The Proviso Township High School District 209 administration released enrollment figures Monday that show which districts are sending eighth-graders to which high schools and how many eighth-graders are opting out of D209.

Many Forest Park parents withdraw their children from the public high school system. But it turns out a significant number of parents in other feeder towns also do not send their eighth-graders to D209. Of a total of 1,362 eighth-graders who graduated from public school, the district lost 363 or 26 percent when it came time to go to high school. However, the district gained 105 freshmen from out of district. 

According to the report, Forest Park D91 sent 15 eighth-graders to Proviso East High School last year, roughly 15 percent of 83 graduating eighth-graders. Sixteen Forest Park freshmen attended Proviso Math and Science Academy and two attended Proviso West. That means 39 percent of freshman-age students (33) who attended D91 now attend D209 schools. That leaves 50 students who went to an alternate school, a 61 percent opt-out rate among public-school students. This does not include Forest Park students who did not attend eighth-grade in Forest Park Middle School. 

The new Forest Park comprehensive plan states there are 572 high school students (grades 9-12) in Forest Park, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. If that’s the case, there may be up to 170 high school students living in Forest Park who did not attend D91 and do not attend D209.

Of the feeder towns sending students to Proviso East, Maywood has the highest opt-in rate. Maywood schools (D89) sent 202 freshmen of 251 total eighth-graders last year (80 percent). Maywood students make up almost half of the current class of 414 freshmen at Proviso East. 

There are 38 out-of-district (transfer) students in this year’s freshman class at PEHS. There are a total of 105 out-of-district students in the district.

Other feeder communities have lower opt-in rates for Proviso East: Melrose Park (D89) sent 134 students of 220 (61 percent). Broadview’s Lindop district (D92) sent 14 students (24 percent).

Of feeder districts who sent their eighth-graders to Proviso West, Berkeley (D87) sent 68 percent; Bellwood (D87) sent 66 percent. Westchester (D92.5) sent 28 percent to Proviso West and Hillside (D93) sent 44 percent. Northlake (D87) sent 55 percent of their eighth-graders to PWHS and Stone Park has no middle school. 

The newly released numbers also show the current enrollment for the district is 4,408; that’s 327 students or 6 percent lower than the 4,735 students reported on the Illinois Report Card. It’s unclear if that includes special education students enrolled in other schools. 

 Of the predicted 1,153 freshmen next year, 1,008 will have entered the district from the 10 feeder school districts, the documents say. The district is predicting 138 students from out of district (who may have moved into the district for high school) and seven students from private schools. These totals do not include students placed out of the district at special education schools.

PMSA makeup

The data also tell a story of how many students from each feeder school attended Proviso Math and Science Academy as freshmen this year. PMSA drew 193 freshmen from across the 10 feeder communities. Melrose Park had the highest number of PMSA students at 45, or 24 percent of all PMSA students. One out of four D209 students from Melrose Park are admitted to PMSA. The town of Berkeley had the second highest number, 29 or 15 percent of the student body. Of Berkeley students in the district, one out of five attend PMSA. Bellwood, Maywood and Northlake had the smallest proportion of PMSA students in the district. Only 9 percent of the Bellwood and Maywood D209 population attends PMSA. Ten percent of Northlake students in D209 attend PMSA.

PMSA admitted 15 Forest Park students last year, or 8 percent of all incoming freshmen at the school. Of all Forest Park eighth-graders, PMSA accepted 18 percent.

 Proviso Township 2014 eighth graders who attend D209 schools

Feeder town 

Total 8th graders 2014

P. East

9th gr.

P.West

9th gr.

PMSA

9th gr.

% in D209

% Opt-out 

Opt-out total

Bellwood

262*

4

172

25

76%

24%

61

Berkeley

159*

2

109

29

88%

12%

19

Broadview

55*

13

1

4

33%

67%

37

Forest Park

83*

16

2

15

39%

61%

50

Hillside

54*

1

24

8

61%

39%

21

Maywood

251*

202

22

24

99%

1%

3

Melrose Pk

220*

134

10

45

86%

14%

31

Northlake

157*

0

75

15

57%

43%

67

Stone Park

0

0

0

0

n/a

n/a

n/a

Westchester 

121*

1

35

9

37%

63%

76

Private schools

 

4

1

6

n/a

n/a

n/a

Out of district (unknown)

 

38

54

13

n/a

n/a

n/a

Totals

1,362*

415

505

193

75%

25%

353

*from Illinois Interactive Report Card

 

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

6 replies on “A quarter of 8th-graders opt-out of Proviso district-wide”