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District 209 School Board Hears of Good Start to School Year

August 23, 2013 08:40 AM
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Forest Park, IL...Proviso Township High Schools District 209 administrators reported a good start to the 2013-14 school year at the regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, August 20, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent, said that students were adjusting to their schedules and the rigor of being back in class after the summer break despite the warm weather.

"The schools have done a good job helping students to adjust," Dr. Collins-Hart said.

At the August meeting, the Board also noted the signing of legislation that allows all school districts in Illinois to designate the first Monday in October as "Bring Your Parents to School Day." The bill, sponsored by state Representative Chris Welch, a former District 209 Board of Education president, and state Senator Kimberly Lightford, was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on August 10 at the annual Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in Chicago.

It has been a tradition in District 209 since 2002, when it was first introduced by then- Board of Education President, Mrs. Theresa Kelly. This year’s "Bring Your Parents to School Day" will take place on October 1 and February 4.

"We want our ‘Bring Your Parents to School Day’ to be a model," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "We are proud that our District was at the forefront of such a significant effort."
 
Mrs. Kelly encouraged anyone connected to District 209 to take part in "Bring Your Parents to School Day."

"Any opportunity to encourage the parents to participate in their children's education is a positive for education," Mrs. Kelly said. "I welcome all stakeholders taking an active part in our children's future. Please save the date, for Proviso Township High Schools’ ‘Bring Your Parents to School Day’ is October 1. We look forward to seeing you there."
 
The start to the school year also included a successful Parent University on August 10. Ms. Pat Shehorn, chairperson of the Proviso Strengthening College and Career Readiness Committee, which partnered with the District to hold the event, expressed to the Board that Parent University was a positive event that left both parents and younger children who attended excited for high school. She thanked the Board for the opportunity to be part of this positive experience.

"Every single parent that I spoke with told me how beneficial the program was," Ms. Shehorn said.

Mr. Daniel Adams, Board President, concurred.

"It was really good," he said. "This helps us move forward with the Board’s goal of more outreach to the community."

Dr. Collins-Hart said that the schools will focus on a series of program designed to boost student achievement and learning and improve the school environment, including Saturday School, tutoring, ACT Prep, WorkKeys, service learning, and student interventions.

In addition, the District was approved by the Illinois Board of Education and given permission to sell $1.4 million in Quality Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB). Mr. Todd Drafall, business manager/chief financial officer for the District, said that the District had submitted its application in July after garnering pledges of financial and volunteer support from community members and organizations as a match.

The QZABs are an interest-free loan that the District will pay back at some time in the future. The $1.4 million approved by the state Board of Education will be used for capital improvements at Proviso East High School.
 
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