Dear HSA McKinley Park Families,

It is unbelievable that we are in the month of November and that the school year is progressing quickly. As we move forward into the 2nd quarter we cannot stress enough the importance of student engagement and learning. Course content is progressing and it is imperative for students to keep up with their school work. Parents, please be sure to check your child’s progress on Concept SIS. If you have any questions on using SIS please contact your child’s Assistant Principal.

I would also like to take the opportunity to discuss student absences since you can imagine, attendance is a significant factor concerning student success. The more a student is absent, the increased chance he/she will fail their courses, fall behind in class, and lose a connection with the school. We also understand that students get sick, have family emergencies, and things do come up. This is where we need your help. It is essential to call the school if your child will be absent, late, or leaving early from school. If no one calls the school to notify of the student’s absence this will be recorded as an unexcused absence. We can also excuse up to 5 unexcused absences if they are related to the mental health of our students.
Below is our school’s general policy on absences: 
-Any student who accumulates 5 total unexcused absences will receive a warning letter from school. 
-Any student who accumulates 10 total unexcused absences may receive a parent meeting request letter from the school requesting a conference with administration. At that point, administration may also require the implementation of an Attendance Intervention Plan (AIP) with the parent or guardian. 
-Any student who reaches 15 total absences (excused or unexcused) may be required to meet with administration. 
-Any student who reaches 30 total days of unexcused or excused absences during the school year will be considered to have failed his/her current grade and will repeat the same grade the following year unless the student’s principal and teachers of the failed subject areas agree that the student is academically prepared to be promoted to the next grade level.


Mr. Vedziovski
2245 W. Pershing Rd. Chicago, IL 60609
(O) 773.247.8400 | (F) 773.247.8401
Operated by Concept Schools
Scholastic Book Fair
Our first book fair of the year took place from October 1st to the 8th. Ms. Manzella, our school librarian, was happy to open our doors to our students and parents for in-person shopping. Thank you to all of our students and families who came to shop at our fair. The fall book fair was our best fair ever with over $3,000 raised to be put towards books and resources for the school! We hope you all enjoy the books you have purchased and we can't wait until our next fair in March! 
Community Shred-A-Thon
HSA McKinley Park's Green Committee kicked off the school year by hosting our annual Shred-A-Thon on Wednesday, October 13th! Partnering up this year with our Alderman's office this event was open to all of the 12th ward residents. Along with the shredding of all of your old papers we hosted an e-waste drop off where old electronics could be drop off for recycling. Thank you to all that came out and took advantage of these amazing services. We will continue to provide more opportunitues for our school community to reduce, reuse and recycle.

A big shout out to Maribell Saldana, our green committee chair, for organizing this amazing community event. Also in attendance was Mariyana Spyropoulos from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. They hosted an awesome raffle for all of our communtiy by donating rain barrels for raffle prizes. They also donated a rain barrel for our school to use for recycling purposes! Maribell has big plans for that rain barrel as she has her sights on opening a Green House for our school to enjoy this coming Spring and use the water from the rain barrel to water our plants.

If you would like more information on how to join our green commitee please email Maribel at:
Senior FAFSA Night
Our College and Couseling Department hosted Senior FAFSA night on Friday, October 1st. It was a great turn out as the Class of 2022 prepares for this very important time in their lives. This FAFSA process is the beginning of a year long process for our Seniors and with the collaborative efforts of our faculty and parents we are sure to send off our soon to be graduates to a great college of their choice.

If you have any questions regarding the FAFSA application or about Collegs/Univerisities, please reach out to our College & Counseling Department:

  • Ms. Kuran-

  • Ms.
8th Parent Night
HSA McKinley Park hosted an 8th grade Parent night on Wednesday, October 13th. Our middle school and high school teams were in attendance to inform all of our families about the great programs we have for our high school students. We know it is a critical time for some families as they are now making decisions whether their children will continue attending HSA for high school or transfer to another.
We hope this informative night was beneficial to our parents and continue to keep their children with us as they embark on being our Class of 2026!

If you have any questions or concerns regardng our high school programs please reach out to our College & Counseling Department:

  • Ms. Kuran-

  • Ms.

Bullying Assemblies
In celebration of National Bullying Prevention month, our Community Partners from the Midwest Asian Health Association came by to present antibully assemblies to our middle and highschool students. Thank you to Andrew Piotrowski and Lina Xie for partnering with us to provide us with resources we can share with our school community. We also hosted them at our Ocotber PTO meeting where they also provided resources for our parents regarding Bullying.

We strive to make HSA McKinley Park a school where we show kindness and respect to others. Bullying is not acceptable at our school and we are happy to celebrate this important month with our students. We are on a quest to be the Best!
Testing has begun with our High School Students. Thank you to Ms. Bivens, College & Counseling team and the high school staff for adminstering this first round of the PSAT tests for our high school students. As they gear up to prepare our students for this important test we are thankful to have the supportive team efforts of our staff. All year long we will focus on preparing our students for these important tests.

If you would like to get more information on SAT prep please email Ms. Bivens:
Who wants to be a Math-O-Naire
Quarter 1
Our awesome high school Math Department hosted this annual quarterly event on Tuesday, October 19th. It was an amazing time for our high school contestants to show their math skills. Special shout outs to: Wesly Perez for his outstanding performance as well as Jesus Benitez and Gilberto Ceja as they showed how competitive they are when it comes to math.
Guess who else was awesome? Apart from being a humble and hardworking student, Paul Benitez rocked the evening with his masterful hosting skills. Big thanks to Ms. Langton and Ms. Kuru for bringing their students to observe this event. The HS Math Department will be looking forward to the next competition which will be at the end of Q2.
Community Connections Podcast
Mariachi Pumas
HSA McKinley Park's Outreach Department was super excited to host Jose Longoria, the Director of the Mariachi Puma Program from the University of Houston. He serves as the Director for both the high school and college level. We were honoroed to sit down and hear his amazing high school students that are involved in the program. Many of the students in the program are second to third generation Mariachi players. It was such an amazing podcast that we hosted all the way from Houston, Texas. We are so thankful to Mr. Longoria for spending the morning with our Outreach team. The students completely blew their socks off!
Please click on the link below to check out some great traditional mariachi music:
Closing Out Hispanic Heritage Month
HSA McKinley was excited to celebrate our first ever Hispanic Heritage Month Festival to close out our celebratory month! This month was such a success from all the efforts of our staff and school community. Our festival was full of great food, music and great company. All of our students enjoyed this social activity and all had fun hitting the pinatas or dancing away to the great music.

A special shout out to Ms. Bearden for working closely with the Outreach Department to make this amazing video recapping our month long celebration! Click on the link below and enjoy :
High School Homecoming Week
This highly anticipated Homecoming Week was one for the books! A special shout out to Ms. Rose and the High School Student council teams for making our Homecoming week one of the best ones we've ever had. They went above and beyond to make sure every detail was executed to perfection. From planning the Homecoming Spirit week, Pep Rally to the Homecoming Dance everything was amazing! Just what our students needed after being quarantined during the pandemic. All of the safety precautions were also met with the help of our Covid task force, high school faculty and Admin teams.
We are also very proud of all of our students who were nominated for this year's court.
Congratulations to our Homecoming Court Winners! (pictured below) It was defeintely a week to remember!
Congratulations to our 2021 High School
Homecoming Court:

King - Antwon Cooper-Senior
Queen - Melany Alonso-Senior 
Prince - Angel Beltran-Sophmore
Princess - Maritza Botello-Junior

Roboteer Rumble 2021
On October 23rd, FIRST 5125 HOTH participated in the off-season event, Roboteer Rumble, in Tremont, IL. The team competed with 18 teams from across the Midwest in the 2021 Infinite Recharge competition. Robots were tasked with shooting balls into goals and hanging at the end. The team ended up in 8th place and became captain of the 6th alliance with teams from Iowa and Missouri. It was an absolute blast and the team is now waiting for the release of next year's game in January!
Trunk or Treat
What a beautiful afternoon on Saturday, October 23rd where PTO hosted our first ever outdoor Trunk or Treat Event! With the help of our amazing parent volunteers, we executed the best trunk or treat setting for our students. THANK YOU to all of our parents/families who came out and decorated their cars and passed out delicious treats! It was with your efforts that we have had such a successful trunk or treat! We are looking forward to hosting this event again next year outdoors (weather permitting).

If you would like to get more information on how you can help out during our PTO events, please email PTO:
Fall Sports
She's off to Sectionals!
Congratulations to Erika Escudero for making it past Regionals on Friday, October 22nd. She is now the only runner from the Cross Country team advacing to the Sectionals competiton.
She is in great spirits and has been training with the team's captains, Franklin Carpio and Leonel Alba (both Juniors) in preparation for Sectionals happening tomorrow in Lisle, IL.

We wish her the best of luck!
If she qualifies on Saturday, she will then advance to the State Series Competition.
Boys Soccer Team
Our varsity boys soccer team completed their season with four wins, including a victory in the Metropolitan Prep Conference playoffs and a win in the IHSA State Series Regional Quarterfinals against Air Force Academy. The four wins are a record for our boys soccer team, which says goodbye to seniors Paul Benitez, Edgar De La Rosa, and Mario Guzman.

Pictured are all of our Senior athletes who were awarded at the Fall Pep Rally Rose Ceremony on Friday October 22nd.

Girls Volleyball Team
JV volleyball wrapped up their season with a 1-7 record, including a win against Our Lady of Tepeyac. After a slow start, the varsity volleyball team came on strong in the latter half of the season. They defeated Universal School in the Metro Prep Conference playoffs before going on a run in the IHSA State Series Regionals before coming up short in the Regional Finals. With nine wins on the season, varsity girls volleyball set a school record. They were also the first team in school history to play in a Regional Final. Seniors Rachel Gonzalez, Carleagle Perez, Kayla Rendon, and Caitlyn Zuno all ended their Horizon volleyball careers on a strong note.
Staff Spotlight: Yavette Esparza
This month's staff spotlight shines on:
Yavette Esparza

This month we shine the spotlight on Yavette Esparza. She was born and raised in the northside of Chicago and her parents are both from Mexico. She has one sister and two brothers, and she is the youngest. She loves all animals and has an eight month old pug named Octavio. She loves to travel, read, learn new things, and live music.

She has been working at HSA McKinley Park since 2013 where she started out as a 3rd grade teacher. The following year she became the elementary EL/ESL teacher after receiving her Masters in education with an endorsement in Bilingual education. She pursued that role because she could relate with the students since she was too a bilingual student growing up. 

In 2015, she went to teach English in Thailand for a year and was also able to travel to many countries. To date she has been to 29 countries and she can't wait to visit more. In 2016, Ms. Esparza returned to HSA McKinley Park as the coordinator of the EL program as well as the K-3 teacher. In addition to being the ESL Coordinator, she is also the coordinator of the annual Horizon Hustle 5K. This year she will host her after school Yoga club for kindergarten thru 2nd grade students. She is also the coordinator for our high school Driver's Ed program and has also been a CYSP Mentor for a few years in the past. She deeply enjoys working with students and is pleased to help instill being an educated and good global citizen to all of our HSA McKinely Park students. 

We are so happy to have Ms. Espazrza on staff, we appreciate all of her efforts to the continued success of our school especially since the very begninning.

Closing out with her favorite quote:
"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions". -Oliver Wendell
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