November 2019 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, catch up on the stories that made headlines last week, including the results of resolutions voted on at the IASB Delegate Assembly. Grayslake Comms Cons SD 46 releases the details of its teachers contract. In other teacher contract news, Bremen THSD 228 has been posted its final offer to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Boards. Also in the news, response to last week’s Tribune and Pro Publica item on seclusion rooms.
Chicago conference tackles whether to allow guns in Illinois schools
Evelyn Holmes, WLS/ABC 7,  Chicago, November 23
Illinois school board members reject arming teachers, support grants for school resource officers
Lauren Rohr, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 23
Grayslake District 46 board approves raises for teachers, support staff
Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 21
District 228 Joint Faculty Association submits last contractual offer to IELRB
Ivan Cease, Chicago Morning Star, November 24
Illinois school board to make emergency rule changes in response to isolation room report
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/The Southern Illinoisan, November 20
In today’s Leading News, the Tribune and Pro Publica offer a must-read report on the “quiet rooms” where students are sent for disciplinary reasons. Districts plan for sharing school resource officer time. DeKalb SD 426 considers a resolution that would prohibit disclosing a student’s immigration status to federal officials. Meridian CUSD 223 (Stillman Valley) offers more pay to substitute teachers. Also in the news, ISBE expands Illinois’ virtual classroom offerings.
The Quiet Rooms
Children are being locked away, alone and terrified, in school across Illinois. Often, it’s against the law.
Jennifer Smith Richards, Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis, Chicago Tribune, November 19
Districts plan to share time for school resource officer
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, The Telegraph, Alton, November 19
DeKalb school board to take action against ICE involvement in schools
Kelsey Rettke, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, November 18
Meridian School District raises substitute teacher pay amid shortage
Karina Parada, WTVO, Rockford, November 13
Illinois expands virtual course offerings for middle, high school students
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 18
In today’s Leading News, Waukegan CUSD 60 faces legal questions regarding a building purchase. Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200 discusses its decision to cancel a visit by a children’s book author. Oregon CUSD 220 deals with a pertussis outbreak. Also in the news, communities mourn with Vandalia CUSD 203 and school districts offer support after a highway tragedy.
Lawsuit challenges Waukegan District 60’s purchase of vacant bank, arguing referendum required
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, November 13
District 200: Concerns with LGBTQ content helped spur decision to cancel author's visit
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 13
Health officials explain whooping cough outbreak at Oregon High School
Hope Salman, WIFR, Rockford, November 14
Community gathers to mourn Vandalia teenagers, Sullivan couple killed in crash
Tony Reid, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 17
Schools step up for Vandalia after tragedy
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 18

In today’s Leading News, school districts in our neighbor to the east are cancelling classes Tuesday in anticipation of teacher absences for Indiana’s “Red for Ed Action Day.” The Chicago Teachers Union last week ratified the contract agreement that ended the 11-day strike.  Decatur SD 61, prompted by mistaken bus drop-off, checks its policy. Galesburg SD 205 will put in modular classrooms ahead of major renovation work. Also in the news, another look at the news-making THSD 214 decision regarding facility access for transgender students.

Gary joins list of school districts closing Tuesday in anticipation of teacher absences for Red for Ed Action Day Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, Northwest Indiana, November 17

Chicago Teachers Union ratifies new contract, avoiding another walkout after 11-day strike
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, November 16

Decatur schools, bus company working on new drop-off policy after kindergartener is left at wrong stop
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 13

Dist. 205 Approves Modular Classrooms Ahead Of GHS Renovation Schedule Decision
WGIL, Galesburg, November 7

Palatine School District Approves Full Bathroom Rights For Transgender Students
Susie An, WBEZ, Chicago, November 14

In today’s Leading News, after years of discussion, Palatine-based THSD 211 decides on student access to personal facilities aligned with their gender expression. Bloomington SD 87 discusses e-learning days. With participant numbers dwindling, Lebanon CUSD 9 cancels its girls’ basketball season. Moline-Coal Valley SD 40 opens a state-of-the-art manufacturing lab. Also in the news, families of victims speak about the possibility of preventing school shootings.

After four years of controversy, embattled Palatine-based school district grants transgender students unrestricted locker room access
Angie Leventis Lourgos, Chicago Tribune, November 15

Bloomington District 87 board looks at plans for 'e-learning' on snow days
Lenore Sobota, Bloomington Pantagraph, November 14

No more hoops: Lebanon cancels girls basketball season
Dean Criddle, Belleville News-Democrat, November 13

Moline-Coal Valley School District unveils state-of-the-art manufacturing lab
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, November 13

What do school shootings have in common? They could have been prevented, victims' parents say in Rosemont
Charles Keeshan and Susan Sarkauskas, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 13

In today’s Leading News, WUIS’s Education Desk reports on calls for consolidation. Joliet PSD 86 teachers could vote today to authorize a strike.  A new early childhood education center is on track in  Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200. Selective (not the same as picky) Washington SD 50 students reduce cafeteria waste. Also in the news, daylight saving time is a school safety issue.
Merger Urger: State Senator Pushes Consolidation
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, November 10
Tensions rise in Joliet District 86 teachers contract negotiation
Alex Ortiz, Joliet Herald-News, November 12
District 200's new Jefferson center on track to open next fall, and leaders are excited
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 4
Letting kids choose reduces food waste in District 50
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, October 25
Year-round Daylight Savings Time has its advantages
If passed, school official may reconsider start time
Michael Urbanec, LaSalle News Tribune, November 13
In today’s Leading News, discussions continue as Galena USD 120 works through complicated and extended contract talks.  Springfield SD 186 teachers vote in favor of last week’s offer from the district.  Rich THSD 227 discusses the impacts of the decision to close a high school. Peoria Public Schools extends a charter contract for two years. Also in the news, a national poll looks at education requirements for success.
Union wants to be part of solution: Galena Federation of Teachers co-president calls for improved communication, more collaboration
Hillary Dickerson, Galena Gazette, November 5
District 186 teachers ratify contract offer
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 1
Rich Township to consolidate athletics after vote to close Rich East, board member says
Evan F. Moore, Chicago Sun-Times, November 11
PPS board renews Quest Charter contract for two years
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, November 11
Poll: Many say high school diploma enough to succeed
AP/Pontiac Daily Leader, November 11
In today’s Leading News, schools are closed throughout the state due to poor road conditions as record-breaking cold trails record-breaking snow in parts of Illinois. Decatur SD 61 and its teaching assistants schedule a mediation session. CUSD 308 (Oswego) and Aurora officials talk. Also in the news, read about Waukegan CUSD 60’s devoted crossing guard.
McHenry County area hit with snow, prepares for record-breaking cold
Brittany Keeperman, Northwest Herald, November 12
Central Illinois cancellations and closures for Tuesday, Nov. 12
Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 1
Mediation date set for Decatur teaching assistants, school district
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, November 7
Aurora alderman updates Oswego School District Board on pending projects
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, November 6
Waukegan honors school crossing guard for 43 years ‘without missing a single day of work’
News-Sun Staff, Lake County News-Sun, November 8

In today’s Lading News, Shawnee CUSD 84 honors veterans. Classes at Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 are back in session after a one-schoolday strike. Peoria Public Schools will vote on a charter school renewal. Suburban school districts deal with issues surrounding background checks for volunteer football coaches. Also in the news, read about efforts toward improving broadband access throughout the state.

Shawnee School Dist. holds ceremony for Veterans Memorial Wall
Isabelle Hanson, KFVS, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, November 8

Tentative deal reached in Grayslake D46 school strike; classes to resume Monday
Yadira Sanchez Olson, Lake County News-Sun, November 8

It’s not about our jobs, it’s about the kids”: Quest Charter Academy prepares for PPS vote
Mike Miletich, WEEK, Peoria, November 10

Suburban head football coach out after district says he blocked background check of volunteer coach who is convicted sex offender
Angie Leventis Lourgos and Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune, November 8

Statewide broadband access goal of ‘Connect Illinois’
Bernard Schoenburg, State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 4

In today’s Leading News, read coverage of Advance Illinois’ latest report. “High-achieving” districts take note of growth component in Illinois Report Card results. P.E. or not P.E? That is the question in Dunlap CUSD 323. After a late-night tentative agreement, Teachers in Springfield SD 186 will vote on a new contract next week. Also in the news, the race is on for CPS cross country runners impacted by the Chicago teachers strike.

Report: Illinois public education improving, but much more work lies ahead
Peter Hancock, CNI/Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, November 7

High-achieving suburban school districts say state report card’s emphasis on growth led to ‘misleading’ ratings
Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, November 4

Dunlap School Board discussing P.E. exemption; draws concern from some parents
Matt Sheehan, WMBD, Peoria, November 6

Teachers union, District 186 reach tentative agreement
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 8

Appellate court will allow CPS cross-country runners to compete at Saturday’s state championship
John Keilman and Elvia Malagón, Chicago Tribune, November 7

In today’s Leading News, teachers and staff in Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 are on strike. A federal investigation is underway regarding funds of Meridian CUSD 15 in Macon. Edwardsville SD 7 officials work with the community through a racially-charged incident. An author of a book about “Kid Activists” questions the cancellation of an appearance at a Wheaton Warrenville CUSD 200 elementary school. Also in the news, Alton High School students go bald for charity.
Grayslake teachers on strike Thursday
Will Jones, WLS, Chicago, November 7
FBI investigating allegations that Meridian superintendent embezzled $250,000
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 5
Edwardsville High School reacts to racist social media posts circulating among students
Hana Muslic, Belleville News-Democrat, November 6
Author believes Dist. 200 canceled Wheaton school visit due to LGBTQ content; officials cite procedural issue
Katlyn Smith, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 6
‘My head feels weird’: 20 Alton High students go bald for St. Baldrick’s
Jeanie Stephens, The Telegraph, Alton, November 1
In today’s Leading News, teachers and staff at Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 will reportedly strike tomorrow, November 7. School districts are prompted to consider addressing gender identity. Mahomet-Seymour CUSD 3 aims to overcome timing tensions and establish student performance and academic improvement goals. Lake Villa SD 41 discusses a referendum try. Also in the news, with talks about its policy regarding teacher strikes scheduled for December, the IHSA appeals the participation of cross country runners at Saturday’s state meet.
Grayslake District 46 officials announce teachers and support staff will go on strike Thursday
Lake County News-Sun, November 6
A transgender teacher in Evanston says their school district has been slow to address gender identity concerns
Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Evanston Review, October 24
Argument over absences stalls board meeting
Aaron Eades, WCIA, Champaign, October 29
Lake Villa District 41 considers trying another referendum
Tom Ackerman, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 1
IHSA files legal appeal that could force CPS cross-country runners to miss this weekend’s state finals
John Keilman, Chicago Tribune, November 5
In today’s Leading News, teachers voted Monday evening against the contract offer from Springfield SD 186. Decatur SD 61 and its teaching assistants dispute life insurance issue after last week’s strike. Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 teachers and staff could strike Thursday. Galesburg CUSD 205 will update its kitchens as part of planned major renovations. Also in the news, McLean County Unit 5 offers an “introduction to teaching” dual-credit class with Heartland Community College.

SEA votes down latest District offer at Monday meeting
Steven Spearie, The State Journal-Regster, November 5

Decatur teaching assistants say district removed life insurance; district says coverage reinstated
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 2
As strike date nears, pay still the big issue in Grayslake District 46
Russell Lissau, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, October 31
Galesburg School D205 cooking up kitchen updates
Matt Koester, Galesburg Register-Mail, October 27
New Normal class offers pipeline solution to teacher shortage
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, October 26

In today’s Leading News, The Southern looks at poor rural districts and school funding. A bill that would allow students to leave school to vote comes before the governor this veto session. Peoria Public Schools considers a charter school renewal. Sidebars to the Chicago teacher’s strike, which ended last week, include student journalists’ coverage. Also in the news, Black Hawk College Black Hawk College and National Louis University in Chicago team up to offer online teacher preparation.

In poor, rural Illinois school districts, teacher raises and evidence-based funding are 'a balancing act'
Gabriel Neely-Streit, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, November 4

Bills letting students leave school to vote, lifting driver’s license suspensions will head to governor
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/State Journal-Register, Springfield, October 31

PPS board holds hearing on Quest charter renewal
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, October 31

How one Chicago high school journalist covered his own teachers’ strike
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, November 4

Meeting the Illinois teacher shortage with new online bachelor’s degree program
WQAD, Quad Cities, October 29

In today’s Leading News, students are back in class in Chicago Public Schools after an 11-day strike in the state’s largest school district; the deal reportedly includes additional social workers, school nurses, and counselors. Decatur SD 61 teaching assistants have ended a strike. Community Unit School District 300 will get $2 million in a decision in the ongoing bankruptcy process of Sears Corporation and the village of Hoffman Estates. Also in the news, a McHenry County committee considers and reject a referendum proposal to eliminate the county-based Regional Office of Education.

CPS strike over, classes to resume Friday as Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union reach deal on makeup days
Hannah Leone, Gregory Pratt, Elvia Malagón, and Marie Fazio, Chicago Tribune, October 31

It's over: CPS, CTU reach deal
A.D. Quig, Crain’s Chicago Business, October 31

Decatur teaching assistants return to work, but health insurance battle remains
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, November 1

District 300 collects $2 million from Sears bankruptcy
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, October 29

McHenry County committee votes down regional office of education elimination referendum
Drew Zimmerman, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 1


Your leading education news from around the state

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