Peoria Public Schools

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District News

  • Hedy Elliott named Donald M. Phares Classroom Teacher of the Year

    Hedy Elliott, teacher at Lincoln K-8 School Within A School (SWS), has been named Peoria Public School 2019 Donald M. Phares Classroom Teacher of the Year, one of seven District Those Who Excel winners announced by Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat during an all-staff video presentation streamed this morning.

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  • Middle school STEM Saturdays starts September 7

    DAPCEP - a free Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program for Peoria Public School 5th - 8th grade students will run Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., September 7 through October 5. This is the third year the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP) has brought its STEM program to Bradley University, the only DACPCEP program offered outside Michigan.

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  • PPS transportation introduces new communication options

    Peoria Public Schools Transportation Department is implementing two new communications options to help parents track students' bus information.

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  • Peoria Public Schools Board Member Dr. Bob Davison-Aviles Submits Resignation

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  • Scouts give Whittier Outdoor Classroom an upgrade

    A group of Whittier alum, all members of West Peoria Scout Troop 11, spent today giving back to their primary school. The Whittier Primary School outdoor classroom, located across the street from the school, is being upgraded as Richwoods High School senior Alex O’Shaughnessy’s Eagle Scout project. Today the students, many of whom now attend Richwoods High School and Manual Academy, weeded and cleaned existing beds, planted a new butterfly garden, installed planter boxes, a weather station and picnic tables.

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  • PNC First Grant applications available for teachers

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  • Summer hours at the administration building

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Superintendent's Blog

  • Giving students a strong start to the school year

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 8/9/2019 8:00:00 AM

    A new school year is a fresh start. When students get excited about back-to-school, it’s often due to thoughts of new backpacks, shoes, notebooks and school supplies.


    Many Peoria Public School families struggle to provide school supplies and uniforms for their students. Each July, Peoria Public Schools and The Dream Center Peoria host Backpack Peoria to give students backpacks and school supplies.  This year over 1,750 families attended Backpack Peoria and organizers ran out of backpacks with additional families in line. The first 750 families received a voucher to cover part of the cost of a new school uniform from Sam Harris.  It was a great event but clearly there is an even greater need. 


    With that in mind, here are several more ways to help our students this month:


    • The Round Table, a project of Local 6099, collects personal hygiene, nonperishable food and new and gently-used clothing for Peoria Public School students. During the 2018-2019 school year, The Round Table gave to hundreds of Peoria Public School families. The Round Table has a “no questions asked” policy which can make the difference between a student asking for help or going without. Collection bins will be located at each PPS building on August 12 and 13 to collect donations from PPS staff members. Members of the public also can drop off donations during those two days, or anytime at Richwoods High School or the AFT-IFT office, 733 SW Washington St. in Peoria. There is a particularly great need for the following items:
      • Hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, bath soap/body wash, deodorants, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving items, feminine hygiene, brushes, pics, laundry detergent, dish soap.
      • Used but in good condition school uniforms and athletic shoes
      • New socks and underwear – all sizes.

    • Peoria Public Schools Stuff-A-Bus school supply drive continues through Monday, August 12. Donation drop-off bins are located at the Walmart stores on North University and Allen Rd., and in the center court at Northwoods Mall. In addition to community partners, Walmart and Northwoods Mall, we are grateful to Advanced Media Partners (WWCT 99.9, KISS-FM 98.5 and ESPNPeoria 101.1) for their support of the Stuff-A-Bus school supply drive.

    • Join us for a Back-to-School celebration at The Peoria Public Schools Foundation’s Brats & Brew, Friday, August 23, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Peoria Riverfront Museum to raise money for school uniforms. Tickets are $40 and include a delicious brat from Alwan’s, two beers and Kitchen Cooked chips. Music provided by DJ4U. Event sponsors are Associated Bank, Mosquito Authority and the Peoria County Regional Office of Education.  For tickets go to
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  • Registration Hubs open August 7 & 10

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 8/1/2019 5:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public School families received enrollment and registration booklets in the mail early this week.

    Next week Registration Hubs will be open two days.

    The Hubs are located at:


    • Kellar Primary School, Kellar Primary School, 6413 N. Mt. Hawley Rd.
    • Glen Oak Community Learning Center, 2100 N. Wisconsin Ave.
    • Harrison Community Learning Center, 2727 W. Krause
    • Peoria High School, 1716 N. North St.


    Registration Hubs will be open on Wednesday, August 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday, August 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students attending the same school and living at the same address as last year can register online.  All students must be registered by Tuesday, August 13.


    Students also must have turned in required physical, dental and vision exams and immunizations in order to attend school on Wednesday, August 14.  Heartland Healthcare Clinics on Garden St. and on Wisconsin Ave. have walk-in hours for school physicals and immunizations.


    Parents can find complete details on enrollment, registration and health requirements by visiting


    We are looking forward to the beginning of an exciting year of learning!

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  • Join the Remarkable PPS team

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 7/31/2019 5:00:00 PM

    As the beginning of the school year approaches, Peoria Public School administrators are focused on adding staff to our Remarkable Team.



    Last week Peoria Public Schools participated in a virtual job fair for certified teachers and recent graduates pending certification. Virtual job fairs enable the District to connect with teaching applicants throughout the country.



    On Thursday, August 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we will host a Job Fair at Woodruff Career and Technical Center (WCTC). We welcome applicants for a variety of positions including bus drivers, school social workers, substitute teachers and certified teachers.



    WCTC is seeking teachers for its computer coding and its barbering programs. These paraprofessional positions are wonderful opportunities for professional seeking to transition to a career in teaching and district administrators will mentor successful candidates through the certification process. 



    Applicants can find a list of available positions and details on requirements at

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  • Preparations for the 2019-2020 school year

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 7/19/2019 4:00:00 PM

    The first day of school – Wednesday, August 14 -- for Peoria Public Schools is less than a month away, and preparations are switching into high gear.

    Online registration is open for students who will attend the same school and who live at the same address.  Parents and students can visit for details. Instructions for registration and school-specific information including a letter from your principal, school supply lists, uniform information and the student handbook are available for download. 


    The Skyward registration process is simple and straightforward. Parents can register from their home computer, a library computer or their smart phone.



    Students attending a new school or whose families have moved, must register at a Registration Hub. Those locations, dates and times are:

    • Kellar Primary School, 6413 N. Mt Hawley Rd.
    • Harrison Community Learning Center, 2727 W. Krause
    • Glen Oak Community Learning Center, 2100 N. Wisconsin. Ave.
    • Peoria High School, 1615 N. North St.


    • Thursday, July 25, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Wednesday, August 7, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 10, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.


    Registration also will be available at Backpack Peoria at The Dream Center, 714 N. Hamilton Blvd.

    Saturday, July 27, 9 a.m. – noon


    Students’ physical, dental and vision exams and vaccinations must be in complete compliance on the first day of school.  In-school clinics will be available at Harrison Community Learning Center and Peoria High School on Registration Hub days. Physical exams, but not vaccinations, will be available at Backpack Peoria.  Both Heartland Health Services clinics on Garden St. and on Wisconsin Ave. are open for walk-in physicals and vaccinations beginning Monday, July 22.  UnityPoint Clinics at Trewyn and Manual open on Wednesday, August 7.



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  • Recent Peoria High School graduate honored

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 7/18/2019 7:00:00 PM

    This week I wish to recognize a very special young man who just graduated from Peoria High School. Andrew Conton was recently named the 2019 Mentee of the Year by 100 Black Men of America, Inc.


    In honoring Conton, his mentor, Aaron Kilgore described him as a leader with a vision of the future and what he wants it to be.


    Conton graduated in May from Peoria High School with a 3.8 GPA while participating in a variety of extracurricular activities including the Peoria High School band and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter. He has been recognized by the National Urban League Tomorrow’s Scientists, Technicians and Managers and is a member of State Senator Chuck Weaver’s Youth Advisory Committee.


    Conton, a saxophone player, also has won awards and accolades for his musical talents. He has been recognized by the Illinois Music Educators Association and was chosen to perform with the Bradley University Honor Band and the Eastern Illinois University Honor Band.  Peoria High School band director Maura Shepherd says Conton is one of the kindest, most respectful, motivated students she teaches.


    In 2018 Conton was part of a Peoria team (with Richwoods High School students Cory Hightower and Roderick Bland) which won 2nd place nationally in the NSBE Technical Innovation competition. I was not surprised to learn that their winning project, a water purification system, has the potential to bring life-altering solutions to a problem plaguing communities worldwide. 


    In August, Conton will begin studying music business at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. I am looking forward to watching this amazing Peoria Public School student continue to personify the mission of our District: prepared and inspired to contribute to the world.

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  • Get back to school healthy and first day compliant for the 2019-2020 school year

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 6/12/2019 12:00:00 PM

    Even though it seems as if the summer has just begun, it’s not too early to start thinking about the first day of the upcoming school year – especially when it comes to being up to date on physicals and immunizations.


    In Peoria Public Schools, all students must be first day compliant. That means every student must be up to date on all on all medical, dental and vision exam requirements as well as all immunizations on the first day of school, which is Wednesday, August 14.


    A full list of requirements broken down by grade level can be found on the home page of the district website at


    If you have not already, please schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as you can. The summer months are a busy time in doctor’s offices and appointment availability is always at a premium.


    We also offer other alternatives for our families to get their students first day compliant. Our UnityPoint Health Clinic in Trewyn School is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, from June 3 to June 27. Please call ahead at 671-0550 to schedule an appointment.


    Heartland Health Services will also have walk-in hours for school physicals and vaccinations from July 22 to August 30 at their two clinic locations – on the East Bluff at 2321 N. Wisconsin Ave. and in South Peoria at 1701 W. Garden St. Call 680-7600 for more information.


    Finally, our registration hubs at Harrison Community Learning Center and Peoria High School in July and August will offer a variety of ways to get first day compliant in addition to helpful representatives to guide you through the process. The hub days this year will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 25 and August 7 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 10. Backpack Peoria will also offer resources on physicals and immunizations from 9 a.m. to noon on July 27 at DreamCenter Peoria.


    We are grateful to our families for promoting the health of every student in our district in order to ensure that learning happens on day one of the 2019-2020 school year.


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  • 2019 Mayor's Youth Program offers summer internships for 22 high school students

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 6/5/2019 12:00:00 PM

    It’s officially summer, and for many of our high school students that means securing a summer job.


    Starting this week, 22 Peoria Public Schools high school students will begin a summer program that will expose them to new career pathways and employers in Peoria, allow them to develop relationships with their peers across the city, and provide civic improvements throughout the community – all while receiving a paycheck.


    The 2019 Mayor’s Youth Program began with a press conference and opening event on Monday, gathering together high school students from Richwoods, Manual and Peoria High to kick off their eight-week summer internship program with the City of Peoria. Mayor Jim Ardis introduced himself to the group of students and gave them a preview of how their summer would unfold over the next two months.


    Students will work six hour shifts from Monday through Friday. Four of those work days will be devoted toward the beautification of different parts of the City, where the students will work together in teams completing a number of projects.


    The fifth day of each week will give the students a chance to explore different career opportunities through tours of different Peoria employers and educational sessions with representatives from Peoria businesses. Those tours will include visiting Caterpillar, the Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center at OSF, Bradley University and many more.


    This program represents a tremendous opportunity for students to experience learning outside of the traditional classroom setting and to receive a first-hand look at careers. The program aligns with Peoria Public Schools’ efforts to ensure that all students are able to pursue their passions and interests.


    The Peoria Public Schools Board of Education will hear from these students and their experiences at a future board meeting once the internship is complete. We can’t wait to find out more about the remarkable things they will accomplish this summer!


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  • Class of 2019: prepared and inspired to contribute

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 5/31/2019 12:00:00 PM

    Congratulations to the over 700 students who graduated from Manual Academy, Peoria High School and Richwoods High School on May 18.


    The graduates from our three high schools earned a combined $9.2 million in college scholarships and grants!  I am impressed with our students’ hard work and dedication in achieving this impressive feat. I am also grateful for our teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, and of course parents, for helping them every step of the way.


    As I listened to salutatorian and valedictorian speeches last Saturday, I was also impressed by the wise words of these young people.


    • Both Manual Academy valedictorian Tyra Johnson and Richwoods High School valedictorian Lawrence Lin spoke of the importance of taking chances. Johnson expressed gratitude for learning to “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is what it takes to be your best self.”

    • Similarly, Lin credited Wayne Gretsky’s famous quote -- “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.” -- for convincing him to move beyond his comfort zone. “The fear of failure held me back,” Lin told the crowd gathered at Bradley University’s Renaissance Coliseum. “Now I’d rather take a leap of faith and fail because every chance becomes a lesson.”

    • Johnson and Manual Academy salutatorian Trinity Smith spoke of the need to defy others’ expectations of Manual Academy and Peoria’s south side. Smith, her mortar board decorated with the University of Illinois logo, urged classmates, “Let’s be the ones to break the negative stereotype about Manual Academy and the south side of Peoria.” Johnson echoed her sentiments, “I believe Manual is the best school in District 150. The amount of time, dedication, passion and pride I see throughout the building is truly amazing.”

    • Students also spoke of the importance of accepting themselves and others, despite differences. Richwoods valedictorian Razan Naffakh, spoke of growing up in Peoria as an “Arab-Syrian-Muslim girl.” She spoke of the Richwoods community’s diversity and the overwhelming respect and support of her friends, peers, teachers and faculty. “My labels should never restrict me but should empower me,” she said. Peoria High School valedictorian Olivia Streeter expressed a similar thought, “Our differences make us who we are, and we cannot compare ourselves to one another.”


    The Peoria Public Schools vision is to graduate each student prepared and inspired to contribute to the world.  I am confident that the class of 2019 is well on its way to making that vision a reality. 

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  • Little Free Libraries at 14 Peoria Public Schools

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 5/22/2019 9:00:00 PM

    The “Read Peoria” initiative started by Align Peoria, Peoria Public Schools and the Peoria Public Schools Foundation is proud to announce the unveiling of Little Free Libraries at our district’s 13 primary schools, plus the Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center, on May 17.


    This effort supports the ultimate goal of Read Peoria – ensuring that all students are reading at grade level by third grade. Third grade marks a crucial inflection point in a young child’s academic career, when coursework shifts from learning to read to reading to learn.


     An effective – and simple – way to accomplish this goal is for parents and family members to read to their young student 20 minutes a day. Those 20 minutes a day translate to a child being exposed to 1.8 million words per year. Furthermore, 96% of all children who read on grade level by third grade will graduate on time.


    We implore the whole Peoria community to participate in this Read Peoria campaign, whether it is donating books to our Little Free Libraries, or advocating to every young child in your life to read 20 minutes a day. This effort is a major step in preparing our kids for a productive and successful adult life.


    Check out the new Little Free Libraries, designed and built by our Woodruff construction students, at these schools along with each library's donor:

    • Hines Primary - The Book Rack
    • Lincoln K-8 - Dr. Kherat's Superintendent Cabinet
    • Whittier Primary - Moss-Bradley Residential Association
    • Charter Oak Primary - Dr. Thom Simpson
    • Glen Oak Community Learning Center - CEFCU
    • Franklin Primary - Shaun and Reggie Livingston
    • Trewyn School - Melvin Burch Bynum
    • Harrison Community Learning Center - Dr. Kherat
    • Kellar Primary - “Lunch Bunch”: Cindy Morris, Trish O’Shaughnessy, Cheryl Sanfilip, Cathy Wiggers, Jeanne Williamson
    • Northmoor Primary - Jayme and Jeff Bailey
    • Roosevelt Magnet School - The Rotary Club of North Peoria
    • Thomas Jefferson Primary - Bill and Amanda Campbell, Sally Snyder
    • Dr. Maude A. Sanders Primary - Relevant Church
    • Valeska Hinton Early Education Center - PNC


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  • Thank you Peoria Public School staff members

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 5/9/2019 8:00:00 AM

    This week Peoria Public Schools observed Staff Appreciation Week to coincide with Teacher Appreciation Week, which is observed the first full week in May throughout the country, and School Nurse Appreciation Day, observed annually the Wednesday prior to May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.


    As adults, we look back at our own childhood and can identify teachers who had a positive effect on our life – perhaps inspiring us to pursue a professional direction or helping us face challenges and setbacks with determination and patience. Frequently we remember other adults – a school secretary, custodian, athletic coach or guidance counselor – who served as a role model, gave encouragement, lent a listening ear or simply made us laugh.


    Peoria Public Schools employ just over 2,800 people including part-time staff and substitutes. Just over one-third of staff members are full-time teachers. Each and every one contributes to the success of our students.

    • Our students learn in buildings and ride school buses that are clean and in safe working condition.
    • Our staff, students and parents use technology chosen, installed and maintained by outstanding information technology experts.
    • Last week, a group of PPS administrators enjoyed a presentation by Sodexo food service general manager Mark Streamer and assistant director of food service and warehouse operations Gabriele Klein on improvements and menu choices for students’ breakfasts, lunches and after-school meals. Sodexo staff at every level know their work keeps our students, many of whom come from food-insecure homes, healthy.
    • One-on-one guidance provided by speech and language, occupational, physical, art and music therapists and therapy assistants, school social workers, guidance counselors and school psychologists contribute to the success of hundreds of PPS students.
    • Finally, with over 13,000 students and over 30 buildings, dozens of support staff keep the district operating smoothly every day.


    Undoubtedly, most PPS staff members would find success in the private sector but choose to pursue their career in the service of our city’s children. Please join me, my administrative team and the Board of Education in thanking them for their contribution.   

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