Parents at Proviso Township Schools Demand Answers on Teacher Shortage, Busing Problems

Parents and teachers say that a wide variety of issues are causing serious issues for students this school year

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Parents of students at Proviso Township High Schools turned out en masse at a school board meeting Tuesday to demand solutions to a wide variety of issues, including staffing shortages and significant problems with busing students to and from school.

Classes resumed in the district three weeks ago, but some parents say the district wasn’t prepared for the school year and students are suffering because of that.

At Tuesday’s board of education meeting, outbursts and anger from frustrated parents and teachers were heard by officials.

Concerns raised at the meeting include overcrowded buses, a lack of teachers, and class schedule mix-ups.

Krystal Ashford has two daughters in the district. She says one hasn’t had a math teacher since the school year started.

“As of today, no teacher,” said Ashford. “They are being told to go to cafeteria and wait until the period is over with.”

Danielle English has been teaching at Proviso West for six years, and says she has never seen anything like the current problems.

“I have students who have no classes for one period and they just and walk around until the next class starts,” she said.

NBC 5 reached out to Supt. James Henderson several times before the meeting, but have not received a statement.

Last week, he sent this statement to NBC-5: "Proviso Township High Schools District 209—like most districts across the country—is faced with a teacher shortage. We have encountered at least five teacher resignations since the Sept.1 start date of school. We believe these last-minute resignations to be most unprofessional and harmful to our scholars. We’re assertively working with our teacher union to ensure a higher teacher retention rate and to lower the attrition rate. The safety of our scholars is our primary concern. We are ensuring all scholars are in safe learning environments and supervised by an adult."

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