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  • Metamora students give gift of literacy to Peoria Public School primary students; win Community Contribution Award

    Peoria Public School board and administrators awarded Metamora Township High School (MTHS) its Community Contribution Award on Monday, November 11 in recognition for a big boost MTHS students gave the district’s Little Free Library October book drive as part of the school’s 2019 Homecoming festivities.

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  • 5Essentials Parent Survey now open!

    Please take the time to respond to the 5Essentials survey, which will only take a few minutes to complete. Your responses will help Peoria Public Schools dig into data, formulate strategic actions and track improvement.

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  • Eighth-grade students audition for PSA

    Peoria Public School 8th-grade students auditioned for The Preparatory School for the Arts (PSA) at Peoria High School this week. PSA faculty traveled to each building with 8th-grade students this week to meet students interested in the orchestra, band, drama, dance, choral and visual arts programs. The PSA provides a college-prep curriculum with a focus on more intensive, advanced study of these disciplines. Eighth-grade students within PPS boundaries can audition for admittance to PSA.

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  • Students hear personal stories of the Holocaust at Riverfront Museum

    “My mother was born in Berlin in 1927,” Julie Luner told Mark Bills Middle School 6th grade students gathered in a classroom at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. “My mom and her family had a good life.” Luner, a volunteer docent from the Jewish Federation of Peoria, showed the students black and white photographs of her mother and aunt as small children and another of the girls and their father in a canoe. That idyllic childhood began to unravel when Adolph Hitler was elected in 1933. Luner emphasized to the students that Hitler came to power as Chancellor of Germany through a democratic election. “That’s one lesson I want you to take away today,” she told students. “Your vote matters. When you’re 18, go vote.”

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  • Community Contribution Award presented to Church Women United

    Peoria Public Schools presented its Community Contribution Award to Church Women United (CWU) at the October 28 Board of Education meeting for their financial support of the PPS-Illinois Central College (ICC) D2 program and the Von Steuben Middle School VonSteuBEAN Jolt Café project.

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  • PPS shows progress with four schools moving up a designation, two-thirds of schools experiencing growth

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the annual Illinois Report Card, which provides a detailed look at each school’s progress on academics, student success, school culture and climate, and financial investments. Peoria Public Schools has prioritized student growth and has shown progress with two-thirds of all schools in the district experiencing growth in ELA or Math in the last year. As a result of those improvements, four schools in the district moved up a designation on the Illinois Report Card, including one school – Kellar Primary – receiving Exemplary status. Three other designation improvements also occurred, with Whittier Primary and Thomas Jefferson Primary moving to Commendable status and Calvin Coolidge Middle moving from Lowest Performing to Underperforming. No schools in the district experienced a downgraded designation.

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  • Steady stream of guest speakers help KCSS students make post-graduation plans

    Formulating a post-high-school-graduation plan is a challenge for Knoxville Center for Student Success (KCSS) juniors and seniors. Many of them already shoulder the burdens of adults, including family responsibilities and full-time employment. Working toward the next step, whether completing FAFSA and applying for college or investigating employment options with opportunities for future growth, can be easily swept aside. KCSS family liaison facilitator Reginald Thomas makes copping a “get the diploma and get out” attitude unacceptable.

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Superintendent's Blog

  • Caterpillar donates time and treasure to Manual Manufacturing program

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 11/7/2019 8:00:00 PM

    About two dozen Caterpillar Inc. employees spent three days at Manual Academy last week working with manufacturing teacher Andrew Rice to make the school’s workshop cleaner and more efficient and introducing students to the manufacturing concept of Rapid Improvement Workshop (RIW). To top it off, at the end of the week, Building KK Facility Manager John Downey surprised Mr. Rice with a check for $1,500!

     

    An RIW is much more than just decluttering and cleaning. With the limited 45-minute high school class time, getting students quickly engaged and working in a hands-on environment can be a struggle if the learning space is not organized. In a manufacturing environment, RIW is used to reach quality management goals and is a hallmark of Six Sigma. RIW seeks to achieve change quickly so benefits are immediately visible and keep participants – in this case Manual Academy students -- engaged in the change process so they feel invested and in control. 

     

    Manual Academy principal Devon Hawks noted that watching Caterpillar professionals come in each day and work with the students was uplifting. The end result of a transformed shop was amazing, says Rice. “But it also taught my students valuable skills: they know they can work to their full potential to accomplish their goals and how important it is to sustain an efficient and organized workspace.”

     

    Rice plans to use the donation to purchase additional equipment for the shop, allowing the program to accommodate more students in coming years. Manual Academy’s manufacturing program began accepting students district-wide starting this school year.

     

    Andrew Rice, John Downey, Caterpillar employees

     

    Peoria Public Schools and the Manual staff, students and community are truly grateful for the support of Caterpillar and its employees.

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  • Peoria Public Schools shows progress with four schools moving up a designation, two-thirds of schools experiencing growth

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 10/31/2019 12:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools Families and Community,

     

    Our district's Illinois Report Card data was released this week, and we are proud to showcase major improvements throughout Peoria Public Schools. Please read the press release that was sent out to local media and community members this week to learn more about the progress we are showing as we re-imagine education in Peoria Public Schools.

     

     

    Peoria Public Schools shows progress with four schools moving up a designation, two-thirds of schools experiencing growth

     

    PPS continues to invest in re-imagining its schools by improving literacy, providing technology to every student and personalizing education

     

    PEORIA — The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the annual Illinois Report Card, which provides a detailed look at each school’s progress on academics, student success, school culture and climate, and financial investments. Peoria Public Schools has prioritized student growth and has shown progress with two-thirds of all schools in the district experiencing growth in ELA or Math in the last year.

     

    As a result of those improvements, four schools in the district moved up a designation on the Illinois Report Card, including one school – Kellar Primary – receiving Exemplary status. Three other designation improvements also occurred, with Whittier Primary and Thomas Jefferson Primary moving to Commendable status and Calvin Coolidge Middle moving from Lowest Performing to Underperforming. No schools in the district experienced a downgraded designation.

     

    “We are committed to all students growing academically and growing in strength of character as a result of attending our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.

     

    Peoria Public Schools continues to invest in new ways to serve our students in order to educate the whole child and to prepare students for careers in the 21st Century. To emphasize a district-wide focus on literacy and reading at or above grade level by third grade, a re-designed literacy framework was implemented at the K-5 level that is supported by new reading resources and bolstered by an influx of reading books to schools and classrooms. Through the generous donations from our community and through our own investment, the addition of these books is aiding us in our goal of eliminating barriers to daily reading and positioning our students to stay on track in the early stages of their education.

     

    At the high school level, numerous dual-credit career pathways and internship opportunities have been established in order to provide experiential learning for students.

     

    A select group of students are currently accelerating their learning by participating in the D2 Program, which will allow them to graduate high school with a diploma and an Associate’s Degree at no cost to the student. This year, grant-funded programs totaling up to $7 million, such as the 21st Century program, Lights On, Peoria and the Full Service Community grant, will target students in need of more support with meaningful learning experiences outside of the traditional school day.

     

    “Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) is filling a variety of needs in Peoria Public Schools, including expanding technology, hiring teacher aides and helping to cushion the impact of negotiated salary raises for the district’s teachers,” said Desmoulin-Kherat.

     

    Harnessing the power of modern technology should be the bedrock of a quality education in the 21st Century, and Peoria Public Schools has a goal of being one-to-one, where a computer or tablet is provided for every student. Thanks to the Evidence-Based Funding stream, Desmoulin-Kherat said, the district is much closer to that goal after purchasing about 1,400 tablets in the past year to ensure students have the technology to access the modern world.

     

    Providing more academic and social-emotional supports in the classroom for students was also a top priority for Peoria Public Schools. Desmoulin-Kherat said the district invested EBF dollars into adding additional SEL supports at the elementary and middle schools, including aides and specialists in the field.

     

     “As we continue to boldly address an outdated educational framework, we are exploring ways to re-imagine learning in our schools,” she said.

     

    To take the 27 schools in the district into the next five years, a diverse group of staff, working side by side with a cross section of stakeholders, have embarked on the process of crafting a Strategic Plan that will chart the course of Peoria Public Schools’ future. In the coming months, community meetings will be held to engage in a dialogue and collect feedback on how to re-imagine education in Peoria Public Schools. Community input will be highly valued as the district transforms learning experiences to reflect students’ mastery of the 21st Century skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

     

    The evolution of Peoria Public Schools in the coming years will continue to build on the progress and growth demonstrated by the district’s students.

     

    View the complete Peoria Public Schools Report Card data at www.illinoisreportcard.com.

     

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