Northeastern Illinois University, and worked as a 3rd grade, kindergarten, and Headstart teacher. She returned to school in 2014 to purse a Master’s Degree and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a M. Ed. in Literacy Education with a focus in Reading K-12th.
 
Benita has been with HSA-McKinley Park since it opened its doors in 2013. During her first year she had the privilege to work alongside Mr. Cann and Ms. Martin as a 2nd grade teacher. At the end of that year, she was offered a K-3rd grade Assistant Principal Position and subsequently worked as an AP for 5 years. Benita loved her position as an AP but really missed working more closely with students and teachers.

She now is the Elementary Reading Coach and RTI Coordinator. As a Reading Coach she pushes-in to classrooms to provide small group intervention as well as provide 1 to 1 intervention for Tier 3 students. She also coaches teachers on how to teach literacy in their classrooms. She observes teachers and provides instructional feedback; she model teaches literacy lessons, assess and diagnoses reading issues, provides training, materials and resources, analyzes test data, tracks student performance, and also helps teachers with small group planning.

In addition to coaching she also teaches some of the teaching track classes here at HSA for high school students. A few years ago, she created the summer enrichment program for our elementary grades which gives our high schoolers an opportunity to “teach” an elementary class for 6 weeks during the summer. She also is a CYSP mentor; member of the Leadership, Equity and SIP Committees to include running the Art and Equity Club for elementary students.

She is very proud to be a part of the HSA family for the past 9 years. She has made many wonderful friendships and has accomplished many of the goals she has set for herself during her time here. 
 

Closing out with her favorite quote:
My favorite quote comes from a dear friend of mine. She said, “What you pay attention to is what you create.” These words are very simple but I have always lived by them. I have always tried to pour my energy into positivity so that it comes back to me. But these words also remind me that only focusing on what I don’t have keeps me in a place of never having enough, so it reminds me to be grateful.
Any questions? concerns?
At HSA McKinley Park our top priority is the health and safety of students and staff, and we will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal health officials in this evolving situation. Should you have any questions or concerns please email our school principal,
Mr. Seat Vedziovski at:
vedziovski@hsamckinley.org

Ms. Armouti, Outreach Coordinator:

Mrs. Vega, Outreach Coordinator: