Proviso West High School

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Proviso West High School
4701 W. Harrison Street


United States
Coordinates41°52′03″N 87°54′00″W / 41.8675°N 87.9°W / 41.8675; -87.9
School typePublic secondary
School districtProviso Twp. HS Dist. 209
SuperintendentDr. James L. Henderson [1]
PrincipalDr. Albert Brass Jr.[2]
Faculty99.35 (FTE)[3]
Enrollment1,853 (2018–19)[3]
Average class size19.0[4]
Student to teacher ratio18.65[3]
Colour(s)  red
Athletics conferenceWest Suburban Conference
WebsiteProviso West High School

Proviso West High School (PWHS) is a public high school located in Hillside, Illinois, United States. It is a part of Proviso Township High Schools District 209, and was opened in 1958. Its sister schools are Proviso East High School and Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.

The school is located approximately ten miles (16 km) west of metropolitan Chicago in Proviso Township. While the school's address is on Harrison Street, most of the school's property is adjacent to Wolf Road, while the southern part of the property lies along Roosevelt Road – which is also Illinois Route 38 at that point. The school is less than one mile from the interchange between I-290 and I-88 (referred to locally as the Hillside Strangler).

Proviso West High School serves seven villages within the township: Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, Hillside, part of Northlake, Stone Park, Westchester, and part of Melrose Park.

The current principal is Dr. Albert Brass Jr.[2]


Prior to the opening of Proviso West, all students in the district attended Proviso High School (which became Proviso East when Proviso West was opened).

In 1953, researchers from the University of Chicago recommended that the school district begin planning to expand, and school district officials began examining the purchase of land for a new school.[7] By 1955, the school population had grown to over 3,400 students, with an estimated increase to over 6,500 students by 1956.[8] In June 1955, the board accepted a recommendation to purchase a 60 acre site in the town of Hillside, and planned a bond issue for the autumn.[9] The construction of the school would also take up nine holes of the Hillside Golf Club.[10] In November, the bond issue was approved by a 5900–626 vote.[11]

In the summer and autumn of 1956, the district began accepting bids for construction of the new school which was to be designed by Perkins and Will.[10] The original designs for the school called for a maximum capacity of 2,500 students.[10] The school would have two three-story academic wings, a two-story wing that would house a library and administrative offices, a single-story wing for maintenance, cafeteria, shops, and art rooms, as well as a two-story gymnasium.[10] A one story auto shop facility would be built as separate building.[10] The gymnasium was to include a spectator gym with main floor and balcony seating and a swimming pool.[10]

As construction neared, there were changes made to the designs. The school was now designed to be expandable up to a maximum of 4000 students.[12] The gymnasium area was now to consist of four smaller gyms that could be combined into a spectator gym with seating for 4000, in addition to a wrestling room, an orthopedic gym, a dance studio, nine locker rooms.[12] The cafeteria, auditorium, and boiler rooms were specifically designed for expansion.[12] The cost at the start of construction was US$5 million.[12] The school opened after a cost of just under US$7.5 million.[13]

In March 1960, the board of education began examining the need to expand Proviso West (including the addition of a fieldhouse).[14] In June, the US$3.5 million bond issue was voted on.[15]

In 1961, the district shifted an attendance boundary so that more students from Bellwood could attend Proviso West, in order to even out the student populations between the two buildings.[16] The referendum was defeated, but a classroom addition began construction in early 1962 with money being taken from the operating fund.[17]

In the 1990s a group of parents in Westchester, citing what they believed to be poor academic achievement and a large size of Proviso West, tried to remove their area from the district and form a small high school district of their own. In the six county Chicago metropolitan area, as of 1996, Proviso West ranked no. 126 in a ranking of 132 suburban high schools on the American College Test (ACT).[18]


Proviso West's class of 2008 had an average composite ACT score of 16.7.[4] 77.5% of the senior class graduated.[4] Proviso West did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, which with the ACT comprises the state assessments used to fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Neither the school overall, nor any of its four student subgroups met expectations in reading or mathematics.[4] The school is listed as being in its fifth year of academic watch.[4]


Proviso West competes in the West Suburban Conference. The school is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in the state. Teams are stylized as the Panthers.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for young men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Young men may compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while young women may compete in bowling, cheerleading, and softball.[19] Calvin Davis was named athletic director at Proviso West in July 2013 after spending the previous ten years as Director of Sports Administration for the Chicago Public Schools.

The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:[20]

  • Baseball: State Champions (1978—79)
  • Cross Country (boys): 4th place (1974—75); 2nd place (1967—68); State Champions (1964—65)
  • Gymnastics (boys): 4th place (1976—77)
  • Track & Field (boys): 4th place (1980—81, 1990—91); 2nd place (1964—65); State Champions (1967—68)
  • Track & Field (girls): 4th place (1976—77); 3rd place (1996—97, 1997—98); 2nd place (1998—99)
  • Chess: State Champions (1980–82, 1986)

In March 1960, the U.S. Badminton Open, which included 300 players from the United States, Indonesia, India, and Denmark, among others, was hosted by Proviso West.[21]

Proviso West Holiday Tournament[edit]

Since 1961, Proviso West has been the host of an annual boys basketball tournament in December; the first holiday basketball tournament in the Chicago area.[22] Over that time, over 30 players who played in the tournament have gone on to professional athletic careers.[23] Between 1964 and 2008, 95 teams qualified for the IHSA state tournament the same year they participated in the Proviso West Holiday Tournament (13 of which won the state title that year).[24]

The tournament received national attention in 2005 when Glenbrook North High School star Jon Scheyer, playing in front of his future coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University, scored 21 points in a 75-second stretch late in the fourth quarter of a game against the host Panthers.[25][26]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-07-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b "Proviso West High School / Homepage".
  3. ^ a b c "Proviso West High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e Class of 2008 Illinois School Report Card; accessed 24 July 2009 Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Proviso West HS information;; accessed 24 July 2009
  6. ^ List of activities at PWHS; accessed 24 July 2009 Archived 11 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Hutchinson, Louise; SUBURB HIGH SCHOOLS PLAN FOR EXPANSION: See Large Jump in Enrolments; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 22 August 1954; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 23 July 2009
  8. ^ Philbrick, Richard; PROVISO TWP. HIGH GROWS IN SIZE AND SPIRIT: School Builds Scholars, Good Citizens; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 27 February 1955; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 23 July 2009
  9. ^ PROVISO BOARD TO HEAR PLAN FOR 2D SCHOOL: Seek Sixty Acre Hillside Site; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963) 19 June 1955; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 23 July 2009
  10. ^ a b c d e f PROVISO SCHOOL TO SEEK BIDS ON HILLSIDE UNIT; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 22 July 1956; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  11. ^ CITY MANAGER PLAN DEFEATED IN DESPLAINES: Sewer Bonds Lose by Wide Margin; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963) 20 November 1955; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 23 July 2009
  12. ^ a b c d PROVISO WEST WORK TO BEGIN IN NOVEMBER: New School Will Cost $5 Million; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 6 September 1956; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  13. ^ Proviso West Combines Beauty, Practicality: $7,480,000 High School Has 100 Rooms; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 6 November 1958; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  14. ^ WEIGH PLANS FOR PROVISO HIGH SCHOOLS; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 6 March 1960; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  15. ^ SCHOOL BOND VOTE SET IN PROVISO AREA: Ask 3.5 Million for Expansion; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 12 May 1960; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 24 July 2009
  16. ^ Set Proviso High Boundary Shifts; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 11 May 1961; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  17. ^ Work Starts on Wing for Proviso West; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 15 March 1962; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  18. ^ Banas, Casey. "Proviso East Flunks Test With Many Area Parents." Chicago Tribune. November 15, 1996. Retrieved on February 23, 2014.
  19. ^ Proviso West HS Athletic Department
  20. ^ Season summaries for PWHS;; accessed 24 July 2009
  21. ^ U.S. BADMINTON MEET TO OPEN IN HILLSIDE; Chicago Daily Tribune (1872–1963); 27 March 1960; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986), ProQuest. Web; accessed 25 July 2009
  22. ^ Proviso West Holiday Tournament History – The 1960s;
  23. ^ From Proviso To Professional; accessed 24 July 2009
  25. ^ "Coach K's future player has incredible run Scheyer scores 21 points in 75 seconds, but No. 1 Glenbrook North loses;; accessed 25 July 2009". Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  26. ^ Proviso West Holiday Tournament History – The 2000s;; accessed 25 July 2009
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Akouris, Tina; High School of the Week – Name of game for Panthers: Success; 24 December 2008; Chicago Sun-Times; accessed 24 July 2009". Archived from the original on 25 December 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  28. ^ Lee Archambault – Official NASA biography;; accessed 24 July 2009
  29. ^ Ray McElroy stats & bio;; accessed 24 July 2009 Archived 25 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Awvee Storey stats & bio;; accessed 24 July 2009

External links[edit]