June 2020 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, take a look at the new laws impacting education that take effect July 1. Summer projects at school districts are underway. Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin investigates social media posts described as racist. New Berlin CUSD 16 may face legal action from its teachers union. St. Claire County schools discuss the results of a reorganization study. Also in the news, Teutopolis CUSD 50 agrees with area colleges to collaborate to provide opportunities for student teaching.
Driving privilege changes, LGBTQ+ history curriculum among Illinois’ new laws
Kade Heather, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 27
Projects funded through March referendums underway in two Lake County school districts
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 26
Algonquin District 300 condemns video posted by students; described as racist by officials
Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, June 28
New Berlin teacher’s union vows legal action against board
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal Courier, June 27
O’Fallon-Shiloh released a new school consolidation study. Here’s what that means
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, June 22
Teutopolis school board approves agreement with universities
Kaitlin Cordes, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, June 26
In Monday’s Leading News, the discussion continues over what learning in Illinois public schools will look like in the fall semester.
10 ways Illinois schools will look different this fall
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, June 27
District 95 looks at how to return
Benton Evening News, June 25
Hinsdale District 86 discusses return-to-school plans
Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Hinsdale, June 27
Teachers, parents share mixed feelings about students wearing masks when schools reopen this fall
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 26
Oak Park, River Forest school districts reviewing state guidelines before committing to reopening plans
Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, June 25
Gov. Pritzker issues guidelines for schools to return to in-person learning
WEEK, East Peoria, June 23

In today’s Leading News, with Part 3 of the state’s return-to-school guidance in hand, school districts make plans for the fall semester. Also in the news, the Associated Press reports on the progress of the federal policy “ordering public schools across the U.S. to share coronavirus relief funding with private schools at a higher rate than federal law typically requires.”

Palatine District 15 task forces making plans for students' return in the fall
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, June 25

PPS reopening plan wins approval but remains a work in progress
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, June 23

‘Another unusual school year’ awaits Chicago Public Schools as it figures out if buildings will reopen this fall
Sophie Sherry and Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, June 24

District, teachers union hammering out details of in-person schooling
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 24

Dist. 230 planning for re-start
Dave Clarke, Kewanee Star Courier, June 25

QPS works on plan for students to return to classroom for 2020-21 year
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 25

DeVos issues rule steering more virus aid to private schools
Collin Binkley, AP Education Writer, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, June 25

In today’s Leading News, in the midst of national unrest and local protests, the CPS Board of Education votes to maintain its contract with the Chicago Police Department. Governor Pritzker has signed legislation to extend teacher licenses. Naperville’s school districts assess remote learning. Also in the news,  summer camps get underway with masks and social distancing.   

Chicago school board votes 4-3 to keep police contract — for now
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, June 24

Deeply divided Chicago Board of Education rejects bid to end contract with CPD, despite weeks of protests since police killing of George Floyd
Hannah Leone and Sophie Sherry, Chicago Tribune, June 24

Pritzker signs bill to extend teacher licenses
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, June 18

Remote learning worked well for some, D203 and D204 surveys show, but parents found it hard to juggle responsibilities
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, June 19

Summer Camp 2020: Social Distance Style
Susie An, WBEZ, Chicago, June 24


In today’s Leading News, read the first takes on the state’s plan for the return to in-person instruction. Also in the news, summer day camps prepare for their first days.

Masks, symptom screening part of return to in-person schooling
Doug Finke, The State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 23

Illinois offers guidelines for schools to reopen classrooms this fall, but questions remain
Jamie Munks, Rick Pearson, Hannah Leone and Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, June 23

State-distributed masks among precautions for school opening
AP/The Pantagraph, Bloomington, June 23

School’s in? Pritzker says classrooms can reopen in fall — with masks, temperature checks, other precautions
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, June 23

Illinois issues guidelines for reopening schools from coronavirus shutdown
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, June 23

Are summer camps safe during the COVID-19 pandemic? New state guidelines advise social distancing, small groups and day programs only.
Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune, June 23

In today’s Leading News, as the state prepares its guidelines for re-opening schools for the fall semester, school districts consider the options. Also in the news, communities and school districts are engaging on issues of race and representation.
What will school be like this fall? Guidelines expected soon
Associated Press, Daily Herald, June 20
Southern Ill. schools discuss reopening plans
Colin Baillie, KFVS, Cape Girardeau, Missouri June 18
What will school look like in Peoria? Officials want blend of remote, in-school learning
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, June 21
DeKalb Residents Address Race & Representation At Special School Board Meeting
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, June 19
Letter from alumni, students to District 99 officials calls for additional black perspectives in curriculum
Joshua Welge, Suburban Life, June 18
In today’s Leading News, school district stakeholders are opening new discussions issues of racial injustice, diversity, inclusion, and educational equity. Also in the news, as school districts await guidance on opening in the fall, the IHSA plans for the next stage of summer activity. 
New QPS committee targets equity
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 16
PHS weighs expanding anti-racism education
Nancy Zeman, Prairie Press, Paris, June 15
Indian Prairie school board pledges to make educational equity a priority, and wants the state to follow its lead
Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, June 16
Aldermen, CPS students continue push for police-free schools: ‘You have a bad day, you get to go to jail?’
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, June 16
IHSA approves Stage 2 guidelines, eliminates dead period
Scott Holland, McDonough County Voice, June 16
In today’s Leading News, North Chicago CUSD 187 receives ISBE grant for a teacher residency program. Crystal Lake CCSD 47 decides to build a fence at an elementary school. Former students petition for a name change for a Kenilworth SD 38 school. Oswego-based CUSD 308 ponders physical education waivers for show choir participants. Also in the news, Illinois releases a state plan for career and technical education.
North Chicago District 187 rolls out new teacher residency program
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, June 12
Glacier Ridge Elementary chain-link fence addition approved by Crystal Lake School District 47 board
Cassie Buchman, Northwest Herald, June 17
Teens launch petition to rename Kenilworth’s Joseph Sears School: ‘We should not continue to honor this man’
Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Wilmette Life, June 16
Physical education class waiver for Oswego East, Oswego High School show choir students?
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, June 12
New state plan raises bar for career and technical education in Illinois
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, June 16          

In today’s Leading News, boards of education in Illinois consider all the possibilities for a return to classrooms (or other facilities) for the fall term.

McCormick Place, Park District fieldhouses could be alternative sites for CPS classes, alderman says
Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, June 11

COVID-19 repercussions tackled at Rockridge
Cathy Decker, Aledo Times Record, June 15

Meredosia-Chambersburg schools plan for ‘new normal’
Shirley Bilyeu, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, June 16

Local School Districts Prepare Remote Learning Plans For Upcoming Year
Lauren Barry, Journal and Topics, Chicago suburbs, June 15

Robinson School District Begins Planning For New School Year 
Gary Brian, WTHI, Terre Haute, Indiana, June 15

In today’s Leading News, the discussion of returning to school COVID-19 draws out equity issues. As college-bound students contemplate how far to go for college, two University of Illinois campuses will not require ACT or SAT tests for admission next year. Also in the news, the national conversation after the death of George Floyd, for which police officers have been charged with murder, includes calls for school districts to separate from police departments.

4 Ways Racial Inequity Harms American Schoolchildren
Jeffrey Pierre, National Public Radio, June 12

Amid virus, US students look to colleges closer to home
Associated Press/Chicago Sun-Times, June  6

University of Illinois looks to drop ACT, SAT tests at 2 campuses next year due to coronavirus disruptions
Elyssa Cherney, Decatur Herald Review, June 10

Defund police in schools? How the movement got momentum after George Floyd’s death
Erin Richards, USA Today, June 12

Fueled by protests, school districts across the country cut ties with police
Moriah Balingit, Valerie Strauss, and Kim Bellware, Washington Post, June 12

As CPS hosts star-studded graduation ceremony, hundreds march to demand removal of cops from schools
Tom Schuba and Suzanne McBride, Chicago Sun-Times, June 14

In today’s Leading News, as we arrive at the middle of June, from the U.S. Senate to school boardrooms throughout Illinois, people are talking about the safe return to school in the fall.  

Senate Panel Asks: When Can K-12 Schools Safely Reopen?
Cory Turner, All Things Considered, NPR, June 10

Parents call on District 214 to reopen for in-person classes this fall
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago Suburbs, June 12

Geneseo schools plan for flexibility in the fall
Quad City Times, June 11

District 303 working on plan to reopen schools safely in the fall
Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle, June 8

Jacksonville, other districts work on back-to-classroom plans
Samantha McDaniel Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal Courier, June 9

In today’s Leading News, boards of education discus options and scenarios for the fall semester. A Southern Illinois honors ceremony is cancelled, but the achievements were still recognized, and high school graduations continue throughout the summer. Also in the news, a group of Springfield SD 186 students and recent graduates plan a peaceful protest.

What will school be like this fall amid pandemic? Oswego School District officials preparing plans
Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, June 8

Bourbonnais elementary school board talks next year plan
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, June 4

Honoring Southern Illinois' best: SISHSA recognizes 2020's standout graduating seniors
Marilyn Halstead, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, June 10

2,700-plus U-46 students to graduate virtually this Saturday
Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, June 9

The Many Ways To Graduate During A Pandemic
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, May 29

Youth is served: Group earns praise for peaceful protests, but says work ‘has only just begun’
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 7

In today’s Leading News, Governor Pritzker signs the state’s budget. School districts consider and reconsider their fall plans as coronavirus continues to absorb educator attentions.

Pritzker signs $42.9B budget into law
Doug Finke, State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 10

Champaign moves balanced-calendar schools to regular calendar next year
Anthony Zilis, News-Gazette, Champaign, June 8

Remote learning likely to continue next year at BBCHS
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, June 10

District 303 working on plan to reopen schools safely in the fall
Jacob Bartelson, Kane County Chronicle, June 9

Pritzker not certain when schools will reopen
Kavahn Mansouri and Mike Koziatek, Belleville News-Democrat, June 10

Reopened Montana school offers peek at what fall might bring
Skylar Rispens, Great Falls Tribune via State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 26

In today’s Leading news, the work of boards of education continues through the summer. Freeburg CHSD 77 seeks a grant for construction of a second story. The board of Peoria Public Schools rejects a proposal for residency for administrators. “Will It Be Good for the Kids?” is asked as O’Fallon and Shiloh school districts review a study on consolidation. Galesburg CUSD 205 explains its reasoning behind RIFs. Also in the news, Batavia PSD 101 and its support professional staff reach a contract agreement.

Freeburg hopes this grant can help it blow the roof off its school building — literally
Megan Valley, Belleville News Democrat, June 9

Peoria school board rejects residency requirement for administrators
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, June 8

Consultants recommend against consolidation of school systems in O’Fallon-Shiloh
Illinois Business Journal, June 8

D205 explains RIF rationale
Matt Koester, Galesburg Register-Mail, June 8

Batavia school board reaches agreement with education support professional's union on new contract
Jacob Bartelson, Kane County Chronicle, May 27

In today’s Leading News, Decatur SD 61 may re-open bidding for a construction project after concern over the goal of including 15% minority business enterprises among the contractors. Kaneland CUSD 302 approves fees for the upcoming year. An OMA dispute involving Hinsdale THSD 86 is settled. Also in the news, activists and students call for change in Chicago Public Schools after the Minneapolis school board voted to end its contract with the city’s police force.

Decatur schools: Facilities contractors may have to re-bid on upcoming projects
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 28

Kaneland Board of Education approves driver's ed, lunch fees at meeting
Jacob Bartelson, Kane County Chronicle, May 31

Hinsdale Dist. 86 reaches settlement in Open Meetings Act lawsuit
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 29

Lightfoot Rules Out Removing Police Officers from Chicago Schools
Matt Masterson, WTTW, Chicago, June 5

Do Cops Belong in Schools? Minneapolis Tragedy Prompts a Hard Look at School Police
Evie Blad and Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week, June 5

In today’s Leading News, the related impacts of the coronavirus includes changes in some  requirements for teacher licensure. The hows and wheres of summer school 2020 depend on the needs, timing and the district.  Also in the news, the IHSA has released its “Return to Play” plan for Illinois high school athletics.

ISBE updates teacher licensure requirements amid COVID-19
Tabi Jozwick, McDonough County Voice, June 5

Waukegan District 60 to move forward with remote summer school
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, June 5

Summer school in Aurora will still feature remote learning
Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, June 5

‘Summer may be wasted’ if CPS doesn’t help students who aren’t logging on now, school board president says
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, May 28

IHSA unveils ‘Return to Play’ plan
Matthew Wheaton, The Galesburg Register-Mail, June 5

In today’s Leading News, ISBE releases guidance for opening schools for in-person summer education. Students in the U.K. are returning to the classroom. Also in the news, the Sun-Times looks at how CPS students are understanding Black American History , and in the current state of civil unrest, members of the DeKalb community meet to in support of change at the local level.
State allows summer school openings, opens testing to everyone
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/ State Journal-Register, Springfield, June 4
Illinois schools can resume in-person classes this summer following statewide coronavirus shutdown, Gov. Pritzker announces
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, June 4
U.K. Schools Begin Reopening Despite Coronavirus Concerns
Lynsey Jeffery, NPR Illinois June 1
How CPS students are learning about black history and white supremacy — and how that’s helping them understand George Floyd
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, June 5
'I'm tired of talking': forum on race in DeKalb County shows more than marching needed for local change
Kelsey Rettke, Daily Chronicle, DeKalb, June 4
In today’s Leading News, read the latest on the call for limiting seclusion and restraint practices. The Illinois Supreme Court will not hear a five-year-old legal case surrounding a teacher’s dismissal. Batavia CUSD 101 reaches a contract agreement  with support personnel. Also in the news, school districts are developing policy to deal with racial slurs as bullying, and one district responds as the waves of  civil unrest provokes the resurfacing of an old social media video.
Bill to Ban Seclusion and Face-Down Restraints in Illinois Schools Gets Sidelined After Pushback From Administrators
Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois, May 29
Ottawa High's firing of Tim Burgess is settled: Dismissal is reversed
Derek Barichello, Ottawa Times, May 29
District 101 strikes deal on 5-year contract for support personnel
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 28
Naperville District 203 policies now say racial slurs are unacceptable bullying
Marie Wilson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 26
Northwest suburban school district denounces racist slurs by former students on video from several years ago
Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune, June 3

In today’s Leading News, CPS resumed distribution of meals to families after cancelling on Monday due to unrest, and officials raise continued concerns over remote learning. The work of Illinois school districts continues in circumstances of uncertainty. Communities can apply for grants to expand local broadband capacity. Also in the news, delay of games: the IHSA requests patience from school districts and athletes while IDPH reviews “'Return to Play’' guidelines.

CPS to resume food distribution program after safety concerns led to day-long suspension
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, June 1

Critics decry remote learning in Chicago Public Schools as unfair, say it ‘rewards those with privilege’
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, June 1

Pandemic’s impact on PHS activities reviewed
Jim Dunn, Bureau County Republican, May 29

Manar encourages broadband grant requests
The Telegraph, Alton, May 29

IHSA waits on approval from health department, delays decision on new guidelines
Jay Taft, Rockford Register Star, June 2

In today’s Leading News, Illinois begins to reopen from the coronavirus shutdown; new crises emerge and access to education is among the concerns of Illinois lawmakers responding to protests of racial injustice. As students face additional stresses, a coalition led by Advance Illinois calls for an “equity-focused statewide plan for education” in the state’s recovery efforts.

Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Chicago Tribune, June 2

Coronavirus In Illinois: State Reports 974 New Cases And 23 More Deaths
WBEZ, Chicago, June 2

State Lawmakers Respond to Protests, Offer Plans For Change
Sam Dunklau, NPR Illinois, June 1

Teen essential workers juggle labor, fear, stress — and remote learning — to help support their families
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 26

Opinion: State must craft a learning recovery plan for schools, students
Advance Illinois, et al, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 29

In today’s Leading News, with the arrival of June closing out many academic calendars, Illinois school districts look ahead to “re-entry” in the fall semester with new concerns.

Kankakee School District plans to bring kids back in shifts next school year
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, May 27

District 118 to plan for fall semester
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, May 29

District 7 continues planning for school year
Tyler Pletsch, The Intelligencer, Edwardsville, May 27

Sycamore school district in early planning phases for fall 2020 re-entry plan
Eddie Carifio, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, May 19

D205 aims for more engaging, rigorous e-learning in fall
Matt Koester, Galesburg Register-Mail, May 12

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