The impulse is the right one. Create space so that Forest Park can more simply fly more flags over village hall. The American flag, state flag, of course, but also, over the course of a year, to raise a flag to mark Juneteenth, Pride month and other commemorative banners that reflect the village’s increasing commitment to its diversity and welcoming nature.

The second flagpole, a bit taller than the first, was installed about a month back but was put into service just ahead of Veterans Day. Local scouts served as the color guard as the American flag was hoisted. It was a lovely moment. 

But let’s acknowledge some oddness and some wonder. Back in June the village council agreed on the virtues of a second flagpole. But its members split 2-2 (with one commissioner absent) on whether to spend village monies to make the purchase.

That left Commissioner Michelle Melin-Rogovin listening to supporters who urged her to launch an online fundraiser to bring in the necessary $3,000. The campaign got off to a good start when Melin-Rogovin contributed the first $1,000. The local American Legion Post also got involved as did a range of other residents who chipped in.

The vets and the scouts and Mayor Rory Hoskins all lauded Melin-Rogovin at the dedication. And we add our thanks. All told, it feels like an oddly Forest Park way to accomplish a worthy goal. But accomplished nonetheless.

D209’s turn toward normal

We want to note three things out of Proviso District 209 high schools this week. One we reported on last week, the other two are covered this week by our Amaris Rodriguez.

The Illinois State School Report Card for two of the three high schools in the district is almost fantastically dismal. How low can 209 go in academics, in attendance, in truancy? We’d have thought the bottom was reached several years ago. But the recent years of COVID, failed administrative and board leadership made it worse.

So what’s the upside here? Bessie Karvelas, the current acting superintendent, is talking honestly about the grim situation. She told the Review that she could see the dip coming and that there are plans to restore programs and consequences that disappeared under the past leadership.

Telling the truth is essential to making things better. Karvelas and the new board majority are not sugar-coating the depth of the challenges. That’s a start.

Also good news is the district’s decision to expand its partnership with Triton College to get its students into a dual degree program that will allow a small number of Proviso seniors to graduate with substantial college credits in the bank.

The district has also signed on to a national class action lawsuit charging that social media companies are causing damage to teenagers. Of that we have no doubt. Many other local districts have already joined the suit. No risk. Reasonable cause. Reflects a district paying attention.