Proviso 209 Update: Black History Celebrations Successful, Yik Yak App Alert, ACT/PSAE Prep

The following articles and photos are all from www.pths209.org. For more updates on District 209 affairs, feel free to go to the website.

Proviso Students Celebrate Black History

March 7, 2014 — African-American history and culture, music, and tributes to historically black colleges and universities were all part of the celebrations marking Black History Month at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy on February 26 through 28.

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Students, teachers, and staff celebrated the rich history of African-Americans in a series of assemblies that included poetry, dance, music, and drama. Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that it was important for students to learn about the history of African-Americans.frican-American history and culture, music, and tributes to historically black colleges and universities were all part of the celebrations marking Black History Month at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy on February 26 through 28.

“Learning about the past and learning particularly about black history is necessary for us to grow and move forward in a positive manner,” she said. “I commend our faculty, staff, and students for devoting the time to learning about an important part of our history and culture.”

Proviso East High School paid tribute to historically black colleges and universities by reenacting Homecoming Weekend at Howard University, which was established in 1867 in Washington D.C. The show included a halftime-like performance by the Proviso East marching band and a dramatization of a Sunday morning church service. It also included a Greek step-show by fraternities and sororities, several of which were represented by faculty and administrators. Students then voted on the winner of the stepshow.

Proviso West students provided a preview of their show, “Because of Them, We Can!” in assemblies on February 27. The show featured performances by the Proviso Interpretative Praise Team, Unidos, and individual students and groups who showcased the history of African-Americans.

The Proviso West students will have a complete performance of “Because of Them, We Can!” at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Proviso West High School Little Theater. Admission is $1 plus a canned good for students, with chaperones admitted for free.

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PMSA completed the week with its own Black History Month assemblies on February 27 and 28 in the school’s auditorium. The shows, which were all student-led and student-created, included tributes to notable African-Americans in the fields of music, civil rights, politics, and international affairs. There also was a tribute to historically black colleges and universities with a dance-off between students representing the Stingettes of Alabama State University and the Dancin’ Divas of Alabama A&M University.

More on this event here.

Parents, Students Alert: App

March 7, 2014 — Schools around the country, including those in Proviso Township High Schools District 209, are warning parents about a popular social media app that they said is being used by some students to anonymously post hurtful and inappropriate comments.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Yik Yak has been described as a mix between SnapChat and Twitter. Users can scroll through a live feed of anonymous posts from their area, with the site itself reading, “No profiles, no password, it’s all anonymous.”

This has led to concern in several schools across the nation about its use in cyberbullying and in verbally abusing students, faculty, and staff. It also has been used in the making of threats, including at a high school in Massachusetts where bomb threats made using the app caused the evacuation of the school. At least two other Chicago area high schools have warned parents about the Yik Yak app, which, according to its website, requires users to be at least 17 years old.

For more on this app, click here.

Be Ready for ACT/PSAE on April 23 and 24

March 7, 2014 — Juniors at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will join students across the state when they take the ACT and Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) on April 23 and 24, respectively.

A campaign to stress the importance of the state tests to students and their parents has been underway during the school year to continue the improvement that we have seen in recent years. Schools have been offering ACT prep classes throughout the year, among other measures. They are also providing incentives to students to do their best.

The District has had a 33 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading on the PSAE since 2009, including an 11.5 percent increase at Proviso East in 2013. The most recent state report card also shows 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 in 2013.

However, Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that this year’s juniors need to take the tests seriously and be ready to do well on them.

“Our target is to meet or exceed the state average,” she said. “It is vital that students take advantage of the opportunities that we are providing to be ready to do well on these exams.”

The support of parents and the community also is vital to students’ success on the tests. Parents can help by ensuring that their students are in attendance on both days of the tests, and that they are prepared by bringing two number two pencils, an ACT approved calculator, and wear comfortable clothing. Community leaders such as churches, businesses, and local governments can encourage the school by advertising the date of the test, wishing Proviso students well on their marquee, and raffling off gifts, among other supports. VFP

For more info on District 209 schools, please visit pths209.org

One thought on “Proviso 209 Update: Black History Celebrations Successful, Yik Yak App Alert, ACT/PSAE Prep

  1. In Feb. 2014 Forest Park presented Black history for first time with the help of Lawrence Broughton. Broughton, who is a director of the Historical Society of Forest Park, will speak about Roots and 12 Years a Slave at Centuries and Sleuths bookshop on Wednesday, Feb. 26. His talk will discuss Hollywood’s depiction of slavery in America. Broughton is a former commissioner of the Illinois Amistad Commission, a group that promotes education and awareness of slavery and the African slave trade in Illinois schools.

    Broughton said he taught the slave narrative 12 Years a Slave as a book for many years in his social studies classes at Proviso East High School. The 1853 book was written before the Civil War as a memoir of Solomon Northup. Northup, a free carpenter and fiddle player from New York state, was kidnapped in Washington, DC and sold into slavery in Louisiana for 12 years. He was finally able to communicate with relatives and law enforcement agencies back home in New York and was rescued. He filed charges against those who kidnapped him, but was not successful in prosecuting them.

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