August 2022 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, West Harvey-Dixmoor SD 147 school close due to water main problems. Annawan CUSD 226 sets its annual budget plan. Champaign CUSD 4 hears an EEO report. Also in the news, schools in two districts were locked down on Tuesday amid concerns of possible violence.

2 Dixmoor schools forced to close after series of water main breaks in village
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, August 29

Annawan Schools OK tentative spending plan
Claudia Loucks, Geneseo Republic, August 22

Takeaways from Unit 4's 2021 Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunities report
Jeff D’Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, August 19

Springfield report of man with a gun leads to school lockdowns
Sean Crawford, WUIS/NPR Illinois, Springfield, August 30

Marion schools locked down on Tuesday
Marilyn Halstead, Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, August 30
In today’s Leading News, a new vocational training center opens for high school students in east central Illinois. A fight in the stands ends a high school football game early. Grayslake Comm Cons SD 46 and its teachers reach a collective bargaining agreement. The Macon County Farm Bureau hosts an event featuring  ag professions at Mt. Zion CUSD 3. Also in the news, read more on the impacts of the state’s sex education standards.

LIFT vocational training center in Mattoon opens for classes
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, August 29

Fight halts high school football game between Peoria High and Metamora
Wes Huett, Adam Duvall, Peoria  Journal Star, August 26

Grayslake school board, staff unions agree to 3-year contract
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 26

Macon County Farm Bureau hosts college and career fair at Mount Zion High School
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 27

Illinois sex ed law puts school districts in center of latest battleground in education culture wars
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, August 28
In today’s Leading News, schools work through issues of violence, threats, and alleged hazing impacting students.

Nervous and somber, Schurz students go back to school as more details about shooting emerge
Jake Sheridan, Tracy Swartz, Adriana Pérez and Rosemary Sobol, Chicago Tribune, August 25

Carbondale United waits for state funds for projects to prevent gun violence
Danny Valle, WSIL, Carterville, August 24

Former boys lacrosse coach Tom Herrala ‘disappointed’ at how his time with New Trier ended after alleged hazing incident
Daniel I. Dorfman, Pioneer Press, Winnetka, August 23

Student found with loaded gun on Wauconda High School grounds Thursday afternoon
Clifford Ward, Lake County News-Sun, August 18

City must help CPS support students through violence, mental health crises, schools chief says
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, August 17
In today’s Leading News, Illinois school districts consider the educator shortage, rising costs, SROs, and challenged books. Also in the news, read about state funds for early childhood education.

At West Carroll and across Sauk Valley, finding teachers gets harder
Troy E. Taylor, Shaw Media/Sauk Valley News, August 24

District 87 projects a $3.4M deficit due to higher transportation and personnel costs
Eric Stock, WGLT, Normal, August 18

Here's how the new SRO will work all of Dist. 229's buildings
Mike Helenthal, Kewanee Star Courier, August 16

Controversial 'Gender Queer' will remain on the shelf at Barrington High, board decides
Steve Zalusky, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 18

Illinois increases early childhood education funding by $54M
Anna Brandon, WGEM, Quincy, August 18
In today’s Leading News, read reporting on the Asian American history requirements. Peoria Public Schools continues teacher contract negotiations. An educator conference returns for Quincy-area school personnel. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 looks at discipline numbers. Also in the news, President Joe Biden announced a plan that cancels some student loan debt for about 43 million borrowers nationwide.

Asian American History Requirement Starts in Illinois Public Schools
Eunice Alpasan, WTTW, Chicago, August 22

PPS teachers express disappointment after Tuesday’s contract talks
WHOI, Peoria, August 24

Quincy Conference returns Oct. 7 with modified format
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 21

District 204 officials hopeful last year's spike in suspensions was an anomaly
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 24

Biden is canceling up to $10K in student loans, $20K for Pell Grant recipients
Cory Turner and Sequoia Carrillo, National Public Radio, August 24

In today’s Leading News, EBF is old enough for kindergarten, how’s it progressing? McLean Co Unit District 5 plans a November referendum. Flossmoor SD 161 is among those looking at its sex ed curriculum. Starting under a boil order, Orangeville CUSD 203 gets creative with back-to-school meals. Also in the news, after the summer shooting tragedy, Highland Park area school districts focus on mental health.
As Evidence Based Funding formula turns 5, lawmakers reflect on historic legislation
Peter Hancock, CNI/WGLT, Normal, August 23
Unit 5 board sends tax rate hike to voters
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, August 17
New sex ed standards need more scrutiny, says Flossmoor school board
Carole Sharwarko, Homewood Flossmoor Chronicle, August 16
Orangeville School District moves first day of school due to boil order
WIFR, Rockford, August 16
Highland Park parade mass shooting haunts return to school for traumatized kids, parents
Sophie Sherry, Chicago Sun-Times, August 19

In today’s Leading News, stories from the first days as schools are back in session across Illinois

A new school year filled with new hopes — and some old, lingering worries
Stefano Esposito, Nader Issa, Nereida Moreno and Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times, August 22

'My passion is there.' District 186 teachers come back to class but questions remain
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register

Freeport schools facing staff shortages during first week of class
Nikelle Delgado, WTVO, Rockford, August 16

Students go back to school
John Badman, Alton Telegraph, August 17
In today’s Leading News, East Aurora USD 131 breaks ground on a new education center. Henry County students focus on mental health when returning to school. Quincy SD 172 anticipates budget surplus. Also in the news, Rochelle CCSD 231 arranges for after-school tutoring for middle school students.

Aurora School District 131 breaks ground on Resilience Education Center
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 15

Mental health in spotlight as Henry County students return to school
Mike Helenthal, Kewanee Star Courier, August 15

Tentative QPS budget calls for “pretty healthy surplus”
Deborah Gertz-Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 17

Elementary board: MOU for tutoring program with NIU approved
Jeff Helfrich, Rochelle News-Leader, August 19
In today’s Leading News, students in Quincy SD 172 ‘slide’ into a new school year. Danville CCSD 118 to open time capsule. Argenta-Oreana CUSD 1 opens new gym at the high school. Also in today’s news, Highland Park High School opens the school year.

Iles students ‘slide certified’ for 22-23 year
Deborah Gertz-Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 17

Echoes of a bygone era: Danville school time capsule to be opened Friday
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, August 18

Kimler Gym reopens at Argenta-Oreana High School
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald & Review, August 17

Highland Park High School community opens school year looking for as much normalcy as possible
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, August 17
In today’s Leading News, St. Charles CUSD 303 committee will review findings from an equity audit. Carthage ESD 317’s bringing social-emotional learning to classrooms. Springfield SD 186 abates property taxes for a new sports complex. Also in the news, is Chicago SD 299 keeping student data safe.

St. Charles School District to review findings of equity audit
Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle, August 16

Carthage Elementary School District bringing social-emotional learning to classrooms
Dylan Smith, WGEM, Quincy, August 16

District 186 board agrees to abate property taxes on Scheels Sports Complex. What’s next?
Steven Spearie, State-Journal Register, August 16

Is CPS keeping student data safe? Chaos and confusion as district scrambles to comply with privacy law after recent breach
Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, August 17
In today’s Leading News, it’s back-to-school time around the state.

‘I feel like we’re back to normal;’ McHenry County parents, students line up for return to school
James T. Norman, Northwest Herald, August 15

Pershing's 'pandemic babies' go back to school
Taylor Vidmar, Decatur Herald and Review, August 15

Quincy Public Schools welcomes staff for new year
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 15

'Top Gun' themed rally welcomes back teachers
John Badman. Alton Telegraph, August 15

IDPH issues new COVID guidelines for K-12 schools
Steph Whiteside, Illinois Public Media, August 16

In today’s Leading News, projects are completed in Champaign CUSD 4, underway in Paris CUSD 4 and Decatur SD 61, and explored for the future in Palatine CCSD 15.
Renovated Champaign Central High School
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, August 14
PHS, Paris schools get equipment, new tech
Nancy Zeman, Prairie Press, Paris, August 15
Macon-Piatt Special Ed and Harris Learning Academy moving
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 1
District 15 board unanimously approves $93 million referendum question for Nov. 8 ballot
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 12

In today’s Leading News, read the local takes on the CDS update for schools.

What you need to know about new COVID-19 guidelines as school year approaches
Zach Roth, State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 13

Illinois drops quarantine requirement, adopts new CDC COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools, early education
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, August 14

State of Illinois adopts new CDC guidelines for schools
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 12

CPS outlines COVID-19 protocols for new school year, including expanding test-to-stay program
Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, August 9
In today’s Leading News, the CDC has relaxed coronavirus mitigation guidance. North Shore SD 112 in Highland Park considers school security measures. Arlington Heights SD 25 plans new facilities for all-day kindergarten. Also in the news, Decatur SD 61 counselling organizes necessities for students.

CDC drops COVID-19 quarantine for close contacts and 6-foot distancing
Mike Stobbe and Collin Binkley, Chicago Tribune, August 11

Highland Park officials rethinking school safety following mass shootings
Jenna Barnes, WGN, Chicago, August 11

Arlington Heights District 25 takes first steps on full-day kindergarten, building plan
Christopher Placek, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 10

Stephen Decatur Middle School counselors create 'wall of necessities'
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 8
In today’ Leading News, contract negotiations and agreements are underway in many Illinois school districts.
Bargaining between Peoria Public Schools, the teachers union has broken down
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, August 4
District 186 teachers overwhelmingly reject tentative contract agreement. What's next
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, August 10
Woodland school district, teachers union agree to five-year contract
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1
Contract gives ETHS teachers raises, extended parental leave
Duncan Agnew, Eganston Roundtabe, August 9


In today’s Leading News, budget conversations continue – for the most part – in school districts across the state,

Budget, return-to-school plan on Dixon school board agenda
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, August 9

Stevenson School District 125 board OKs $128M budget, spending more on tech supplies and books
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele, Pioneer Press/Buffalo Grove Countryside, August 9

CPS takes another budget hit, loses $30M in expected state funding
Sarah Karp and Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, August 5

Decatur schools' finance committee meeting canceled because of flooding
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 3

In today’s Leading News, as back-to-school gears up, COVID mitigation decisions do, too.
Rock Falls High School approves return-to-school plan
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, July 26
Physical distancing eliminated as part of St. Charles School District’s updated COVID-19 mitigation plan
Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle, July 28
'Going to look normal': Many precautions will ease in schools even as COVID lingers
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 7
Some Illinois school districts to ditch COVID-19 tests this fall: ‘The demand really wasn’t there’
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, August 8
New school year, no mask rules for most of U.S.
Jessica Blake, Chalkbeat, August 4

In today’s Leading News, school districts discuss school safety, security, and response plans. Also in the news, “no cause for panic,” as EdWeek looks at what school leaders need to know now about the monkeypox outbreak.
School training for Bloomington police focuses on active response
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, July 27
Emergency officials call meeting to 'refresh' Henry County school response plans
Mike Helenthal, Kewanee Star Courier, July 27
Sycamore school board reviews district crisis plan
Camden Lazenby, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, July 28
The Monkeypox Outbreak: What School Leaders Need to Know
Evie Blad, Education Week, August 5
In today’s Leading News, national stories with local takes cover public school enrollment, staff and educator shortages, and coronavirus. Also in the news, a Woodstock CUSD 200 teacher earns a Grammy nominations.

As fewer kids enroll, big cities face a small schools crisis
Mila Koumpilova and Matt Barnum, Chalkbeat; Collin Binkley, Associated Press, August 1

Bus driver shortage leading to increased wages but also worry for districts, bus companies
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, July 31

Some southwest Illinois schools still have open teaching jobs with new year approaching
Belleville News-Democrat, August 2

Schools ‘cautiously optimistic’ about new year, but COVID-19 worries linger. ‘Don’t forget about people with extreme circumstances.’
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, August 1

Woodstock District 200 orchestra director earns Grammy recognition
Northwest Herald/Shaw Media, June 19

In today’s Leading News, Peoria Public Schools announces an addition to its school security systems. Monticello CUSD 25 seeks approval for non-resident tuition waivers for students of full-time staff.  Riverside-Brookfield THSD 208 posts a budget surplus. Orion CUSD 223 will allow home-schooled children to participate in extracurricular activities. Also in the news, a new Illinois collaboration aims to improve early childhood education.
'Something proactive': How new software enhances security at Peoria Public Schools
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, August 1
Monticello okays waiver for non-resident tuition for employees
Kevin Barlow, Piatt County Journal Republican, July 26
Beating revenue forecasts, RB posts budget surplus of $3.4M
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, July 26
Orion to allow home-schoolers to participate in extra-curriculars
Lisa Hammer, Sioux City Journal, July 23
A new statewide system seeks to improve access and equity around early childhood education and care
Tim Shelley, WCBU, Peoria, August 2

In today’s Leading News, districts, families, and communities are gearing up for back-to-school.

Tax rollback on school supplies starts Friday: Here's what you need to know
Patrick Keck, State Journal-Register, August 2

Back to School taking a bigger bite this year
Beth Welbers, Geneseo Republic, August 1

ALPLM plans Back to School Bash at Union Square Park on Saturday. What to know
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, August 1

Elgin-area barbershops offer free back-to-school haircuts for students in need
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 1
In today’s Leading News, DeKalb CUSD 428 students discuss personal safety. Springfield SD 186 has a tentative contract deal with teachers. Granite City CUSD 9 increases pay for substitute teachers. Also in the news, seeking clarity on a name.
‘There’s like fights every other day’: Area youth talk about issues experienced in DeKalb District 428 schools
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, July 28
Tentative contract agreement reached between District 186, teachers union
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, Springfield, July 27
Granite City schools increase substitute pay
Alton Telegraph, July 28
Moving Toward ‘Glenbrook’, Not ‘Northfield’, High School Dist. 225
Tom Robb, Journal & Topics, Chicago suburbs, July 28

In today’s Leading News, boards of education consider what’s next after June referendums, and what others may be on the ballot in November and April.

Mahomet-Seymour school board asking public how to proceed
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, July 28

Neoga School Board Celebrates Referendum Results
Greg Sapp, WXEF, Effingham, July 29

Batavia school board approves $140M referendum for November ballot
Jonah Nink, Kane County Chronicle, July 20

Unit 1 tables annexation vote
Terra Temple, Metropolis Planet, July 28

Leading News

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