September 2022 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, Sycamore CUSD 427 parents aim for a fix to an ongoing calendar conflict. CPS reports on enrollment declines. School districts continue to work through the educator shortage. Also in the news, taking note of the dual-language programming in Elgin-based School District U-46.

Sycamore District 427 parents sound off on graduation scheduling conflict for boys track and field
Camden Lazenby, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, September 28

CPS loses another 8,300 students, its 11th straight year of enrollment declines
Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, September 28

District 204 officials warn 'we've never faced anything like' teacher hiring crunch
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 28

Decatur school board hears pleas for more staff
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 29

State superintendent calls U-46's dual language program 'a beautiful thing'
Alicia Febbre, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 27

In today’s Leading News, the St. Charles CUSD 303 board holds a discussion on its public participation policy. Questions continue to surround a CPS high school project. Quincy SD 172 offers updates on its change of insurance providers. Tuscola CUSD 301 enters mediation with paraprofessionals. Also in the news, the Galesburg Area Vocational Center sees a significant enrollment increase.

St. Charles School Board works on clarifying rules for public participation at board meetings
Eric Schelkopf, Shaw Media/Kane County Chronicle, September 29

Lawmaker to block $50M for Near South Side high school until Lightfoot, CPS address community concerns
Nader Issa, Lauren FitzPatrick and Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times, September 27

QPS expects 'near seamless transition' to new health insurance plan
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 28

Tuscola paraprofessionals, school district to enter federal mediation
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, September 22

Enrollment jumps 68% at Galesburg Area Vocational Center, which serves 8 schools
Samuel Lisec, Galesburg Register-Mail, September 21

In today’s Leading News, NPR reports on social and emotional learning linked with CRT as a flashpoint in education discourse. East Moline SD 37 opens a new early learning center. Communities for Center Cass SD 66 and McLean Co Unit District 5 seek support for referendums. Also in the news, Governor Pritzker appoints a new chair for ISBE.

How social-emotional learning became a frontline in the battle against CRT
Meg Anderson, National Public Radio, September 26

East Moline School District to cut ribbon on new Early Learning Center
Gary L. Krambeck, Quad City Times, September 17

Budgeting error lands DuPage County school district in financial distress: ‘We are performing education triage’
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, September 25

Unit 5 referendum supporters launch committee
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, September 26

Gov. Pritzker appoints former D219 high schools chief Steven Isoye to chair Illinois Board of Education
Daniel I. Dorfman, Pioneer Press/Skokie Review, September 20

In today’s Leading News, districts in Illinois work through issues of budgeting, data security, voting, instruction, and the educator shortage.

Revenues scrutinized before Dixon Public Schools OKs spending plan of $37.34 million
Troy E. Taylor, Sauk Valley News, September 23

QPS taking proactive approach to protect data
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 21

Wheeling High students kick off League of Women Voters-Dist. 214 voter registration drive
Eric Peterson, Daily Herald, September 11

Baum students deputized into the FBI: Federal Bureau of Instruction
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 22

Teacher, staff shortages put strain on McLean County districts
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, September 22

In today’s Leading News, North Chicago is set to resume a locally elected board after years of state oversight. Batavia PSD 101 approves budget with a surplus. A CPS school garden project hits hard times. Naperville CUSD 203 goes into overdrive for driver education cars. Also in the news, data on childhood obesity continues to raise concern.

State approves return of locally elected North Chicago school board;
‘This is a great compliment for the community’

Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, September 22

Batavia school board OKs 2023 budget, expected to have $1.5M surplus
Jonah Nink, Kane County Chronicle, September 21

Pete Leki ‘made a magical place’ at a North Side school garden.
Now his job — and the ecology program he created — is on the line. What went wrong?

Tracy Swartz, Chicago Tribune, September 13

'It was a wild chase for cars': District 203 purchases four electric vehicles for driver's ed fleet
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 20

One in five U.S. kids stricken with obesity as nation struggles for solutions to epidemic
Analisa Trofimuk, Lee Enterprises/Southern Illinoisan, September 25
In today’s Leading News, students and teachers respond to Illinois new media literacy law. CPS enrollment numbers continue to decline. A local author puts a book in kids’ hands in Roxana CUSD 1. Also in the news, something’s in the air on a Kewanee CUSD 229 elementary school field trip.

Math is the new civics? How educators use media literacy across classrooms
Peter Medlin, Northern Public Radio, DeKalb, September 20

Many Adults Did Not Learn Media Literacy Skills in High School. What Schools Can Do Now
Arianna Prothero, Education Week, September 19

CPS enrollment drops again, continuing decadelong slide
Nader Issa and Sarah Karp, Chicago Sun-Times, September 22

Roxana alum, author giving book to district's preK-1st grade students
Jill Moon, Alton Telegraph, September 21

Kewanee's Central students get up-close aviation lesson
Kewanee Star Courier, September 12
In today’ s Leading News, a tentative agreement has been reached in Mahomet-Seymour CUSD 3 teacher contract negotiations. Waukegan CUSD 60 reflects improvements in services. West Aurora USD 129 anticipates a budget surplus. Schools work on safety and security drills. Also in the news, people trade places in a Peoria Public Schools program.
Mahomet-Seymour teachers, district reach tentative agreement
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, September 21
Waukegan climbs from bottom to top tier in state ranking for serving diverse learners
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, September 20
West Aurora School District looking at surplus in budget
Linda Girardi, September 17Aurora Beacon-News
Lock down drills part of new school reality
John Badman, Alton Telegraph, September 20
Community leaders change roles for PPS Principal for a Day program
Demetrios Sanders, WMBD, Peoria, September 20
In today’s Leading News, schools address security concerns, training, programs, and policy. Also in the news, school district programs emphasize daily attendance.

Security is key for Paris High School
Daniel Briseno, Prairie Press, Paris, September 19

Churchill offers Galesburg police chance at active-shooter training in a school setting
Samuel Lisec, Galesburg Register-Mail, September 19

Adult supervision required, beginning Friday, for K-6 students at QHS football, basketball games
Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 13

Barrington High School locked down, student arrested for having pellet gun in the building
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele, Pioneer Press, Barrington, September 16

September is Attendance Awareness Month
Clint Walker, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, September 21
In today’s Leading News, Collinsville CUSD 10 partners with its community provider for on-site healthcare services at a middle school. Naperville CUSD 203 plans tech investment. A CPS school brings “Peace Warrior" training to students. Talks continue in staff contract negotiations in Prairie Grove Cons SD 46. Also in the news, old-school heat: Take a look at the old steam boilers, which were in use until now, at Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD 307.

SIHF Healthcare partners with Collinsville Middle School for onsite clinic
Charles Bolinger, Edwardsville Intelligencer, September 17

Naperville 203 plans $20 million technology investment over next five years
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 15, 2022

Peace Warriors’ — who draw inspiration from MLK — train CPS students in resisting, preventing violence
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, September 18

Prairie Grove District 46 paraprofessionals, bus drivers protest as contract negotiations stall
Aaron Dorman, Shaw Media/Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 17

BBCHS prepares to say goodbye to 1948 steam-heat boilers
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, September 19
In today’s Leading News, testing and vaccination measures impacting school personnel have been eased. Peoria Public Schools’ teachers union votes on a contract offer. Meridian CUSD 15 (Macon) starts work on new ag learning space. Also in the news, the “classics” in high school literature classes – are they changing?

Pritzker lifts final classroom COVID-19 mitigation, ending testing requirement for unvaccinated school workers
Mitchell Armentrout, Chicago Sun-Times, September 15

COVID-19 testing eased for unvaccinated school, childcare employees
Patrick Keck, State Journal-Register, Springfield, September 16

Peoria teachers union votes to ratify contract with District 150
WMBD, Peoria, September 18

Meridian High School begins construction on long-awaited ag facility
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 15

These high school ‘classics’ have been taught for generations – could they be on their way out?
Andrew Newman, The Conversation, September 16
In today’s Leading News, Illinois districts are among those impacted by a hack of the SeeSaw school messaging app. Mahomet-Seymour CUSD teachers vote to authorize a strike. Schools remove milk from their menus after reports of illness and faulty product. Reporting continues on law enforcement ticketing students for school infractions. Also in the news, Quad Cities school districts hold a candidate forum for potential school board members.

Popular school messaging app hacked to send explicit image to parents
Kevin Collier, NBC News, September 14

Mahomet-Seymour teachers union votes to authorize strike
Ethan Simmons, Champaign News-Gazette, September 15

School districts U-46 and 300 stop serving milk after reports of illness and ‘incorrectly formulated’ products
Gloria Casas and Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, September 16

Racial disparities in ticketing, other school discipline revealed at suburban high school District 211
Jodi S. Cohen and Jennifer Smith Richards, ProPublica/Chicago Tribune, September 14

Quad City Illinois school districts gather for board member recruitment meeting
Nina Burns, WQAD, Quad Cities, September 15
In today’s Leading News, local, state, and national history is being made in football and leadership when DuSable meets Fenger.  Iroquois students are out of the classroom today due to reports of violence and a suspect at large. Glen Ellyn SD 41 offers conversation about a November referendum. Also in the news, a new classroom opens, to the air, at Libertyville High School; the air will clear in Sycamore schools as well.

DuSable vs. Fenger is more than a game — it’s the 1st time in IHSA history that 2 Black women will face off as head football coaches
Shakeia Taylor, Chicago Tribune, September 15

With suspect in Amtrak sexual assault still at large, Iroquois West cancels school Thursday
Carla Waters, Iroquois County Time-Republic/Champaign News-Gazette, September 15

$49M Bond Referendum Proposal For District 41: Info Sessions Planned
Lisa Marie Farver, Glen Ellyn Patch, September 15

Sycamore school district uses federal COVID-19 relief funds to invest in air purifiers
Camden Lazenby, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, September 7

A work of art and nature: Prairie Classroom officially dedicated at Libertyville High
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 14
In today’s Leading News, mediation continues for Peoria Public Schools and its teachers union. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 will keep its sex ed curriculum. Kewanee CUSD 229 plans for a new fieldhouse. Hinsdale THSD 86 maintains COVID testing.  Also in the news, districts move forward on school lunch programs.

PFT and PPS to meet a third time with federal mediator
WMBD, Peoria, September 12

Indian Prairie District 204 says it's keeping health and sex ed classes the same this year
Kevin Schmit, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 13

Plans are in the works to add a new fieldhouse at Kewanee High School
Mike Helenthal, Kewanee Star Courier, September 5

Hinsdale District 86 will continue to use Northshore Clinical Labs for optional on-site COVID testing
Zareen Syed, Pioneer Press, Hinsdale, September 6

Families asked to fill out free-lunch forms again as federal waivers end
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, September 10
In today’s Leading News, McLean Co Unit District 5 invokes a law that limits tenured teachers from resigning to work in another district during a school year. St. Charles CUSD 303 hods community engagement sessions. Granite City CUSD 9 struggles with bus issues. Wethersfield CUSD 230 expands high school course offerings through Black Hawk College. Also in the news, a settlement is reached in a case centered on CPS teacher dismissals from 2012 to 2014.

Rejecting teacher resignations, Unit 5 tests how Illinois might respond to staffing shortage
Michele Steinbacher, WGLT, Normal, September 8

District 303 wraps up first round of listening sessions
Eric Schelkopf, Shaw Media/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 11

Granite City schools deal with bus headaches
Scott Marion, Alton Telegraph, September 12

Wethersfield students gravitate to Blackhawk dual credit courses
Dave Clarke, Kewanee Star Courier, September 12

Judge OKs $9.25 million settlement between Chicago schools and teachers union
AP/Chicago Tribune, September 8
In today’s Leading News, media coverage continues as Illinois school districts navigate collective bargaining, ongoing talks, and mediation. Also in the news, duistricts seek answers to school facilities questions.

Mahomet-Seymour teachers reject latest contract proposal by wide margin
Dave Hinton, Champaign News-Gazette, September 8, 2022

Bradley assistant law professor explains teachers' union strike process
Collin Schopp, WCBU, Peoria, September 8

Student numbers in District 186 slightly down; class sizes still a concern for SEA head
Steven Spearie, State Journal-Register, September 7

Southwest IL school was condemned. $26M grant means students will get a new building
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, September 6

DeKalb District 428 could buy NIU School of Nursing’s building to alleviate overcrowding
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, September 8
In today’s Leading News, Illinois is distinguished in a New York Times piece on media literacy. Huntley Community SD 158 offers new methods for student support. Also in the news, getting creative with recognizing student success and social and emotional health.

When Teens Find Misinformation, These Teachers Are Ready
Tiffany Hsu, New York Times, September 8

New student helpline at Huntley schools provides real-time support
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 1

Reading rewards shared by school vending machines
John Badman, Alton Telegraph, September 7

Making something old new again at Clinton High School
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 7

School hopes ‘life-changing’ donation — 3 horses — will help stressed students heal
Michael Loria, Chicago Sun-Times, September 2

In today’s Leading News, stay up to date on the ongoing coverage of school safety and security issues. Also in the news, the teacher shortage in Illinois prompts conversation on causes and solutions.

How Illinois schools prepare for mass shootings Pt. 3
WFLD/Fox 32, Chicago
Are schools safer? States' varying efforts to prevent school shootings reflect political divides
Andrew DeMillo, AP/Bloomington Pantagraph, September 6

School gun case sparks debate over safety and second chances
Martha Irvine,  AP/Belleville News Democrat, September 8

Barickman: Political attacks on educators have worsened teacher shortage
Ryan Denham, WGLT, Bloomington, August 30

Teacher, support staff shortage prompts ‘all hands on deck’ as new school year gets underway
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, September 3
In today’s Leading News, west central school districts manage staffing shortage issues. Prospect Heights SD 23 takes classroom instruction outside. A DuPage County appeals court sends a case back, citing inconsistencies. McLean County school districts seek to garner state funds. Also in the news, the Associated Press takes a national look at student mental health.

School districts in region get creative to entice bus drivers, substitute teachers
Darren Iozia, Journal Courier, Jacksonville, September 6

Dist. 23 To Unveil New Outdoor Learning Spaces
Journal & Topics, Chicago suburbs, September 4

Appeals court throws out 'legally inconsistent' verdicts in ex-teacher's case
Charles Keeshan, Susan Sarkauskas, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 2

McLean County schools see cautious opportunity in state fund growth
Connor Wood, Bloomington Pantagraph, August 29

Youth mental health is in crisis. Are schools doing enough?
Jocelyn Geker, Dylan Lovan, AP/ Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 17
In today’s Leading News, Quincy Public Schools votes to withdraw from its insurance provider. Yorkville CUSD 115 plans for growth, Peoria SD 150 seeks solutions for absenteeism, and CPS looks at preschool attendance rates. Also in the news, concern and care in Texas as Uvalde schools reopen.

QPS withdraws from health insurance provider
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 1

Yorkville School District Y115 projects enrollment to increase by more than 700 in less than 10 years; eyes second middle school
Mark Foster, Kendall County Now, September 6

More than 40% of Peoria Public School students were chronically absent in 2021
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, September 1

Why aren’t more Chicago parents going for free universal preschool?
Nereida Moreno, WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times, August 27

Uvalde school year starts amid fear and unfinished security
Paul J. Weber, AP/The Southern Illinoisan, September 6
In today’s Leading News, Rochelle CCSD 231 aims for improvement with attendance centers. Danville CCSD 118  facilities work addresses school safety and security. Districts and ROEs convene as families seek a reprieve for Sorento Elementary School. Also in the news, national and regional takes on the educator shortage.

Elementary school district enters second year of attendance center model
Jeff Helfrich, Rochelle News Leader, August 30

Danville school building projects address needs, safety
Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial-News, September 1

Sorento School loses bid to switch school districts and stay open in Metro East
Blythe Bernhard, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 31

America's kids are going back to school. Not all of their teachers will join them
Leila Fadel, Nell Clark, Ziad Buchh, NPR, August 31

Teacher shortage could 'destroy public education' in western Illinois if it continues
Samuel Lisec, Galesbrug Register-Mail, September 1
In today’s Leading News, the Green Schools Project continues. Ottawa ESD 141 will maintain its meal program. Schools seek staffing solutions. Bloomington SD 87 works on a deficit. Also in the news, a new ROE 1 employee visits west central Illinois schools.

Illinois Green Schools Project Enters Third Year With Goal of Reducing Carbon Emissions
Yahya Salem, WTTW, Chicago, August 23

Ottawa Elementary to provide free breakfast, lunch to all students
Shaw Local/Ottawa Times, August 30

'We need a lot more people': Staffing shortages bedevil school districts
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 27

Bloomington District 87's structural budget deficit expected to shrink
Kelsey Watznauer, Bloomington Pantagraph, August 17

ROE therapy dog works to "brighten your day"
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 31

Leading News

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The links to articles posted here are selected daily from news sources across Illinois, and sometimes beyond, provided as a service to our membership. These links go directly to the original source (print, broadcast, or online media) of the article. The purpose of sharing these links is to give readers of this site a wider perspective on state and local issues impacting public education. IASB neither endorses nor verifies the content.