Superintendent's Blog

  • Important and Friendly Reminder about the 2020 U.S. Census

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 4/2/2020 9:00:00 AM

    Peoria Public Schools families and staff,

    I know that our attention has been directed elsewhere by the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is an important and friendly reminder that today is National Census Day.

    By filling out the 2020 Census, you are helping shape the future of Peoria Public Schools and the greater Peoria community. The Census will determine how federal funds will be distributed so that we can continue supporting our students, their families and this community as a whole.

    Federal programs rely on Census Information to guide the distribution of funds to states, counties, cities and households.Those programs include Special Education, School Lunch Assistance, Head Start, After school programs, childcare and Housing. 

    Peoria Public Schools is encouraging 100% of our families and staff to respond to the 2020 Census.

    You can respond online at www.2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 or by mail.



    Thank you,

    Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat

    Superintendent

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  • MBMS attendant reaches out to students

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 4/2/2020 7:00:00 AM

    I want to continue sharing the remarkable stories and efforts that our staff is undertaking during remote learning. Here's a short example below.


    Dr. Kherat and Dr. Bell,

     

    I want to take this time to share with you about the dedication of one of our staff members at Mark Bills. Lee Vargas is a 1:1 attendant in my classroom. He is currently in West Virginia caring for a family member who will likely soon pass away in her home do to a long-standing illness. Yet, today he reached out to all of the seventh graders in our self-contained class, ensuring all of them are prepared to begin online learning next week. Even the ones who we knew had access to our online platform received a phone call from him today, just to check in and say hi. 

     

    He has so many reasons right now to be distracted from “school life” as he cares for his family member, yet he’s using his time to call our students with disabilities to make sure they’re doing okay. 

     

    It is important to me that you, as our district administration, know the dedication of your Mark Bills employees. Lee is just one example of my many colleagues who are doing everything to ensure that come Monday, our students are “on time and ready to learn.” 

     

    Sincerely,

    Karen Cole

    Special Education 

    7/8 Self-contained

    Mark Bills Middle School 

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  • A Video PSA to Peoria Public Schools Staff

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 4/1/2020 3:00:00 PM

    As our teachers and staff members returned from spring break this Monday, I wanted to deliver an uplifting message to them about how important their role is during these unprecedented times and that we will support them in every way we can.

     

    You can view that message here: https://youtu.be/bEMJD1EKuFQ

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  • Message from Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, March 31, 2020

    Posted by Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 4/1/2020 2:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools Families,

     

    Earlier this afternoon, the governor announced that the statewide "stay-at-home" order has been extended through April 30.

    That order includes the closure of all school buildings through April 30.

     

    My message today is to share that although the buildings are closed through April 30, remote teaching, learning and social-emotional supports for all PPS students continues.

     

    Our administrators, principals, teachers and staff are working diligently to stay in contact with our students, to deliver fun and engaging instruction via remote learning and to continue supporting their social and emotional needs.

     

    We are also steering a large effort to aid our families in remote learning by delivering devices to those who have requested them. Hundreds of devices were sent to homes yesterday on the first day of deliveries, and hundreds more will be delivered by our volunteers. If your student needs a device and you have not requested one yet, visit psd150.org to fill out the request form.

     

    I also want to assure you that we will continue preparing and distributing meals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

     

    I know that our families are dealing with many uncertainties right now, but I want you to know that Peoria Public Schools is here for you. We will do all that we can to provide care, stability and continuity of learning to your students throughout this next month.

     

    Stay safe and stay at home.

    Thank you.

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  • Message from Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, March 27,2020

    Posted by Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 3/27/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools families,



    I hope you all are experiencing a safe and healthy spring break. I also want to echo everyone’s advice of continuing frequent handwashing, practicing social distancing and staying at home.



    I want to remind everyone that our food distribution operation will keep serving meals at the same sites from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.



    The school closure designation will be changed to a Remote Learning Designation.  This allows our educators to provide intentional learning moving forward.  For the week of March 30-April 3, you can expect your child will receive personalized contact with their teacher and other support staff related to your child's needs. 



    We hope you will continue to support your child utilizing the online resources on our website on the Learning at Home page. 



    You will receive detailed information from your child's teacher and principal detailing specific learning schedule. You can also expect daily lessons/activities provided by your child's teacher for on-screen and off-screen, including live lessons. 



    If your child needs a device to continue remote learning, please visit our website -psd150.org - to complete a checkout form. The device will be delivered to your home after the form has been completed.  If you need help completing the form, please call or email your principal starting Monday, March 30. 



    I ask for flexibility as we transform our entire educational system within Peoria Public Schools. Thank you for your continued partnership as we move to remote learning in the coming weeks. 

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  • Message from Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat

    Posted by BARBARA PIERCE on 3/19/2020 7:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools families,

     

    I want to remind all of our families that we will continue serving meals from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the week of spring break. You can view the full list of distribution sites on our district homepage or on our social media pages.

     

    For the moment, we have moved our operations remotely, but you can call us with any questions from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 309-672-6512.

     

    My next message to you will be on Sunday, March 29th. If we need to update you sooner than that, we will.

     

    So far, my messages have addressed our families and staff, but I want to finish this update with a message to our 13,000 kids in Peoria Public Schools.

     

    The news and headlines of the past week may seem very scary to students. It's okay to be scared in times like these. But I also want to emphasize that everything will be okay and that we will come out of this stronger than ever.

     

    We cannot wait to have you in our school buildings again, but for now, let's stay safe and healthy.

     

    Thank you.

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  • Message from Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, March 18, 2020

    Posted by BARBARA PIERCE on 3/18/2020 9:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools families,


    Here is an update for Wednesday, March 18th.

     


    Despite the rainy weather, we had another large turnout at our food distribution sites. So far, we have served 6,639 meals. We will be back tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In addition to the 19 food distribution sites plus Taft, Harrison, River West and Pierson Hills, we have included Lexington Hills and Woodland Apartments.

     


    We want to make the food distribution as convenient as possible to our families. Just a reminder: You do not have to accompany your child to pick up the meals, and you also don't have to bring your child with you.

     


    As always, please call 2-1-1 or 309-999-4029 for any needs or feedback you may have on receiving meals.

     


    Also, I would like to share with you a travel form that we have designed in case your family is still planning on traveling during spring break. This voluntary form will help us monitor where our students and families have been at the conclusion of the mandated school closure.

     

    Please find the form here.

     

    Lastly, I want to announce that the Peoria Public Schools’ administration office will be closed to the public starting Thursday, March 19th in order to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

     


    Thank you so much for your ongoing understanding and stay safe, please.

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  • A note from a PPS parent

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 3/18/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools family,

     

    I want to pass along this message from a parent in Peoria Public Schools as a note of encouragement and hope for the future.


    Hello Dr. Desmoulin-Kherat,

     

    I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and the entire district for coming together so quickly for our kids! Thankfully my family is not at risk for food insecurity (at this time) but my heart has been heavy for all of the children who rely so much on the meals served during the school day. As a parent and a PPS family, I thank you so very much for the efforts and also for the frequent and detailed communication. I am very impressed with the leadership I’ve witnessed. 

     

    Thank you so very much! 

     

    Also, I want to give a major kudos to Northmoor Primary - our school :) The principal, staff and especially my child’s teacher have been communicating so well with us and very available if needed.

     

    Thank you again for keeping our children and families at the fore front of your mind during this challenging time. I hope you stay well and I pray this all passes soon. 

     

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  • Message from Superintendent Dr. Desmoulin-Kherat, March 17, 2020

    Posted by BARBARA PIERCE on 3/17/2020 6:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools families,

     

    Here is an update today on Tuesday, March 17th.

     

    We are receiving daily guidance and updates from state of Illinois officials regarding the procedures around the mandated school closure.

     

    I am proud to say that I have heard and seen numerous examples of our students learning and our teachers supporting that learning. Our students have many educational opportunities through our Learning Anywhere, Anytime platform. I have been asked questions about whether any work needs to submitted -- the answer is no. ISBE recommends that any student work completed during the mandated statewide school closure not count toward student grades.

     

    Even though grades will not be issued during this mandated school closure, all of us at Peoria Public Schools are strongly encouraging that learning will continue to take place each day. Thank you to our families and staff for their patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times. We are well-positioned to continue learning at home as we look toward the future.

     

    We also want to invite all of our students families to take advantage of our 19 food distribution sites across the city. These meals are free to any student in Peoria 18 years old and younger. As of the end of our first day, we served about 3,000 meals today across those sites. If you have any obstacles, concerns or feedback regarding food distribution, please call 2-1-1 or 309-999-4029 to communicate that feedback.

    Thank you.

     

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  • Message from Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, March 12, 2020

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 3/12/2020 8:00:00 PM

    Peoria Public Schools families,



    We know that you have been inundated with both local and national news surrounding COVID-19 and the cancellations the virus has caused. Peoria Public Schools has been in constant communication with our local health professionals and experts, assessing the situation as it evolves.

     

    We know things are moving fast and that this is a fluid scenario, but based off the recommendations from the experts, our schools continue to be in session and we will evaluate our options on a day-by-day basis.



    We want to emphasize to families and staff that those health professionals are urging the public to remain calm and continue to practice healthy measures such as washing your hands, not touching your face and staying home if you are not feeling well.



    At this time, there currently are no COVID-19 cases identified in the region. To limit the spread of the virus, measures such as limiting or canceling larger scale activities are an important preventative measure – and that’s what you’re seeing right now both locally and nationally.



    If you have medical questions or concerns about COVID-19, please use the Illinois Department of Health 24/7 hotline by calling 1-800-889-3931 or emailing DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV

     

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