Aspira Charter at Haugan Middle School – PBC Executive Director Montel Gayles speaks to attendees of a dedication ceremony for Aspira Charter at Haugan Middle School as Mayor Richard M. Daley and other officials look on.
Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined educational and civic leaders in officially dedicating the new Aspira Charter at Haugan Middle School Campus, which provides a unique science and math curriculum to sixth, seventh and eighth-graders.
“When my administration took responsibility for the Chicago Public Schools ten years ago, we promised to assemble the best minds — from the public, private and non-profit sectors – to work toward a single goal: improving the education of our young people,” Daley said in a ceremony at the school, 3729 W. Leland Ave.
“We promised to think outside the box. We encouraged competition, because competition can generate new ideas in education, just as it does in private business.
We vowed to make Chicago a national leader of innovation in education – a place where the best ideas take root and bloom.
“Today, we’re seeing one of the outstanding results of that effort.”
The 650-student school comprises a Math and Science Academy and a Computer Science and Technology Academy. It is one of 22 charter schools at 35 campuses across the city.
Charter schools are public schools, open to all children. Charter schools have more autonomy in exchange for greater accountability than traditional schools. Each charter school has a unique mission and can be operated by community organizations, universities, foundations or school teachers.
Aspira-Haugan is operated by the Aspira Association, a national non-profit organization devoted to the education and leadership development of Latino young people. Aspira also operates the Mirta Ramirez Computer Science High School Campus, 2435 N. Western Ave.
“Aspira is run by strong and dedicated community leaders who have a proven track record with us,” said CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan. “I’m sure that the Aspira charter schools will serve their communities very well for many years to come.”
Construction of the $17 million school was overseen by the Public Building Commission of Chicago. The facility includes a state-of-the-art computer network and separate music and art rooms. The campus also features a 4.4-acre Chicago Park District facility with a fully lit baseball diamond and a large playground that includes a spray pool.