Superintendent's Blog

  • 2021 Illinois Report Card data for Peoria Public Schools shows continued academic gains despite pandemic

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 11/2/2021 8:00:00 AM

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released the 2021 Illinois Report Card today at www.IllinoisReportCard.com. As part of ISBE’s multipart rollout of the Illinois Report Card this year, the information released today does not include assessment data.


    However, the data that was part of today’s release does demonstrate a continued trend increase in Peoria Public Schools in graduation and 9th grade on track rates, tremendous participation in college and career preparation courses, and the highest level of teacher retention in the last seven years.


    Despite the challenges to in-person learning last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Peoria Public Schools high school students earned a 76% graduation rate in the 2020-2021 school year. This figure builds upon a continuing upward trend in graduation rates in PPS, increasing by 5% from the 2019 graduation rate and 11% from the 2015 rate. We are also proud that graduation rates across our district’s different demographic breakdowns all show increases from the 2018-2019 school year, including a 5% increase among Black students and a 11% increase among Hispanic students.


    (Note: ISBE has designated that data from the 2019-2020 school year may show artificially higher metrics due to the state waiving certain graduation requirements in response to the emerging threat of the COVID-19 virus. Data from the 2018-2019 school year are a closer comparison point for the Report Card data released today).


    In another key indicator for student achievement, the district’s 9th Grade on Track percentage climbed to 84% at the end of the 2020-2021 school year – an increase of 11 percentage points from 2019.


    Principals at our three high schools – Peoria High, Manual High and Richwoods High – have worked tirelessly to show progress in these benchmarks reflected in the Illinois Report Card data.


    Additionally, almost 750 high school students, or nearly one-third of high school students across Peoria Public Schools, took dual credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate courses in the 2020-21 school year. In addition, the district had an impressive 1,650 students enrolled in at least one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course.

     

    Peoria Public Schools has built a reputation for rigorous studies through its high participation in AP and dual credit courses. High school students at PPS also have multiple opportunities to accelerate their education further with the renowned International Baccalaureate program and the D2 Diploma-Degree program, where 15 PPS students across all three high schools graduated with a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree from Illinois Central College this past May.


    I am also proud to highlight the fact that Peoria Public Schools teachers realized an average teacher salary of $62,000 during the 2020-2021 school year, which is a $12,000 increase since 2015. This is a richly deserved reflection of their passion, talent and dedication toward our students. Attracting and retaining a diverse staff of teachers continues to be a top priority for Peoria Public Schools. Our retention rate for teachers increased by more than 2% since the last school year and is at its highest mark in the last five years at 81.5%.


    The Illinois Report Card once again did not issue new annual summative designations with that waiver extending through the 2020-2021 school year that this Illinois Report Card release reflects. Each school received the same summative designation in 2021 as in 2020 and 2019.
    You can find the 2021 Illinois Report Card information for all of the schools in our district at www.IllinoisReportCard.com. I can confidently say that this year’s Report Card data reflects that Peoria Public Schools remains a local and statewide leader in providing innovative programming and personalized learning to prepare students for the modern workforce upon graduating.


    Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat
    Superintendent, Peoria Public Schools

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  • Alternative and Supplemental Supports for PPS Students

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 9/24/2021 11:00:00 AM

     

    Peoria Public Schools offers a multitude of before and after care programs and supports for students and families. Below is a listing of these alternative supports and programs for families to reference, broken down by grade level and building.

    We encourage our families to learn more by calling your principal or the district offices at 672-6512.

    Primary:

    1. Before and After care:

    Northmoor                 7 a.m. Open – 5:30 p.m. Close
    Kellar                        7 a.m. Open -- 5:30 p.m. Close
    Charter Oak              7 a.m. Open -- 5:30 p.m. Close
    Dr. Maude Sanders    7 a.m. Open -- 6 p.m. Close
    Dr. C.T. Vivian           6:30 a.m. Open -- 6 p.m. Close (Programming through YMCA)
    Franklin                    6:30 a.m. Open – 6 p.m. Close
    Whittier                    7 a.m. Open – 5:30 p.m. Close
    Hines                       7 a.m. Open – 6 p.m. Close

    2.  Acellus – Online resource

     

    Middle:  

    1. Justice Advocates
    2. Various clubs (chess, math counts, etc.)
    3. Robotics
    4. Various sports boys and girls (basketball, volleyball, etc.)
    5. Acellus – online resource

    Von Steuben Middle School – Federal Grant – 21st Century
    Before School – 7 a.m. – 8:05 p.m. – Academic support and tutoring only

    After School – 2:50 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

     

    K-8 buildings:

    Harrison Community Learning Center
    Federal Grant - Ready Set Go after school until 5 p.m.

    Trewyn School
    Federal Grant - 21st Century is offered - 2nd-8th graders (Mon.-Thurs.)

    Unity Point In-School Health Clinic
    Latchkey 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Roosevelt Magnet School
    Federal Grant - Ready Set Go after school until 5 p.m.

    Latchkey – Morning Only

    Lincoln K-8
    Morning Latchkey - 6:30 a.m. Open
    School Within a School
    Federal Grant - 21st Century is offered to 2nd-8th graders until 6 p.m. – Mon.- Thurs.
    Various afterschool programs until 6 p.m.

    Glen Oak Community Learning Center
    Federal Grant - 21st Century is offered to 5th-8th graders – after school until 5:30 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. Potentially Boys & Girls Club (parents need to check BGCA offerings)

    1. Various clubs (chess, math counts, etc.)
    2. Various sports boys and girls (basketball, volleyball, etc.)

     

    High School:

    1. Federal Grant - Lights On, Peoria (MHS and PHS)
    2. Robotics
    3. Justice Advocates (MHS, PHS)
    4. Knoxville Center for School Success – weekdays (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Weekends (9th-12th grade) (Noon – 5 p.m.)
    5. Knoxville Center Evening at Manual (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.)
    6. Knoxville Center Evening at Peoria High (3 p.m.– 6 p.m.)
    7. Peoria High North – Options program
    8. Edgenuity – online resource
    9. Unity Point In-School Health Clinics (MHS & PHS)

    Other:

    1. Wraparound Center:

    • Food assistance - Hand-up Food Pantry
    • Student assistance - Family Core Respite Services, anger management program, justice advocates, and probation services
    • Case management -Family Core Caseworker when available
    • Legal services -Attorney Yolanda Riley in-house and when applicable PSLS for referrals
    • Employment and job training programs- Jobs Partnership & Goodwill
    • Counseling & Case management - OSF Trauma Services
    • Drug evaluation & counseling services - Chestnut Health services
    • Heartland Health - available for referrals

    2. SEL Supports (Number of staff):

    • Elite (Lincoln & Glen Oak) – 7 staff members
    • Family Core – 15 staff
    • Children’s Home – 11
    • SEL aides – 19
    • SROs - 25
    • Counselors (2 for K-8, 5-8, HS) - 28
    • Social Workers - 24
    • Psychologists – 14.5
    • Home School Facilitator - 2
    • ISS/Calming Room Facilitator
    • Behavior Specialist (K-8)
    • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (K-8)

    3. Nurses – 23
    4. Day Treatment (ED Special Education Students (3rd -12th) – 8:20 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
    5. Day Treatment Evening – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    6. Family Core Respite (1-3 days ages 8 and up)
    7. Game Changers (5th – 9th) – 36 students currently
    8. Parents as Advocates
    9. Career Coaches – currently working with 90 students
    10. Internships -- Lights On, Peoria – 15 (12 lifeguard training, 3 clerical training for our schools)
    11. Hult - Youth Health Education (i.e., sexual health programming, healthy heroes, peer pressure/decision making related to drug use, etc.)
    12. Center for Prevention of Abuse - age-appropriate programming on "keeping my body safe”
    13. Music Therapy – Dr. C.T. Vivian Primary School in the round, Rolling Acres Developmental Center and Jamieson School.

     

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  • COVID-19 tests for PPS staff

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 9/16/2021 5:00:00 PM

    In the past three weeks, our Peoria Public Schools team has devised and implemented a plan to adhere to Governor Pritzker’s executive order mandating that all educational personnel receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

     

    As of today, more than 61% of our staff are either fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19. We are also happy to report that more than 50 staff members have begun the vaccination process since the Governor’s announcement last month.

    Beginning Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, unvaccinated staff must complete a COVID-19 test conducted by Reditus Labs every week at any of our district's designated locations:  

    days, times COVID-19 testing

    In the meantime, we strongly encourage all Peoria Public Schools staff to seek out the COVID-19 vaccine. You can find a list of locations and dates for upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics by clicking here.

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  • 2021-2022 Bell Schedule

    Posted by Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 6/15/2021 10:00:00 AM
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  • Free program prepares incoming students for kindergarten

    Posted by BARBARA PIERCE on 6/3/2021 8:00:00 AM

    Parents of students who will begin kindergarten in August can take advantage of the Waterford/Upstart Summer Learning Program, a free program provided by Peoria Public Schools for at-home learning this summer. The deadline to register for the Waterford/Upstart program has been extended to June 8.

    Peoria Public Schools will provide a computer at no cost for those who need one.

    Using the Waterford Upstart program for just 20 minutes a day will help your child be better-prepared for kindergarten. Waterford/Upstart builds academic skills and introduces school routines, so your child is confident and ready to be successful at school.

    On average, Waterford/Upstart graduates enter kindergarten reading at first grade level.

    Click here to download information on Waterford/Upstart Summer Learning Program in English.

    Click here to download information on Waterford/Upstart Summer Learning Program in Spanish.

    To access the Waterford/Upstart program, go to www.waterfordupstart.org/summer  or call 1-888-982-9898.

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  • 2021 State of the Schools Address

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 4/23/2021 7:00:00 AM

    My annual State of the Schools address was broadcast virtually this year. I am so proud of our district's journey in the past year, and it was an honor to give an update to the greater Peoria community about our tremendous progress. 

     

    Please click here to view the virtual program!

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  • A Message From Peoria Public Schools Condemning Hate Toward Asian and Pacific Islander communities

    Posted by THOMAS BRUCH on 3/28/2021 2:00:00 PM

    A message from Peoria Public Schools 

     

    I am devastated over the senseless acts of violence and hate toward the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Georgia and throughout the country. As the Superintendent of the largest school system in in the Peoria area, I strongly denounce this violence against our Asian and Pacific Islander community members. I am disheartened by the failure of recognition of our shared humanity. We hold the people and families impacted by these tragedies close to our hearts. 

     

    Our district and our lives are enriched and strengthened by the presence and contributions of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. We stand in solidarity and support of those who work every day to stop violence against them. I am committed to moving beyond statements of condemnation and toward harnessing the full power of our collective will to name and fight hate speech and violence in our district. 

     

    Below are several resources that are available as we work together to create the conditions at PPS so that every student feels a strong sense of belonging, a connection to caring adults, and receive the support needed so they are prepared to lead a more socially just world. 

     

    Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat 

    Superintendent 

     


    Reading- Asian American authors and books with video links

    Watching- How to Talk to Children About Asian American Identity and Racism, 

    IHI History of Anti Asian Hate

    Classroom resources- Asian American Mental Health Activity Book and Coloring Book 

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) offers 6 Ways to Be an Ally.

    How to Support Asian American Colleagues Amid Anti-Asian Violence

    Reporting a Hate incident Hollerback Bystander Training 

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  • Dr. Kherat interview with the Illinois Association of School Administers

    Posted by THOMAS BRUCH on 2/9/2021 9:00:00 PM

    Read the interview with Peoria Public Schools superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat here: https://user-39430906818.cld.bz/LM-Feb-2021-lo

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  • Peoria County Vaccination Campaign

    Posted by THOMAS BRUCH on 1/20/2021 8:00:00 PM

    Vaccine

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  • First Day of In-Person Review from the Superintendent

    Posted by THOMAS BRUCH on 1/19/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Dear Peoria Public Schools community,

    Peoria Public Schools’ Return to School implementation went exceptionally well for students and staff Tuesday, as planned, especially at the high schools.

     

    • The COVID-19-testing went extremely well, both the PCR and the Antigen tests
    • About 15 Antigen tests administered to students and all were negative. Our nurses who administer these tests have significant specialized PPE and have been trained by the State.
    • About 150 high school students were tested with PCR today, and all results came back negative. Testing will be administered to high school students Monday through Thursday.

     

    Again, today was a joyful day for the students who attended in person. I do believe we have a very strong Return to School Plan. My estimate is that we had about 3,400 “B Day” students in school Tuesday. Tomorrow will be a new group of students on the “A Day” schedule. We are thrilled to have them all back in our buildings.

     

    With Gratitude,

     

    Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat

    Superintendent

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