LOGAN SQUARE — The Ames Middle School Local School Council put the military school issue to a vote on Tuesday, setting up two voting booths for parents to make their wishes known.
The vote coincided with report card day, when parents must come in person to pick up their children's report cards in person.
Council members said they plan to release the vote tally at the next school board meeting on Nov. 20.
"Now we'll see what happens," council member Emma Segura said Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, parents and neighborhood activists are working to gather enough signatures to put a non-binding referendum on the March primary ballot asking all local voters if they support the change.
Volunteers visited 12 elementary schools in the 26th Ward on Tuesday, and Segura said they will be out this weekend and next to get the signatures they need to meet the Dec. 16 deadline to get the referendum on the ballot. They need signatures from at least 8 percent of the registered voters in each precinct.
Mario Trejo, director of Ames' Elev8 program, which works to improve student achievement at the school, said the staff is still are in the dark about CPS' plans for the school.
Though the mayor and Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) announced in a press conference Oct. 29 that the Near North Side's Marine Math and Science Academy would move to Ames, two days later a CPS spokeswoman said that was not the case.
Instead, she said Ames would adopt a military focus while Marine Math and Science would stay where it is.
"People [at CPS] are very tightlipped," Trejo said. "They all say, 'Oh I don't know what's happening.'"
Ames Principal Turon Ivy said Tuesday he still knows little about plans for next year, and was unsure whether central administrators were waiting for school board vote on the matter.
"I don't know what they're waiting on, but I'd like to know if there's a plan that's been laid out," he said. "It'd be nice if they'd share that with the people who are affected."
He said he was happy to host the parent vote Tuesday and give them additional voice in the matter. Students at Ames will also be considering the issue and voting in their homeroom classes this week.
Still, Ivy said he'll be relieved when he has some firm answers from CPS.
"It's a distraction," he said. "We want to be able to bring some closure."