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State of the District - Schools Cannot Do It Alone

December 6, 2013 03:00 PM
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Community leaders came together to focus on raising test scores and finding ways for the community to work together to accomplish that goal at the Fourth Annual State of the District Community Banquet on Tuesday, December 3, at Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Around 60 leaders from Proviso Township High Schools District 209, its feeder school districts, and the communities that it serves got an update on the direction that the District is heading.

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, highlighted several of the areas where the District is showing improvement. They included significantly increased graduation rates at all three schools, a 33 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading on the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) since 2009, a 55 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in mathematics on the PSAE since 2009, and a 37 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in science on the PSAE since 2009. The percentages of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading and math were historical highs since the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. In addition, 95.5 percent of the District's juniors participated on both ACT and PSAE testing days.
 
There also was an increased number of students taking advanced placement, honors, or dual enrollment courses at Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School, a one-point increase on the reading portion of the ACT as the District average approaches the state average, and the number of students receiving college scholarship or grant offers at all three schools jumped significantly for a total of nearly $20 million for the Class of 2013.
 
Much of the improvement was due to an increased focus on literacy and the dedication of the teachers in supporting the new emphasis across the curriculum, she said.

"The State of the District is progressing," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "But we have work to do. I would hope to do more of this."

A highlight of the evening was a discussion about how the community can help continue the trend of improvement. The community leaders watched a video by Jamie Vollmer, an educational consultant and author of the book, "Schools Cannot Do It Alone," about how public schools are expected to provide more than a basic education in today’s world. They then moved into discussion groups led by district administrators.

Rev. Theodore Matthews, youth minister at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood, said that schools need support to handle the challenges that they face.

StateOfDistrict-2013-2"It takes a community to meet them where they are," he said. "They can’t do it alone. It has to become more of a partnership."

Barbara Cole, director of Maywood Youth Mentoring, said that the schools and the community must work together to help the parents engage in "community schools."

"It’s got to be an ongoing process," she said.

Many thanks to all of the community leaders who support our schools and help to Keep Proviso Rising!
 
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