Forest Park, IL...Proviso Township High Schools are riding high as officials report the positive impact of PTHS 209’s transportation program.
Since the District began its free busing services it has had a significant impact on average daily attendance. In August 2008 the district began to offer free transportation for Proviso East and Proviso West to address truancy rates, improve average daily attendance (ADA), and improve overall student achievement. It was also designed to offer vital support to students and parents. Data collection and analysis shows that the program has done just that, and many students agree.
“The bus has definitely helped me,” said Proviso West junior Noemi Hernandez of Berkley. “I don’t have to walk to school. I get to school on time. I don’t have to pay to ride to school; and when it’s cold, my parents don’t have to pick me up.”
There are similar sentiments at Proviso East.
“The bus helps me and my family so much,” said Proviso East senior Melissa Borjas of Melrose Park. “It helps us save money because now I don’t have to pay for public transportation and it helps me get to school on time. I was having problems getting to school on time. I had to walk over five blocks just to catch the PACE bus to school. Now I just walk right out to the corner and wait for the bus. I’m never late.”
Since the transportation program was implemented, there have been dramatic decrease in the number of chronic late arrivals, while more moderate improvements have been achieved in monthly ADA percentages. In August 2008 prior to implementation of the transportation program, ADA was at 87% in January 2009 the rate was 94 %. Overall, because students are experiencing more time in class, student achievement is expected to improve. At both Proviso East and Proviso West the data shows that the percentage of grades issued in the range of A-C increased, while the percentage of grades from D-F decreased.
“While there are many factors that have contributed to the positive change in school climate, and an improvement in student achievement, there is no doubt that the transportation program has made a significant difference.” said PTHS 209 Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart. “I am very proud of how receptive out students and parents have been.”
In April, the PTHS 209 Board of Education received a full report on the impact of PTHS 209’s transportation program. The information was more welcomed news for the Board of Education who, in the past few years, has approved a wave of initiatives that focus on school improvement.
“We, on the Board of Education, are so pleased that this program has accomplished exactly what we hoped it would,” said PTHS 209 Board Member Robin Foreman. “Our students are getting to school safely and on time. They’re spending more time in class and we are seeing improvements all around. Everything that we do is about supporting our students and our communities. This program is one of many that we’ve implemented over the years and we are just delighted to see that it is having such a positive impact.”