ASPIRA Academy Administration Under Fire For Closing School During Eagles Parade

Newark – Some parents are fuming at ASPIRA Academy’s decision to close school on Thursday for the Eagle Parade. Many of the parents are wondering how they’re going to pay for daycare or what their boss will say if they have to take off work.

Yesterday, ASPIRA Academy posted the following on their facebook page “Important Announcement: As a school community, we congratulate the Philadelphia Eagles on their first Super Bowl win! To celebrate, we have decided to close school on Thursday, February 8th to give our students, team and families a chance to witness history.

At ASPIRA, our focus is always on academic achievement; however, we also realize that a once-in-a-lifetime experience like celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Championship can also boost school spirit and camaraderie. We hope our school community will take this opportunity to celebrate this amazing sports accomplishment with family and friends.

We look forward to seeing everyone in school on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday on-time and ready to learn. Fly Eagles Fly!”

That post did not sit well with some patents. One parent responding to the post said “This is unacceptable!!! Most of us work and don’t have someone to watch our kids or take off from work so quick some families don’t have the access like other parents … I think whoever wants to go to the parade should take the day off from school it shouldn’t have to affect others kids !!! ?? very upset”

Another parent said “Ditto!! If people want to take their kids out of school unexcused then that’s their decision. If staff wants to attend get subs lined up. This is not academic history like a presidential inauguration or even our first African American Representative (let alone female) which we had last election. We have had lots of snow days with high likelihood of more to come; this is not an acceptable use of the school calendar time.”

One parent is worried what her boss will say “Same here. This is absolutely ridiculous. The Eagles parade is more important than school?! Not to mention I can’t call in to work and take off with an asinine reason of my kids school closed for the parade.”

“In the interest of allowing Aspira families ample time to make contingency plans, are there any other regional sports events that have been promised as days off?”, asked another parent.

While another parent says “this is not fair”

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In addition to the Facebook post, we’re hearing reports that other parents have the same concerns. We’re also hearing that a group of parents may be contacting the board of education to see if it is legal to close the school for such a reason.

In response to these parents concerns Margie Lopez Waite, Head of School issues the following statement:

“As you should have heard by now, we decided to close school on Thursday (see message below). I realize some families may not be happy with my decision, but I stand behind it for the following reasons:

-Football is an American tradition. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or not, you can’t deny that statement.
-As a state with no professional football teams, our community’s home team has always been the Philadelphia Eagles.
-This is the Philadelphia Eagles’ first Super Bowl win. You only get one chance to celebrate the first win!
-The majority of our school community are Eagles fans so we anticipated that many team members would be asking for the day off and many students would be absent due to the parade. With school in session, we would not have been able to approve every request. So how do you deny these requests from the most amazing team?! A team that goes above and beyond to support our students and school every day?! The only right answer is to allow everyone an opportunity to celebrate this historical moment….in person or via TV.
-Since our first year I have stated that I would close school when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. I didn’t know if the day would ever come but here we are…and I believe in keeping my promises.

-The Eagles’ Underdog story is a great example of perseverance and grit. A great real life example for our students!
-Our school calendar purposefully builds in additional days to accommodate unexpected and unanticipated events that can affect our normal operations and this event on Thursday certainly meets that test.
-If you are an Eagles fan, congratulations on the win and if you are not an Eagles fan, it’s never too late to become one.

I hope you understand and support my decision. Even if you do not agree, I expect our families to conduct themselves in a respectful and courteous manner. As a team, we will be sure to maximize learning today, tomorrow and Friday so we minimize the impact of being off on Thursday. If you have any questions, contact me directly via email at [email protected] or phone at 302.292.1463 ext. 201.

Margie Lopez Waite, Head of School”

Please message us on Facebook if you would like to share your story about this closing.



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