Proviso 209 Update: School Year Starts Up, Principal-Parent Meet and Greets, Football Kicks Off, Enhanced Photo ID System

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District 209 Starts School Year with Optimism

District 209 Board Swearing-In

August 23, 2013 08:40 AM || Forest Park, IL…Proviso Township High Schools District 209 administrators reported a good start to the 2013-14 school year at the regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, August 20, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent, said that students were adjusting to their schedules and the rigor of being back in class after the summer break despite the warm weather.

“The schools have done a good job helping students to adjust,” Dr. Collins-Hart said.

At the August meeting, the Board also noted the signing of legislation that allows all school districts in Illinois to designate the first Monday in October as “Bring Your Parents to School Day.” The bill, sponsored by state Representative Chris Welch, a former District 209 Board of Education president, and state Senator Kimberly Lightford, was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on August 10 at the annual Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in Chicago.

It has been a tradition in District 209 since 2002, when it was first introduced by then- Board of Education President, Mrs. Theresa Kelly. This year’s “Bring Your Parents to School Day” will take place on October 1 and February 4.

“We want our ‘Bring Your Parents to School Day’ to be a model,” Dr. Collins-Hart said. “We are proud that our District was at the forefront of such a significant effort.”

Mrs. Kelly encouraged anyone connected to District 209 to take part in “Bring Your Parents to School Day.”

“Any opportunity to encourage the parents to participate in their children’s education is a positive for education,” Mrs. Kelly said. “I welcome all stakeholders taking an active part in our children’s future. Please save the date, for Proviso Township High Schools’ ‘Bring Your Parents to School Day’ is October 1. We look forward to seeing you there.”

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Students walking the halls of Proviso WestAugust 23, 2013 08:50 AM || District 209, IL…Students moved through the halls of Proviso West High School as the voice of Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal, began to be heard over the intercom.

“Good morning,” he said. “We all belong to the community that is Proviso West.”

Similar scenes occurred at Proviso East High School and Proviso Math and Science Academy on Monday, August 19, as the district’s students returned to classes for the start of the 2013-14 school year in District 209. It was a smooth start to the new school year, as students adjusted to their new schedules and in the case of Proviso West and PMSA, new principals, Mr. Oscar Hawthorne and Dr. Bessie Karvelas, respectively.

“It was a great start to a new year,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “It is our intent to continue this smooth start as we focus on our goals for this year, including raising student achievement through working together.”

At Proviso West, at the stroke of 7:50 a.m., students were led by teachers down the hall from the cafeteria as they walked to their first-hour classes. Christine Henderson, 16 and a junior, said that she was glad to be studying in classes such as photography, among others.

“It’s great,” she said. “I get to meet new people and have new classes.”

Mr. Hawthorne said that students were excited to be at school, in no small part due to the teachers’ and staff’s preparations.

“Teachers have been part of a great experience with our District Institute and Building Institute,” he said. “They were ready to build relationships with students and build a rapport that sends a message that this is an environment where we want them to succeed.”

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Principals Meet and Greet Concerned Parents

Principal Meet and Greets

August 30, 2013 08:30 AM || PTHS District 209...Parents, students, and community members met with principals at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy on August 12 through 15.

Each principal is charged with executing their individual school improvement plans and boosting student achievement. During the Principal Meet and Greet, each principal, including new principals at Proviso West and PMSA, outlined the goals and plans for each of their schools and welcomed the community to what is expected to be a fantastic new school year.

At PMSA on August 12, Dr. Bessie Karvelas, the new principal, spoke of the need for parents and students to work together with the school to make PMSA a great school.

“I am here to go from good to great with your students,” she said. “It’s truly important for us to do this together.” […]

Mr. Tony Valente, who has been principal at Proviso East since 2011, highlighted recent achievements at Proviso East such as higher graduation rates and improved reading scores. He said that more good things are coming to Proviso East if parents made certain to work with their students.

“Keep your kids involved,” he said. “You’re going to like the changes you’ll see at Proviso East.”

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It’s Football Time

Football Kicks OffAugust 30, 2013 08:40 AM || Maywood and Hillside, IL…The Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School football teams have been working hard throughout the summer preparing for the 2013 season, which opens this weekend

Proviso West will open its season Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on the road at Evanston. Proviso East will open at home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home versus Nazareth Academy.

Both teams have been working hard during the summer, hosting practice and workout sessions as well as scrimmages designed to get the players ready for the season.

Mr. Famous Hulbert, head coach at Proviso West, said that his team worked through four-hour practices three days a week, lifting weights and working on agility and conditioning to prepare for the season. He said that the team is ready to continue its streak of seasons in which they make the Illinois State Playoffs. The streak currently stands at four straight seasons.

“A lot of athletic kids are motivated to keep the streak alive,” Coach Hulbert said. “We expect greatness from the kids. That mentality has allowed us to turn this program around.”

The Proviso East football team took a similar approach to preparing for the season, hosting practices at 6 a.m. most mornings. The team also used a strength and conditioning program similar to the one used by the Northwestern University football team. Mr. David Odom, the new head coach, said that he is hoping to start a new winning tradition for the Pirates.

“I think we have the potential to be very good if we get all of our players to understand what it is that we expect of them,” Coach Odom said. “Everything we’re doing is new to the team. The learning curve is very steep. But we’ll get there. As the season goes on, we’ll get better.”

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Enhance Photo ID System Comes to District 209

Enhanced Photo ID SystemAugust 30, 2013 08:50 AM || Forest Park, IL…All visitors to Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy will need a form of photo identification to get into the school buildings.

District 209 officials recently installed Raptor vSoft Visitor Management Software at the security stations at the three schools. The new software will help security track visitors, students, faculty, contractors and volunteers at the school, providing a safer environment for all.

The system works by scanning a state-issued identification such as a driver’s license into the computer. Connected to the Internet, the security personnel can then determine whether the visitor has a criminal record or is listed on a sex offender registry. That information then will allow security to decide whether or not the visitor should be allowed into the school. A sticker bearing the visitor’s name and photo then is printed and must be worn during the visit.

“We feel certain this will help us keep our campuses a little safer, and we ask for your cooperation in presenting a valid state-issued identification when checking in at the school,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “We thank you in advance for your help in keeping our schools safer. VFP

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