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Latrice McArthur

School: Chicago International Charter School Wrightwood

Neighborhood: Ashburn

My name is Latrice McArthur, and I am a proud charter school parent. My son, Jonah, is in the 5th grade at Chicago International Charter School (CICS) Wrightwood.  Jonah was born prematurely and had several challenges early on in life.  When it was time for him to attend school, I weighed all of our options and visited several schools. The CICS environment was warm, welcoming and nurturing.  At CICS, Jonah is able to receive all of his required special education services and therapies.  Jonah has thrived in this environment, and despite his challenges, he has been an honor roll student since kindergarten.  He has also won spelling bees, geography bees and science fairs.  Jonah reads at a 7th grade level and is constantly celebrated as an accelerated reader.

I am also the Executive Director of the Bella Cuisine Kids Cooking Club, an after school program that travels throughout the city servicing both charter and public schools.  The overwhelming difference that I see when visiting different schools is the level of discipline at charter schools—the discipline that is necessary for teachers to be able to effectively teach.  The students are taught to respect everyone, and there is a great deal of parent participation.  Having an environment where parents, teachers and administration are all working towards the same goal creates a road to success for young people.

I have recently become a Wrightwood School Parent Advocate because it is important to me that all parents have a choice in how their children are educated.  Every child should have access to a quality education.  Schools should not simply be buildings to house children throughout the day.  The charter school network provides parents with great educational opportunities for their children. If the only option for my son would have been our neighborhood school, I would have been forced to home school or select a private school for Jonah, which would have created a tremendous financial burden for our family.

This year, I also joined the CICS Wrightwood PTA because I believe that schools, parents and the community should work together to promote the well-being and learning of all students.  When schools actively involve parents and engage community resources, they can effectively address the needs of students.  Fostering partnerships among schools, families and community organizations is paramount to the success of students and the communities in which they live.  I am proud to be a part of a network of schools that makes these partnerships a priority.