The chairman of the state-appointed Financial Oversight Panel (FOP) that oversees the finances of Proviso Township High Schools District 209 said that the District is "on the right track," especially in terms of managing class size and its budget.
Dr. Craig Schilling, chairman of the FOP, said at FOP’s regular meeting and at a joint meeting with the District 209 Board of Education on Tuesday, September 30, that he liked how staffing decisions have been made at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy since the beginning of the current school year. He told administrators and the D209 Board that keeping staffing levels at about 260 teachers allowed for savings that can be used for other purposes in the District.
"I like how the staffing was done," Dr. Schilling said. "I think we’re on the right track."
The comments came after a presentation from Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, and Mrs. Kim Echols, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, on staffing levels. Mrs. Echols said that after some issues with managing class sizes at the beginning of the school year, all classes were balanced with the proper number of students in each.
Classes averaged about 25 students at Proviso East, 23 students at Proviso West, and 27 students at PMSA. She said that Proviso East has only three sections of academic core classes (English, math, social studies, and science) with more than 32 students, and those classes had 33 students each. Proviso West has no classes with more than 32 students, while PMSA has two sections with 35 students each.
"We believe that these are workable," Dr. Collins-Hart said.
Dr. Schilling credited the District 209 administration for its works in scheduling and staffing.
"This is well done," he said. "The fact that we have close to the right number of people, that’s going to point to more things for kids."