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  District 209 Students: Sign Up for Summer School Now

 
 

Students in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 wishing to take summer school can register now.

Students wishing to take classes for summer school need to register before the end of the day on Friday, June 5, in order to take summer classes. Summer school classes will run from June 8 through July 9 from 8 a.m. to 1:10 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Parents are encouraged to sign up their students for summer school as soon as possible to help with determining class sizes.

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  Celebrations, Tributes Mark PMSA Graduation Ceremony

 
 

The nearly 200 members of the Class of 2015 at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy paid tribute to a sense of togetherness as well as a beloved teacher at their commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 23, at the UIC Pavilion.

The 197 graduating PMSA seniors mixed pomp and circumstance and honor as they move on to a new chapter in their lives.

Brianna Earskine, a graduating PMSA senior, said that the class was a group of close friends who supported one another.

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  PMSA Raises $1,082 for Relay For Life  
 

Faculty, staff, and students at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy have raised $1,082 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

The PMSA wellness department has overseen the fundraiser for Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research and education. According to Ms. Jessica Schaub, a PMSA wellness teacher, the teachers set a goal of $1,000 to top last year’s amount of about $600 raised, using incentives and rewards such as breakfast for the juniors and seniors and the opportunity for freshmen and sophomores to silly string their teachers.

“We are thrilled that we were not only able to reach our goal, but beat it,” Ms. Schaub said. “And we all felt that the students we so amazing with their donations. We had several students who gave $40 or more. It was really awesome to see their generosity for such a great cause.”

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  PMSA Juniors Showcase Final Projects at Research Symposium

 
 

The end results of months of research by juniors at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy were put on display at the 2015 Junior Research Symposium on May 21 at PMSA.

The projects by the 146 juniors ran the gamut of topics, including the effect of video games and reaction time, traffic operations and safety at PMSA, prescription drug use in society, water purification using grass and clay to filter water, and musical effects on bacterial growth, among others.

“They spent the year developing and streamlining their research,” said Mr. John Wardisiani, a PMSA science teacher who taught the research core classes with Mrs. Michele Vogt-Schuller and Dr. Greta Mitchell-Williams. “Some went into the field, and some of these guys got some in-depth experiences. Maybe some of their final conclusions will be used at this school.”

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  Top Students Inducted Into District 209 Academic Hall of Fame

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 honors academic excellence.

With that goal in mind, the top six students of the Class of 2015 at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy were honored recently by being named to the District 209 Academic Hall of Fame.

On May 19, the scholars were taken by limousine to lunch at the Signature Room at the 95th, located on top of the John Hancock Center in Chicago. They also were presented gifts, and notified that they would be placed in the Academic Hall of Fame for District 209. They also are to be recognized by the Board of Education and given plaques and certificates recognizing their achievements at the Board’s next regular meeting on June 9.

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  Proviso East, Proviso West Bands Rock the House, Pay Tribute, at Proviso East Battle of the Bands

 
 

The 13th annual Proviso East High School Battle of the Bands at the Proviso East football field on May 16 was part competition, and part tribute to the man who started the annual tradition.

It was an afternoon of competing musical talents and fun for the approximately 300 people who came to watch. The Battle of the Bands featured performances by not only the host Proviso East Marching Band, but also the Proviso West marching band and drum line, the Rich Central High School marching band and drum line, the Windy City All Star Alumni Band, the Ella Flagg Young School Band, and the Proviso East High School Alumni Band, as well as the Proviso East Pirateer Dancers provided entertainment between acts.

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  PMSA Students Get Medical, Science Experience in PULSE Program

 
 

For the past few years, the PULSE program has provided students at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy with educational enrichments in the fields of medicine and science.

Medical students from the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine mentored our PMSA students by offering them hands-on experiences in different branches of medicine, career advice, and college preparation assistance. For example, during the first workshop, our students learned to identify the tools commonly used in a general physical exam, and they were instructed how to analyze basic vital readings. In the anatomy laboratory, the students were taught how to identify the basic anatomical structures of the heart and lungs in the school’s anatomy laboratory.

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  District 209 To Host District-Wide End-of-Year Celebration, Picnic on June 2

 
 

The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education will host a district-wide end-of-year celebration and picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, at Proviso East High School.

The celebration and picnic, which will be for faculty and staff from Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, will be a way for the district to celebrate the successful completion of the school year, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. It also will be an opportunity to set a positive tone for the next school year.

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  District 209 Schools, Offices Closed for Memorial Day

 
  Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as well as the administrative offices of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 25.

All schools and offices in District 209 will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, May 26.

Have a great weekend!

 
  24 PMSA Students Honored by Board of Education for Academic Excellence

 
 

Twenty-four Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy students were honored for excellence by the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 12, at PMSA.

The students were honored for excellence ranging from perfect attendance during the current school to earning a perfect score on the ACT college entrance exam to earning more than $1.2 million in scholarships, said Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA.

Nadia Love, a PMSA senior, earned $1,286,212 in scholarships, Dr. Karvelas said. A recipient of the National Achievement Scholarship Award, Nadia was the PMSA student who earned the highest amount of scholarship money.

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  Detour in Front of Proviso East to Continue Through End of School Year

 
 

Students, faculty, staff, parents, and other visitors to Proviso East High School, 807 South First Avenue in Maywood, will need to find an alternate route to the school beginning on Monday, April 20, due to construction.

The work will require the closing of First Avenue between Lake Street and Madison Street to through traffic, with traffic to be detoured. Northbound traffic on First Avenue will be detoured west on Madison Street to Fifth Avenue before heading east on Lake Street and continuing north on First Avenue. Southbound traffic will be detoured east on Lake Street to Fifth Avenue, heading south before going east on Madison Street and continuing south on First Avenue.

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  Retirees and Employees of District 209 Honored for Service and Accomplishments

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 thanked and honored 100 of its faculty and staff – including 14 who are retiring – at the annual Staff Retirement and Recognition Dinner on May 8 at The Clubhouse in Oak Brook.

The faculty and staff members were celebrated at the special dinner for their extraordinary contributions to the district. They included 37 employees who have served in the district for at least 15 years, nine who earned a graduate degree during the past year, and 43 faculty and staff members who made a special contribution and effort to the district and its schools during the 2014-15 school year.

Receiving particular recognition was Ms. Molly Cavanaugh, who is marking 60 years of service with the District, including the last 56 at Proviso West High School as the principal’s secretary.

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  PMSA Senior Earns Perfect ACT Score

 
 

When Erick Rodriguez received the letter containing his score on the ACT college entrance exam recently, the Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy senior was surprised to find an additional letter congratulating him on earning a perfect score on the test.

He said that he did not believe the letter at first, and he was convinced only after checking the paper with the letter that broke down his score on the March 3 ACT. He had indeed earned a perfect 36 on the ACT, the first in PMSA history.

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  PMSA Seniors Showcase Mentorship Research Projects

 
 

Ebere Agwuncha and Hailey Caffie said that they pursued research subjects in which they had an interest for their senior year mentorship class at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

For Ebere, it was her interest in biomedical engineering as she learned how to use three-dimensional printing to create a prosthetic finger. For Hailey, an interest in veterinary medicine and biology led her to Brookfield Zoo, where she studied the effects of management change on the activity budget of the Humboldt penguin.

For their work, Ebere and Hailey were named the top research scholars for the Class of 2015 at the Eighth Annual PMSA Senior Research Symposium on Tuesday, May 12. Thirty-one seniors exhibited the findings of their research on posters and presentations on PMSA’s fifth floor as mentors, parents, and other visitors learned about their work.

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  13th Annual Proviso East Battle of the Bands on Saturday, May 16

 
 

Marching bands and drum lines will be the entertainment at noon when Proviso East High School hosts its 13th annual Battle of the Bands.

The Proviso East Battle of the Bands will bring together marching bands and drum lines from around the Chicago area. Expected to perform along with the host Proviso East marching band will be Proviso West High School, the Proviso East Alumni Band, marching bands from Chicago, and the Roosevelt Middle School (Bellwood) marching band as well as several area high school drum lines.

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  PMSA Student Wins Again at ACT-SO

 
 

A Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy senior won a top prize recently at the DuPage County ACT-SO 36th annual Local Competition.

Kelechi Agwuncha won a gold medal in both filmmaking and sculpture at the contest in Wheaton. She was one of 11 students who won the top prizes in their respective categories as she competed with 64 high school students representing 29 area high schools. She and the other gold medal winners move on to compete in the national competition in Philadelphia in July.

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  District 209 Administrators Raise Money for Autism Awareness

 
 

Central office administrators with Proviso Township High Schools District 209 raised more than $1,000 in support of families impacted by autism and other developmental disorders at the sixth annual The Answer Inc. Walk-a-Thon on May 2 at Proviso East High School.

The team raised $1,115 for the walk-a-thon, the totals of which were still tabulated at press time, said Ms. Deb Vines, director of The Answer, Inc. fundraising walk raised money to send children and adults with developmental disorders to special camps in June. The walk-a-thon also raised money for other programs to benefit families impacted by autism. The team consisted of Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209; Dr. Diane Deckert, director of assessment and planning for District 209; Mr. Dan Johnson, director of truancy/Title I coordinator for District 209; Ms. Sharon Palmer, director of accounting for District 209; and Mr. Rob Daniel, community and public relations coordinator for District 209.

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  PMSA Senior Succeeds in University of Illinois Science Program

 
 

Heather Anderson said that she likes to do research.

So when an opportunity to apply for the Research Apprentice Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign came along in 2013 at the end of her sophomore year at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, she jumped at the chance.

The end results for both that summer and the summer of 2014, when she returned for a second round in the UIUC program as one of 20 students chosen for the program, were awards from the UIUC College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences for Outstanding Distinguished Scholarship. The awards came as a result of a project paper and poster that she completed.

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  Support District 209 and The Answer in Raising Awareness of Autism

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 is partnering with The Answer, Inc., in The Answer’s sixth annual Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser on Saturday, May 2, at Proviso East High School.

The fundraising walk, which will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on May 2, will raise money to send children and adults with developmental disorders to special camps in June. The walk-a-thon also will raise money for other programs to benefit families impacted by autism. In 2014, the walk raised $8,000 that enabled The Answer, which is based in Forest Park, to sponsor 25 children and young adults as they attended the Special Camps for Special Citizens Horseback Riding camp in Winfield, Illinois.

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  District 209 to Host Staff Retirement and Recognition Dinner on May 8

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host its annual Staff Retirement and Recognition Dinner on Friday, May 8, at The Clubhouse, 298 Oakbrook Center, in Oakbrook.

Fifteen retiring employees and more than 20 current employees at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will be recognized for their service to the District and their achievements at the dinner.

The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. A ceremony to honor the employees to be recognized will take place after dinner.

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  PMSA Robotics Team Competes in Regional Competition

 
 

The Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy “Monty Pythons” robotics team recently competed at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Midwest Regional Competition at the UIC Pavilion..

With partners including Triton College, the team was tasked with building a robot that could compete with two other schools’ robots and score points by stacking totes on platforms. They then had to cap the stacks with recycling containers and properly dispose of pool noodles that represented litter.

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  Proviso West, PMSA Students Strut Their Stuff in Fashion Shows

 
 

Students and parents at Proviso West High School and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy were able to get a sense of the latest fashions for prom and elsewhere at fashion shows at the schools on March 30 and April 2, respectively.

The Proviso West show was presented in the school’s Little Theater as part of Senior Parent Night by the fashion technology taught by Ms. Connie Jesukaitis on March 30. Three days later, PMSA hosted its third annual student-run fashion show before a large crowd in the cafeteria.

Ms. Jesukaitis said that along with the prom fashions from Windsor at Yorktown Mall and Black Tie Tux in Glen Ellyn, Proviso West students who are enrolled in District 209’s cosmetology class through Ms. Roberts’ Beauty Academy did the hair and makeup for the 11 student models.

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  Board of Education Honors Proviso West State Scholars

 
 

The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education honored the 10 Proviso West High School seniors who were recognized as Illinois State Scholars and the number one ranked high jumper in the state at its regular meeting on April 14 at Proviso West.

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, said that the 10 Illinois State Scholars scored in the 95th percentile on the ACT college entrance exam. According to ISAC, Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.

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  Proviso West, PMSA Students Win Ron Edmonds Scholarships

 
 

Four District 209 students – two each from Proviso West High School and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy – recently were named winners of the 2015 Ron Edmonds Scholarship by the Superintendents’ Commission for the Study of Demographics and Diversity.

Mark Martinez, a senior at Proviso West, was awarded the $1,500 Dr. Ron Edmonds Scholarship Award at a banquet on March 26 in Tinley Park. In addition, Peyton Greenwood, a senior at Proviso West, and Kelechi Agwuncha and Stefan King, seniors at PMSA, were named winners of the Ron Edmonds Book Award, which is a $1,000 award.

According to the commission, the award is made available to students of color or students of poverty who are currently high school seniors planning to go to college. Each student was judged on criteria that included a cumulative grade point average of at least a “C;” three letters of support from an educator, pastor, parent, or community leader; and a letter of acceptance from the college or university of their choice. They also were judged on their one-page response to the question, “How can I make a difference in the education of students through my chosen profession?”

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  PMSA Ranked Among Top High Schools by U.S. News and World Report

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy is ranked among the top schools in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report.

PMSA received a Bronze ranking on the Best High Schools in the United States list by the magazine. It was among 2,688 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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  PMSA Senior Named National Merit Finalist

 
 

A Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy senior has been named a finalist for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship.

Harlan Kuhr is among approximately 8,000 students who have been chosen as finalists for the award, valued at $2,500 or more, depending on the award’s sponsor. According to the website of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which awards the scholarship, semifinalists are selected based on their score on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) that most took as juniors.

“It’s good,” Harlan said. “I believe it does help (college admissions). It looks very good.”

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  PMSA Senior Wins National Achievement Scholarship

 
 

Nadia Love, a senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, is the winner of a $2,500 National Achievement Scholarship.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition designed to provide recognition for outstanding African-American high school students, according to the program’s website. To qualify, the students must have taken the 2013 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In addition, the student must turn in a teacher recommendation, a transcript of their grades, and write an essay.

Nadia said that she wrote on overcoming the challenge of having to focus more on schoolwork as she took on more challenging classes, including three Advanced Placement classes. Among them was a calculus class that she said was challenging.

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  PMSA Senior to Study, Play Soccer at Mount Mercy University

 
 

The chance to do biology research and continue playing soccer competitively will bring Alexus Minervini, a senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, to Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, next year.

Alexus, who plays goalkeeper on the Proviso West High School girls soccer team, signed a letter of intent on March 5 to attend Mount Mercy, a four-year Catholic liberal arts university that is a member of the small-school National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). In attendance were her mother, Ms. Erica Kuzzwara; her stepfather, Mr. Jason McCambridge; and Ms. Raven McMurrin, the head coach of the Mount Mercy women’s soccer team.

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  Give Feedback on District 209 Schools Through 5Essentials Survey Through March 20, Earn Incentives

 
  Proviso Township High Schools District 209 is once again joining with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in providing an opportunity for teachers, students, and parents to have another voice in their schools through the Illinois 5Essentials Survey: Organizing Schools for Improvement.

From now through March 20, teachers, students, and parents are asked to share their thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about their school. To access the survey, please visit survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois. A link to the survey also is available at www.pths209.org.

Parents who attend the quarterly parent-teacher conferences from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, at Proviso East, Proviso West, and PMSA can take the survey online at computers that will be provided. The survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.

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  Parent-Teacher Conferences on March 19

 
  Parents can learn more about their students’ progress at school and pick up their students’ report cards at the quarterly Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, March 19, at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on March 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Parents are a vital component to a student’s success in school,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209. “Parent-Teacher Conferences are a good way for parents to meet with teachers and learn more about how their students are doing in their classes.”

The faculty and administration would like to urge parents to take advantage of this time which has been set aside specifically for the parents and teachers to confer. Both the parents and teachers bring special insights and understandings of the student to a conference, and if these two perspectives can be brought into focus, everyone gains, especially the student.

Students will be in attendance on the regular class schedule on March 19, but they will have a shortened schedule on Friday, March 20, with dismissal at 2:10 p.m. at Proviso East and Proviso West and at 2:25 p.m. at PMSA.

 
  49 Proviso Students Win Math and Science Awards

 
 

Forty-nine Proviso Township High Schools District 209 students were honored for their excellence in math and science by the Society of Women Engineers and the American Association of Physics Teachers in a ceremony on March 9 at Proviso West High School.

Mr. Bob Hurley, a retired science teacher at Proviso East High School and an organizer of the ceremony, now in its 22nd year, said that the student winners of the awards should mention them in their applications for college and scholarships and resumes.

“The counselors in the colleges are going to recognize these awards,” he said. “These are nationally recognized.”

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Proviso East Honor Roll Students, State Scholars Recognized by Board of Education

 
 

Fourteen Proviso East High School students were recognized for achieving high honor roll status during the first semester of the 2014-15 school year and three Proviso East students for being named Illinois State Scholars at the Board of Education’s regular meeting on Tuesday, March 10, at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, said that the students who made the high honor roll earned a grade point average of at least 3.7. He said that achieving students have opportunities to earn incentives such as tickets to Chicago Bulls games.

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  First Round of PARCC Testing March 12 through April 2

 
  Students in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will soon take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment along with other high school students in Illinois as well as third- through eighth-graders.

This test represents a significant shift across the state, and the culmination of five years of statewide work, beginning with the adoption of the new Illinois Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics in 2010. This test, unlike the one that Illinois students took last year, is more engaging, interactive, and meaningful and will better prepare students for life and careers in the 21st century.

Change, especially large-scale systemic change such as this one, is never easy. We fully expect there will be challenges as schools administer this test in the coming weeks. But that does not mean we should change course or lower our expectations.

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  Proviso High Schools Celebrate Black History Month

 
 

Students, faculty, and staff at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy celebrated the history and cultures of African-Americans throughout February during a series of assemblies and activities marking Black History Month.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that it was important for students to learn about the history of African-Americans and to celebrate the contributions of African-Americans.

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

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  Prom is “Cancelled” at PMSA Spring Play

 
 

Prom has been cancelled, at least in this year’s spring play at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

The PMSA theatre department will perform the Wade Bradford play, “Promedy,” on March 12 through 14 in the school’s auditorium. The play follows the efforts of Beatrix, the student body president at a high school (Felicia Oduh), to get prom reinstated after “self-proclaimed drama geek” Dante (Tyler Pope) persuades the student government to cancel the entire event after he is rejected by cell phone-obsessed cheerleader, Kay (Abby Peterson).

Ms. Mary Scherer-Emunds, the play’s director, said that “Promedy” was chosen partially because of its comedic value, especially as many of the student actors were members of the PMSA comedic improv team in the fall.

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  District 209 Students Prepare for State Tests

 
 

Students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High Schools, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will begin a season of high stakes testing on Tuesday, March 3, when juniors take the ACT college entrance exam.

This year’s testing will be different from years past, however.

The Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) is gone, replaced by the new PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, assessments. The PARCC exams are part of the implementation of the new Common Core Standards that went into effect in the District this school year.

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  District 209 Schools, Offices Closed March 2 for Pulaski Day

 
 

Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as well as the administrative offices of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be closed for the Pulaski Day holiday on Monday, March 2.

All offices in District 209 will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, March 3. This is a reminder that the originally scheduled building institute day with no student attendance has been moved to Tuesday, March 10. This is due to March 3 and 4 having been designated by the state as standardized testing days, with students taking the ACT Plus Writing exam on March 3 and the ACT WorkKeys exam on March 4.

Under the change, students will now be in school on March 3, but will not attend class on March 10. On March 3, juniors will report to school at the normal time of 7:50 a.m. and depart after testing. Buses will pick up freshmen, sophomores, and seniors five hours later than usual on March 3 and four hours later than usual on March 4. Their day will follow a modified bell schedule.

A building institute day for faculty and staff training will take place on March 10.

Have a great weekend!

 
  District 209 Board, Senator Lightford Honor PMSA State Scholars

 
 

Twenty-four students from Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy were honored by the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education and State Sen. Kim Lightford at the joint Board-Financial Oversight Panel meeting on Tuesday, February 10, at PMSA.<

The 24 PMSA seniors were among 28 District 209 seniors recognized as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. According to ISAC, Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.

“I commend these 24 seniors for their outstanding commitment to their education,” said Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA. “These students have dedicated themselves to their studies and have embraced the rigor of our curricula that is associated with academia.”

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  Celebrating National School Counselors Week at Proviso High Schools

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 celebrated the work of its school counselors February 2 through 6 during National School Counseling Week.

The week, sponsored nationally by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), was designed to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within American school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

“Often school counselors are so busy people don’t get to see what they do,” said Ms. Antoinette Rayburn, District guidance department chair. “This week was designed to highlight the impact they have on student success.”

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  District 209 Schools, Offices Closed for Presidents’ Day

 
  Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as well as the administrative offices of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday, February 16.

All schools and offices in District 209 will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, February 17.

Have a great weekend!

 
  Parents Get a Grasp on College Financial Aid, Other Topics at Parent University

 
 

More than 100 people learned about college financial aid, the Common Core Standards, the new PARCC assessments, and other topics at the latest edition of Parent University on January 31 at the District 209 offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

Parent University, produced in partnership with the Strengthening Proviso College and Career Readiness Committee, is a series of workshops designed to prepare parents to help their students in high school and beyond. The University was part of the District’s parent involvement through Title I and the Board of Education’s goal of improving stakeholder involvement.

Those in attendance learned about finding ways to pay for college, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and learned more about the new Common Core Standards and the new PARCC assessments, what resources are available for students with disabilities, and what services are available for English Language Learners at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and PMSA. They also were able to meet with representatives from several different colleges and community organizations at a college and community resource fair.

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  Progress Reports Rescheduled for February 17

 
 

The posting of student progress reports for the third quarter has been rescheduled for February 17.

The reason behind the rescheduling of the sending of the progress reports is due to the cancellation of school on January 7 through 9 and on February 2.

Parents may review their students’ progress reports on PowerSchool on Tuesday, February 17.

 
  Parent University Returns on January 31, 2015

 
 

Parents and their students can learn more about their education in high school and how to be ready for life beyond at the next edition of Parent University on January 31, 2015, at the district offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will host its latest edition of Parent University from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at the district offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, 8601 W. Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

Parent University is a series of workshops designed to prepare parents to help their students in high school and beyond. The event also features resources that are available to parents for their children, and students from Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy can earn one hour of community service credit for each of their parents who attend.

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  District 209 Joins With Feeder School Districts at Articulation Meeting

 
 

Board of Education members and administrators from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and its seven feeder school districts continued the work that they began last summer at their second joint articulation meeting on January 22 at the District 209 offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

The meeting was designed as a way for the eight school districts in Proviso Township to discuss ways that students can be better served from kindergarten through graduation from high school at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, or PMSA. Participating in the summit from the District 209 Board of Education were Mr. Daniel Adams, the Board’s president, and Board member, Mrs. Theresa Kelly, along with several administrators including Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent. Other area school districts represented by Board members and administrators were Berkeley School District 87, Bellwood School District 88, Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89, Forest Park School District 91, Lindop School District 92, Westchester Public Schools District 92.5, and Hillside School District 93.

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  Students, “Bring Your Parents to School” on February 3

 
 

Parents may ask what their students do during a typical day at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

They will be able to learn about that as well as have opportunities to meet with their students’ teachers on Bring Your Parents to School Day on Tuesday, February 3. Bring Your Parents to School Day is one of District 209’s largest parent involvement initiatives of the year. This event is part of the Board of Education’s ongoing efforts to promote more outreach to the parents and the community.

“Successful students need their parents to be invested in their education,” said Mr. Daniel Adams, president of the Board of Education. “Through Bring Your Parents to School, parents can learn more about what their students’ day is like at school, and learn how they can help their students be even more successful.”

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  District 209 Students and Parents Can Pay Fees Online

 
 

Parents and students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy are now able to pay fees online.

The new Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Web Store is a partnership between the District and RevTrak, a national credit card payment processor. Through the new system, parents can pay for their students’ registration fees and physical education fees using their Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit cards or debit cards, all from their home or work computer. They also can update their email or billing address and view past purchases.

The link can be found on the District’s website at www.pths209.org as well as the individual school websites under the “Online Payments” link.

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  District 209 Honors Straight-A, Top Engineering Students at Proviso West

 
 

Nineteen Proviso West High School students and the teacher of the new pre-engineering class at Proviso West were honored by the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 13, at Proviso West.

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, recognized nine students for achieving academic excellence as they earned straight A’s for the first semester of the 2014-15 school year. They were Aaliyah Akins, Andrea Ayala, Luigi Cabantog, Devon Jackson, Annette Kwasniewski, Estefany Lopez, Sarah Scott, Precious Tonya, and Jazmin Verdin.

“This is a talented group of students,” Mr. Hawthorne said. “They worked hard this semester.”

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  District 209 to Begin Evening School

 
  The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education has approved the start of an evening school for students who are struggling with truancy and behavior issues, with a planned start date of January 21.

Mr. Dan Johnson, director of truancy/alternative programs for the District, said that the Proviso Evening School, which will be run in cooperation with West 40 Intermediate Service Center, would consist of two aspects. The DREAM School Truancy Program is designed for students from Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School with truancy issues and will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, while the Proviso Evening Alternative for Continuing Education (PEACE) Evening Alternative School Program for students who have a need for a more personalized learning environment in order to redirect behavior for academic success will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Proviso West Holiday Tournament a “Huge Success”

 
 

Many media outlets called the Proviso West Holiday Basketball Tournament the most competitive in the state of Illinois.

The 54th edition of the tournament, held December 20 through 27 at Proviso West High School, lived up to the billing.

This year’s tourney was pared down from the previous two years, running four full days instead of eight, and with 18 teams, including host Proviso West and Proviso East, competing instead of 32 teams. The 18 teams provided an exciting tournament for the more than 13,000 fans who attended as they saw top-ranked Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire) repeat as tournament champions when they defeated St. Joseph High (Westchester), 69-60, in the title game.

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  PMSA Improv Team Makes Up Laughs

 
 

Chicago is known as the home of prominent improvisational comedy teams such as Second City and the ComedySportz Theatre, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy can lay claim to one of its own.

PMSA has had an improv team since 2008, when Ms. Mary Scherer-Emunds, a fine arts teacher at PMSA, wanted to bring comedy improv to the school for another drama option besides the spring play. Not having much improvisational comedy experience herself, she contacted ComedySportz Theatre in Chicago, which she learned had a student program called the "High School League."

“They sent trainers out to us several times a year, and we attended events at ComedySportz several times a year,” Ms. Scherer-Emunds said. “We competed in the High School League tournament several times against teams from schools like John Hersey High School and Loyola Academy, and we brought home the championship trophy twice.”

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  March Building Institute Day Moved to March 10

 
  The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education approved a change to the current school year calendar that will shift a planned building institute day where there is no student attendance to March 10.

The building institute day with no student attendance had been scheduled for March 3. However, March 3 and 4 have been designated by the state as standardized testing days, with students taking the ACT Plus writing portion on March 3. Under the change, students will now be in school on March 3, but will not attend class on March 10. A building institute day for faculty and staff training will take place on March 10.

In addition, the Board approved the 2015-16 school calendar.

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  District 209 Schools, Offices Closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 
  Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as well as the administrative offices of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be closed for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, January 19.

In addition, there will be no student attendance on Tuesday, January 20, for a building institute day.

All schools and offices in District 209 will reopen for regular business hours on Wednesday, January 21.

Have a great weekend!
 
  PMSA Senior Wins QuestBridge Scholarship

 
 

A senior at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will be attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, next year on a full-ride scholarship.

Azher Jaweed was awarded a full QuestBridge Scholarship valued at $64,000 over four years from National College Match. It is a shining point in a journey that has taken Azher from Moghlapura outside of Hyderabad, India, to Bellwood and eventually PMSA. “I could not have gone to a better school,” Azher said of PMSA.

The QuestBridge recognition 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, as in Azher’s case. The colleges that are partners in the QuestBridge program include Ivy League schools such as 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.

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  More Than 200 Parents Learn More About PMSA at Open House

 
 

More than 200 parents and prospective students learned more about Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy at the school’s final open house for the year on December 4.

Those in attendance learned about the entrance and application requirements, met with teachers and administrators, and learned more about the curriculum and what activities are available for their students.

Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, told the parents that the school is one of the top academic schools in the nation, according to a ranking released by Newsweek magazine in September. She added that the number of advanced placement classes at PMSA has climbed from 110 to 440 in one year, with more opportunities available also through dual credit courses and the International Baccalaureate program, in which PMSA currently is a candidate school that is pursuing authorization to become an "International Baccalaureate world school."

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  PMSA Choir Brings Holiday Joy to School Hallways, Offices

 
 

The Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy choir brought some holiday cheer to the hallways and offices of their school with short holiday concerts on Tuesday, December 16.

Led by Mr. Matthew Brown, PMSA choir director, the students performed classic Christmas songs such as "Jingle Bells," "Carol of the Bells," and "Sleigh Ride" for school and district workers based in their building in the school’s lobby. It was the seventh year that PMSA choir students have performed the holiday music in what has become a tradition for the last full day of classes before semester final exams.

The 85 students had learned and performed the songs for their winter concert on December 10.

For a video of their performance in the PMSA main office, please click here.

 
  Be Ready the Next Time School is Closed

 
  It is important that parents and students in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 know what to expect if there is an emergency school closing.

If weather or any other circumstances keep District 209 from holding school on any given day, parents will receive an automated phone call and email from the District. School closing information will also be found prominently placed on the District 209 website (www.pths209.org), on our Twitter account (www.twitter.com/pths209), on local television and radio stations, and at www.emergencyclosings.com.

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  Parents, Be Sure to Fill Out Your Lunch Applications

 
 

Parents of students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy are encouraged to fill out their free and reduced price meal applications for their students by the end of 2014.

Students in families who earn an income up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible to receive free breakfasts and lunches at school, while those in families who earn an income up to 185 percent of the federal poverty are eligible to receive breakfast and lunch at school at a reduced cost.

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  28 District 209 Students Named as Illinois State Scholars

 
 

Twenty-eight seniors from Proviso East High School and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy have been named as Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois State Assistance Commission (ISAC).

The 28 students are among 18,800 students from the Class of 2015 to receive the designation, which was first introduced in 1958. According to ISAC, Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.

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 National Honor Society Inducts New Class

 
 

The National Honor Society chapter at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy inducted 34 seniors as its latest class at its second annual induction ceremony on December 3 in the PMSA auditorium.

To be inducted into the National Honor Society at PMSA, a student needs to have a grade point average of at least 3.7 of a possible 4.0. The students who meet this criterion are then contacted and invited to submit a packet in which they answer questions about their leadership skills and community service. Students are also requested to provide the names of two teachers who will be asked to answer questions regarding the students’ character.

In addition, the 34 seniors inducted into the "Gold Society," 21 juniors and 18 sophomores were inducted into the "Silver Society" and "Bronze Society," respectively.

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  District 209 Administrators Present on Outreach Efforts at State Conference

 
  Administrators from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 presented on the District’s effort to reach out to parents and the community at the Joint Annual Conference sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials on Friday, November 21, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209; Mrs. Kim Echols, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for District 209; and Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West High School, along with Mrs. Pat Shehorn, chair of the Strengthening Proviso College and Career Readiness Committee, spoke on "Successful Outreach to Parents and the Community."

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The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education honored the faculty at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as those who excel at its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 18, at PMSA. It was also announced at the meeting that district teachers who were a part of PMSA last year will be awarded a $1,500 bonus.

Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, said that her school has excelled as PMSA has been recognized as among the top high schools in the state of Illinois and the nation by different outlets. PMSA students also recorded its highest scores in school history on the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) in 2014, with 82 percent of PMSA juniors meeting or exceeding standards on the reading portion of the test and 80 percent passing the math portion, a 15.5 percent increase and 15.9 percent increase, respectively. The percent increase also is the highest in school history. She credited the teachers at PMSA for the high scores.

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  District 209 Schools Make Gains in State Test Scores

 
 

All three schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 - Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy - have made gains in their scores on both the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) and the ACT college entrance exam.

According to the recently released State Report Card by the Illinois State Board of Education, Proviso East High School boosted the percentage of students who met or exceeded state standards on the reading and math portions of the state tests by 31.3 percent from 2013, including a 72.7 percent increase on the math portion. In addition, the percentage of Proviso East students meeting or exceeding state standards on the reading portion has more than doubled since 2012.

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  PMSA Earns Top 25 State Ranking

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy can add another top ranking to its list of honors.

PMSA recently was listed as the 25th best school in the state of Illinois by SchoolDigger.com, a national school ranking site. The site uses recent data from the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) and compares schools from across the country. According to the data, PMSA ranked above 96.3 percent of Illinois’ high school with an average math score of 79.6 percent and an average reading score of 82.1 percent.  In the rankings, PMSA climbed to 25th out of the 670 high schools in Illinois, up from 87th in 2013.

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  Visit PMSA at Open House on December 4

 
 

During a series of open houses this fall, prospective students for the 2015-16 school year and their families can learn about the programs and activities available at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, with the next one on Thursday, December 4, from 6:30 p.m. Applications for admission are being accepted in November and December, with a January 15, 2015, deadline.

Attending an open house is not a requirement for admission, but it is recommended. During the open houses, the students and their families will see a presentation about the classes and programs at PMSA, take a tour of the school, and meet with faculty, staff members, and students.

Click an image below to download the flyer.

English                                          Español

     

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  District 209 to Provide Make-Up High School Placement Exams for Eighth-Graders

 
  Local feeder schools within Proviso Township High Schools District 209 are beginning the process of preparing eighth-grade students for high school entry by administering the EXPLORE exam from November 4 to 17, 2014.

EXPLORE is a high school intake measure that gives high school counselors about the student’s academic achievement to structure class schedules, make appropriate course placement decisions in English and mathematics, and create  a  pathway for college and career exploration. EXPLORE serves as a baseline for monitoring academic progress and is considered one of the most crucial steps in a students’ high school transition.

“The EXPLORE exam is an important tool to help us understand the skill levels of next year’s freshman class and how we can be ready to meet their academic needs,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “With the data and information from these exams, we can be better prepared to put our incoming students on the right path to academic achievement and high school success.”

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  District 209 Teachers Honored by State Board of Education

 
 

Two District 209 teachers – one from Proviso West High School, the other from Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy – was honored with Awards of Recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education on October 25 in Normal as part of the ISBE’s Those Who Excel Awards Program.

Mrs. Lindsey Coppola, a Proviso West English teacher, received an Award of Recognition in the Classroom Teacher category, while Ms. Erin Mason, a PMSA English teacher, won an Award of Recognition in the Early Career Educator category. They were among more than 230 educators from across Illinois to be recognized at the banquet at the Marriott Bloomington-Normal Hotel in Normal just off of the Illinois State University campus. They were accompanied at the banquet by Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, and Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, as well as their families.

“Every day, our teachers, staff, and administrators are hard at work providing a quality education to our students,” said Dr. Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “Mrs. Coppola and Ms. Mason being recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education shows the great work that is being done at Proviso West and PMSA, and we are always pleased when others recognize it. I thank the ISBE for its recognition of two quality educators from our schools.”

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  Final Football Games of Season for Proviso East, Proviso West to Air on High School Cube

 
 

Fans of Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School football will have the opportunity to watch the teams’ final games of the 2014 season either in person or online on High School Cube.

The Proviso West Panthers’ final game of the season will be on Friday, October 24, at 7:30 p.m., when they take on Lyons Township High School at Proviso West Stadium. Tickets are available for the game at $4 for adults and $3 for all students who present an ID. The game will also be shown live and will be available for viewing after the game here.

The Proviso East Pirates also will make their last appearance of the season on High School Cube on Friday, October 24, at 7:30 p.m., when they travel to Leyden High School. The game will be on High School Cube and be available on the internet, iPhones, iPads and Droid devices with a replay and highlight clips available.

Good luck to both the Pirates and the Panthers!

 
  Parents, Learn More at Parent-Teacher Conferences on October 16

 
  Parents can learn more about their students’ progress at school and pick up their students’ report cards at the quarterly Parent-Teacher Conferences on Thursday, October 16, at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place on October 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 
  Board of Education Recognizes Teacher Who Won State Award

 
 

A Proviso West High School English teacher who recently won a state award was recognized by the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education at its regular meeting on Wednesday, October 15, at Proviso West.

Ms. Lindsey Coppola has been designated a winner of the Award of Recognition by the Illinois State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel selection committee. Ms. Coppola will be honored with another District 209 instructor, Ms. Erin Mason, an English teacher at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, at the Those Who Excel Banquet in Normal on October 25.

Mr. Joseph Kosina, a Proviso West assistant principal, read from a letter by Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, saying that Ms. Coppola has been instrumental in “implementing significant change to improve academic performance and college readiness for our students.” He added that students and parents are committed to her and recognize her as a role model.

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  District 209 Board of Education Approves New ACT Testing Program

 
  The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education approved the order of the ACT Aspire testing program for students.

The ACT Aspire testing program would be used primarily with freshmen and sophomores, said Mrs. Kim Echols, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for District 209. She said that the program would help to prepare students for the ACT college entrance exam that they take as juniors and also help teachers identify areas where they need help.

“The ACT Aspire consists of a continuum of interim and summative assessments for students in grades 9 and 10,” Mrs. Echols said. “It is aligned with (the new) Common Core Standards and is administered online.”

Students taking part in the testing program will take two tests each in English, reading, mathematics, and science, with the Aspire test administered at the end of the school year in a school computer lab with their classroom teacher.

Mrs. Echols also said the material in the ACT Aspire program can be used for juniors who need extra help in preparing for the ACT as they also take part in the ACT Cambridge prep program before they take the college entrance exam in the spring.

 
  District 209 Students Represent Schools as Infinite Scholars

 
 

Eighty-five students from Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy attended the Chicago Annual Fall Scholarship Fair on September 26 at Frederick Douglass Academy High School in Chicago, with several obtaining acceptance to many of the colleges.

The scholarship fair, sponsored by Infinite Scholars Program, Inc., featured more than 50 colleges and universities, ranging from regional schools such as Ferris State University and the University of Northern Iowa to historical black colleges and universities such as Jackson State University in Mississippi and Stillman College in Alabama.

To qualify to attend the scholarship fair, a high school student needed to have at least a 3.0 grade point average, their ACT score, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a 250-word essay explaining why a higher education is important to them.

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  District 209 Schools Welcome Parents on Bring Your Parents to School Day

 
 

Parents at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy got a look into the lives of their students on Wednesday, October 1, on Bring Your Parents to School Day.

The parents who attended the day were able to gain insights into a typical day for their students at school. They followed their students’ class schedules, joining everything from math, English, and science classes to lunch.

Bring Your Parents to School Day has been a tradition in District 209 since 2002, when it was first introduced by then-Board of Education President, Mrs. Theresa L. Kelly. The event is one of District 209’s largest parent involvement initiatives of the year, and is part of the Board of Education’s ongoing efforts to promote more outreach to the parents and the community.

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  PMSA Principal, Staff Members Take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

 
 

On the morning of Thursday, August 28, Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, received a challenge that she said that she could not turn down.

The challenge: Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge, which went viral on social media including Facebook during the summer, involves the dumping of a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). It also encourages participants to make donations to research.

Dr. Karvelas said that she decided to take the challenge that day after school, partially based on challenges from Khushi Suri, a PMSA senior, as well as her son’s girlfriend. She also said that a close friend of her family has ALS.

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  District 209 Schools, Offices Closed for Columbus Day

 
  Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy as well as the administrative offices of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, October 13.

All schools and offices in District 209 will reopen for regular business hours on Tuesday, October 14.

Have a great weekend!

 
  FOP: D209 to Be Commended for Work on Staffing, Is “On the Right Track”

 
  The chairman of the state-appointed Financial Oversight Panel (FOP) that oversees the finances of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 said that the District is “on the right track,” especially in terms of managing class size and its budget.

Dr. Craig Schilling, chairman of the FOP, said at FOP’s regular meeting and at a joint meeting with the District 209 Board of Education on Tuesday, September 30, that he liked how staffing decisions have been made at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy since the beginning of the current school year. He told administrators and the D209 Board that keeping staffing levels at about 260 teachers allowed for savings that can be used for other purposes in the District.

“I like how the staffing was done,” Dr. Schilling said. “I think we’re on the right track.”

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  Students, “Bring Your Parents to School” on October 1

 
 

Parents at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will be able to gain insights into their students’ day at school at the annual “Bring Your Parents to School Day” on Wednesday, October 1.

“Bring Your Parents to School Day” is one of District 209’s largest parent involvement initiatives of the year. This event is part of the Board of Education’s ongoing efforts to promote more outreach to the parents and the community.

“Successful students need their parents to be invested in their education,” said Mr. Daniel Adams, president of the Board of Education. “Through ‘Bring Your Parents to School,’ parents can learn more about what their students’ day is like at school, and learn how they can help their students be even more successful.”

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  District Processes to Address School Safety

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 wishes to reassure parents, students, and community members that the safety and welfare of students is a top priority in our schools.

There is no additional information to report about the precautionary lockdowns that took place at Proviso West High School on September 24 and at Proviso East High School on September 25. In response to those incidents, the District reviewed the security measures currently in place, including:

  • Walkthrough metal detectors
  • Visual check of bags
  • Full-time police resource officers
  • Security staff
  • External door lockdown systems at all schools
  • Camera systems
  • Background check system for visitors
  • Anonymous tip lines
  • Drills for lockdown, fire, and severe weather
  • An effective school/police partnership

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  Proviso West Defeats Proviso East in Rivalry Game

 
 

The Proviso West High School football team defeated Proviso East High School 28-14 at Proviso West High School on Saturday, September 27, in the two schools’ annual rivalry game.

The win is the Panthers’ sixth straight in the series with the Pirates.

For photos of Saturday’s game, click here.

 
  Pirates and Panthers to Face Off in Annual Rivalry Game on Saturday

 
 

The Battle of Proviso football game comes to Proviso West High School on Saturday, September 27, as the Proviso East High School Pirates take on the Proviso West High School Panthers.

Game time is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $3 each for students and seniors, and $4 each for adults. Proviso West won last year’s rivalry game at Proviso East, with the Panthers defeating the Pirates, 34-13.

Fans who cannot make it to the game can watch it online on High School Cube. The contest will be accessible on the internet, iPhones, iPads and Droid devices with a replay and highlight clips available.

Other upcoming games on High School Cube include Proviso West’s next home game on Friday, October 10, versus Glenbard West, and Proviso East’s last game of the regular season at Leyden on Friday, October 24.

 
  District 209 Board of Education Honors Proviso East Staff for Service

 
 

The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education honored seven current Proviso East High School staff members, a former guidance counselor, and local police and fire departments for their service to the school at the Board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, September 16, at Proviso East.

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, commended the Maywood Fire Department for their work in putting out a fire at the school in May. The fire caused damage to classrooms and led to classes being cancelled for two days and the move of teachers and classes to other parts of the Proviso East campus for the rest of the 2013-14 school year and the first part of the current school year.

"They helped us in our time of need … to save our school," Mr. Valente said of the Maywood Fire and Police Departments.

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  PMSA Senior Scores High on ACT, Named National Merit Semifinalist

 
  Harlan Kuhr said that at the current time, he is undecided on where he plans to attend college after he graduates from Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy in the spring.

The PMSA senior likely will have his choice of schools, however, as he scored a 35 out of a possible 36 on the ACT college entrance exam last spring. In addition, he recently was named a semifinalist for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship semifinalist.

Harlan said that he scored a perfect 36 on two portions of the ACT, including on the English portion. He said that he felt prepared for the exam.

“I would say that it came mostly easy to me,” he said. “Our teachers went over the basic types of problems that we would find on there, and with that basic familiarity, I was able to really just show up and take it. I got a 31 on the practice ACT, so I was expecting to do better because I was more familiar with the test.”

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  PMSA Ranked Among Top High Schools by Newsweek

 
 

Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy is ranked among the top high schools in the United States, according to Newsweek magazine.

PMSA was ranked 230th nationally overall based on its college readiness index score devised by Newsweek and research company, Westat, for the magazine’s top high schools list. It also ranked PMSA 10th among the 16 Illinois schools that made the overall top list. In addition, in the magazine’s “Beating the Odds” rankings, which factor in a school’s college readiness ranking and its level of poverty, PMSA ranked 65th in the country and third among Illinois high schools.

The scores for the schools on the lists, which ranked the top 500 high schools, were computed with a formula weighing its enrollment rate, graduation rate, weighted Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate composite scores, weighted SAT and ACT composite scores, its holding power (change in student enrollment between freshman and senior years), and its counselor-to-student ratio, according to the magazine.

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  District 209 Parents Get Look at Schools on Back to School Night

 
 

Parents at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy got a look at what their students are learning at the annual "Back to School Night" on Thursday, September 4.

The Back to School Night is one of several initiatives through the Board of Education to promote more outreach to the parents and the community. The two-hour evening open house is designed to build relationships between parents and schools and introduce parents to their students’ teachers, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. At this event, more than 550 parents learned about the Title I programs at the schools, visited classrooms, met teachers, and found out what their students will be learning.

“It was an opportunity for the parents to come and meet the teachers and the administration and discuss ways they can help their students be successful in their high school careers,” Dr. Collins-Hart said. “We were pleased with the turnout, and we ask our parents to continue to remain involved in our schools and invested in their children’s education.”

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  Proviso East Football to Air on High School Cube Saturday

 
 

Fans of Proviso East High School football will get another opportunity to watch the Pirates’ next home game either in person or online on High School Cube Saturday.

Fans of Proviso East High School football will get another opportunity to watch the Pirates’ next home game either in person or online on High School Cube Saturday.

The Pirates will face Morton High School at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 13, at Proviso East High School. The game against the Mustangs will be on High School Cube and available on the internet, iPhones, iPads and Droid devices with a replay and highlight clips available.

Tickets for the game are $3 for all students with an ID and $4 adults.

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  Proviso East, Proviso West, PMSA Host Back to School Night on September 4

 
 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will welcome parents and students to a new school year with “Back to School Night” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

The “Back to School Night” is an annual event that is designed to build relationships between parents and schools and introduce parents to their students’ teachers, said Mrs. Kim Echols, the District’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. At this event, parents may visit classrooms, meet teachers and find out what their students will be learning.

“It’s an opportunity for the parents to come and meet the teachers and the administration and discuss ways they can help their students be successful in their high school careers,” Mrs. Echols said.

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  PMSA Student Makes Most of Summer Internship

 
 

A Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy senior spent her summer developing her interest in science.

Ebere Agwuncha was an intern for six weeks this summer at Fermilab, a particle physics and accelerator laboratory in Batavia. The opportunity came after she won a silver medal for her microbiology project at the DuPage County Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) last spring.

“I talked about my project through ACT-SO (on my application for the internship), because that is what got me there,” Ebere said. “I talked about my passion for technology and the medical field.”

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  State Education Board to Host Back-to-School Webinar for Parents on September 9

 
 

The Illinois PTA and Dr. Christopher Koch, State Superintendent of Education in Illinois, will host a Back-to-School Webinar for Parents at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 9.

The session will include a discussion of how and why the new Illinois Learning Standards drive new instructional approaches and lesson plans for teachers, the new state PARCC exams that students will take for the first time during the 2014-15 school year, and a discussion of state initiatives to promote how parents can work with the school community to achieve student success.

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and are encouraged to log in a few minutes early to establish connections, especially if it is their first time attending a live “Go to Webinar” from their computer or mobile device. To log in and to register, please click here.

The discussion is expected to last approximately one hour.

 
  24 Proviso East Greats to Be Inducted Into Sports Hall of Fame

 
  Proviso East High School will honor 24 of its past athletics greats in two induction ceremonies for its Sports Hall of Fame at its first two home football games on August 30 and September 6.

The first group will be honored at a reception and induction ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 30, in the Proviso East Social Room, followed by a ceremony during halftime of the varsity football game versus Maine West High School. A second group will have a similar reception and ceremony at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 6, also in the Proviso East Social Room, with a ceremony to follow during halftime of the varsity football game versus York High School.

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, said that the 24 Hall of Fame inductees were selected by a committee of community members, former Proviso East athletes and coaches, and administrators. Each inductee had to be nominated by a member of the community or a committee member.

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  Proviso East, Proviso West Football to Be Shown on High School Cube

 
 

Fans of Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School football will get more opportunities to follow their favorite teams in action as District 209 will again partner with High School Cube this season.

High School Cube will broadcast several games for both schools, including Proviso East’s home games on August 30, September 6, and September 13, and all of Proviso West’s home games on August 29, September 19, October 10, and October 24. High School Cube also will broadcast the annual Proviso East-Proviso West rivalry game at Proviso West High School on September 27 as well as select away games for both schools.

“We have many talented student-athletes at Proviso East, Proviso West, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, and we need to find ways of showing their talents in different venues and areas,” said Mr. Rob Daniel, community and public relations coordinator for District 209. “With High School Cube and their partnerships with other media such as the Chicago Sun-Times and USA Today, we can accomplish this and broaden the scope in which we delivering the good news about our district to the community.”

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  District 209 Students, Teachers Off to Successful Start to 2014-15 Year

 
 

Monday, August 18, provided a smooth start to the 2014-15 school year, as students adjusted to their new schedules, new teachers, and new uniforms.

Students made their way to class, experiencing everything that the first day of school provides in finding their way to new classes and meeting new classmates and their teachers.

“We are off to a successful start to the new school year,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “The students look smart in their new uniforms. It is our intent to continue this smooth start as we focus on our goals for this year, including working together to raise student achievement and provide students the successful school experience that they need to achieve.”

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  District 209 Educators Honored by Congressman Davis

 
 

Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East High School, and Ms. Carla Williams, a guidance counselor at Proviso West High School, recently were honored as outstanding educators by Representative Danny K. Davis in Chicago.

Mr. Valente and Ms. Williams were recognized at a ceremony and dinner in Chicago on August 2 at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago. They had been nominated for the award by Mr. George Pappas, a Proviso East guidance counselor, and Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, respectively.

Mr. Pappas said that Mr. Valente, who was named Outstanding Principal by Representative Davis, has played a major role in gains seen at Proviso East, including increases in the school’s graduation rate and test scores, as well as the overall environment.

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  PTHS 209 Teachers and Staff Are Ready for a Successful 2014-15

 
 

It was a day of new beginnings as faculty and staff in Proviso Township High Schools gathered for the District’s annual District Institute Day at Proviso East High School on August 13.

In the school’s auditorium, newly renovated following a fire at Proviso East in May, teachers and staff members heard from Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209; Mr. Glenn Singleton, a consultant who spoke on matters of race in education; and Mr. Daniel Adams, president of the District 209 Board of Education.

“We look forward to a prosperous year,” Mr. Adams said. “As a team, we can make Proviso rise. We can make Proviso one of the premier school districts in the state.”

Dr. Collins-Hart said that teachers and staff members in District 209 do great things. She said that the District has seen progress in test scores and graduation rates in recent years, and several new academic programs have been added for this year. She said that it is a credit to teachers and staff members in helping students to achieve and the District to continue to grow.

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  Parents Get Education About High School at Parent University

 
 

Parents from Proviso Township High Schools District 209’s three schools and a few of its feeder schools learned a little more about succeeding in high school at the District’s third Parent University on Saturday, August 9, at the District 209 administrative offices at PMSA.

The Parent University was a series of workshops and a panel discussion designed to prepare parents to help their students in high school and beyond. The University was part of the District’s parent involvement through Title I and the Board of Education’s goal of improving stakeholder involvement, and was planned in collaboration with the District and the Proviso Strengthening College and Career Readiness Committee.

“The Parent University was a very positive event in which we were able to reach out to parents in our district,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “We had a great deal of good information presented, and we are planning to continue this type of outreach in the future.”

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  Incoming Freshman Learn About Schools at Freshman Transition

 
 

More than 575 incoming students attended the second annual Freshman Transition Program at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy on August 11 and 12.

The two-day program was well-attended, with 585 students attending the sessions at all three schools. The Freshman Transition program is designed to provide incoming freshmen with the support that they will need for a successful start to their high school careers, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. This is in addition to the traditional Freshman Orientation, which takes place on Friday, August 15.

"Getting a good start to the high school years helps students be better learners and be better prepared to graduate successfully from high school," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "We want our students to feel good about our schools and be comfortable in their new settings. The additional time in the schools before the regular school year will help our students to feel good about our schools and be comfortable in their new settings."

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  Be Ready for High School and Beyond Through Parent University on Saturday, August 9

 
 

Parents and students can be better prepared for high school and beyond at the Proviso Township High Schools District 209’s Parent University on Saturday, August 9.

District 209 will host its latest edition of Parent University from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, 2014, at the district offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, 8601 West Roosevelt Road in Forest Park. The activity is part of the district’s parent enrichment through Title I and the Board of Education’s goal of improving stakeholder involvement. This event is planned in collaboration with the District and the Proviso Strengthening College and Career Readiness Committee.

The Parent University is a series of workshops designed to prepare parents to help their students in high school and beyond. The event also features resources that are available to parents for their children, and students from Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy can earn one hour of community service credit for each of their parents who attend.

Those in attendance can learn about the following topics:

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  District 209 to Host Freshman Transition Program August 11-12

 
 

Members of the Class of 2018 will be able to participate in a freshman transition program August 11 and 12 at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

The freshman transition program is designed to provide incoming freshmen with the support that they will need for a successful start to their high school careers, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. This is in addition to the traditional Freshman Orientation, which will occur on August 15.

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  Incoming Freshmen Need Immunizations, Physicals Before First Day of School

 
  Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will welcome back all students for the 2014-15 school year on August 18.

However, before reporting back to school, all students in the district must have at least a ninth-grade Illinois physical and up-to-date immunizations on file.

Parents need to ensure that their students’ physicals are complete and include details of the students’ health history. Parents also must answer all of the questions on the physical form, sign and date the form, and complete the diabetes screening questions that are attached.

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  Students May Register for School, Pick Up Textbooks August 4-8

 
  From August 4 through 8, students who did not participate in early registration at Proviso Township High Schools District 209’s three schools may register for the 2014-15 school year. During registration, students may pick up their textbooks, student identifications, bus routes, and class schedules.

At Proviso East High School, students and their parents may complete registration and pick up their needed items from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, August 4, Wednesday, August 6, and Friday, August 8. The school also will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, and Thursday, August 7, for registration. Counselors will be on hand to answer any questions concerning classes. In addition, parents may also purchase the mandatory gym uniform for physical education classes. Shirts are $10 each, and a pair of shorts cost $10 each.

Proviso West High School will operate on a similar schedule, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. Textbooks, identifications, and schedules will be available for pickup as well.

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  District 209 Brings Together Area Schools to Seek More Ways to Serve Proviso Students

 
 

Board of Education members from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and six of its seven school districts said that they want to find more ways that they can work together to serve Proviso Township students.

The joint articulation meeting on July 21 at the District 209 administrative offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy was designed as a way for the eight school districts in Proviso Township to discuss ways that students can be better served from kindergarten through graduation from high school at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, or PMSA.

"This was very good," said Mr. Brian Cross, vice president of the District 209 Board of Education. "It’s good to see a lot of buy-in from everyone. I hope that we all try to focus on the nearly 19,000 students who attend public schools in Proviso Township."

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  Dr. Collins-Hart Wins Top Ladies of Distinction Award

 
  Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of Proviso Township High Schools District 209, recently was awarded the Orchid Award from Top Ladies of Distinction's West Suburban Chicago Chapter.

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., is an international, professional, and humanitarian organization with a membership of more than 3,000 women. The Orchird Award honors “extraordinary women who are bold in service,” according to the program from a luncheon honoring Dr. Collins-Hart and other award winners in May.

Dr. Collins-Hart was nominated for the award by Mrs. Kim Echols, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for District 209 and a fellow member of Top Ladies of Distinction's West Suburban Chicago Chapter. Ms. Mary Clements, chair of the 2014 Orchid Awards for Top Ladies of Distinction's West Suburban Chicago Chapter, said that Dr. Collins-Hart's nomination stood out for her service, particularly in her development of literacy projects at her former school district in North Carolina and at District 209.

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  Proviso High School Students to Wear Uniforms Starting in 2014-15

 
 

Students at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will be required to wear uniforms beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

Under the policy, students will wear a short-sleeved or long-sleeved black, white, or school-colored knit polo shirt without logos with plain khaki shorts or trousers when school is in session. The policy does provide exceptions for students enrolled in Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) classes, exceptions on designated dress-up or jersey days for student-athletes, and exceptions on days selected by building administrators to build school spirit such as Homecoming Week.

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Click here to download the official District Uniform Policy

Click here to download the PMSA uniform description

 
  District 209 to Host Joint Meeting with Elementary Schools on July 21

 
  Board of Education members from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and area elementary school districts will meet at a joint articulation meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 21, at the District 209 offices at PMSA, 8601 West Roosevelt Road in Forest Park.

The school board members will discuss issues of common interest at the summit. This includes particular focus on the preparation of students who move on from the feeder schools to Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy. The attendees also will examine ways that all of the districts can work together to support each other in serving Proviso Township students.

“This summit is an excellent opportunity for Boards of Education in Proviso Township to come together and work together on issues that affect all of us,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “We expect to come out of this meeting with a greater understanding of the needs of all of our school districts and a better understanding of how we can work together to meet those needs.”

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  Proviso Students Get Extra Help During Summer

 
 

Students in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 have been getting extra help in achieving excellence in high school, thanks to a series of summer programs.

Five hundred ninety-four students at Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School have been participating in credit recovery classes that help them catch up on the classes needed for graduation. Also, in addition to the third year of the freshman reading program at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, 77 incoming freshmen at Proviso East and Proviso West have been participating in a new freshman summer support program designed to help them learn the necessary skills needed to succeed in high school.

“We are always looking for new ways to help our students achieve academic success, especially for those transitioning to high school,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “With these programs, we are taking the steps in the right direction in helping our students to achieve and be better prepared to learn what they need to know for success in high school and in life.”

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