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Building Bridges to Success: Proviso East Student Advisory Council Works to Improve Pirate Country

February 3, 2012 09:45 AM
Maywood, IL...At Proviso East High School, building bridges to success incorporates the community, parents, civic leaders, and the most important element of all—students.

This year Proviso East principals are ramping up their efforts to build a coalition with students at the center. The Student Advisory Council was formed to provide feedback to school administration on critical issues impacting the students and the learning environment at Proviso East. The students and the principals all work together for the betterment of Pirate Country.

"We want to provide our students with a voice," said Proviso East assistant principal, Mrs. Lang. "We want our students to know that we are listening to them. We begin to implement different things as they tell us what they would like to see. It provides that connection. They know that they can come to us. We have an open door policy. We welcome their voices in helping to build our school community. We want our students to have an active role in that."

Each month, students sit down with their principals and school leadership to build a coalition that supports the goals and mission of Proviso East. On the council, there are four representatives from each class of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
"We talk with the students in our class about different things that need to be changed, improved, or fixed in the school," said Proviso East senior, Stacey Welch. "We get the students’ perspectives on what’s going on, and then we bring it back to our principal. The overall goal is to make our school better and more fun."

Proviso East senior Deshawn Johnson agreed.

"I think we have a huge role," he said "We are basically working to help change our school for the better."

That is a role that each student takes to heart.

"We help make a difference," said Proviso East freshman, Elijah Austin. "We try to figure out what will help make kids want to come to school. It’s cool that we have a say in what happens in our school and that people actually listen to our feedback."
This month the group brainstormed initiatives to help motivate students. They discussed how the administration can promote higher academic achievement, how they can better prepare seniors for college, and how they can help students get to class on time. The group also mentioned possible changes in the bell schedule that gives them more notice to get in class. They are also helping to plan this year’s first Honors Assembly. While the council is designed to offer advice to Proviso East leadership, the leadership always gives advice in return.

"You guys can become anything that you want to become," said Proviso East principal, Mr. Valente, as he thanked the students and prepared to close the meeting. "There’s nothing holding you back. So don’t forget that."

Great work Proviso East Student Advisory Council! You are a vital part of Proviso Rising!


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