Tag: Supt. Jesse Rodriguez

D209 Makes Plans Ahead Of March 14 Walkout, No Automatic Suspensions

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

District 209 officials are bracing for demonstrations that are scheduled to take place tomorrow at Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy.

Continue reading “D209 Makes Plans Ahead Of March 14 Walkout, No Automatic Suspensions”

D209 And Center For Economic Progress To Offer Free Tax Prep Services

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 is collaborating with the Center for Economic Progress (CEP) to provide free tax preparation services to low-income students, families and community members in Proviso Township for four days this year.

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District 209 Could Create Annual Mandatory Parent Meeting

Thursday, November 9, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: Mike Burries, a member of the district’s parent and community engagement committee during a Nov. 8 meeting, where a proposal to create an annual mandatory parent meeting was introduced. | Michael Romain/VFP

Mandatory parent meetings could be coming to Proviso Township High Schools District 209 starting next year. District 209 board member Rodney Alexander introduced the proposal during the inaugural meeting of the newly reconfigured parent and community engagement committee, held Nov. 8 at Proviso West High School in Hillside.

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D209 Planning to Redesign Websites; West, PMSA Could Get New Logos

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

Featured image: The home page at District’ 209’s website. | Screenshot

Proviso Township High School District 209 officials are preparing to redesign the websites used by the district, Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy at an estimated cost ranging between $70,000 and $120,000.

Continue reading “D209 Planning to Redesign Websites; West, PMSA Could Get New Logos”

D209 Creates Parent Coordinator Positions

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel/Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

The Proviso District 209 Board of Education approved the hiring of two new “parent coordinator” positions, at its June 13 meeting.

Eva Kardaras and Delinda Hyde, (pictured left to right in feature photo), each with a one-year contract for $46,000, started work July 15. The pair is tasked with running the district’s two new parent centers — information clearinghouses and community-resource hubs — meant to further the district’s goal of building relationships with outside partners and Proviso residents.

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D209 Officials Say Asbestos Removal Will Be Completed By Start of School Year

Remove materials containing some asbestos

Stock image of asbestos removal | Environmental Construction Solutions 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel/Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

The District 209 Board of Education, at its July 11 meeting, unanimously approved a $297,613.15 contract with an outside firm to remove asbestos, repair school kitchens and replace floors at Proviso East and West.

That approval comes just as two other projects, a $2.2 million heating and piping upgrade and a new $1.1 million security system are nearing completion.

D209 is working to transform certain parts of its campus into personalized learning centers, parent centers and blended learning labs as well as updating teacher lounges. The asbestos removal and kitchen repair work is part of that effort. All work is scheduled to be completed by mid-August, before the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

There will be five or six “personalized learning centers” at both Proviso East and West, repurposing current office and classroom space, Supt. Dr. Jesse Rodriguez said July 17. Those centers will serve about 200 of the district’s roughly 1,000 so-called “credit deficient” students, using on-site counselors, a somewhat different layout than a traditional classroom and a lower teacher-to-student ratio to help students fulfill graduation requirements.

“It’s a little wing, an area of the building where we will provide services to those students based on their individual needs,” Rodriguez said. “The idea is make sure they are achieving credits. That’s the idea, to go away from the traditional setting. We know the traditional setting didn’t work for these kids.”

The district may expand those centers in the future, Rodriguez added. He is hopeful, however, that the schools system can address the credit issue using upfront collaboration with the district’s feeder schools and working with students and families.

“Right now,” Rodriguez said, “there is a big need.”

Of the eight bids, Franklin Park-based Husar Abatement submitted the lowest quote, at just under $300,000 and about $50,000 less than the next lowest bid. Work is set to begin after the district’s Financial Oversight Panel approves the contract.

The $2.2 million project includes mechanical, electrical and plumbing work at all three of the district’s schools. This includes pool ventilation, HVAC, auditorium air conditioning and a grease trap. That work, which will be done by contractor C. Ascitelli, should be finished by Aug. 1. The bid was first approved by the district’s Financial Oversight Panel in September 2016.

For the $1.1 million security system upgrade, D209 contracted with Pace Systems Inc. The roughly 600 cameras at Proviso East and West were “old and beyond their useful life.”

Todd Drafall, D209’s chief financial and operations manager, said July 17, it has been at least a decade since the last upgrade.

According to documents in the board’s July 11 meeting packet, that work was scheduled to be finished by June 30. The district’s Financial Oversight Panel approved the bid in July 2016.

The three projects come as D209 continues to work toward completing its Facilities Master Plan, a holistic, long-range planning document for the school system’s physical footprint. As reported by the Review, the D209 Board of Education approved a $139,900 contract in June with Chicago-based consultant Perkins and Will to draft the plan. That work, which includes research on current facilities, focus groups and community meetings, is ongoing.

“It is imperative that we have that plan done as soon as possible,” Rodriguez said. “We’re talking about millions of dollars and more.” VFP

F E A T U R E D  E V E N T Business reception Detailed Flyer_July

District 209 Approves Facilities Master Plan

Proviso East aerial photo_Google Eart.png

An aerial view of the Proviso East High School campus in Maywood. | Google Earth

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel/Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews

The Proviso District 209 Board of Education unanimously approved a contract with Chicago-based architecture firm Perkins and Will to draft a Facilities Master Plan and a Health Life Safety Survey at its June 13 meeting.

Work is set to begin this summer while school is not in session. The contract approval is the latest step in moving the district toward a more holistic vision for its campus facilities. For the last several years, D209 has been using a capital and construction list. A Facilities Master Plan, however, fuses curriculum needs, technological upgrades, current facility conditions, and enrollment projections into one document that is used for long-term planning.

“Our district spent many years not addressing the capital needs of our buildings. We are starting the process,” D209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez told the Review in March after the board selected Perkins and Will. “There’s a lot to be done.”

The Health and Life Safety Plan will cost $179,900 and the Facilities Master Plan will be $139,900, according to district spokesperson Cynthia Moreno.

Drafting a facilities plan is also a necessary step toward dissolving the state-mandated Financial Oversight Panel. Such panels, according to Illinois law, are a way for the state to offer emergency financial management assistance to local school districts. D209 has had a FOP since 2008, although the panel was reorganized in 2012, expanding its powers and adding more members.

Proviso West aerial photo_Google Earth.png

An aerial view of the Proviso West High School campus in Hillside. | Google Earth

“That’s the number one thing that has to happen,” Craig Shilling, the panel’s chairman, told the Review in March. “It is primarily getting the facilities piece into something that is sustainable.”

The project has several phases, beginning with a demographic survey to examine birth rates, enrollment trends and population change. Then Perkins and Will plans to audit the district’s buildings to ensure mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection components for compliance and identify any necessary upgrades.

The next step includes an “educational assessment” and “capacity analysis.” The Perkins and Will team will observe Proviso students during school hours in the fall to determine how the existing facilities at PMSA, Proviso East and Proviso West meet current educational needs. This includes examining classroom sizes, security features and student traffic flow during class breaks.

An oversight committee will be formed as well and will include district administrators, parents, faculty, staff, community members, and board of education members. The committee, which will meet bi-weekly throughout the process, will be a “sounding board as issues arise, meeting agendas are developed, [and] planning ideas/solution are generated,” according to the proposal submitted by Perkins and Will.

PMSA aerial photo_Google Earth.png

An aerial view of the PMSA campus in Forest Park. | Google Earth

There will be at least four bilingual community engagement meetings, too.

“The general intent of these community engagement sessions is to review the established vision driving the facilities master plan, highlight findings and issues at each campus, and thoughtfully articulate a range of possible solutions,” the proposal says.

Once final options are identified, with the help of the oversight committee, the school board will assess and, if necessary, get clarifications and feedback, before voting to approve the plan.

If all goes well, the process will be completed by spring 2018. VFP

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