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  PTHS Joins the Illinois State Board: Launches Summer Reading Pilot Program

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and The Illinois State Board of Education are encouraging families to read together during the summer months in order to help students of all ages and grade levels maintain their reading skills. In order to help support this effort, PTHS will launch a fun-filled student summer reading program.

“Studies show children who read through the summer months maintain more of their academic skills and are better prepared when school doors open in the fall,” said Dr. Cheryl Pruitt, PTHS 209 Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. “One review of the impact of summer reading found that children can lose up to 60 percent of their skills over a two-month vacation if they don’t read during the summer. We want to prevent that. We are designing our pilot program in a way that supports our students’ achievement and helps build their reading skills. We hope that our students and parents will take advantage of this opportunity. This is something that could provide fantastic academic support for our students. It could also have a positive ripple effect on overall academic achievement.”

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  PMSA Reaches Historic $13 Million in College Scholarships

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy’s class of 2010 has been awarded a record $13 million in grants and various college scholarships.

Principals and counselors announced the overwhelming results of student awards at PMSA’s class of 2010 commencement ceremony. The graduating class of 131 students has more than doubled last year’s impressive scholarship record of $6 million.

“I am extremely proud of the Class of 2010,” said PMSA Principal Ed Moyer. “Their collective effort to achieve this level of financial support for their further education is indicative of the potential of students within our township. Not only have they been awarded millions in scholarship funds, they also will go on to attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world. I am excited for them, and I look forward to continuing to watch and applaud their growth and progress.”

U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, who served as guest speaker during the graduation ceremony, commended PMSA teachers, administration, and the Board of Education for creating one of the best schools in the country.

“I have to commend the teachers, the administration, and the Board of Education for overseeing such an outstanding educational institution,” said Davis. “They have provided the kind of leadership and vision that keeps this school listed as one of the top schools not only in Illinois, but in the United States of America. These students are the epitome of excellence.”

PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart and the Board of Education also commended the students on a job well done.

Congratulations to PMSA’s Class of 2010! Best Wishes!

 
  Top Graduates and Research Scholars from PTHS 209’s Class of 2010!

 
  Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Class of 2010 Research Scholar Jennifer Six (left), of Bellwood, is graduating as one of PMSA’s top scholars. Six has a 4.0 G.P.A. and will attend Clark University in Massachusetts.

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Class of 2010 Research Scholar Tracy Mock (right), of Bellwood, is also graduating as one of PMSA’s top scholars. Mock has a 4.0 G.P.A. and will attend the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) to study anthropology.

“The work of these two students stands out in terms of its commitment to scholarly principle, and to deep academic research,” said PMSA Principal Ed Moyer. “They have displayed a true commitment to the challenges of their research. These students also continuously display a commitment to strong academic scholarship, which we hope to instill in all of our students.”

Congratulations! You are PTHS 209 Scholars of Excellence!

 
  PTHS 209 to Host 2nd Annual Community Leaders Banquet—State of the District Address

 
 

PTHS 209 will host its 2nd Annual Community Leaders Banquet—State of the District Address on July 29, 2010 to inform and to unite the community and the school district in promoting education and success.

Community leaders throughout Proviso Township and the state of Illinois will be honored as special guests and welcomed to discuss the school district’s goals, progress, and accomplishments.

“The PTHS 209 Board of Education will host some of our greatest community partners and community leaders,” said PTHS 209 Board President Chris Welch. “We hope to forge partnerships and re-affirm all of our commitments to the success of our students, our schools, and our communities. We look forward to discussing District 209’s progress and the work that lies ahead.”

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  Students Excel at PMSA’s 3rd Annual Research Symposium

 
 

Each year PMSA students conduct intense research and work side-by-side with mentors/community partners from an array of professional fields in preparation for PMSA’s Annual Research Symposium. At the Symposium students present and defend their year-long research to the entire community. This year PMSA opened its doors for the third time as students lined the halls ready to draw in symposium attendees to whom students detail their journey of discovery. The research mentorship is a flagship of the Academy in which students work with professionals, conduct research, and venture into their fields of interest.

“This program helps our students get out into the real world and experience what life is like in a business, a hospital, an educational organization, or a research facility,” said PMSA research workshop teacher Robert Markus. “It offers them a clearer perception of what their futures will be once they graduate college. It is a lot of work and it is hard work, but once they get used to it they always excel. I’m tremendously proud of them. They all came through with flying colors.”

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  PTHS 209 BOE Honors its Top Scholars with Annual Scholars Luncheon

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools’ Board of Education partnered with Around the Clock Transportation to honor the top graduating achievers from each high school with a special Superintendent’s Scholars Luncheon.

On May 20, 2010 seven of the top graduating scholars (Valedictorians, Salutatorians, and Research Scholars) of PTHS 209 enjoyed lunch at the world renowned John Hancock Center, in downtown Chicago with PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. The luncheon was a reward to congratulate the students on their exemplary academic achievement.

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  PMSA Howling Wolves Honored by the Board of Education as they Enter Global Tournament

 
 

The Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Howling wolves were recently honored by their principal, Ed Moyer, and the PTHS 209 Board of Education for advancing in the global Destination Imagination (DI) competition.

Moyer said the team has shown true determination and that they are an inspiration to everyone at PMSA.

“Our construction team students have really demonstrated a commitment to high performance and dedication to task,” said Moyer. “PMSA’s involvement with DI began with one of our fantastic physics teachers, the late Mr. Tom Dix. The loss of Mr. Dix was but one of the major challenges faced by our team. Despite these challenges, the team has continued to learn and grow. They placed 2nd in their regional competition and 1st in the state. Now they are going on to compete globally.”

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  Proviso Township High Schools to Celebrate the Graduating Class of 2010!

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will celebrate the commencement of over 900 graduating students from the Proviso community as they walk across the stage to receive their 2010 diplomas.

PTHS will hold three different ceremonies in honor of the class of 2010.  On Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 Proviso East and Proviso West High Schools will hold their annual commencement ceremonies at the UIC Pavilion (525 South Racine Avenue Chicago, IL) Proviso West’s graduation will begin at 1:00 p.m. Proviso East’s graduation will take place at 6:00 p.m.

The Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will celebrate their graduating class on May 29th, 10:00 a.m. at Dominican University (7900 W. Division Street River Forest, IL).

Proviso Township High Schools students will go on to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. Thus far, students have been awarded over $10 million in college scholarships, with many offers still coming in.

Congratulations seniors! We are extremely proud of you!

 
  PTHS 209 Board of Education Approves East Coast College Tour

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools will host an East Coast College tour as the culminating activity to celebrate students’ success in voluntarily completing ACT preparation courses.

“At PTHS 209, we partnered with Cambridge Educational Services in order to offer our students free ACT test preparation,” said PTHS 209 Assistant Superintendent Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Cheryl Pruitt. “We want to prepare them for college, prepare them for testing, and prepare them for their everyday course work. Over 117 students signed up and took advantage of this program. Now we want to reward them and go the extra mile to help get them ready for their college choice by taking them on a tour of some of the best colleges and universities in the country. In just one week students will have an opportunity to experience great cities and several colleges and universities.”

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  PMSA’s Howling Wolves to Enter National Competition

 
 

The Howling Wolves is PMSA’s premiere construction and design team. The group of seven sophomore students is a part of Destination Imagination (DI), a program that encourages creative problem solving and teamwork.  The team has successfully competed against schools from across the state. Now, the Howling Wolves are gearing up to compete against nearly 1000 teams from across the county.

“We are looking forward to this,” said team sponsor and PMSA science teacher, Dr. Cynthia Daniels. “DI and all of these competitions teach our students the process of critical thinking. When we teach them science we are helping them to build problem solving skills and to learn how to work in groups. On the construction team, students learn the same concepts. It also strengthens their knowledge in engineering and design.”

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  PMSA Scholars Earn Medals at Local ACT-SO Competition

 
 

On March 20th, PMSA students competed against more than 80 students from 26 area high schools in the 2010 DuPage County Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics competition. The year-long competition requires intense research, dedication, and scholarly excellence. Two Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy seniors took home the gold and the bronze for their outstanding research and presentations.

PMSA seniors Chinelo Agwuncha of Westchester and Tiffany Sanders of Hillside came out on top in the competition with students from across the region. The students were eligible to compete in various categories including:  science, humanities, business, performing arts, and visual arts.

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  PMSA to Host 3rd Annual Research Symposium

 
 

On May 17, 2010, Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will host its 3rd Annual Research Symposium where each student will present data and analysis from their year-long research projects along with their research mentors.

All PMSA students participate in research from freshman to senior year. During the final two years of the flagship program, students venture out into a variety of career fields and partner with professionals to conduct research on topics of interest. Mentorship fields include: science, education, medicine, health, pop-culture, and government operations. The students research and study with their mentors for a full school year in preparation for PMSA’s Research Symposium.

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  Scholar of Excellence: PMSA Senior recognized as National Hispanic and National Merit Scholar

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Senior, Jennifer Ugharte has been recognized as a National Merit Scholar and as a National Hispanic Scholar for scoring in the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students in the nation on her Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT).

Since then, Ugharte has been accepted into every single college she’s applied to including Knox University, Brown College, Grinnell College, and Carleton University. She’s been offered over $166,000 in college scholarships.

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  Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Welcomes Students to the Class of 2014

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy is welcoming and celebrating its newest class—the class of 2014.

Nearly 600 students completed PMSA’s admissions assessment process. In March, PMSA officials sent 278 acceptance letters to welcome new students into the Academy from across the Proviso community. PMSA Principal Ed Moyer says he is excited to welcome new students to the Academy, an institution that is constantly growing and striving for excellence.

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  PTHS 209 and West Suburban Senior Services to Host 2nd Annual Grandparents’ Day!

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209's Board of Education, West Suburban Senior Services, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter cordially invite the seniors of Proviso Township to a Saturday of entertainment, information, and relaxation on April 24, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm, at the Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy (PMSA), First Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

Seniors will be treated to food, fun, entertainment, free health screenings, and various workshops. There will be blood pressure checks, diabetes education, health workshops, refreshments, party bingo, door prizes, and more.  The grandparents of Proviso Township are encouraged to come out, mingle, and enjoy the fun. This event marks PTHS 209 and West Suburban Senior Services' 2nd Annual Grandparents' Day, which is designed to celebrate and honor the grandparents within our community.

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  PTHS 209 Incorporates Technology to Support Student Learning

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools is working to support and promote student learning by integrating more technology into classrooms district wide.

Recently, the PTHS 209 Board of Education approved wireless internet access for Proviso West and Proviso East High Schools. PMSA is already equipped for wireless access. Teachers are also being trained on new technology to integrate into their daily lessons. In science, students are being introduced to state-of-the-art electronic resources to experience real-world learning through the use of hand-held interface computers. Students are using computers that can connect to various probes and sensors.  These include: thermometers probes, CO2 sensors, O2 gas sensors, PH sensors and motion detectors that are used in real scientific laboratories around the world. This encourages higher levels of thinking through data collection, inquiry, analysis, and synthesis of scientific information.

PTHS students say technology makes learning a greater adventure.

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  PMSA Student Accepted to West Point

 
 

What do General Robert E. Lee, Former President Ulysses S. Grant, Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and PMSA senior Sean Asaro have in common? They are all affiliated with the world’s premier leader development institution, The United States Military Training Academy at West Point.

Asaro who is a PMSA senior and captain of the Robotics Team recently received his acceptance letter to West Point. The United States Military Academy ranks fourth among the nation's colleges and universities in number of Rhodes Scholars with 70. West Point has graduated generals, presidents, businessmen, public servants, and quite a few of this nation’s history makers and top leaders. Asaro will join the league of distinguished gentlemen in July 2010. In 2014 he will graduate as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

"I’ve always felt the need to serve my country,” said Asaro. “I also feel the need to lead. I’m excited about the opportunity West Point brings."

Only 10 percent of West Point applicants are accepted into the academy. Because of its superb education and leadership experience, West Point graduates historically have been sought for high-level civilian and military leadership positions, including two U.S. Presidents, several ambassadors, state governors, legislators, judges, cabinet members, educators, astronauts, engineers, and corporate executives.

Asaro’s father, John Asaro, who served in the U.S. Air Force, agrees that Sean is off to a great start and a great future.

"I’m very proud if him," said Mr. Asaro. "He’s always stood out as a leader. It’s just his nature. So, it’s a good fit."

Congratulations Sean! We’re proud of you!

 
  PMSA Students Stand Up for Haiti

 
 

The 2010 Haiti earthquake was a 7.0 magnitude natural disaster. As of February 12th, an estimated three million people were affected. Over 200,000 people died. An estimated 300,000 were injured, and over one million were left homeless. Soon after the quake hit, PMSA students stood in unity with the world and began to raise money in support of the Haitian people.

“When we heard about the quake in Haiti, we were shocked by the news and devastated by all of the images that were shown,” said PMSA sophomore Marvin Gomez. “We wanted to support them and do all that we could to help.”

PMSA students rallied together and begin to brainstorm ideas on what they could do to help.

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  PMSA Students: Published Author, Illustrator and Editor of “A Love Story”

 
 

Kiran Gogana is a junior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy and a part-time employee at Jamba Juice. She’s also the author of the newly published novel “A Love Story.”

Reading is one of Gogana’s favorite hobbies. She reads every single day, mostly romance novels. Her favorite love story is “Romeo and Juliet.” That play, written in the 1500’s by William Shakespeare, inspired her to create her own love story about pride, duties, her Indian culture, and how love conquers all.

“I read everyday,” said Gogana. “I loved reading “Romeo and Juliet.” Their story is so rare and it’s so special. I thought that if I were to write my own book it should be based on their story.”

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  PMSA Students Prepare for Regional Robotics Tournament

 
 

The Monty Pythons of Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy are teaming up and working hard to prepare for the Annual Regional Robotics Competition sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and researchers can be. This year’s competition is expected to draw 1,700 teams and 42,500 high school students from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the U.K., and every state in the U.S.

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  PMSA Students Named National Achievement Finalists

 
 

Two Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy seniors, Vernon Smith and Kaela Tyler, have been nominated as semifinalists in the 46th annual National Achievement Scholarship Program from over 160,000 students across the country.

The two students were lauded for their exceptional performance on the 2008 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying test (PSAT/NMSQT).

The finalists, who will be named this spring, must continue to demonstrate a record of high academic performance over the course of their high school careers, as well as earn similarly high SAT scores. There are approximately 800 Achievement Scholarship awards, worth some $2.6 million, to be offered in spring 2010.

Roughly 1,300 semifinalists are expected to advance to the finalist level. Achievement Scholar awardees will be chosen based on their abilities, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Every finalist will compete for one of the 700 National Achievement $2,500 scholarships.

Good Luck Kaela and Vernon. Congratulations!

 
  PMSA Scholar of Excellence: Academic Champion and Star Performer

 
  Anthony (A.J.) Williams II of Maywood is a freshman at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. Williams holds a 3.6 G.P.A. and is active in performing arts and music at the Academy. He was also recently honored by Operation Uplift, a local community organization, as a young leader with their “Vision 21 Youth Leadership & Motivational Award.”

“The Vision 21 Youth Leadership and Motivational Award honors students in our community who stand out among their peers in leadership, academics, and service,” said Operation Uplift President Northica Stone. “As a freshman in high school, A.J. has done so much. He’s traveled with an international theatre production displaying his talent. He’s quite the role model, and he has accomplished quite a bit for a freshman in high school. As a community, we’re proud of him.”

Stone said Williams was honored for his outstanding accomplishment in academics and theatre. As a member of The Maywood Fine Arts Association, Williams has done countless numbers of performances. In 2003, he was awarded "Kid Performer of the Year" by the Chocolate Chip Performing Arts Company. In 2007 he booked and played Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple, as the roles of "Young Harpo" and "Young Adam". In 2008 he was in Gershwins' Porgy and Bess at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Williams hopes to continue to use his talent at PMSA as he grows toward a career in performing arts. Williams said he is very thankful to be recognized and thankful for his experiences.

“I was very honored to be a part of Operation Uplift’s awards ceremony,” said Williams. “It just felt nice to be recognized for the things I’ve done. I was very grateful.”

Congratulations Williams! Keep up the good work.

 
  PTHS 209 Board Approves More Test Prep for All Three Schools

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will offer ACT and overall testing preparation after school and during school to help support PTHS students and their futures.

PTHS 209’s Board of Education recently approved a partnership with Cambridge Educational Services who will offer free ACT Prep Classes at all PTHS schools. Staff from Cambridge will work with students to help them prepare for the ACT test and raise their test scores.

“As Principals, we have discussed how important it is to enhance our students’ overall learning,” said Proviso West Principal Alexis Wallace. “We want to prepare them for college, prepare them for testing, and prepare them for their everyday course work. We know that our students’ grades and ACT test scores will have a major impact when they are applying for college entrance and scholarships. So we are giving them the support and the tools they need to succeed.”

Cambridge Educational Services will offer ACT and testing tutoring at Proviso East, Proviso West, and PMSA during and after school. The classes will come equipped with instructors, testing materials, and learning materials to help students improve their ACT scores, increase their opportunities for college admissions and scholarships, and to boost their overall academic achievement.

 
  Congratulations! PMSA Art Students Win Big at Triton Competition

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy art students won big this year in the local Triton High School Art Competition.

The Triton High School Art Competition is held every year for local high school students. About 12 schools within Triton’s residential area participated. High school students submitted nearly 700 pieces of artwork in all media categories including: photography, printmaking, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, painting drawing, mixed media and computer generated art. This year 10 pieces of art by PMSA students were awarded ribbons. Their artwork will be on display at the Triton art gallery for the next 4 weeks.

The following PMSA students won yellow (3rd place) ribbons: Lucero Aguirre (ceramics), Luis Real (sculpture), Ryan Carag (mixed media), Michelle Verceles (drawing), Freddy Cardenas (drawing), and Sandra Trujillo (mixed media),

PMSA students Lucero Aguirre (ceramics) and Yesenia Rodriguez (painting) won red (2nd place) ribbons. Lucero Aguirre also won a blue ribbon for another ceramic piece which went on to win the title of Best in the Ceramic Category and Best in Show.

Triton College will host a gala reception on February 10, 2010 from 6-9 p.m. to honor the participating student artists and their families and friends.

Congratulations PMSA Students! You are a vital part of Proviso Rising!

 
  Proviso Teachers Get More Professional Training and More High Tech Class Equipment to Promote Student Learning

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools’ teachers are enhancing their skills and bringing more high technology equipment into their classrooms to promote student learning and student engagement.

This week 16 PTHS biology teachers spent two days learning how to use labquest, CO2 gas sensors, temperature sensors, and oxygen sensors in order to incorporate the new equipment and knowledge into their curriculum.  The training is a part of PTHS’s overall focus on improving curriculum and instruction, and increasing the levels of engagement for PTHS students.

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  PTHS 209 Superintendent and Students Honored by Operation Uplift

 
  Proviso Township High Schools Superintendent, current PTHS students, and PTHS alum were celebrated for their excellence, leadership, and service at Operation Uplift’s 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon held on January 16th.

“This event gave us an opportunity to once again observe the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was the inspiration that promoted the beginnings of our self-help organization in 1968,” said Operation Uplift President Northica Stone. “Since Dr. King’s life was spent being an anchor of hope, peace, and empowerment, I congratulate each of our honorees who are great examples of that in our community. Their contributions and achievements will become their legacy.”

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  Active and Engaged: PMSA Students Study Human Rights and Genocide in South Africa

 
 

PMSA students traveled the seas to Africa without ever leaving the U.S. in their up close and personal civics lesson on human rights, activism, and genocide.

Carl Wilkens, the former head of Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) in Rwanda, visited Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. Wilkens was the only American who chose to remain in Kigali, Rwanda once the genocide began in 1994. His choice to stay enabled him to prevent the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide. Now he’s on a multi-city tour of the United States to share his story with students, teachers, activists, policy makers and community members.

As he shared his experiences with PMSA students, Wilkens spoke about the courage and resilience he witnessed in Rwanda, while encouraging PMSA students that they have the power to make a difference.

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  PTHS 209 Partners with West 40 to Help Boost Student Achievement

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools will partner with West 40 in a program designed to help school districts in west Cook County to improve students’ mathematical skills.

LSRI and West 40 will work with 11 school districts in west Cook County on a cross-district, mathematics-improvement initiative that is built around preparation for algebra in the middle grades and the teaching of algebra in eighth and ninth grades.

The program was welcomed into PTHS as a part of a comprehensive mathematics-improvement initiative developed to help improve student success rates in algebra through more effective middle-school mathematics instruction and more effective teaching of algebra.

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  PTHS’s Joe Spagnolo to Enter Sports Hall of Fame

 
 

Joe Spagnolo is a living legend at Proviso Township High Schools, who will soon be recognized as a legend in the state of Illinois. He’s been elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball.

Spagnolo is a Proviso West Alum who has served Proviso Township High Schools and its students for over 30 years, imparting a legacy of leadership, service, and commitment. Active and committed for more than a quarter of a century, Spagnolo has been a staple in PTHS serving as coach, official, athletic administrator and information technology specialist. He is executive director of one of the nation’s top tournaments, the Proviso’s West Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament. In 2000 Spagnolo was named to Proviso West Holiday Tournament's All-Time All Tournament Team as one of the 40 most influential individuals of the event, which included Illinois basketball legends such as Isiah Thomas, Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers and Mark Aguirre. His induction into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame is only the latest of his honors.

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  PMSA Reaches $1 Million in College Scholarships

 
 

Congratulations to the students of Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy! The school has reached $1 million in college scholarship offers.



 
  PMSA Scholar of Excellence

 
 

Diana Rivera, of Berkley, is an active senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. She takes leadership roles in clubs and activities to help support her school, other students, and the overall community.

Rivera holds a 3.6 G.P.A. while working full-time at Best Buy in Melrose Park. She is one of the original founders of the Go Green Club, a member of the Robotics Team, the recycling club, and PMSA’s Mentorship Program. She acted as homecoming chair, served on the prom decorating committee, and she is a major advocate for PMSA’s points program, a local business fundraising project.

Rivera says she loves being active because she loves being a part of Proviso. “I love my school,” said Rivera. “I love the fact that it is so integrated. We’re like one big family.”

Rivera hopes to attend Illinois State University and major in Economics and International Business.

Congratulations Diana! You are a PTHS 209 Scholar of Excellence.

 
  PTHS 209 Takes Bold Steps Toward School Improvement

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools is implementing new strategies and improving alliances in an aggressive campaign to support students and raise overall academic achievement.

Prep Academy, SRA Reading, benchmark assessments, Target Teach, free tutoring services, increased teacher training and additional learning materials have been put into place in order to create a strong foundation for school improvement. Also beginning second semester, the District is also planning to implement test prep and an after school program.

“The PTHS 209 Board of Education has clearly identified goals for improving our schools in every area,” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “Our recent test results were also indicators of where we need to improve. We know our challenges. We know that there is no magic button that will help us gain instant results. But, we also know that we have great teachers, we have eager students, and we have some great things in place to help us increase student achievement.”

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  PMSA Enters First Year of Accreditation

 
 

It’s another first for Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy! This year, PMSA will seek NCA Accreditation from AdvancED, the world’s largest education community.

PMSA is already accredited by Illinois NCA CASI. Now, they are seeking North Central Accreditation (NCA), which is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools. The accreditation process helps focus schools on a continuous process of improvement, providing external checks, support, and feedback to help schools. Accredited schools use the NCA standards to continually ask themselves, “What more can we be doing to benefit our students?”

“I have every confidence that our program will meet the standards of NCA,” said PMSA Principal Ed Moyer. “Our program is based on a solid structure and our results indicate that we are on the right track. We’re all looking forward to the accreditation process.”

When truly embraced by the school, the accreditation process breeds a culture dedicated to excellence - never satisfied with good, always striving for greatness. Accreditation engages the entire school community in a continuous process of self-evaluation, reflection, and improvement. It invites external scrutiny and welcomes the constructive feedback of peers. It demands rigor, is based in data, and approaches documentation of results with discipline. Accreditation is about making the quest for excellence a habit; it's about being the best a school can be on behalf of the students it serves.

Proviso East and Proviso West High School are already NCA Accredited institutions. District officials hope to complete PMSA’s accreditation process this year.

 
  PTHS Students to Get Civics Lessons First Hand

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools students will get a modern civics lesson first hand by participating in Cook County’s Student Election Judge Program.

“Our students will work closely with and receive training from the Cook County Clerk’s Office,” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “I encourage all of our students to participate and learn as much as they can about the elections process and the important roles they play as responsible and informed citizens.”

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  PMSA Students Dedicate Innovation Lab to Science Teacher and Robotics Founder

 
 

Building robots, planting trees, pushing, inspiring, and motivating, those are just a few of the things for which PMSA physics teacher Tom Dix will be remembered. On Monday, October 26th PMSA administrators and students dedicated the school’s Science Innovation Lab to Mr. Dix, in memoriam, so that his legacy will live on at PMSA for years to come.

“This is our chance to celebrate Tom’s impact on all of us,” said PMSA Principal Ed Moyer. “It’s also an opportunity for the Robotics Team to share the wonder that was his life. He turned this place into a true innovation lab. And he had a profound impact on all of us.”

A resident of Oak Park, Mr. Dix, 39, died Thursday, Sept. 17 after a hard fought battle with melanoma. He’d been a dedicated teacher and an essential part of the PMSA family since 2006. He was a master at science and founded the school’s award-winning Robotics Team.  The innovation lab is the place where students turned parts into masterpieces and dreams into reality.

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  PMSA Robotics Team Presents Violence Prevention Program Overview to Triton College

 
 

The Monty Pythons of PMSA’s Robotics Team stayed active in PTHS communities over the summer promoting engineering, education, and non-violence in partnership with Triton Community College. On Tuesday, October 20th the Pythons presented an overview of their program to Triton College’s Board of Trustees.

The Robotics Team Summer Program called BEAST (Bringing Effective Anti-violence Strategies Together) is a summer program for kids ages 5 - 13. BEAST focuses on using robotics and engineering as a tool to teach anti-violence. PMSA students worked with youth and their peers from July 6 - 10.

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  PMSA Student Attends Purdue Engineering Camp

 
  PMSA junior and Bellwood resident Darius Goodrich spent the summer increasing his testing and engineering skills through Purdue University’s Engineering Camp.

The Purdue University Pre-Freshman and Cooperative Education (PREFACE) program was developed in 1980 and designed to give students completing their freshman or sophomore year in high school an opportunity to explore engineering for a week on Purdue’s main campus. Students nationwide were chosen based on their high school grades and their math or science teachers’ recommendation.

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  PTHS 209 to Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

 
  Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will join schools across the United States in celebration of Red Ribbon week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.

This year, PTHS will celebrate Red Ribbon Week October 17th - 25th. During Red Ribbon Week, teachers and staff emphasize drug prevention and awareness. Each school hosts activities to encourage students to have a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to live drug free lives. The ultimate goal is to create a drug free America.

Red Ribbon Week is also an opportunity for parents to talk with students and reinforce the importance of education and the consequences of drug use.

 
  Proviso Students Invited to Teachers of Tomorrow Conference

 
  On Saturday, October 24th, 2009, Proviso’s Golden Apple Teachers of Distinction and Golden Apple Teachers across Illinois will host a “Teachers of Tomorrow” Conference to inspire students to pursue teaching careers, and to encourage teachers who are new to the field.

“This workshop is the perfect opportunity to find out what being a teacher is all about and how to become one,” said Proviso East Golden Apple Teacher Glen Lid. “The Golden Apple Teachers of Illinois have been recognized as those who light knowledge on fire. Their techniques are imaginative and energetic. We need more well trained and passionate teachers, now more than ever before. Teachers touch the future.”

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  Congratulations to PMSA’s Newly Elected Student Council

 
 

President – Shaun Asaro
Vice President – Tracy Mock
Treasurer – Melissa Marquez
Secretary – Chinelo Agwuncha
Senior Representative – Jenny Six
Junior Representative – Nate Anderson
Sophomore Representatives – Leea Driscoll, Trixy Ugarte
Freshman Representatives – Martha Garcia, Lily Galloway

 
  PTHS 209 Back-to-School Night a Success!
Bring Your Parent to School Day Oct 8th

 
 

PTHS 209’s “Back-to-School Night” was a rousing success with a record number of parents showing up to support their students’ education. Administrators are hoping for another overflow of parent participation on October 8th as they host “Bring Your Parents to School Day.”

During “Bring Your Parents to School Day,” PTHS parents will follow their students’ schedules and talk with teachers and administrators about expectations, their students’ learning needs, and how they can help support their students’ success.

PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart will circulate through each school to talk with parents, students, and teachers.

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  PMSA Seniors Test Scores Among Top in the Nation

 
 

PMSA seniors John Lee, of Forest Park, and Jennifer Ugarte, of Stone Park, say they have yet another accolade to add to their college applications. These two seniors were recently commended by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMC) for scoring in the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students in the nation on their PSATs.

“The young people named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding academic potential by their strong performance,” commented a spokesperson for NMC. “We hope that this recognition will enhance their educational opportunities and that they will continue to diligently pursue their professional goals.”

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PMSA Educator Uses Summer Sessions to Find New Ways To Improve High School Science Education

 
 

POGIL Project Moves to Secondary Education

This summer, a dedicated group of educators, including one from Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, began working on an initiative that is designed to change the experience and education of local high school students in their chemistry and biology classrooms.

The POGIL (Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Project is a classroom and laboratory technique that seeks to simultaneously teach students content and key process skills such as the ability to think analytically and work effectively as part of a collaborative team at the same time.

About 30 high school teachers from 18 states met in July to begin creating a comprehensive set of classroom-tested activities and materials for biology and chemistry instruction, based on the POGIL methodology.

Dr. Greta Bryson, a representative from Proviso Township High Schools, attended the intensive four-day session.

Thus far, the High School POGIL Initiative has made great strides in encouraging undergraduate level science classrooms to focus not just on content knowledge, but also process skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication. It creates a discovery-based team environment, energizes students, and provides instructors with instant and constant feedback about what their students understand and misunderstand.

This makes it a perfect fit for PMSA’s model of inquiry and discovery.

 
  A Message from the Principal of PMSA

 
 

Notice on Beverages

Beginning this school year, our practice at PMSA is to not allow students to bring into the building any bottled beverage or empty containers. This has been announced to students and several autodial messages have gone out to all families. The primary reason for this is to maintain the cleanliness of our learning environment. In the past, this ban has not been in place and the result is that many students have simply left a significant amount of trash on the floors and in the classrooms. This has led to a general lack of cleanliness that we simply can no longer allow. With our student population nearly 700 students now, we are too large to allow this to continue. Please understand that lunches may of course be brought in, but they must be consumed in the cafeteria. Beverages are sold during the lunch periods, and cups for water are also available. Again, no food is allowed to be brought into classrooms by students. Please note also that teachers allow students reasonable opportunities during class for the bathroom or a drink of water.

We have so many things of which to be proud at the Academy. The graduation of the first senior class, the achievement of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for our second year of eligibility, and the excitement of this year's senior class and their journey through the college application process are all amazing accomplishments. Our building is also something of which we can be proud, and this step is necessary to ensure it remains a world-class facility. We are sorry for any confusion this may have caused. Thank you for your assistance and your patience.

Edward Moyer, Jr.
Principal, Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy

 
  PMSA Juniors to Host Blood Drive

 
 

On Wednesday, September 16th from 8am-3pm PMSA Juniors will hold their first blood drive of the year and their first Junior Class Fundraiser.

The blood drive is open to students, faculty, and the Proviso community.

“We're really excited,” said PMSA Junior and Blood Drive Coordinator Jenny Six. “The PMSA blood drives act not only as community service event, but also as our fundraiser. We are part of a program within Lifesource that allows us to get rewards money for donating. How much money we receive depends on how many units of blood we collect during each drive.”

This year PMSA Juniors will receive their “school rewards” check from the LifeSource Blood Center on the day of their blood drive. PMSA’s junior class looks forward to welcoming PTHS family, friends, students, and faculty to help support their cause.

“I'm really proud that so many of our students, faculty, and community members are willing to donate blood, “said Six. “They really take the mission of LifeSource and our junior class to heart.”

LifeSource officials will be in PMSA’s auditorium on Wednesday, September 16th from 8am-3pm. Doors will be open to the public.

 
  PTHS 209 to Host Back to School Night

 
 

On Thursday Sept 17, 2009, Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host “Back to School Night” to give parents, students, and teachers an opportunity to connect, discuss students’ progress, goals, and expectations.

During “Back to School Night”, parents are encouraged to come to school with their children for the evening.

“This is a great way for parents to become more actively involved in their children's education. At Back to School Night, parents will have the opportunity to dialogue with teachers and administrators, and take a closer look and develop a clear understanding of what expectations have been set forth for this new school year,” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “It is vitally important that parents take an active role in their students’ success. This event will encourage teachers and parents to develop positive relationships. It will also be encouraging for students to see how invested their parents are in their education.”

According to a summary written by Johns Hopkins University, when parents participate in events like “Back to School Night”, students’ behavior and production improves. PTHS 209’s “Back to School Night” is designed to provide parents with the insight and tools they need to help their children become better students.

Doors open for “Back to School Night” at Proviso East, Proviso West, and at PMSA, on Thursday, Sept 17th, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!

 
  Proviso West and PMSA Students Team Up for High Energy Physics

 
 

Proviso West and PMSA students sharpened their physics and exploratory skills over the summer through participation in the QuarkNet summer workshop hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

QuarkNet seeks to involve high-school teachers and their students in cutting-edge research on the structure of matter and the fundamental forces of nature. During the summer, scientists work with teachers and students on physics projects that enhance their ability in science and discovery. This year, participants assembled cosmic ray detectors.

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  PMSA Student Selected to Serve on Advisory Council for Illinois’ State Board of Education

 
 

Congratulations to PMSA Senior Chinelo Agwuncha, who was selected from a “deep and richly” talented pool of students from across Illinois to serve as a member of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Student Advisory Council members will meet with the Illinois State Board of Education during the 2009-2010 school year and provide valuable insight on important academic issues from a student’s perspective.

“I feel happy and excited to be a part of something so big and so important,” said Agwuncha. “I look forward to working with other students from across Illinois, observing the state board, and understanding what their priorities are. Hopefully, I will be able to work with other students and come to a consensus on how to solve various issues plaguing our school systems.”

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  Go Monty Pythons: PMSA Robotics Team Stays Active Over the Summer Supporting Violence Prevention

 
 

The Monty Pythons of PMSA’s Robotics Team stayed active in PTHS communities over the summer promoting engineering, education, and non-violence in partnership with Triton Community College.

The Robotics Team Summer Program called BEAST (Bringing Effective Anti-violence Strategies Together) is a summer program for kids ages 5 – 13. BEAST focuses on using robotics and engineering as a tool to teach anti-violence. PMSA students worked with youth and their peers from July 6 – 10.

PMSA Senior and Robotics Team Member Jenny Six said the Monty Pythons take pride in working within the community.

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  PTHS 209 Summer School Off to a Great Start

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Summer School is off to a great start with over 1,000 students enrolled and working toward academic enrichment and educational development.

Students began summer school on June 8th and are taking classes in core areas such as reading, algebra, English, science, and social studies. This year’s summer school will not only allow students to earn necessary credit hours, but will also serve as a bridge to prepare students for curriculum changes to come.

“This summer school session is crucial to getting our students additional help where they need it and understanding the barriers to student learning,” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “Next year they will be returning to a more rigorous curriculum. This is our opportunity to identify some of the learning gaps and prepare our students for more challenging course work.”

Proviso Township High Schools’ faculty of Proviso East, Proviso West, and PMSA are working together all summer long in preparation for curriculum alignment, and the implementation of the school improvement model TargetTeach—which is designed to enhance the academic curriculum and raise the academic achievement of students in District 209. It’s also designed to create rigorous lessons in the class rooms beginning with the 2009-2010 school year.

Summer School classes are being held at Proviso West and Proviso East High Schools Monday through Thursday until July 16, 2009.

 
  PMSA Student Selected for Position through the American Chemical Society

 
 

PMSA Junior Maritza Rodriguez has been recognized for her intellectual ability and enthusiasm through her selection into the highly competitive, Project SEED Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Rodriguez was chosen by the American Chemical Society (ACS), which is the world’s largest scientific society, to participate in the 8 week summer program. The ACS Project SEED summer research program opens new doors for economically disadvantaged students to experience what it’s like to be a chemist.

The Project Seed Program is a national nonprofit program designed to increase the number of youth majoring in, and pursuing careers in science.

While in the program, Maritza will work with Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Sandra Whaley.

Congratulations Maritza!! We are proud of you! Best of luck!!!

 
 
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