Dear HSA McKinley Park Families,

First and foremost I would like to wish all of our students, parents, and staff a Happy Thanksgiving holiday! I know many of you may be traveling for the holiday so please make sure to be safe and always take precaution when traveling. If you do decide to travel please follow the CDC guidelines of getting a covid test if needed. We are still doing weekly covid tests at the school. If you do decide to add your child to get tested please contact the front office for more details.  

We will host our second virtual parent teacher conference which will be held on Thursday, December 2nd from 2pm to 7pm. A flyer with specific information will be sent to all families. You will sign up using the same method as before. The Zoom links will also be shared with all families. All Kindergarten to 4th grade families will set up meetings directly with the grade level teachers and all 5th - 12th grade families will call the front office to schedule meeting times. We are encouraging all parents to sign up to meet with teachers. The goals of parent teacher conferences are for teachers to share academic progress and growth based on classroom observations, testing data, assessments, portfolios, and assignments and for teachers to learn from parents or guardians so they can be better informed about students' strengths, needs, behaviors, and learning styles.  

There are only 3 weeks of school left before our two week holiday break that begins on Monday, December 20th. There are many events happening in December so please make sure to review our December activity calendar.  


Mr. Vedziovski
2245 W. Pershing Rd. Chicago, IL 60609
(O) 773.247.8400 | (F) 773.247.8401
Operated by Concept Schools
We are so proud to announce that we ranked the #1 elementary and the #1 middle school in Illinois &
TOP 25 Charter High School in Illinois
by US News & World Report
INCS Outstanding Illinois Charter School
Senior Award
We are so excited and happy that our very own senior, Carleagle Perez-Valencia will be honored at this year's INCS Excellence awards ceremony. Mr. Sravan and Mr. Shiliga both nominated her for this honor and during our media appreciation breakfast we surprised her and her mother with the good news. Thank you to Natalia Blanco from INCS who was there to make the special announcement. It is an exciting time for all of us here at HSA McKinley Park and we are loving all of the good news we can report on. We are thrilled Carleagle is being honored this year because she truly deserves it!!!
Annual Food Drive
Thank you to all the families that donated to our annual Food Drive hosted by our PTO! We are proud to announce that Ms. Kuzma's Class won by donating the most food this year. A special shout out to Ms. Wintrich's CYSP group (pictured above) who helped with the food drive and packed up everything and delivered it to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.We donated 1,142 nutritious meals with our collective donation!
Thank you HSA McKinley Park for your generosity this
Thanksgiving Season!
Veteran's Day Breakfast
It is so important that we continue building up our community efforts and relationships, that is why we look forward to hosting our annual Veteran's Day Breakfast every year. Due to Covid last year we were unable to celebrate the brave men and women of our community and we were so thrilled to do so this year.

Thank you to all that help make our breakfast such a success epecially to Ms. Kovatch and the school band, Ms. Bearden and her McKinley Melodies students and our brave 5th graders who read letters they worte to our veterans!

Last but not least thank you to our Veterans! To those who joined us for the brekafast epecially:

  • American Legion William McKinley Post #231
  • CFD Engine #39
  • Our Veterans from our school community

It was a great morning and all in attendance loved the celebration and honor.
Variety Show
Every year, HSA's elementary music teacher, Ms. Bearden, puts together our highly anticipated variety show featuring HSA student talent. The variety show is a great opportunity for students to break out of their shells. Highlights included students showcasing their vocals, dance skills, comedy, instrument playing abilities, and shining charisma! This year our participants performed 5 times for safety reasons as Ms. Bearden spaced out all of the shows to practice proper social distancing. Our shining stars worked overtime this year and we couldn't be more proud! Pictured above are all of the student performers! We loved watching all of the amazing talent and can't wait for next year's show!
Open Mic Night
Our high school ELA department hosted an Open Mic night for our high school students on November 16th. It was a great turn out and the students who performed knocked our socks off! Special appearances were made by Mr. Morris (playing guitar) and Mr. Schmith (reciting a monologue)! Special thanks to Ms. Moss for organizing this event for our students! She did not disappoint as one of the main attractions were the snacks: popcorn, cotton candy and cookies:) We are all looking forward to the next Open Mic night to see more of our high school talent!
The annual Coat Drive was a huge success this year all thanks to the efforts of our alumni Salia Matheny!
They were able to collect 150 coats and 300 hats, gloves, scarves and socks! A special thanks to all of the families that donated!
They were able to pass out all of the donations to those in need in the McKinley Park and Gage Park communities with the partnership of our sister school HSA Southwest. We are very proud of how successful this coat drive turned out and happy it is now an annual event for our community.
International Math Competition
HSA Mckinley Park Math Department is happy to announce that 20 of our students had the chance to experience a Math Challenge in the International arena where students competed from 6 different continents around the globe. 

Online International Math Challenge (IMC) is one of the leading mathematics based competitions for many different schools. This year, Online IMC saw the participation of 5000+ participants from 96 countries. This Online IMC is organized to boost the morale of pandemic quarantined students and teachers, and give them an opportunity to keep them busy and goal oriented. 

We are proud to share our students fabulous success in IMC 2021. Please join us to congratulating them for the first time in school history to achieve such incredible success internationally.

Thank you to all of our student participants who took part in this kind of math competition for the first time in their life. We are on a Quest to be the Best!
Community Connections Podcast
Celebrating Native American Heritage Month
HSA McKinley Park's Outreach Department was super excited to host Les Begay, the founder of the Indigenous Peoples Day Coalition of Illinois for our November Podcast. In celebration of Native American Heritage month we were excited to sit down and chat with Les Begay on his triumphant coalition for Native American peoples. We discussed his ongoing fight for the observance of Indigenous Peoples day and how it is important for us to know the truth behind it. We are proud to support Indigenous Peoples day here at HSA and even happier to celebrate this month with our students. Thank you to Les for taking the time out of his day to sit down and tell us about the work he is doing for the coalition, please click on the link below to hear more on the amazing work he continues to do:
Parent Appreciation Dinner
During this month of Thanksgiving we hosted a Parent Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, November 18th. It was a great night filled with great food and company. Due to Covid, we only hosted the nominated parents. Teachers nominated parents to be honored and we also honored 10 Veteran parents who have shown their unconditional support since 2013! We also dedicated an award in Marya Moreno's honor and presented it to her children. It was an amazing night and we can not wait to honor more of our amazing parents in the near future!
Media Appreciation Breakfast
On November 17th we hosted a Media Appreciation breakfast to highlight our school to the media outlets of Chicago. Thank you to all that help make our presentation a huge success! Being in operation for 9 years now we wanted to build up a great relationship with our media reporters so they can help us spread the word of our amazing school. We are in big hopes of the media showing their support towards our school so that we can hear more about the great things happening in our school all over Chicago! Our school band and robotics teams presented and we passed out small gifts to show our appreciation to our guests for all of the hard work they do!

Pictured is Justin Kerr the publisher of the Mckinley Park News holding his gift "I'm kind of a big Deal coffee cup
CYSP & Financial Literacy
Thank you to CARE- Credit Abuse Resistance Education of Chicago for coming out and speaking to our girls about being financially independent. It was a great discussion about the importance of credit and investments. The girls were very interested and appreciated the expertise and knowledge from Mike Mattson and Alex Moglia. Ms. Bivens, Johnson, and Vega's CYSP groups all benefitted from this awesome presentation! We are happy to provide such incredible resources for our students!
Winter Sports
As our winter sports season begins we are happy to announce that we have a high school boys and girls basketball team. We also have a middle school boys and girls team and a co-ed 5th and 6th grade basketball team.If you follow HSA Athletics on facebook you can catch the live stream of some of our Varsity Basketball games! We are thrilled of the number of athletes who are participating this winter season! Let's wish all of our hawks the best of LUCK this season.

Pictured above is the Varsity Boys Basketball team with Coach Krippinger
Staff Spotlight: Esra Solmaz
This month's staff spotlight shines on:
Esra Solmaz

This month we shine the staff spotlight on Esra Solmaz. She was born and raised in Kirklareli, Turkey. She is the middle child and the only one who after graduating from college came to the United States to pursue her career in teaching. She graduated from Fatih University in Turkey majoring in Chemistry. She is in the process of finishing her Masters degree in STEM education. She now lives here in Chicago and has been here in the United states for the past 10 years. Her first teaching job was at Gateway Science Academy in St. Louis, Missouri. She worked there for 6 years, before she made the move to Chicago.

This is her 4th year here at HSA McKinley Park. She teaches high school chemistry and PLTW Environmental classes. Besides teaching here at HSA she also is a CYSP Mentor, hosts the Ping pong club, coordinates both the annual school science fair and Saturday school.
She never really considered doing anything else, but teaching. She has always enjoyed teaching and being in a learning environment. We are so happy to have Ms. Solmaz on our staff. We appreciate all of her efforts towards the success of HSA McKinley Park and we can't wait for our school science fair this year!

Closing out with her favorite quote:
"Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder."
– Rumi 
Save the Date
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 us at:

Mr. Seat Vedziovski, school principal

Ms. Jena Armouti, Outreach Coordinator

Mrs. Marisa Vega, Outreach Coordinator