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District 209 Brings Together Area Schools to Seek More Ways to Serve Proviso Students

July 31, 2014 04:35 PM
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Board of Education members from Proviso Township High Schools District 209 and six of its seven school districts said that they want to find more ways that they can work together to serve Proviso Township students.
 
The joint articulation meeting on July 21 at the District 209 administrative offices at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy was designed as a way for the eight school districts in Proviso Township to discuss ways that students can be better served from kindergarten through graduation from high school at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, or PMSA.
 
"This was very good," said Mr. Brian Cross, vice president of the District 209 Board of Education. "It’s good to see a lot of buy-in from everyone. I hope that we all try to focus on the nearly 19,000 students who attend public schools in Proviso Township."
 
Participating in the summit from the District 209 Board of Education along with Mr. Cross were Board members, Ms. Readith Ester, Mr. Kevin McDermott, and Mrs. Theresa Kelly, along with several administrators including Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent. Other area school districts represented by their respective Board members and administrators were Berkeley School District 87, Bellwood School District 88, Forest Park School District 91, Lindop School District 92, Westchester Public Schools District 92.5, and Hillside School District 93.
 
Mr. Jeff Cohn, a consultant from Brave Dialogue who facilitated the discussion, stressed the need for the school districts in Proviso Township to collaborate and work together for the betterment of the 18,965 students that are enrolled in District 209 and its feeder school districts.
 
Most participants at the meeting stated a desire for building a framework for success, having clear and formalized communication among the school districts, and developing a common system of services among the school districts such as a common calendar. The participants also discussed how to determine what roles that Board of Education members and administrators would have in the process.
 
Most of the participants stated that they wished to take action on the sharing of professional development for teachers and educational strategies and curriculum, a township-wide brand and vision, sharing student data to review student progress from kindergarten through 12th–grade, pooling of resources, and educating parents on all schools in the township. Key to achieving those actions, however, involved finding time and money, and developing trust from all of the involved school districts.
 
Another joint articulation meeting involving all Proviso Township school districts could take place later in the 2014-15 school year, possibly in January 2015, the meeting’s participants said.
 
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