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  Superintendent's Message - September 2011  
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Dear PTHS 209 Family and Friends,

It is with great excitement that we welcome everyone back to what is sure to be another exciting and successful school year. This is a very exciting time for us. Our theme this year is “Building Bridges to Success,” in order to rise to the next level of student achievement, accountability, and professionalism. There have been many changes, improvements, and adjustments in this new school year to help us get there—to help us accelerate student achievement and reach our Board goals. With these changes, we have the need to re-tool, re-build, and work together unlike we have ever done before. We have made significant progress. We know that as we continue to press forward toward our goals it is going to take all of us working together to achieve success.

We are already off to a good start. This year we welcomed over 2,000 new freshmen into our schools. Freshman Orientation and the start of school were huge successes. Our teachers are back in their classrooms hard at work doing what matters most. As you all know, we welcomed three new principals this school year. Mrs. Kim Waller Echols serves as principal of Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy, Dr. Roudell Kirkwood serves as principal of Proviso West High School, and Mr. Tony Valente serves as principal of Proviso East High School. They have already begun connecting with students, faculty, and staff to make positive improvements for our students and each of our schools. They have been charged with working with our students, parents, faculty, and staff to execute school improvement plans to help us build bridges and boost student achievement. Thank you to those who participated in our Principal Meet and Greets on August 9th-August 11th. The show of student and parental support was phenomenal. We certainly look forward to more of that type of support and interaction as our principals, faculty, and staff execute their visions of success for our students and for our entire school system.

We are extremely focused, and we are moving more aggressively toward improvements this year. We have introduced plans that include an increased emphasis on instructional support and accountability throughout the organization, the review of lesson plans, daily instructional monitoring, improved attendance of students and staff, the development of a leadership cadre and mentorship program, the process of systematically using student assessment data, and thoroughly implementing our school improvement plans. Overall, we have set the tone and begun the work that will enable us to offer our students a better education and greater learning opportunities.

We invite each of our parents to participate in “Back to School Night” on September 22 and “Bring Your Parent to School Day” on October 4th. These are only two of the great ways to get involved, show your support, and become an active participant in some of the positive things happening within our schools. I am looking forward to working with you as we “Build Bridges to Success” and work to better serve the needs of our 5,000 students. Let us make 2011-2012 our best school year yet.

Sincerest Regards,

Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart
PTHS 209 Superintendent