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District 209 Schools Make Gains in Graduation Rates, Reading Scores

August 23, 2013 09:00 AM
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Forest Park, IL...Schools in Proviso Township High Schools District 209 have made gains in their graduation rates and scores on the PSAE.

According to the recently released Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Status Report 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 portion of the state tests by 11.5 percent from 2012. This is the school’s highest rate since 2007. Proviso West High School juniors raised the percentage of students who met or exceeded state standards on the reading portion of the state tests by 5.9 percent, as well as seeing a slight increase in the percentage of students who met or exceeded state standards on the math portion of the test. Proviso East also saw the percentage of its students who took the test jump by 7.6 percent to 94 percent, while Proviso Math and Science Academy again had 100 percent of its juniors take the exams. The state requires schools have 95 percent participation for AYP.

In addition, Proviso East, Proviso West, and PMSA all reported improved graduation rates. At Proviso East, 67.8 percent of the Class of 2013 graduated, up by nearly 10 percent from 2012. At Proviso West, 74.4 percent of its seniors graduated, up by 8.4 percent from the previous year, while 100 percent of the seniors at PMSA graduated. Proviso East and Proviso West have continued to see their graduation rates increase since state officials changed the way it reported graduation rates in 2011. The average graduation rate across the state in 2012, the last year that has been released by the Illinois Board of Education, was 82.3 percent. The District goal is to always meet or exceed the state average.

While the increased scores and graduation rates do not help the schools meet adequate yearly progress under state guidelines, the results were signs of improvement, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209.

"This is a move in the right direction, and we need to make a trend of improvement in all areas across multiple years," she said. "We hope to continue this positive progress and continue to move forward in the education of our students."

Mr. Ed Moyer, the District’s executive director of assessment and planning, said that the District’s students were improving despite declines statewide.

"The increase in the graduation rates at all three District 209 schools is the result of purposeful efforts on the part of our teachers and administration working together toward improved student performance," he said. "In light of the decline in graduation rates statewide, this improvement is a significant accomplishment."

In addition to the improvements in reading scores and graduation rates, the District also saw positive gains in addressing the Board of Education’s goal of enhancing and improving educational programming. The following improvements are noted:
  • The number of students taking Advanced Placement, Honors, or Dual Enrollment classes is up 15 percent at Proviso West High School and 29 percent at Proviso East High School, with the number of courses in these areas also increasing.
  • On both the English Language Arts and Mathematics Benchmark Assessment, the average percentage correct and the percentage of students scoring above the 60 percent correct is higher than last year in nearly instance through building or class.
  • The total monetary amounts of scholarships and grant offers totaled nearly $20 million and are up at all three schools: 57 percent at Proviso West, 34 percent at Proviso East, and 10 percent at PMSA.
  • The number of students receiving scholarships and grant offers is up at all three schools: 33 percent at Proviso East, 90 percent at Proviso West, and 147 percent at PMSA.
  • The percentage of students who showed improvements between the eighth and ninth grade Explore tests rose from 19 percent to 49 percent this year.
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