September 2023 Leading News

In today’s Leading News, read more media coverage of more budget approvals.

Dixon Public Schools Board approves $41.2M budget: ‘We’re in a much better place now’
Charlene Bielema, Shaw Local/Sauk Valley News, September 23

Revised budget looks better for QPS
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 27

Bourbonnais School Board OKs FY 2024 budget
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, September 28

Centralia High School approves $19-million budget
WJBD, Salem, September 17

Galena school board approves FY24 budget
Murphy Obershaw, Galena Gazette, September 26
In today’s Leading News, Kaneland CUSD 302 sets its e-learning days plan. Champaign CUSD 4 will add metal detectors to middle schools. Buddies find benefit from Mt. Zion CUSD 3’s adaptive PE class. Plans continue for a pool for Rock Island High School. Also in the news, Mattoon CUSD 2 teams up for culinary education.

Kaneland school board approves plan for emergency e-learning days
Chris Walker, Shaw Local/Daily Herald, September 27

Metal detectors coming to Champaign middle schools
 Jeff D’Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, September 28

Special bonds emerge from adaptive PE class
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 26

New views afloat on Rock Island High School's new pool
Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, September 28

Mattoon LIFT culinary arts students getting real world experience
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette & Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, September 26
In today’s Leading News, read about some of the many ways students are using their voices.

District Leaders Are Walking a Fine Line on Cellphone Policies. What That Looks Like
Elizabeth Heubeck, Education Week, September 25

Grant helps provide videos telling story of QPS buildings
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, September 23

'We feel like our own person:' Students embrace dress code changes at District 186 schools
Zach Roth, Springfield State Journal- Register, September 26

Yorkville High School Y115 students blast board members for removing book from English class
Mark Foster, Kendall County Now, September 26

'Now that we have it, it's amazing': High school girls flag football is growing in the suburbs
Dave Oberhelman, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 7
In today’s Leading News, read a national story on school districts moving to 4-day weeks. Decatur SD 61 reaches an agreement with its teaching assistants. Collinsville CUSD 10 eyes improvements to its vocational education center. Also in the news, Highland and Bluffs seek safer walking routes for their communities.

More schools are adopting 4-day weeks. For parents, the challenge is day 5
Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press, September 25

Decatur teaching assistants ratify two-year contract
Scott Perry, Decatur Herald and Review, September 23

What will Collinsville vocational center get with $25 million expansion and renovation?
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, September 25

Highland leaders hope citizen survey leads to improved safety for students
Elizabeth Donald, Highland News-Leader/Belleville News Democrat, September 13

Bluffs trying to secure grant to build sidewalks for students
Ben Singson, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, September 25
In today’s Leading News, districts big and small discuss IAR test outcomes. School and health officials seek the source of an E. coli outbreak affecting students at Huntley High School. Waukegan CUSD 60 looks towards full-day preschool plans. Also in the news, students experience science.

CPS elementary students’ IAR test scores show partial gains in reading and math — and also disparities
Sarah Macaraeg, Chicago Tribune, September 19

Salem Grade School Superintendent excited about test score improvement
WJBD, Salem, September 22

Search continues for source of E. coli outbreak at Huntley High
Claire O’Brien, Shaw Local News Network/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 24

Waukegan D60 looking to expand all-day preschool program; ‘They have increased time developing social skills’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, September 22

Budding kid scientists set off 90 model volcanoes for Museum of Science and Industry’s 90th anniversary
Isabel Funk , Chicago Sun-Times, September 21
In today’s Leading News, school districts face challenges presented by violence and concerns for student security.

Round Lake 116 schools shut down over concerns about expelled high school student
Doug T. Graham, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 21

Community grapples with slaying of Hillcrest freshman as details emerge from Homecoming night shooting
Hank Sanders, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, September 20

Accidental activation sent lockdown notification at Dunlap Monday
Sean Lisitza, WMBD, Peoria, September 18

Five students expelled from Alton High after fights
Dylan Suttles, Alton Telegraph, September 19

Districts 123, 122, 229 Unite for Enhanced School Safety
Oak Lawn Patch, September 20
In today’s Leading News, Lake County school districts use grants to address educator shortage. The Streator THSD 40 board votes to nix its block schedule. Districts continue the annual budget process. Also in the news, some CPS families struggle without bussing.

Lake County school districts to use state grants to recruit, retain teachers
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, September 18

Streator High School Board votes to get rid of block schedule
Derek Barichello, Shaw Media/Illinois Valley, September 20

District 186 school board approves deficit budget; tax shortfall big part of it
Steven Spearie, Springfield State Journal- Register, September 19

Unit 5 adopts 2023-24 budget shored up with working cash reserves
Drew Zimmerman, Bloomington Pantagraph, September 20

Without busing, CPS parents tell board of ed, they’re commuting for hours and risking their jobs
Sarah Macaraeg and Nell Salzman, Chicago Tribune, September 20
In today’s Leading News, Springfield SD 186 points to license plates at a dangerous intersection. Decatur SD 61 elementary students ring the bell. Yorkville CUSD 115 plans a water source, while Rock Ridge class learns about wine.  Also in the news, a gym-class classic booms in the mainstream market.

District 186 agrees to license plate reader near Butler Elementary School
Caroleina Hassett, WICS, Springfield, September 18

Parsons scholars ring the bell to celebrate success
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 14

Yorkville plans new water well on high school property
Mark Foster, Kendall County Now, September 14

River Ridge horticulture students visit vineyard and learn about wine production
Galena Gazette, September 19

'Inundated with interest': Utah-based pickleball company plans major expansion in suburbs
Mick Zawislak, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 19
In today’s Leading News, CPS adjusts its selective high school admissions test. The school board for Alton CUSD 11 continues disciplinary hearings after a fight at a football game. Aurora and its weighs in on TIF districts. Cahokia Unit SD 187 plans for a new high school. Also in the news, Riverside-Brookfield partners for a vocational training course.

CPS shortens high school admissions test but pauses plan that would have diversified selective schools
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 14

Hearings now planned for 15 Alton High students
Ronald DeBrock, Alton Telegraph, September 18

Aurora approves two new TIF districts
Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, September 14

Cahokia moves forward with funding for new high school. How will the district pay for it?
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, September 14

Plumbing training course coming to RB High School
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, September 14

In today’s Leading News, conversations about literacy make headlines in Illinois. Also in the news, school districts mourn and offer support in the wake of weekend tragedies.

Low literacy rates send Winnebago County into strategy mode
Dillon Valencia, WREX, Rockford, August 30

Liberty Elementary promotes youth literacy with grant
Quincy Herald-Whig, September 7

State Rep. Mayfield behind drafting of Illinois Literacy Plan; ‘I knew we needed to do something’
Steve Sadin, Lake County News-Sun, August 25

A Southern Illinois Community Mourns the Loss of Three High School Students
Jeff Williams, WSIU, Carbondale, September 17

14-year-old Hillcrest High School student killed in shooting after homecoming football game against Oak Forest
Hank Sanders, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, September 16
In today’s Leading News, discussion picks up about state’s Invest in Kids Act scholarship tax credit program for private school contributions. More school districts are joining a federal lawsuit against social media companies. The IHSA has updated its policies regarding participation for transgender athletes. A report looks at the COVID generation in schools. Also in the news, the Illinois law banning book bans comes before the U.S. Senate.

Private school leaders fight to save Invest in Kids Act scholarships
Allison Novelo and Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times, September 13 

Elgin U-46 joins lawsuit targeting social media companies for harming youth
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, September 12

IHSA policy update requires transgender athletes to ask for permission to play
Lauren Warnecke, WGLT, Bloomington, September 12

Scathing new report says American schools are ‘failing the COVID generation’
Zachary Schermele, USA Today, September 13

In Washington, GOP senators grill Alexi Giannoulias over Illinois anti-book-ban law
Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, September 12
In today’s Leading News, Meridian CUSD 15 (Macon) opens its new agriculture education facility. Paris Union SD 95 responds to a corrective action plan and investigation into grant spending. Rock Island/Milan SD 41 discusses pool plans. Peoria Public Schools hears from communities about programming. Also in the news, theme ideas clash in the suburbs.

Meridian High School's long-awaited ag facility is a reality
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 31

Paris 95 issues new statement, receives hefty pay-back proposal from ISBE
Robby Tucker, Prairie Press, Paris, September 11

Public will hear pool options for Rock Island-Milan schools
Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, September 11

'There's no art': How programming changes at some Peoria schools have led to frustration
Leslie Renken, Peoria Journal Star, September 11

USA v. Barbie: Controversy erupts over football game theme at Rolling Meadows High School
Christopher Placek and Charles Keeshan, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 14
In today’s Leading News, the Chicago Tribune and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum collaborate on a series about the Underground Railroad in Illinois. Also in the news, school districts continue to deal with transportation challenges.

Illinois’ Underground Railroad: Stories of escaping enslavement
Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, September 12

Illinois’ Underground Railroad: A glossary of terms to know
Darcel Rockett and Tina E. Akouris, Chicago Tribune, September 11

Keeping track of your kids: Unit 40 rolling out new transportation software
Nick Taylor, Efingham Daily News, September 6

Unit 4's new pitch to new bus drivers: Work for us, get $2,500 sign-on bonus
Jeff D’Alessio, Champaign News-Gazette, September 11

Cary Dist. 26 board to vote again on plan for bus parking at former school site
Michelle Meyer, Shaw Local News Network, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 5
In today’s Leading News, students of a Decatur SD 61 school return to classroom learning. Lake County ROE joins forces with North Central College to further education offerings. Dunlap CUSD 323 receives a report on a special education review. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley CUSD 5 talks TIFs. Also in the news, marking the 9/11 anniversary.

Dennis Lab School celebrates being back in class
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, September 8

North Central College teams up with Lake County Regional Office of Education
Lake County Journal/Shaw Media, September 7

Illinois Human Rights Authority issues report on Dunlap school district's special education programming
Tim Shelley, WCBU, Peoria

GCMS approves agreement with city on TIF district funding
Ford County Chronicle, September 4

High schools teach about 9/11 to students with no memory of the day, and sometimes from families who didn’t live here
Alexandra Kukulka, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs
In today’s Leading News, school districts and communities wrestle with hot-topic concerns including AI, swatting, “controversial” books, gun safety, and school meals.

State creates task force to consider merits, needed regulations for AI
Patrick Keck, Springfield State Journal- Register, September 5

'A horrible hoax': School swatting takes phony threats to a new, emotional, costly level
Alicia Fabbre, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, September 9

Yorkville School Board removes title from English class for being "too controversial"
Ethan Kruger, WSPY, Plano, September 8

Gun storage information should come from school, D97 parents say
Amaris E. Rodriguez, Wednesday Journal, Oak Park, September 8

Regardless of income, all students in Belleville 118, other districts, get meals free
Kelly Smits, Belleville News-Democrat, September 6
In today’s Leading News, districts and communities aim to improve support, transition, and early childhood programs. Also in the news, calculating the impacts of math education.

Baby Fold offers emotional support training at Fairview Elementary School
Melissa Ellin, WGLT, Normal, September 6

Kankakee Dist.111's transition program finds new home in Meadowview
Stephanie Markham, Kankakee Daily Journal, September 5

Illinois early childhood initiative conducting Jo Daviess online survey
Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, September 5

One way to boost students' scores? Help teachers conquer their math anxiety
Ariel Gilreath, The Hechinger Report/Alton Telegraph, September 5

College students are still struggling with basic math. Professors blame the pandemic
Collin Binkley, AP/Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, August 31

In today’s Leading News, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits a Springfield SD 186 elementary school. WBEZ reports on the next stage of CPS’s move to an elected school board. Teachers at a Chicago charter school won’t strike as they approach an agreement with the school. Also in the news, school districts receive news about funding.

Cardona: Fairview after-school program 'example of what we need to see across the country'
Steven Spearie, Springfield State Journal- Register, September 7

Hopes and fears abound as Chicago moves toward an elected school board
Sarah Karp, WBEZ, Chicago, September 7

Teachers call off strike at Chicago art-focused school as agreement nears
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, September 6

State funding works to 'balance' disparity in schools
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, August 24

Macon County schools to receive additional funding
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, August 30

In today’s Leading News, school districts make decisions on safety and security issues. Also in the news, CPS renames a school after a White Sox legend.

Yorkville School District Y115 moving ahead with beefed up security plan
Mark Foster, Kendall County Now, August 30

Alton High installs weapon detectors
Ronald DeBrock, Editor, Alton Telegraph, September 4

Arlington Heights School District 25 board still mulling resource officers for middle school
Elizabeth Owens-Schiele, Pioneer Press/Arlington Heights Post, August 29

Unit 40 approves advertising for additional security personnel
Effingham Daily News, September 1

White Sox legend Minnie Minsoo gets Chicago school named for him after CPS drops Civil War general from title
Chicago Tribune, August 17

In today’s Leading News, districts cope with back-to-school season bringing violence, fights, and threats.

Alton school fights 'senseless and embarrassing'
Ronald DeBrock, Alton Telegraph, August 31

Peoria Public Schools cancels activities at five schools amid wave of gun violence
JJ Bullock, Peoria Journal Star, August 31

Police arrest four juveniles in connection with fight on Mattoon school bus
Rob Stroud, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, August 31

‘Shots fired’ swatting call causes police, parents to descend on Carpentersville high school
Gloria Casas, Elgin Courier-News, August 30

As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other
Elissa Nadworny and Lee V. Gaines, NPR and NPR Illinois August 30
In today’s Leading News, DeKalb CUSD 428 updates its policy concerning Faith’s Law, and Clinton CUSD 15 discusses bullying. Teachers at a Chicago charter school have set a strike deadline. FFA chapters can request grants supporting mental health. Also in the news, in CHSD 128, a Libertyville High School student project seeks volunteers to help restore Lake Butler.

Faith’s Law aims to shape response, prevent sexual abuse in DeKalb District 428 schools
Megann Horstead, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, August 31

Clinton Board of Education Discusses Bullying Policy
DeWitt Daily News, August 30

Teachers at Chicago art-focused school set strike deadline
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, August 31

State leaders announce FFA mental health awareness grant program
Andrew, Adams, CNI/Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, August 29

How to help Libertyville High School students with Butler Lake shoreline restoration
Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs,  August 28

Leading News

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