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November 2020 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, Illinois school districts continue efforts to educate students during the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Rockford teachers will report to empty classrooms starting next week
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, November 27

Crane: Students want to be at school
Kent Casson, Pontiac Daily Leader, November 20

Rock Island-Milan school superintendent: A number of factors in play to decide to go with remote or blended classrooms
Nicole Lauer, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, November 25

Peoria Public Schools buildings prepare to close until mid-January
Scott Hilyard, Peoria Journal Star, November 23

District 116 launches emotional support for families during pandemic
Trey Arline, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 20
In today’s Leading News, a “glimmer of hope” from the most recent state coronavirus numbers, and a vaccine on the horizon. School districts respond to unprecedented times with effort and teamwork. Also in the news, keep going.
 
Pritzker: 'Glimmer of hope' emerges in COVID fight, but public must keep guard up
Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune/Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 23
 
IDPH preps for expected initial 400,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine
First batch of vaccines will go to hospital workers, first responders
Sarah Mansur, CNI/Northwest Herald, November 23
 
Charleston school board hears reopening has been 'positive transition'
Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 19
 
From tech crisis to COVID-19, Rockford Public Schools striving for best possible experience
Corina Curry, Rockford Register Star, November 19
 
Schools using 'team effort' to keep kids learning
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, November 17
 
Chris Nikic, You Are an Ironman. And Your Journey Is Remarkable.
Kurt Streeter, New York Times, November 16

 
In today’s Leading News, read the Tribune’s latest piece on seclusion and isolation practices. Argenta-Oreana CUSD 1 plans to retire and replace an old gym. The ROWVA CUSD 208 board looks at the grading scale. Dunlap CUSD 323 faces budget cuts. Also in the news, planting for the future is expected to take place in Sherrard CUSD 200.

More than 10,000 times in a single year, Illinois schools put children into seclusion, latest federal data shows
Jennifer Smith Richards and Jodi S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune, November 17
                                                                                                                                                                          
Plans for new gym to replace Kimler approved by Argenta-Oreana board
Decatur Herald Review, November 19

ROWVA weighs grading scale, January classes
Linda Bell, Galesburg Register-Mail, November 17
 
$4 million of Dunlap school budget cuts face debate
Scott Hilyard, Journal Star, Peoria, November 18

Sherrard School Board: OK to plant row crops on the high school's east athletic field
Cala Smoldt, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, November 20
In today’s Leading News, Illinois regions cope with changing conditions in the midst of a COVID-19 surge.

Rising COVID numbers affecting schools
Erich Murphy, Pontiac Daily Leader, November 19

How are Riverbend schools handling COVID-19?
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegram, November 18

Decatur schools to stay virtual until Jan. 15
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 18

IHSA pauses all winter sports, doesn't take action to revise calendar
Alex Kantecki, Ottawa Times, November 19

'Close to a breaking point': Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations top 6,000
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, November 20
In today’s Leading News, with Tier 3 interventions in place statewide starting Friday, school districts continue to make decisions.

'The best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay home,' Pritzker says in announcing new statewide restrictions…
Jeff D’Alessio, News-Gazette, Champaign, November 17

All of Illinois to Enter Tier 3 Mitigations This Week, Gov. Pritzker Announces
NBC 5, Chicago, November 17

Chicago Public Schools will resume in-person classes in January, but more suburban districts revert to remote learning amid COVID-19 surge
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, November 17

Kane County health officials publicly urge schools toward remote learning, halting sports
James Fuller, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 17

Coles Co. schools adapting to COVID-19 instruction
Dave Fopay and Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 17

In today’s Leading News, all Illinois regions will be in Tier 3 mitigations starting Friday, November 20 to stem the upswing in coronavirus cases, which will prompt a shutdown of IHSA winter activities and calls for limits to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday. Also in the news, the surge in cases nationwide has a silver lining of faster-than-expected results of vaccine studies.


Illinois to tighten COVID-19 restrictions beginning Friday
Doug Finke , State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 17

As COVID-19 rages through Illinois, answers to some commonly asked questions
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star/Pekin Times, November 14

COVID-19 concerns force IHSA to shut down winter activities
Tom Johnston, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, November 17

Midwest governors urge residents to limit contact over holidays
Peter Hancock, CNI/Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 18

Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine 95% effective, will seek approval for emergency use from FDA
Linda A Johnson, AP/Chicago Tribune, November 18

 

In today’s Leading News, districts pivot as the coronavirus surge continues. Also in the news, educators learn lessons in coping with the pandemic’s challenges.

Park Ridge-Niles District 64, neighboring schools revert to remote learning due to COVID-19 community spread
Jennifer Johnson, Pioneer Press/Park Ridge Herald-Advocate, November 16

As COVID-19 numbers climb, one southwestern IL school district is sending staff home
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, November 15

District 186 hopes to bring back students in-person by January
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 15

Kaneland schools switching to remote learning Wednesday
Emmagrace Sperle, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 5

'Everyone's a first-year teacher this year': Lessons from pandemic teaching educators, too
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, November 15

 

In today’s Leading News, Illinois school boards take on the mantle of leadership for their communities as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact school districts.
 
Bullied, badgered, publicly scorned: Suburban school boards feel the heat — and the hate — as they weigh COVID-19 school closings
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, November 15
 
Letter to the Editor: School board members lead during challenging times
Thomas E. Bertrand, Ph.D., Executive Director, Illinois Association of School Boards, Effingham Daily News, November 15
 
Oak Lawn Community High School Celebrates School Board Members Day
Oak Lawn Patch, November 15
 
Study shows hybrid learning is effective at slowing COVID spread in Illinois schools
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, November 13
 
COVID complicates Central Illinois teacher shortage
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, November 10

 

In today’s Leading News, the CDC readjusts its position on who benefits from wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Teachers in the coronavirus conversation seek safety. School districts and their community health officials weigh in on remote and in-person learning. And in sports, the hoped-for high school basketball seasons may wait until 2021.
 
CDC declares masks also protect wearers from COVID-19, joining scientific consensus
Marie McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer/Chicago Tribune, November 11
 
CTU seeks mediation in CPS reopening talks, says most voters want remote learning to continue for now
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, November 9
 
Largest teachers union says educators leaving profession in droves due to safety concerns, burnout
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 11
 
Jackson County sets 1-day COVID-19 case record, recommends remote learning
Marilyn Halstead, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, November 12
 
4 McLean County school districts going back to remote learning
Kelsey Watznauer, Lenore Sobota, Bloomington Pantagraph, November 11
 
IHSA says nearly 300 high schools surveyed aren’t planning to start basketball next week
Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, November 11
 

In today’s Leading News, the Illinois legislature cancels its fall session. ISBE’s “Culturally Responsive” standards under consideration draw pushback from religious groups. An Illinois-based charter school operator reaches a civil settlement after an investigation into “preferred vendors” for federal E-rate funded programs. Also in the news, school districts and constituents discuss Illinois Report Card results.
 
Legislators cancel fall session over pandemic as Pritzker calls for meeting with leaders to address $4 billion budget shortfall
Dan Petrella and Jamie Munks, Chicago Tribune, November 10
 
Proposed teacher diversity standards spark protest from Illinois religious groups
Peter Hancock, CNI/Belleville News Democrat, November 11
 
Concept Schools charter chain to pay $4.5 million to end federal investigation
Dan Mihalopoulos, WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times, November 6
 
Schools ‘encouraged’ by state marks
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, November 10
 
Illinois Report Card shows growth for Peoria Public Schools, superintendent says
Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, via the Peoria Journal Star, November 7
 
How did your school district perform? Look up the state report card
Kelsey Watznauer and Lenore Sobota, Bloomington Pantagraph, November 5

In today’s Leading News, school districts honor veterans with parades, placing flags, a military wall, and more. Also in the news, NPR looks at the potential changes to federal education priorities.

Central A&M students honor veterans
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 10

W-field stadium has veteran ties
Dave Clarke, Kewanee Star Courier, November 10

Vets Day marches on
McDonough County Voice, November 10

EPCHS Unveils Military Wall For Veterans Day
Lorraine Swanson, Evergreen Park Patch, November 10

What A Biden Presidency Could Mean For Education
Anya Kamenetz & Elissa Nadworny, National Public Radio, November 10
In today’s Leading News, Illinois public health data released last week shows possible exposures at Illinois public and private schools, and school district respond to the changing numbers.

Hundreds of Illinois schools potentially exposed to COVID-19 in last month, new contact tracing data shows
Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, November 6

Dist. 429 going remote — for now
Erich Murphy, Pontiac Daily Leader, November 6

Local schools make temporary switch to remote learning
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, November 7

QPS superintendent issues warning about rising COVID-19 cases
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, November 6

91% of classrooms have adequate ventilation, CPS says as debate continues on return during the pandemic
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, November 4
In today’s Leading News, the upswing in new coronavirus positives continues, as do the decisions schools districts and families face. Also in the news, election season brings out the flavored candidate in Shelbyville CUSD 4.

IL health officials considering return of statewide COVID restrictions, Pritzker says
Kelsey Landis, Belleville News-Democrat, November 5

New Trier High School’s COVID-19 reopening plans too fast for teachers, too slow for some parents
Karen Ann Cullotta, Pioneer Press/Winnetka Talk, November 5

After clamor to reopen, most at RBHS staying home
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, November 3

Several Springfield-area schools among 200 that signed letter to Pritzker imploring IHSA hoops to start as scheduled
State Journal-Register, Springfield, November 7

Starburst vs. Kit Kat 2020: Shelbyville students hold an election of their own
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 5
 
In today’s Leading News, a look at coverage of the implications of the rejection of the Constitutional Amendment proposing a graduated tax. Also in the news, Illinois school districts continue working through in-person attendance decisions.

With Illinois graduated tax failure, ‘there will be cuts, and they will be painful,’ governor says
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, November 4

Pritzker says 'painful cuts' coming after graduated tax defeat
Jake Griffin, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 4

Decatur school employees asked to work from home
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, November 4

U-46 officials say students can start to return to school safely Nov. 9 despite COVID-19 cases going up
Karie Angell Luc, Elgin Courier-News, November 3

Even as fall term ends, Chicago Public Schools is still mum on a reopening date. Despite rumors, it won’t happen Monday
Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, November 4

In today’s Leading News, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on school districts continue, as do the decision-making and adaptations that follow.
 
In the fight over reopening schools amid the pandemic, race and class divisions are stark
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, October 31
 
Amid precautions and different routines, Charleston students return to school
Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, November 4
 
McHenry School District 15 furloughs 74 workers while scheduling fully remote learning through Feb. 19
Sam Lounsberry, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, November 2
 
H-F High surveys show students, staff adapting to remote learning
Marilyn Thomas, Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, November 1
 
School nurses take on larger role during pandemic
Galesburg Register-Mail, October 23
 

In today’s Leading News, read another round of coverage of last week’s release of the 2020 Illinois School Report Card.
 
State education data altered by COVID closings; McLean County schools retain high rankings
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, November 2
 
Pandemic prompts state to keep grades the same on ISBE report card; ‘We do not have the usual data on school culture and climate’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, November 2
 
Is a 96% attendance rate a bright spot in a pandemic stricken school year? Not exactly, as remote learning skews annual report card.
Jessica Villagomez, Chicago Tribune, October 30
 
COVID-19 impacts Illinois School Report Cards
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, October 31
 
ISBE releases 2019-2020 school year district report cards
Tabi Jozwick, McDonough County Voice, November 2

In today’s Leading News, Election Day in Illinois has impacts – direct and indirect -- on school districts, schools, and students.
 
Some schools, offices to close in observance of Election Day
Kankakee Daily Journal, October 30
 
Spurred by election enthusiasm, students push peers to vote — even if they can’t vote themselves
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, November 1
 
Amid pandemic, TF South connects with students via get out the vote drive, virtual homecoming
Mike Clark, The Times, Northwest Indiana, November 1
 
In a political climate often filled with personal attacks and vitriol, high school civics teachers see hope in younger generation
Kaitlin Edquist, Karen Ann Cullotta, Genevieve Bookwalter, and Jennifer Johnson, Chicago Tribune, October 27
 
From ‘Hopeful’ To ‘Terrified,’ Here’s How Some Voters In Chicago Are Feeling Right Now
Courtney Kueppers and Manuel Martinez, WBEZ, Chicago, November 2
In today’s Leading News, read more about last week’s release of the Illinois School Report Card. Also in the news, the Daily Herald shares a two-part Hechinger Report piece on school funding inequities.
 
Illinois high schools see huge spike in number of AP exams taken since 2018, new data shows
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, October 30
 
Illinois School Report Cards released. Here are 3 key takeaways
Megan Valley, Belleville News-Democrat, November 2
 
State report cards for D203 and D204 are out but some data missing or incomplete because of pandemic
Rafael Guerrero, Naperville Sun, November 1
 
As new data reveals inequities, few school districts take steps to give poor students more
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, October 31
 
Even within the same district, some wealthy schools get millions more than poor ones
Tara García Mathewson, The Hechinger Report/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, October 31
 

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