Disengagement has always held Proviso Township High School District 209 back. It’s hard to cultivate a sense of school pride when your district collects rivulets from 10 different feeder communities.
We commend retired hospital administrator Pat Shehorn on her understanding: When parents take ownership of the district, students get the most of their high school careers.
That’s why we believe Parent University, even though only 100 parents attended, was a success.
We know you can get a good education in Proviso — even Proviso East — if you work hard and try. We’ve seen it. We write about local Forest Park students who’ve done it. But those students have parental support. Parents feel welcome in the school, at the games. They know the teachers, they know the principal. They have ownership.
Shehorn has gathered a group of local healthcare folk and community organizers who are training their eyes on Proviso parents. She wants to give hope to parents that there are careers out there and high school success has relevance.
The majority of D209 students who attend Proviso East High School hail from Maywood and Melrose Park. We are glad to see both communities represented in Shehorn’s group. We are also excited to see Shehorn focus on Hispanic students and offering parent talks in both English and Spanish.
We also are excited to see Triton Community College take a better look at Proviso and realize it can be a pathway for students to make the transition from apathy to engagement. Proviso East Principal Tony Valente said his first steps on a journey from problem student to educator were taken at Triton.
However, we also see the patronage potential represented by the millions of D209 dollars. There have always been plenty of politically connected Melrose Park district employees. Now we see the district moving graduation ceremonies from the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion to the Rosemont Theater, a windfall for that town, which has political connections to Triton.
We pray as the district comes more clearly into Triton’s orbit students are kept as the focus.