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  Summer School Off to a Strong Start

 
 

Summer school in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 began on Monday, June 10, and is off to a great start with almost 700 students enrolled in classes, including the district’s Summer Reading Program.

At Proviso East High School, 214 students are taking courses in English, social studies, science, math, driver’s education, band, and NJROTC, up from 158 students enrolled last year. Proviso West High School has 457 students taking classes in English, math, science, social studies, physical education, and driver’s education as well as several electives. This is up from the 348 students who were enrolled during summer 2012. Most of the students enrolled at both schools are taking the classes, which run now through July 11, to recover credit and to meet promotion and graduation requirements.

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  District 209 Seniors Win Scholarships Totaling Almost $20 Million

 
 

Graduating seniors in Proviso Township High Schools were awarded nearly $20 million in scholarships from colleges, universities, and local organizations.

College-bound students from Proviso East High School earned a total of $4.7 million in scholarships and grants, topping last year’s figure of $3.3 million, said Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East. Graduating seniors from Proviso Math and Science Academy won a whopping total of $9.24 million in scholarships, which is more than the $8.4 million awarded last year. At Proviso West High School, 57 members of the Class of 2013 won $6.05 million in scholarships from various organizations, topping last year’s total of $3.9 million. The $19.99 million in awards were presented to the students based on criteria such as academics, community service, and activities.

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  Proviso West Track Star Earns Track Scholarship

 
 

Jabria Stainback has been a mainstay on the Proviso West High School track team for the last few years, competing in numerous events.

This fall, she will take her talents on the track and in the classroom to the University of St. Francis in Joliet.

Jabria, 18 and a senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy, signed her letter of intent to St. Francis on April 12 as Steve Lawrence, associate head track coach at St. Francis, and Jabria’s family looked on in the PMSA main office. She said that she had considered the University of Iowa and Illinois State University, but she felt very welcome at St. Francis.

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  PMSA Gets New Piano Through McDonald Family Donation

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy has a new piano, thanks to the generosity of a River Forest couple.

John and Glena McDonald donated a historic Kimball grand piano to PMSA last month after reaching out to area schools with the offer. Mr. McDonald said that the piano originally belonged to his father, who passed on to him after the elder McDonald passed away in 1991. The McDonald family has a long history of being in music, with Mr. McDonald’s grandfather having been a concert pianist in Europe in the 1870s and 1880s before moving from Ireland to Chicago in 1885 to work with the Kimball Company.

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  District Offices, Schools Begin Summer Hours

 
  Offices and schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will operate under summer hours that will include being closed on Fridays.

Beginning on Monday, June 3, all district offices and schools will be open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Offices and schools will be closed on Fridays.

District 209 will return to regular school years hours on Monday, July 29.

 
  District 209 Congratulates the Class of 2013

 
 

Nearly 900 members of the Class of 2013 said “goodbye” to Proviso East High School, Proviso Math and Science Academy, and Proviso West High School at commencement ceremonies held on Sunday, May 26, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

The 898 seniors at the three schools graduated with pomp and circumstance during the ceremonies that were a mixture of congratulations for their efforts and hard work, happiness for graduating, and sadness in leaving friends and high school behind them as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.

Click here for a slideshow of the event!

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  Board of Education Honors Top Scholars, Staff, and Community Partners

 
 

The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education honored the district’s top students as well as distinguished staff and community partners at the last regular Board meeting of the school year in May.

The board first recognized the achievements of its top scholars. From Proviso East High School, it was valedictorian Brittany Buckner and salutatorian Stephany Galindo. From Proviso West High School, it was valedictorian Chinemerem Katherine Oduh and salutatorian Tania Sosa. The honorees at PMSA were the top research scholars from Proviso Math and Science Academy, Christina Bolek and Erin Belk.

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  Top District 209 Students Named to Academic Hall of Fame

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 honors academic excellence.

With that goal in mind, the top two students of the Class of 2013 at Proviso East High School, Proviso Math and Science Academy, and Proviso West High School were honored recently by being named to the District 209 Academic Hall of Fame.

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  District 209 Honors Retirees, Long-Time Employees

 
 

Proviso Township High School District 209 said, “Thank you” and “A job well done” to 60 of its employees – including 12 who are retiring at the end of the school year. The employees were recognized at the annual Faculty and Staff Retirement and Recognition Dinner on May 16 at the Midwest Conference Center in Northlake.

The faculty and staff members were celebrated at the special dinner for their extraordinary contributions to the district. They included 25 employees who have served in the district for at least 15 years, four who earned a graduate degree during the past year, and 19 faculty and staff members who made a special contribution and effort to the district and its schools.

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  PMSA Student Completes Research at Loyola Medical School

 
 

During her junior year at Proviso Math and Science Academy, Christina Bolek took a scientific research core class that she enjoyed.

That encouraged her to apply and eventually be accepted into the Research Mentorship Program in which she was placed at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University. Every Tuesday after school since late November, she conducted research. Her research topic was “Comparative Studies on the Anticoagulant, Antiprotease and Thrombin Generation Inhibition on Various Generic Versions of Low Molecular Weight Heparins, Enoxaparins” with Dr. Jawed Fareed, a Loyola University pathology and pharmacology professor and the director of the Special Coagulation Laboratory and the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Program.

Christina, now a senior, said that she thought the research experience would help her prepare to enter the field of forensic chemistry, which she plans to study at the University of Mississippi this fall.

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  District 209 Schools Improve Participation Level on State Tests

 
  One of the goals of the District has been to ensure that students fully participate in both days of state tests. This is a minimum requirement to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

This year, schools really hit the mark. At least 95 percent of the juniors at all three schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 took the ACT/PSAE during the last month.

At Proviso East High School, 97 percent of the juniors took the exams during the regular testing dates on April 23 and 24 as well as the make-up dates on May 7 and 8. Proviso West High School had a final count of 95.7 percent of its juniors taking the tests on the same dates. Proviso Math and Science Academy had 100 percent participation, said Mr. Ed Moyer, executive director of assessment and planning for the district. Each school is expected to meet 95 percent in order to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

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  PMSA Students Show Final Results at Research Symposium

 
 

Juniors and seniors at Proviso Math and Science Academy showed the final results of months-long research projects at the sixth annual PMSA Research Symposium on Monday, May 13, at PMSA.

About 450 students displayed and presented the processes and the end results of research projects that covered a broad range of subjects. They included topics such as video games’ link to creativity, domestic violence within the immigrant women community, liberal media vs. conservative media on the topic of abortion, the effect of caffeinated beverages on adolescents’ grade point averages, and causes of negative stereotyping of African-Americans.

Dr. Cynthia Daniels, a PMSA science teacher who coordinated the symposium with Ms. Charlene Broxton, a PMSA science teacher, and Mr. Ed Moyer, executive director of assessment and planning for District 209, said that students wrote a 25- to 42-page paper on their research topics. The topics, presentations, and posters that were displayed in the halls of the top four floors of PMSA had to show the methods of research, a discussion and the students’ findings.

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  New Board of Education Sworn In

 
 

Four members of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education—including new member Teresa McKelvy—were sworn in at a special board meeting on Monday evening at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Mrs. McKelvy and incumbents Daniel Adams, Brian Cross, and Kevin McDermott were re-elected to the board on April 9. Ms. McKelvy said that she was appreciative of her opportunity to serve on the board of education.

“I’m excited about this new role, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Mrs. McKelvy said.

Mrs. McKelvy replaces former board president and 12-year board member Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who opted to not run for re-election after he was elected as state representative for the 7th District. Mr. Welch said that he was proud of the accomplishments that were made during his time on the board, including opening PMSA in 2005, balancing the budget, and starting a bus transportation program.

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  PMSA Participates in Demonstration on the Perils of Texting, Drinking While Driving

 
 

Students at Proviso Math and Science Academy got a lesson in the dangers of texting while driving and drinking and driving recently, thanks to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s Youth Services Department held a series of hands-on demonstration at PMSA on April 12 that helped students learn more about how dangerous distracted driving can be. With the use of simulators and other tools, the students became more aware of those dangers.

“Kids think they’re invincible,” said Ms. Jennifer Stompor, a PMSA math teacher and senior class sponsor who helped coordinate the seminar. “It’s a quick 40-minute seminar on drunk driving. It’s a time in their lives with prom and graduation parties where they need to be aware of what can happen.”

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  District 209 to Say "Thank You" to Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be joining with school districts across the country to honor teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week May 6 to 10.

Every year during National Teacher Appreciation Week, District 209 works to say thanks and show appreciation for the great work that teachers throughout the district do each day.

“Teachers are the backbone of our educational institutions,” said Dr. Nettie-Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “Students are able to thrive and pursue their dreams thanks to teachers. A week is not enough time to celebrate everything teachers do, but we want to make sure that they know how much they are valued and how much we appreciate all that they do especially during this week.”

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  May 30 and 31 Slated for Make-Up Days

 
  The District 209 make-up days for the two school days that were cancelled last week due to the flood will be May 30 and 31.

District 209 officials closed school for students and teachers on April 18 and 19 due to the flood event. May 30 and 31 are the first two emergency days on the District’s calendar.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that further details related to the make-up days, including schedules for exams, will be forthcoming. Questions about the details can be directed to building principals or the superintendent’s office.

 
  Sterling Brown Named to Sun-Times All-Area Boys’ Basketball Team

 
  Sterling Brown, a Proviso Math and Science Academy senior who recently led Proviso East to the Illinois High School Association boys’ basketball state finals for the second straight year, has been named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area Boys’ Basketball Team.

Sterling, who will attend and play basketball at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas next year, averaged 12.7 points per game and 11 rebounds per game as he led the Pirates to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament. He said that he felt proud that he was named to the team.

“It feels good to be listed among the best players in the area,” said Sterling, who also was named to the Chicago Tribune’s All-State Third Team. “I’m going out considered one of the best [players] of the area.”

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  State Testing Goes Well in District 209

 
  State testing is being considered a success in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 this past week.

More than 90 percent of the District’s 918 juniors took the ACT and the PSAE on April 23 and 24. The District is working to reach at least the 95 percent make-up window as required by the state through an aggressive outreach to students who missed the test. The make-up period is very important. This followed a massive prep and public awareness campaign at all three district schools that stressed the importance of not only showing up for the exams, but being ready and taking them seriously.

“These exams were far-reaching and obviously important for our district, but I would say that overall, testing went well,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “Many thanks deservedly go out to our faculty and staff for all of the hard work they put into making this a success.”

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  30 Students Honored for Outstanding Math and Science

 
 

Thirty students from Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy were honored by the Society of Women Engineers and the American Association of Physics Teachers on Monday, April 8, at Proviso West High School.

Mr. Bob Hurley, a science teacher at Proviso East High School and organizer of the ceremony, said that the awards are a big deal for the givers and the recipients.

“These are nationally recognized awards,” he told the crowd of parents, teachers, and students. “By putting this down, it will help you on your college application.”

As part of the evening, the students were able to thank teachers who had been instrumental in their accomplishments, some reaching back to their elementary and junior high school days.

Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

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  PMSA Welcomes Class of 2017

 
 

A student who is involved in activities at school is one who tends to do better in the classroom, according to Ms. Kim Echols, principal at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

“The aim of education should be to teach us how to think,” she told a crowd of about 300 incoming eighth-graders and their parents at PMSA’s Incoming Freshmen Night on Thursday, April 4, at the school.

Ms. Echols said that of the 583 applicant students from the schools that feed into Proviso Township High Schools District 209, only 200 were selected to attend for the next four years at PMSA. Those who do get an opportunity to take challenging classes, including early bird band and engineering by design, as well as foreign language and dual credit courses at nearby Triton College.

Click here to view a slideshow of the event.

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  PMSA Sisters Earn Thousands of Dollars in College Scholarships

 
 

Twin sisters Brittany and Brianna Winfield have been working hard for the last year to find money for college.

The hard work has paid off for the Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA) seniors, as they earned more than $100,000 in scholarships from schools and foundations.

“It was overwhelming at first,” said Brittany, 18, who plans to study nursing at the University of Missouri after winning a $65,000 scholarship there. “But now that I know I don’t have to pay anything my first year, I’m happy to make my family proud.”

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  Find Out More About the ACT/PSAE

 
 

More information is available about the ACT/PSAE on the website of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 at www.pths209.org/academics/actpsae.

The website includes a schedule of events for the two days of testing at the district’s three schools and information for parents in both English and Spanish.

 
  Prep Programs Help Prepare Students for Tests

 
 

Schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 are offering different programs to help juniors prepare for the upcoming ACT/PSAE on April 23 and 24.

Robert Modiest, 16, a Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA) junior, said the constant drilling during the KeyTrain sessions is helping him to become a better test-taker.

“It gives you practice problems,” he said. “It focuses on reading and math, but there are other things. It’s repetitive, but it helps me. If you keep doing stuff over and over, it helps.”

Robert is among the several hundred students in District 209 who are using various prep programs to gear up for the upcoming ACT/PSAE. The programs, which are offered both during the school day and on Saturdays, are designed to help junior students improve their performance and to help faculty determine which students need more help. The tests are important in measuring a student’s readiness not only for college, but for a future career as well..

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  Jameer Thurman Places Third at State Wrestling Finals

 
 

The athletic successes continue for Jameer Thurman.

Thurman, a senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy, recently placed in third place at 195 pounds for Proviso West in the IHSA State Wrestling Finals. This follows a successful football season at Proviso West where he starred as a defensive back and helped lead the Panthers to a fourth straight appearance in the state playoffs.

Thurman, 18, said that he approached the wrestling finals as something fun to do. Crediting his coaches for his success, he said that he wanted to end his high school wrestling career well.

“I wanted to end my wrestling career on a high note,” he said. “Third place in state was what I was thinking about.”

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  PMSA Wins $49,000 AP Grant

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy is a step closer to having an Advanced Placement (AP) program as early as next year.

This comes after the school was awarded a $49,000 grant from the College Board, which produces the AP curriculum in subjects ranging from English and science to math and languages for schools across the country.

Bill Breisch, assistant principal at PMSA, said that getting an AP program at the school is part of the board goals that school leaders set with the Board of Education.

“We’ve had a number of students take the AP tests without taking the coursework,” he said. “Having that coursework will increase their test scores overall. It helps students prepare for college.”

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  PMSA Robotics Team Aims for Title

 
 

Blake Comenduley has high hopes for the Monty Pythons, the robotics team from Proviso Math and Science Academy, at the upcoming FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Midwest Regional Competition.

“We’re hoping to bring home a regional trophy,” said Comenduley, a PMSA senior and the captain of the team.

Comenduley is the fourth captain in the seven-year history of the Monty Pythons, which has built a robot to perform various tasks at regional contests, including this year’s contest at the UIC Pavilion on April 4 to 6. Partnering with Triton College, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Dynomax, Inc., and working at nearby Triton College, the team is tasked with building a robot that can maneuver through an obstacle course, shoot a Frisbee into a target, and climb a pyramid. The robot’s performance is then paired with a presentation from the team about what it has learned from the construction of the robot. The robot construction ran from early January until the final eligible day on February 19.

Click here for a Robotics Club slideshow!

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  District 209 to Host Public Forum on Special Education

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host a public forum on special education at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

The forum, conducted by the Illinois Board of Education Division of Special Education Services, will focus on the needs of students in special education programs in the district and state requirements for implementing the programs.  Included will be an explanation of the focused monitoring review process, for which Proviso East and Proviso West High Schools have been selected, as well as an overview of the state’s general supervision system. The program will be conducted in both English and Spanish.

The public forum will last about 90 minutes, with time set aside for questions from the audience.

 
  Harrell Named Board of Education Vice President

 
 

Francine Harrell was named the new vice president of the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education at the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, February 20, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Mrs. Harrell was nominated by board member, Brian Cross, and approved in an overwhelming vote. She takes over for Dan Adams, who became board president in January after Chris Welch stepped down after 10 years in the position.

“I think it’s great,” Mr. Adams said of Mrs. Harrell’s appointment. “She’s a great board member.”

Mrs. Harrell, who has been on the board since 2011, will serve as vice president until at least April, when the school board will hold its organizational meeting following the April 9 election.

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  School Improvement Team Addresses Ways to Improve PMSA at Board Forum

 
 

Administrators, teachers, and students from Proviso Math and Science Academy presented information on ways to improve the school at a community forum held at PMSA on Monday, February 25.

The forum, which was sponsored by the Board of Education, included Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA, and a panel of teachers and parents discussing the steps the school is taking to raise student achievement on state tests and other areas. The forum was the last in a series of five that the Board of Education sponsored that focused on school improvement at each of Proviso Township High Schools District 209’s three schools.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that PMSA has a “record of excellence” since its opening in 2005. However, more can be done.

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  Students Learn About a Piece of Black History in The Meeting  
 

Students, faculty and the community in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 got an education about civil rights icons, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, February 19 to 21. The event culminated with a performance of The Meeting, a one-act play about a fictional meeting between the two leaders.

The performance of The Meeting was the culmination of three days of workshops about the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, as part of District 209’s celebration of Black History Month. Starring noted actors Kevin McIlvaine as Malcolm X and Edward D. Richardson as King, The Meeting is a one-act play set in 1965 in Malcolm’s hotel room in Harlem. The duo debated about how to achieve racial harmony, with King advocating peaceful resistance, and Malcolm pushing for economic independence, human rights, unity and solidarity.

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  PMSA Junior Wins Volunteer Service Award

 
 

Ava Raddatz likes to help people.

On February 25, the Proviso Math and Science Academy junior found out that she was being honored for her service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have devoted significant amounts of their time to serving others, was presented by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program and included a letter signed by President Barack Obama.


[Photo courtesy of Chicago Zoological Society]

Ava, 16, said that when Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA, told her about the award, she thought that she was referring to the Cook County Sheriff’s Youth Service Medal that she won in November 2011.

“I was shocked,” Ava said.

She has been active in the community since junior high school, volunteering at Brookfield Zoo as a guide, at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in the maternity ward, and at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital as a hospital guide.

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  Black History Performance Connects History, Community, and Curriculum

 
  What if civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had met? What would that meeting have looked like?

Theater-goers will get a chance to imagine that at the performance of The Meeting by Jeff Stetson. The performance will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 21, at the Proviso East High School auditorium as part of District 209’s celebration of Black History Month. Starring noted actors Kevin McIlvaine as Malcolm X and Edward D. Richardson as King, The Meeting is a one-act play set in 1965 in Malcolm’s hotel room in Harlem. The duo debate about how to achieve racial harmony, with King advocating peaceful resistance, and Malcolm pushing for economic independence, human rights, unity and solidarity.

[Click on the image to see the full-page flyer!]

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  District 209 Student-Athletes Commit to Colleges  
 

Six student-athletes from District 209 schools officially signed their letters of intent with the colleges of their choice on February 6. The signings were part of National Signing Day, in which football players across the country officially indicated the colleges for which they will compete and attend next year.

Proviso East had five players commit to colleges, including Antony Greenhow, a defensive end who will attend Southern Illinois University, and Rashad Williams, an offensive tackle who will go to the University of North Dakota. In addition, Adonis Barker, a safety, Darnell Toney, a linebacker, and Langdon Johnson, a running back, will all attend Robert Morris University in Chicago. Also, Jameer Thurman, a senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy who played defensive back at Proviso West, faxed in his letter of intent to Indiana State University earlier in the day.

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  PMSA Students Jump Rope for Heart

 
 

Students at Proviso Math and Science Academy were moving and getting their hearts racing during their physical education class on Friday, February 1.

However, rather than seeing just the benefits of fitness, the students also helped raise more than $1,600 for the American Heart Association as part of its Jump Rope for Heart Competition. Held every two years at PMSA, the contest was a way for students to work on their own fitness and help fight heart disease while having some fun in the process.

“We want to bring awareness to heart disease,” said Ms. Tracy McCormick, chairperson of the wellness department at PMSA. “We’re making it fun for the kids.”

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  PMSA Student Named a Posse Scholar

 
 

Monet Jackson has been an active leader during her years at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

That leadership recently led to her being named a Posse Scholar, meaning she has received a full-tuition scholarship courtesy of the Posse Foundation. The Posse Foundation, with sites across the country including Chicago, selects public high school students with “extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes,” according to the group’s website. The Posse Foundation then places its selected students in teams of 10 to continue to “pursue personal and academic excellence,” the website said.

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  PTHS Board of Education to Host School Improvement Forums

 
 

The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education will host a series of community forums on school improvement in February in District 209 Schools.

Parents, students, community members and other stakeholders in the district will get a chance to hear from district administrators on school improvement efforts and initiatives in the district. Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent, said that the beginning of the session will have each principal and his or her school improvement team as well as faculty and staff representatives speak about their efforts in school improvement and student achievement. There will be a question/answer/discussion period.

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  PMSA Ranked Among Top Schools

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy is ranked among the top schools on several local and national lists recently.

PMSA received a Bronze ranking on the Best High Schools in the United States list by U.S. News & World Report. It was among 2,869 schools in the nation to get the ranking based on a formula that determined whether its students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state on reading and math proficiency tests. The ranking also factored in the percentage of “economically disadvantaged students,” who the magazine said tend to score lower on the tests, and whether the school’s “least-advantaged students” – African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students – were performing better than average on math and reading state tests for similar students in the state, according to the magazine.

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  District 209, Feeder Schools Set Momentum for State Education Changes

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 joined with its feeder school districts on Thursday, January 17, to inform the public about the coming changes in how students and schools will be evaluated.

The community forum took place at Proviso Math and Science Academy. It was designed to explain the transition for elementary and middle school students from the Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or ISAT, which measures the achievement of third- through eighth-graders in reading and math and fourth- through seventh-graders in science, to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, assessments. Illinois is scheduled to adopt in spring 2015 the new statewide testing that will assess the new, more rigorous national Common Core Standards, to which testing for high school juniors, the Prairie State Achievement Examination, or PSAE, is already well-matched. The forum featured area administrators explaining the changes as well as an opportunity for the nearly 100 community members who attended to ask questions about the tests.

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  PTHS District 209 a Major Presence at MLK Birthday Events

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 was heavily represented at events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over the weekend celebrating his birthday.

The events included two teachers and a student from Proviso East High School being honored for their service and community involvement. The awards were presented by Operation UpLift at its 25th Annual Birthday Awards Luncheon of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, January 19, at the Diplomat West in Elmhurst.

Semaj Hunter, 15 and a junior at Proviso East, won the Leon S. Brown “21” Youth Award, for his volunteerism, academic achievement, peer leadership and role modeling influence for area youth. Lawrence Broughton, a social studies teacher at Proviso East, received the Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs Lifetime Achievement Award for his longtime work as a commissioner with the Maywood Park District. In addition, Reginald Wright, the director of bands at Proviso East, won a Surprise Award honoring his work with area youth in the music programs from the Operation UpLift Board of Directors at the ceremony.

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  36 District 209 Students Tabbed As State Scholars

 
 

Thirty-six students from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 have been selected as State Scholars for 2013-14 by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, or ISAC.

The students were selected for their outstanding academic achievement. The State Scholar Program recognizes students attending approved high schools in Illinois with the honorary designation.

About 10 percent of graduates from approved high schools in Illinois are announced as State Scholars each year. According to ISAC, to qualify for the program, students must perform in the top half of their high school class at the end of the third semester prior to graduation [typically the end of their junior year in high school] or score in the 95th percentile on the ACT, SAT, or PSAE.

The students from District 209 continue a tradition of excellence in receiving the honors for their achievements from outside agencies.

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  PMSA Student Sings at Presidential Inaugural Concert

 
 

Jaliyah Windham has been singing with the Soul Children of Chicago since she was 10 years old.

On Saturday, January 19, she and her fellow singers from the group were in Washington D.C. to perform at the Kids’ Inaugural Concert. The event was part of the weekend of festivities surrounding the inauguration of President Obama for his second term in office. It was hosted for the children and family members of military service members by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

Jaliyah, 15 and a sophomore at Proviso Math and Science Academy, said that the group has performed at high profile events, including the NATO summit in Chicago for the spouses of NATO leaders in May. That performance led to Mrs. Obama inviting them to perform at the inaugural event.

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  Forum on State Testing, State Survey, and College and Career Readiness Standards Changes Set for January 17 at PMSA

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and West 40 Intermediate Service Center No. 2 will host a Parent and Community Forum on state testing, the upcoming state survey, and the new college and career readiness standards from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on January 17 in the auditorium at Proviso Math and Science Academy, 8601 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

The forum will focus heavily on the planned change from the Illinois Standard Achievement Test, or ISAT, which measures the achievement of third- through eighth-graders in reading and math and fourth- through seventh-graders in science, to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, assessments. Illinois is scheduled to adopt the new statewide testing in spring 2015 that will assess the new, more rigorous national Common Core Standards, to which testing for high school juniors, the Prairie State Achievement Examination, or PSAE, is already well-matched.

The event also will address upcoming changes to the state report cards, the Five Essentials Survey, and other academic measuring tools that are being brought more in line with the new standards and the high school testing. This is in order to provide a more accurate picture of how a student is performing academically.

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  Parents Jump In to Help PMSA Library

 
 

At the beginning of the current school year, teachers and administrators at Proviso Math and Science Academy wanted to start a schoolwide literacy campaign.

With budget concerns hovering overhead, they decided to ask parents directly to help at Back to School Night in September.

"We had the ears of the parents and wanted to start a schoolwide literacy campaign," said Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA. "We decided to ask parents to partner up with us to add on to our collection. We thought if parents [donated books], they could help with our literacy campaign.

After the initial asking, the donations began to come in. The school’s Parent Teacher Organization, or PTO, said that they would match every donation given by parents. That has led to 34 books having been donated to the school’s library to date, all helping to boost reading at PMSA.

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  PMSA Students Aiming for Piece of $1 Million in Technology

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy could win a piece of $1 million in technology, thanks to the efforts of one of its teachers and her students.

Charlette Broxton, a science and research teacher at PMSA, was named a semifinalist in Samsung's Solve for Tomorrow Education Contest. In the contest, sixth-grade through twelfth-grade public school teachers were asked to produce a video with their students, "Show how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can help improve the environment in your community."

Ms. Broxton said that she came across the contest while working on her computer one night, and thinking of a need for computers for students at PMSA, she decided to enter the contest.

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  PMSA to Host FAFSA Complete Workshops on January 17 and February 12

 
  Families of members of the Class of 2013 at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy can get help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, of FAFSA, at one of two workshops in January and February.

Along with Ladder Up, a local organization that can explain the different federal programs and financial aid programs, seniors and their parents/guardians can get help in completing the FAFSA at a workshop at 6:30 p.m. either on Thursday, January 17, or on Tuesday, February 12 in the LRC on the third floor of PMSA, 8601 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park. If you have never completed a FAFSA, it may be helpful to have experts available to answer any questions you may have.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Victoria Coriano, school counselor for students whose names start with the letters A through J, at 338-4177 or vcoriano@pths209.org, or Amy Paulus, school counselor for students whose names start with the letters K through Z, at 338-4173 or apaulus@pths209.org.

Se habla español, ayuda para completar la FAFSA aplicación estará disponible.

 
  PMSA Students Named as QuestBridge Finalists

 
 

Five students at Proviso Math and Science Academy have been named QuestBridge Finalists by National College Match.

The recognition, announced in November, is part of a nationwide program designed to help high school seniors from low-income families gain admission to some of the most selective colleges in the United States. The program also helps the students earn full, four-year scholarships to pay for their education. The colleges that are partners in the QuestBridge program include Ivy League schools such as Columbia University, Yale University, and Princeton University as well as selective universities that are closer to home such as Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Notre Dame, according to the program’s website.

Selected from Proviso Math and Science Academy as finalists this year are Lily Galloway, Priscilla Garibay, Maribell Heredia, Kassandra Rodriguez, and Brittany Winfield.

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  Expanded Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament a Success

 
 

The title game of the 52nd edition of the Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament on December 31 between Proviso East and Morgan Park in the school’s main gym was an “entertainment experience,” according to Joe Spagnolo, the tournament’s director.

Players were introduced in dimmed lights to the Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius,” the same music the Chicago Bulls use in their player introductions at the United Center. Jim Cornelison, who sings the national anthem at Chicago Blackhawks games and occasionally at Chicago Bears games, did the same at the Holiday Tournament championship game. A large video board hung over center court, much like at a large college or professional arena.

While the Pirates ultimately lost their title defense 82-57, it was still a successful tournament, with more than 20,000 people attending games between December 22 and December 31, said Dr. Roudell Kirkwood, principal at Proviso West High School, who credited everyone involved with making the tournament a success.

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  PMSA Choir Spreads Holiday Cheer to School, District Employees

 
 

Students from the Proviso Math and Science Academy had a chance to show a little holiday spirit to faculty and staff with a roaming show on December 13.

Led by Matt Brown, PMSA choir director, the students performed traditional and more recent Christmas songs such as “Sleigh Ride,” “Carol of the Bells,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside” for school and district workers based in their school building. The students performed in the school’s main office as well as the district’s business, human resources and administrative offices. It was the fifth year that PMSA choir students have performed the holiday music in the halls and offices.

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  PMSA Senior Finds Quiet Place to Volunteer

 
 

Finney Sunkesula said he wanted to serve at a place that was familiar and comfortable.

For the Proviso Math and Science Academy senior from Forest Park, that turned out to be the Forest Park Public Library, a place at which he said he spends a lot of time.

“Every time I went to the library, I found a sense of home,” Sunkesula, 17, said of his work as an adult services computer aide. “I felt that was the most comforting place to volunteer.”

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  District 209 Reviews Security in Light of Connecticut School Shooting

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 wishes to express sympathy and our heartfelt condolences for the victims, the families, as well as fellow residents and colleagues of last Friday’s school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Officials with District 209 also wish to reassure parents, students and community members that the safety and welfare of students is a top priority in our schools, and reviews of our security procedures are currently being undertaken.

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  PMSA Begins Admissions Season for the 2013-2014 School Year with Open Houses

 
 

Proviso Math and Science Academy (PMSA) will host its first open house on Thursday, October 11th, for parents and students interested in admissions for the 2013-2014 school year. This event marks the beginning of the admissions season for Proviso’s premier selective enrollment institution.

PMSA serves the needs of academically gifted students by providing an intensified high school curriculum that focuses on mathematics, science, and technology. The school also provides a comprehensive liberal arts program including English, world languages, social studies, and other disciplines. Core subjects are heavy within the curriculum, but PMSA’s student life program also includes a growing number of clubs, opportunities for sports and music, and other co-curricular activities.

The academy will host three open houses from October through December 2012. Open House begins at 6:30 p.m. During this event, parents and students have an opportunity to learn more about PMSA's admissions process, programs, and curriculum. Participants will also have the chance to dialogue with the school's faculty and administrators. Mark your calendars!

OPEN HOUSE DATES:
Thursday, October 11
Thursday, November 15
Tuesday, December 11

All times are from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. and involve a presentation and a tour.

For more information please contact PMSA’s main office at 708.338.4100 and contact the registrar.

Click here to view the Flyer

 
  PMSA to Participate in World Record Setting Event

 
 

The Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy Wellness department will again offer the students/faculty/staff of PMSA an opportunity to participate in a Guinness World Records event.

This year we are trying to break the record of having the most people in a 24 hour period to run 100 meters. Last year PMSA was part of the group who did successfully break the Jumping Jack record. The record is currently posted in the Guinness World Records Book, 2013 edition.

This year's event will take place on Friday, October 26th and all PMSA student/faculty/staff are invited to participate. If the weather cooperates, the event will be outside on the PMSA track (East parking lot). Otherwise, the running will take place on PMSA's indoor track (2nd floor hallway).

Faculty/Staff: email Tracy McCormick (tmccormick@pths209.org) if you are interested in being part of this record breaking event.

 
  Community Service Partnership

 
  The Wellness department and the Cook County Forest preserve have been in partnership for the past 2 years in their "Adopt-A-Site" program. Our students at PMSA have continued to help clean the Miller Meadows Forest Preserve in order to have a clean, safe playing environment. In exchange, we have been afforded the opportunity to hold our Wellness classes at Miller Meadows for no charge. Also, our students can add 50 minutes to their volunteer time that is a graduation requirement at PMSA.

 
  BACK TO SCHOOL NOTICE: First Day Exclusion Policy

 
 

On August 20th, 2012 Proviso Township High Schools will welcome all students back for the 2012-2013 school year. Freshmen orientation is set for Friday, August 17th.

Before reporting back to school, all PTHS 209 students must have at least a 9th grade Illinois physical and up-to-date immunizations on file.

In an effort to ensure the health and safety of all PTHS 209 students, and to ensure immediate compliance with state law and Illinois School Code, PTHS 209 has a "First Day Exclusion Policy." Under this policy, no student will be admitted on the first day of school without having their 9th grade Illinois physical and current immunizations on file. Parents must be sure their students’ physicals are complete and includes details of the students’ health history. Parents must answer ALL of the questions on the physical form, sign and date the form, and complete diabetes screening questions attached. These things must be completed in order for students to begin the first day of school. Students will not be able to attend school until the physicals are complete and immunizations are current.

In previous years, students and parents had until Oct 15th to complete immunizations and back-to-school physicals. This is no longer the case. In order to ensure compliance with state policy and to avoid disruption in the school year, PTHS 209 students must have a current health exam (9th grade physical) and current immunizations before being admitted to school on the first day.

This fall, students entering grade 9 will be required to provide proof of Tdap vaccinations along with the required school physical forms. Students entering this grade without one of the following will be subject to exclusion:

1. Proof of Tdap vaccination,
2. An approved medical or religious exemption on file with the school,
3. An appointment to receive the Tdap shot during the school year.

Proviso East students may contact their School Based Health Center for an appointment at 708.202.9522. Proviso West Students and PMSA students may contact available clinics within the area. Please ensure that your student is current and up to date before school starts.

Freshmen Orientation – Friday, August 17th at 7:50 a.m.
First Day of School District wide – Monday, August 20th at 7:50 a.m.

 
  BACK TO SCHOOL NOTICE: Registration, Bus Service and Textbook Pickup

 
 

It’s the start of a new year, and PTHS 209 will continue to offer free transportation to all students at Proviso East and Proviso West High Schools.

The 2012-2013 school year resumes on Monday, August 20th for all students. The PTHS 209 transportation program will resume on the first day of school. PTHS 209 parents and guardians will receive their designated bus stop information during textbook pick-up.

During the school year, all students are asked to arrive at their designated bus stop locations at least five (5) minutes before the scheduled pick-up time in the morning. At the end of the school day (after dismissal) the bus will leave at approximately 3:30 p.m. PTHS 209 will continue the shuttle bus from Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy to Proviso East, Proviso West High Schools for athletics. However, there will be no after school activity buses for Proviso East and Proviso West High Schools.

If you have any questions about PTHS 209 transportation program, bus stops, or locations please contact Proviso East’s Transportation Hotline (beginning on August 6th from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) at 708.202.1825 or Proviso West’s Transportation Hotline at 708.202.6299.

Please see textbook pick-up dates below.

Registration and Textbook Pickup
August 6 – 10, 2012

Proviso East High School
807 South First Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
12 (noon) – 6:00 p.m.

Proviso Math and Science Academy
8601 W. Roosevelt
Forest Park, IL 60130
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. each day
Monday - Freshmen
Tuesday - Sophomores
Wednesday - Juniors
Thursday - Seniors
Friday - All grade levels, make-up day

Proviso West High School
4701 W. Harrison
Hillside, IL 60162
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday
12 (noon) – 6:00 p.m.

 
  PTHS to Welcome Incoming Freshmen for Orientation August 17th at 7:50 a.m.

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will welcome incoming freshmen for orientation on Friday, August 17th at 7:50 a.m.

“We are very excited about the start of this new school year,” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “We look forward to welcoming all of our new students on Friday, August 17th, with freshmen orientation. This is a day specifically designed for our new students to get them comfortable, acclimated, and prepared for a wonderful new school year.”

Proviso East, Proviso West, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will open the doors for incoming freshmen beginning at 7:50 a.m. on Friday. The day ends at 3:20 p.m. Bus service will be available for Proviso East and Proviso West High School students.

During orientation, students will have an opportunity to tour their new school buildings, check their schedules for accuracy, test locker assignments, and hear a presentation about their schools, standards, and expectations. Students will also have an opportunity to meet and greet their new principals and peers during an ice cream social.

For questions about freshmen orientation, please contact your school’s main office (Proviso East: 708.344.7000, Proviso West: 708.449.6400, PMSA: 708.338.4100).

School resumes for all students on Monday, August 20th at 7:50 a.m. The first full day of school for all students also ends as a normal day at 3:20 p.m. Bus service will be available for Proviso East and Proviso West High School students. If there are questions regarding bus stop pick-up locations, please contact Proviso East’s Transportation Hotline at 708.202.1825 or Proviso West’s Transportation Hotline at 708.202.6299.

 
  PTHS 209 to Kick off School Year and Welcome Faculty & Staff with Institute Day

 
 

On August 15th Proviso Township High Schools will welcome back its faculty and staff with their annual Back-to-School Institute day.

“We are looking forward to a dynamic Institute Day on August 15th.” said PTHS 209 Superintendent, Dr. Collins-Hart. “All of our faculty and staff should join us at Proviso East at 7:30 a.m. for registration and a continental breakfast, followed by an opening welcome at 8:00 a.m. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Richard Ramsey, will present "Closing the Achievement Gap" to all faculty and staff. We will also introduce our plans for next year which include an increased emphasis on instructional support and accountability throughout the organization. We will highlight our emphasis on review of lesson plans, daily instructional monitoring, improved attendance of staff and students, developing a leadership cadre and mentorship program, systematically using student assessment data, and aggressively implementing our school improvement plans. It is going to be a fantastic school year.”

Institute Day serves as training for PTHS 209 faculty and staff. It also sets the tone for the new school year. The day begins at 7:30 a.m., and the program starts at 8:00 a.m.

 
 
Click below to see stories from prior school years
 
     
  Stories from 2012-2013  
     
  Stories from 2011-2012  
     
  Stories from 2010-2011  
     
  Stories from 2009-2010  
     
  Stories from 2008-2009  
 
     
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