An informal meeting between parents and high school administrators recently took aim at boosting the woeful learning environment within Proviso, but with only a handful in attendance it was difficult for participants to “rollup our shirt sleeves” and spur “a lot of dialogue,” as Superintendent Bob Libka had encouraged.

Originally billed as a chance for educators to detail their plans for improving test scores in the wake of another disappointing return on the Prairie State Achievement Exam, the format of the Nov. 29 meeting at the Proviso Math and Science Academy was changed to allow community members a chance to air their concerns. Five people turned out for the meeting, and immediately raised concerns over how the district communicates with the public.

“We don’t need to reiterate how disappointed we are with the number of people that showed up,” Carl Williams, a member of the Parent-Teacher-Student Association said.

School board member and Forest Park resident Bob Cox sat in on the meeting and participated in a brainstorming session focused on the relationship between the schools and 10 communities they serve. Mentoring programs, race relations, business partnerships and media coverage all served as touchstones in the conversation.

A projected multi-million dollar deficit, poor student test scores and the intensely political school board were not mentioned.

Administrators are planning a similar forum for Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m., which will also be held at the magnet school in Forest Park. There are also plans to reach out to parents and community members during upcoming basketball games.