#SAVEOURLIBRARY - Williams Prep/Bronzeville at DuSable High School, Chicago

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#SAVEOURLIBRARY - Williams Prep/Bronzeville at DuSable High School, Chicago

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Petition to
Chief Executive Officer Chicago Public Schools Forrest Claypool and

Why this petition matters

Started by PJ Winter

On December 9, 2015, Sara Sayigh, the only librarian at Williams Prep/Bronzeville Scholastic Institute at DuSable High School, a  campus on the South side of the City of Chicago, was notified she will be laid off effective at the end of the month December, 2015, the middle of the school year. Williams Prep and Bronzeville are two small schools that are housed in the historic DuSable High School Building, the only school that holds landmark status in the City of Chicago. 

Williams Prep is dedicated to creating an institution that will become a part of the medical school pipeline addressing the attrition of underrepresented minority medical school student applicants. It is also their vision that all students will develop lifelong habits of mind such as responsibility, accountability, discipline, collaboration, continuous inquiry and a determination to succeed.

Bronzeville Scholastic Institute, as a newly authorized International Baccalaureate World School, focuses on every student solving a problem or mastering a skill in every class. They strive to achieve this by employing a highly rigorous, internationally-minded, authentic learning experience in order to better one's understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Both schools have primarily African-American, low income, and disadvantaged students. Many students apply to attend Williams Prep and BSI because they see it as their best chance to get into college or otherwise further their education.

Ms. Sayigh has been an outstanding guide, a mentor, a resource, and a friend to multiple classes of students, parents, community members, graduates and teachers for many years. All connected with the schools, present and past, are outraged at this sudden and arbitrary action which will certainly have an immediate and dilatory effect on the entire school population.

Adrienne Handelman a teacher Williams Prep, posted the following on Facebook:

Libraries have been a constant in my life. When I could barely write my name, my grandma took me to get my first library card. As a high school student, my friends and I met up in the library daily during study hall, and visited the local libraries for fun (and books). In college, I worked in the campus library.

Today I learned that my school's librarian, a woman I met on my very first day of teaching nine years ago, my confidante, ally, mentor and friend, Sara Sayigh, has been sent a layoff letter, effective this month.

This letter has identified my school's librarian as a "Regular Teacher." But Sara Sayigh is not a "Regular Teacher," regardless of how CPS has labeled her. She is my school's one and only librarian. She IS the library. Without her and her expertise, the library becomes just a room full of books.

In plain terms, if she is laid off, my school's library will close.

Without her, the hundreds of students that she serves lose their refuge.

Without her, our students will be denied access to books outside of the curriculum within our school.

Without her, teachers will not have a computer lab in which to bring whole classes of students. (Why? Because she maintains the lab, which she constructed on her own by writing grants.) There are no other options for full-class computer access in my school.

 Without her, my school loses the beautiful, literacy-rich environment she has cultivated during her tenure.

 Without her, my school-- built in 1931, named after the "Founder of Chicago", designated a Chicago landmark just two years ago, home to 100% minority students,one of three remaining libraries in 90%+ African-American high schools in Chicago-- will close the doors on a constant piece of its 84 year history.

My soul is screaming at the injustice of denying inner-city children a school library. Of denying ANY child a school library. I can list innumerable reasons a school needs a librarian. I cannot think of even a single reason to eliminate a library. Because let's be honest; when the library is gone, it's gone forever. A school district should not be balancing its budget on the backs and brains of innocent children.

I cannot, on my conscience, allow this to happen without putting up a fight. Let it be known- DuSable/BSI High School campus needs a library, and we need our librarian.


Please sign this Petition, forward it to your friends, and
Forrest Claypool, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools (CPS)
Rahm Emanuel , Mayor of the City of Chicago
CPS Community Based Partnership Programs oece@cps.edu
CPS External Partnerships partnerships@cps.edu

Post a message on the CPS Facebook Page

Take whatever other action you can devise to protest this destructive action. Thank you.

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