Juniors at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy will join students across the state when they take the ACT and Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) on April 23 and 24, respectively.
A campaign to stress the importance of the state tests to students and their parents has been underway during the school year to continue the improvement that we have seen in recent years. Schools have been offering ACT prep classes throughout the year, among other measures. They are also providing incentives to students to do their best.
The District has had a 33 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in reading on the PSAE since 2009, including an 11.5 percent increase at Proviso East in 2013. The most recent state report card also shows 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 in 2013.
However, Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that this year’s juniors need to take the tests seriously and be ready to do well on them.
"Our target is to meet or exceed the state average," she said. "It is vital that students take advantage of the opportunities that we are providing to be ready to do well on these exams."
The support of parents and the community also is vital to students’ success on the tests. Parents can help by ensuring that their students are in attendance on both days of the tests, and that they are prepared by bringing two number two pencils, an ACT approved calculator, and wear comfortable clothing. Community leaders such as churches, businesses, and local governments can encourage the school by advertising the date of the test, wishing Proviso students well on their marquee, and raffling off gifts, among other supports.