Chuck Feldman of the Proviso Herald reports that Proviso High Schools is looking to improve its transportation for students to and from High School. According to Feldman, with hopes of eventually providing free transportation to all of its students, the Board of Proviso High School District 209 has requested a hazard waiver from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Attaining the waiver would be a big step toward improving transportation to and from school for students attending Proviso East in Maywood, Proviso West in Hillside and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy in Forest Park, said TaQuoya Kennedy, spokeswoman for District 209.
In most cases the state allows free school transportation only to students living at least 1 1/2 miles from the school they attend. Children who live less than 1 1/2 miles from school but have to cross a busy street, railroad tracks, or walk by a street without sidewalks may be eligible for a refund of some of their parents' transportation costs, according to the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education.
"We have so many kids that have to walk to school," said Nikita Johnson, District 209's assistant superintendent of finance and operations. "Some of them have to walk through bad neighborhoods past gangs, and sometimes when there is inclement weather, they don't show up at all. So, requesting reimbursement is the first step in our plan to acquire transportation for all of our students."
Improving transportation, Johnson added, likely would help to "improve our attendance rate and improve student achievement."
"It is a struggle to give the students all that we have to offer if we can't even get them into the building," said Daniel Johnson, Proviso East assistant principal, "so, there is going to be a big push to get transportation."