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ASPIRA of Illinois – Leadership Through Education

For Parents

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Aspira is committed to ensuring success for its students. We understand that concerns and issues may arise from time to time. We believe it is always best to solve those concerns first at their source, by working with the teachers and staff directly. We also acknowledge that we may not always be in agreement but we do need to be respectful and responsive when an issue arises. We are committed to working with families to address their concerns in a timely and transparent way.
The process below is provided to make sure that we can all understand the steps we take together when a concern arises. Please make sure to follow this process. When a parent/guardian does have a concern they may follow the below steps either verbally or in writing.

Concern Resolution Steps

LEVEL 1 Teacher or Staff Member Directly Involved – Whether it is a teacher or staff member, the family must first work directly with that person to resolve.
LEVEL 2 Dean and/or Assistant Principal – If the issue cannot be resolved at the first level, then the parent/guardian should communicate with the Assistant Principal to resolve the issue.
LEVEL 3 Principal or Director (if Program Specific) of Student Services, EL, or MDV – If the first two steps cannot produce a resolution, the parent/guardian should communicate the issue either in person or in writing to the Principal and/or director. The Principal and or Director will communicate with the family to come to a resolution.
LEVEL 4 Chief of Accountability, Compliance, and Data (Cabinet Level)- One of the directors should be able to resolve any concern that a family may have. However, a parent/guardian may contact the Chief of Accountability, Compliance, and Data so that he or she may understand the issue and may decide to weigh in.

Specific Concerns

We always encourage families to bring all concerns to us formally or informally. The below categories have a special process that we follow.

1.Abuse and Neglect – Any concerns or allegations that involve child abuse or neglect or inappropriate relations between adults and students are handled in accordance with CPS Policy 18-0627-PO3, “Reporting of Child Abuse, Neglect and Inappropriate Relations Between Adults and Students” and applicable state law.
2.Bullying – Any concerns or allegations that involve bullying should be taken seriously and fully investigated. We follow the CPS Student Code of Conduct as we investigate and address these concerns.

Program Specific Resolution Process:

Special Education or 504 Grievances or Disputes

Aspira recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and Aspira families or students. Should this situation occur, the Aspira special education/504 case manager will initiate an IEP/504 team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines what they would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the Aspira Special Education/504 Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.

Dispute Resolution Options for Special Education

Communication is KEY to your child’s success. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress or behavior, please speak to the appropriate school staff. Regular communication can resolve many concerns.
If concerns arise regarding the special education evaluation, placement and/or services of your child, it is recommended that parents start with the informal dispute process first, as most, if not all, issues can be resolved at this level. However, parents have the right to select and proceed, at any time, with any of the formal complaint options discussed further below and in the Notice of Procedural Safeguards.

●Step 1: Talk to your child’s teacher(s) and/or service provider(s).
●Step 2: Talk to the school case manager.
●Step 3: Talk to the school principal or assistant principal.
●Step 4: Contact the Director of Student Services

Formal Dispute Resolution for Special Education

If you cannot work out disagreements or concerns with the IEP team or the Director of Student Services, you have the right to elevate your concerns. A brief outline of the three formal processes follows:

●Formal Mediation
A process in which parents and school personnel try to settle disagreements with the help of a trained mediator provided by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Contact the ISBE mediation coordinator at 217-782-5589.
●Formal Due Process Request
A formal hearing process to settle disagreements between parents and schools. A due process hearing is similar to a court of law and generally follows a formal process, with opening statements, cross examinations of witnesses, and closing statements. Parents must request a due process hearing with the CEO of Aspira in writing.
●Formal ISBE Complaint
A written complaint about special education issues concerning a child (or children) filed with the Illinois State Board of Education that is investigated by a state-appointed employee with expertise in special education.

Address complaints to:
ISBE, Special Education Division
100 N. First St.
Springfield, IL, 62777-0001

Section 504 Enforcement
If you believe that an Aspira school has violated this law, and you have attempted to resolve the 504 concern, contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) by contacting the OCR Hotline at 800-421-3481 or visit the ISBE website for more information about filing a complaint under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.


Governor Pritzker announced that in-person learning in schools will not resume during the 2019-2020 school year. Remote learning will continue for all pre-k through 12th grade.

All Chicago parks and libraries remain closed.

All ASPIRA campuses will be continue to serve as healthy meal distribution centers Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm.

Please continue to check back here for updates. If you have any questions, please fill this form out.

4/06/2020 Update

Remote Learning Plans:

ASPIRA Haugan Middle School

ASPIRA Antonia Pantoja High School

ASPIRA Business and Finance High School

ASPIRA Early College High School

Student Resources:

ASPIRA Stays Connected​​​​​​​

Comprehensive Resource Packets, PreK-12

Teacher Resources:

Action Civics

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