Superintendent's Blog

  • 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  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 



    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:

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  • Peoria County Vaccination Campaign

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


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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


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  • Check out these wonderful videos of Woodruff Career and Technical Center programs

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 10/3/2020

    Woodruff Career and Technical Center has transformed in recent years into a hub of work-based learning for high school students in Peoria Public Schools to learn career skills as well as earn certifications and college credits. 

    Take a look at these informational videos highlighting each of Woodruff's programs and the extraordinary work being done by students in those programs.


    Collision Repair/Auto body program:

    Barbering program:

    Construction program:

    Cosmetology program:

    Criminal Justice program:

    Culinary Arts program:

    Emergency Services program:

    Hair Braiding program:

    IT and Coding program:

    Work Based Learning program:



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  • Maude Sanders Teacher named Regional Teacher of the Year, Finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year

    Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 10/1/2020

    Marricea Page, 4th grade teacher at Dr. Maude A. Sanders Primary School has been named Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Teacher of the Year for the 20-county West Central Region. Page was named Peoria Public Schools Donald M. Phares Classroom Teacher of the Year in August. She is now in the running for the 2021 Illinois Teacher of the Year – the state’s highest honor for exemplary educators. 


    Page has taught 4th grade at Dr. Maude A. Sanders Primary School since 2011. She previously taught 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts (ELA) at Trewyn School. She has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bradley University, and M.Ed. from both Concordia University and Indiana Wesleyan University. She has been a Grow Your Own Mentor and worked extensively to provide mentoring, professional development and support to colleagues throughout Peoria Public Schools.


    According to Dan Hiles, principal of Dr. Maude A. Sanders Primary School, “Mrs. Page shows an incredible depth of knowledge across all content areas as evidenced by clear learning objectives and carefully scaffolded instruction. What really makes her instruction stand out though is her ability to make it exciting and relatable to her students. Mrs. Page is not just known for instructional prowess with students, her ability to reach parents and staff through professional development is well known, too.”


    “Having my students achieve academic success is very important, however, having my students feel safe, nurtured and loved is even more important.” Page explained. “This approach to teaching engages each student, regardless of ability, because I focus on each student as an individual with different backgrounds and cultures. I strive each day to be intentional in how I interact with my students, so they leave our class feeling better about themselves as a student, and as a person.”


    The Illinois State Teacher of the Year will be announced on October 21 at the ISBE virtual board meeting. We are so proud of Mrs. Page – she is a remarkable representative of Peoria Public Schools and we wish her all the luck as she vies for the top teaching honors in the state.






    Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat


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