Proviso 209 Update: State of the District, Cambridge Parent Night, Thank You’s to Melrose Park/Broadview and More…

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It Takes a Community to Better a School

December 6, 2013 03:00 PM

209 administrators and guests discuss solutions.
209 administrators and guests discuss solutions.

Community leaders came together to focus on raising test scores and finding ways for the community to work together to accomplish that goal at the Fourth Annual State of the District Community Banquet on Tuesday, December 3, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Around 60 leaders from Proviso Township High Schools District 209, its feeder school districts, and the communities that it serves got an update on the direction that the District is heading.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, highlighted several of the areas where the District is showing improvement. They included significantly increased graduation rates at all three schools, a 33 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading on the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) since 2009, a 55 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in mathematics on the PSAE since 2009, and a 37 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in science on the PSAE since 2009. The percentages of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading and math were historical highs since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. In addition, 95.5 percent of the District’s juniors participated on both ACT and PSAE testing days.

There also was an increased number of students taking advanced placement, honors, or dual enrollment courses at Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School, a one-point increase on the reading portion of the ACT as the District average approaches the state average, and the number of students receiving college scholarship or grant offers at all three schools jumped significantly for a total of nearly $20 million for the Class of 2013.
Much of the improvement was due to an increased focus on literacy and the dedication of the teachers in supporting the new emphasis across the curriculum, she said.

“The State of the District is progressing,” Dr. Collins-Hart said. “But we have work to do. I would hope to do more of this.”

A highlight of the evening was a discussion about how the community can help continue the trend of improvement. The community leaders watched a video by Jamie Vollmer, an educational consultant and author of the book, “Schools Cannot Do It Alone,” about how public schools are expected to provide more than a basic education in today’s world. They then moved into discussion groups led by district administrators.

Proviso East Jazz Band
The Proviso East Jazz Band provided the music.

Rev. Theodore Matthews, youth minister at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, said that schools need support to handle the challenges that they face.

“It takes a community to meet them where they are,” he said. “They can’t do it alone. It has to become more of a partnership.”

Barbara Cole, director of Maywood Youth Mentoring, said that the schools and the community must work together to help the parents engage in “community schools.”

“It’s got to be an ongoing process,” she said.

Many thanks to all of the community leaders who support our schools and help to Keep Proviso Rising!

Cambridge Parent Night, December 16

December 6, 2013 02:55 PM

Parents of students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy can learn about the ACT college entrance exam that their students will take in the spring at the Cambridge Parent Night at 6:30 p.m. Monday, December 16, at every school.

The workshops will cover the ACT and strategies for taking the exam successfully. The session also will include information about different preparations that students can do to prepare for the test, including ACT Prep sessions that they can attend beginning in January.

Juniors will take the ACT on April 23, 2014.

Thank You Melrose Park and Broadview!

December 6, 2013 02:40 PM

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 would like to thank the villages of Melrose Park and Broadview for their generous gifts to the District.

The Village of Melrose Park made a donation of $330 of gift cards, while the Village of Broadview contributed seven vehicles for use in the automotive technology program at Proviso East High School.

Students in the District's automotive technology program
Students in the District’s automotive technology program work on a vehicle.

Facilitated by Arturo Mota, a village trustee in Melrose Park, three businesses and residents contributed gift cards from for use in the District. The businesses were Carnitas Don Alfredo in Melrose Park, with the contribution of a $100 gift card; Aracely’s Bakery in Franklin Park, with a $30 gift card; and Howard Mota, who donated a $200 gift card.

“It will be put to good use,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, of the gift cards. “We always have a use for more books.”

The donation of the vehicles, all but one were former police cars, came about after a presentation by Mr. Frank Bexes and Mr. Dan Cox, automotive technology teachers at Proviso East, at the Broadview Village Board meeting in June. The village board voted to donate the vehicles immediately following the presentation, with the cars being newer vehicles with fully functional computer systems that the students can learn how to diagnose, Mr. Bexes said.

Dr. Collins-Hart said that contributions such as these are part of the community support that will drive student achievement.

“Students achieve more when they know that they have the support of everyone around them, whether they are parents, teachers, or the community at large,” she said. “We thank the villages of Melrose Park and Broadview for their support and we look forward to continuing to further develop our partnership for the betterment of our students.”

Save the Date — Parent University Is Back, February 1, 2014

December 6, 2013 03:00 PM

Mark your calendars!

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host a Parent University from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the district offices at Proviso Math and Science Academy, 8601 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park. The activity is part of the district’s parent enrichment through Title I and the Board of Education’s goal of improving stakeholder involvement.

The Parent University is a collaboration between the district and the Proviso Strengthening College and Career Readiness Committee, which is a partnership among the following groups: District 209, Triton College, Community Alliance, Loyola University Medical Center, Neighborhood United Methodist Church, Casa Esperanza, The Need to Know Group, Resurrection Project, and the Education Committee of Community Alliance.

Sessions will be conducted in both English and Spanish. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., followed at 9 a.m. by the start of the information sessions.

The District is expecting a great turnout and encourages parents to spread the word. Parents of next year’s freshmen are especially encouraged to attend. VFP

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