Minutes from the Kelvyn Park Local School Council
held virtually on the 8th day of August, 2020.
Also present, in addition to the regular Local School Council members were Aida Palma Carpio, Ana Rodriguez, Carolina Herrera, Caryn Lichtenberg, Christopher Montoya, Cynthia Taines, Eduardo Cordero, Huu Nguyen, Jennifer Martinez, Jocelyn Hernandez, Jose Ortiz, Juliet de Jesus Alejandre, Karen Menez, Kelly Garcia, Larry Perez, Luz Robles, Mr. Byrne, Noe Castro, Patrick Smith, Patty Boundroukas, Roberto Estrada, Simone Pena, Tracy Occomy, Vanessa Manuel, and Veronica Peralta.
The meeting was called to order by the Chairperson Maria L. Toribo-Arieteo at 4:07 p.m.
II. Roll Call
Present: LSC members: Keith Adams (Principal), Maria L. Toribo-Aristeo (Parent representative), Karen Menez (student representative), Roberto Estrada (teacher representative), Thomas Unger (teacher representative), Elsa Delgado (non-teaching staff representative)
Absent: All present
III. New Business
A. Voting on new membership
Torbio-Ariesto asked about a vote on the new members to the LSC. Unger stated at this time, due to the resignation of Griffin Muckley, there will not be a quorum so the board will not be able to vote. He mentioned they could possibly be able to get on the ballot in November but it is not sure if the window will be open. Delgado mentioned about putting the open positions on the website. Ortiz, the senior compliance facilitator from the office of the local school council, confirmed that Kelvyn Park does not have a quorum so no vote in the meeting will actually count. It will be more of a symbolic vote.
Torbio-Ariesto asked the public participants if anyone from the public participants would be interested in participating in running for one of the open positions.
Carolina Herrera mentioned she was interested in running for one of the open positions. She was a former student at Kelvyn Park from 2017-2019. She feels strongly about Kelvyn Park and the community and wants to serve the community.
Caryn Lichtenberg also is interested in running for one of the open positions. She has lived in the Logan Square community for the past seven years. She is a former teacher and works for Teach for America. She also worked at Kelvyn Park with the City Year program. She knew Griffin Muckley, the former community representative, who spoke highly of Kelvyn Park and she would like to serve the community. She has had positive experiences at Kelvyn Park.
Dr. Adams stated that it is unclear whether or not people will be able to get on the ballot but we should push to see if it could happen.
B. Election of Officers/ Elección de Oficiales
Torbio-Ariesto asked about the voting of officers. Unger mentioned that in terms of the chairperson, only a parent can do it so we do not have to vote. Unger asked Ortiz if we could vote on officers since there is no quorum. Ortiz stated that with no quorum, there cannot be an official vote. Things should just remain the same until the Kelvyn Park LSC has a quorum.
C. Discussion and Vote on the Security Resource Officers (SROs) in Kelvyn Park.
Torbio-Ariesto asked for ten minutes for this section of the meeting. Dr. Adams agreed that since this was previously discussed at the last meeting that this would be the appropriate amount of time. Torbio-Ariesto reminded the public that only the members of the LSC could speak at this time.
Menez stated that the police officers should not be in the building. The money could be better spent elsewhere in the building. The police officers really do not do much within the building. She voted no to having police officers in the building.
Delgado mentioned that the police officers cost a lot of money and that as a school Kelvyn Park is safe. There is a need to trust each other and to trust the staff to keep the students safe. The SRO staff are not necessary. She voted no to having police officers in the building.
Torbio-Ariesto reiterated that when the police get involved in a situation, this provides a negative experience for the students. CPS spends 33 million dollars on having police officers in the building when the money should be spent elsewhere. Students should be given restorative practice instead to better serve the students.
Unger stated that he and Estrada represent the teachers at the school. Unger sent out a survey to the teachers to collect their feedback on this issue. The teachers in the building were very much split on the issue. There were 26 teachers who responded to the survey.
Of those teachers, 54% were in favor of keeping the officers and 46% that were not in favor. For those who were in favor, there was some concern over the way the officers work in the building and feel some training in restorative practices is in order. Unger stated that he would vote yes and that he knew Estrada was voting no and that this would be a representation of how the teachers in the building feel.
Dr. Adams stated that first it was important to understand that the money from the police comes from the city and that it is up to the city to determine how the money is spent. He has worked with three sets of SROs in the past and that the two individual SROs in the building are fine. However, he reminded everyone it is not about two individuals. He recognizes the trauma that the students are going through at this time and ultimately it does not make sense to keep the officers. He recognizes that the community also does not want the police in the building and that the community voice is important. He votes no to the SRO in the building.
Final Vote: 5 in favor of the removal of the Security Resource Officers in the building; 1 in favor of keeping the Security Resource Officers in the building.
Torbio-Ariesto stated that she definitely agrees that this does not seem like the right time to have the police in the building particularly with the pandemic. Students do not need this at this time.
Delgado questioned how we can get the money from the city and how could we advocate to get that money in the school.
Dr. Adams mentioned that he will reach out to Clemente and Juarez about the situation since they also voted to not have the security resource officers in the building.
IV. Principal’s Report
Dr. Adams stated that all members had a copy of the Principal’s Report. The biggest celebration is the fact that Kelvyn Park will be a Fine and Performing Arts School. This will allow us to hire an additional art teacher. Dr. Adams asked if there were any questions. There were no questions.
V. Public Participation
Larry Perez: Taught at Kelvyn Park for the past 16 years. Stated that police do not make schools safer. In fact, research shows that visible police officers do not reduce crime but actually may increase it.
Patty Boundroukas: Taught at Kelvyn Park for the past 27 years and wanted to thank all the people who showed up. It shows the passion everyone has for the school. She thanked Dr. Adams for listening to the community. She was curious as to how the Security Resource Officers are going to be redefined. Also stated that in the past police officers actually worked with the students in various programs. Worries about an incident like what happened in Florida. Appreciates all the people who showed up for today’s meeting but stated she would like to see people show up for LSC meetings not just when there is a hot topic or an agenda.
Vanessa Manuel: Mentioned that the only people in the building with protection and guns on them are the police and that this makes people feel unsafe. The Kelvyn Park security can handle all the issues that may arise in the building and the police are unnecessary.
Carolina Kuhl: Stated that Kelvyn Park should be the next school involved in this movement in the removal of police from the building and that she is excited that the police will be removed from Kelvyn Park.
Torbio-Ariesto made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Delgado seconded the motion.
Everyone agreed to adjourn the meeting. Meeting was adjourned at 5:43.