Leading News Archives May 2019

May 31, 2019
In today’s Leading News, it’s the final scheduled day of the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, with plenty still to be decided. Another high school yearbook has been recalled for reprint. Also in the news, a centennial celebration is taking place in Elverado CUSD 196 in Elkville.

Peter Hancock, CNI, The Times, Ottawa, May 31

Cassie Buchman, State Journal-Register, May 29

Peter Hancock, CNI, The Telegraph, Alton, May 23

Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 29
Marilyn Halstead, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 29

May 30, 2019
In today’s Leading News, the Peoria Journal-Star looks at the fiscal year budget for Peoria Public Schools. Students at Illini West HSD 307 take to technology. Ottawa ESD 141 considers a proposed TIF extension. There’s a booming demand for buses in CHSD 218 (Oak Lawn). Also in the news, Decatur SD 61 plans additional programs for before and after school.

Early peek at Peoria school budget shows both a deficit and fiscal stability
Scott Hilyard, Peoria Journal Star, May 27

Engaging students with technology
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 25

Ottawa Elementary nears agreement with city for downtown TIF
Brent Bader, Ottawa Times, May 24

District 218 purchases three new buses for students participating in activities
Gregory Tejeda, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 22

Decatur Public Schools to offer new before- and after-school programs 
Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, May 28

May 29, 2019
In today’s Leading News, property tax proposals cleared the House Revenue and Finance Committee yesterday. Lawmakers consider a “sweeping bill” to protect students from sexual abuse. Superintendents advocate for the return of, and funding for, the school construction grants. Also in the news, programs in McHenry and Piatt counties look at ways to identify and assist students with mental health issues.

Measures to create property tax task force,
relief fund pass Illinois House committee
Jerry Nowicki, CNI, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 28

State lawmakers poised to pass changes
following Chicago Public Schools sex abuse scandal
Jennifer Smith Richards, and David Jackson, Chicago Tribune, May 28

School officials advocating for construction grant re-establishment
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, Jacksonville Journal-Courier, May 28

How McHenry County is training educators to detect youth mental health issues
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 28

Health workers could be placed in schools
Steve Hoffman, Piatt County Journal Republican, May 14

May 28, 2019
In today’s Leading News, the discussion will continue on altering the mathematics requirements for high school graduation. A participation policy for students not in attendance is reviewed in Yorkville CUSD 115. Hinsdale THSD 86 announces changes to club funding. Waukegan CUSD 60 will use outside firm to investigate allegations of discrimination. Also in the news, students offer plans to make a heavily-traveled intersection safer.

Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, May 20

Katie Finlon, Kendall County Now, May 22

Kimberly Fornek, Pioneer Press/The Doings, Hinsdale, May 21

Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, May 17

Brittany Keeperman, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 22

May 24, 2019
In today’s Leading News, teachers of students with special needs speak out against lowering teacher licensing requirements. Teachers unions say the Illinois’ 3-percent cap on raises is driving teachers out of the state. Zeigler-Royalton CUSD 188 placed Bibles in the lockers of graduating eighth-graders; prompting pushback. Wheeling CCSD 21 continues to plan for all-day kindergarten. Also in the news, ROWVA CUSD 208 discusses HB 3053 and a new studio for student video projects.

Lyndsay Jones, News-Gazette, Champaign, May 23

Peter Hancock, CNI/The State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 22

Isaac Smith, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale,  May 22

Jennifer Shea, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 20

Linda Bell, The Register-Mail, Galesburg, May 22

May 23, 2019
In today’s Leading News, new Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will replace the members of the CPS Board of Education. Another high school yearbook has been halted, this time after a quote attributed to Nazi leaders was printed in a THSD 113 edition. Argo CHSD 217 delayed its graduation ceremony after a series of threats. Morton CUSD 709 will spend $2 million on improvements for its junior high facility. Also in the news, Elgin-based School District U-46 and a local credit union will offer “affinity cards,” branded credit and debit cards with some proceeds going to the schools.

All 7 members of the Chicago Board of Education step down
Mitchell Armentrout, Fran Spielman, and Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, May 23

Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, May 22

Chicago Tribune, May 22

Steve Sein, Journal Star, Peoria, May 22

Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 21

May 22, 2019
In today’s Leading News, Arlington Heights-based THSD 214 approves a district improvement plan. Homeowners object to a proposed gym annex at a northside CPS elementary school. Alden-Hebron SD 19 considers options after a failed referendum. Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 will pay to reprint yearbooks after photos were published including a hand signal understood by many associated with white nationalism. Also in the news, Pontiac CCSD 429 students leave their marks.

Emma Dempsey, Journal and Topics, Chicago suburbs, May 17

Hannah Leone, Chicago Tribune, May 17

Brittany Keeperman, Northwest Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 18

Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, May 21

Erich Murphy, Pontiac Daily Leader, May 18

May 21, 2019
In today’s Leading News, WBEZ looks at SB1226, which would eliminate the state’s charter school commission. Educators who search for teaching materials on global climate issues often find unsound science and “borderline propaganda.” Hillsboro CUSD 3 considers changing its high school grading scale. Current and former Monticello CUSD 3 students and teachers reminisce as a century-old school building hosts visitors on its final days. Also in the news, Waukegan CUSD 60 looks to regain preschool funding.

Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, WBEZ, Chicago, May 21

AP/Chicago Sun-Times, May 14

Mike Plunkett, Hillsboro Journal-News, May 16

Steve Hoffman, News-Gazette, Champaign, May 19

Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, May 19

May 20, 2019
In today’s Leading News, an ISBE grant to Northern Illinois University will provide professional development for math teachers. Orland SD 135 looks at a plan to sell bonds for roofs and refinancing. Danville CCSD 118 considers the next wave of tech upgrades. The Illinois House and Senate have passed a bill that would, in effort to address the state’s teacher shortage, place a hold on teacher licensing testing. Also in the news, a Community Unit School District 300 program with Elgin Community College sees students walking two graduations.

NIU receives $1.6M grant for Rockford teachers
Rockford Register Star, May 16

Orland School District 135 plans to sell $10 million in bonds
Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 17

District 118 OKs technology upgrade
Carol Roehm, Danville Commercial-News, May 16

Bill suspending teacher basic skills test heads to Illinois governor
Peter Hancock, CNI/The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 19

District 300 students first to earn high school diplomas
and 2-year college degrees
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 19

May 17, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a group of education advocates backs a statewide infrastructure plan that would include school projects. Decatur School District gave parents an inside look at the future of their facilities plan. One district has decided to add cycling to their PE curriculum. The Charleston School District is planning to extend a student leadership program based on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Finally in the news, Abington-Avon students will stretch their legs with the Walking School Bus initiative.

Billions needed for school construction backlogs 
Jerry Nowicki, CNI/The Telegraph, Alton, May 15

Peering into the future: Parents, teachers check out
details of Decatur schools' facilities plan

Analisa Trofimuk, Decatur Herald and Review, May 16

Naperville North to incorporate cycling into PE classes
Lauren Rohr, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 15

Charleston school board to consider student leadership program
Dave Fopay, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, May 15

Walking School Bus comes to A-Town 
Hannah Donsbach and Matt Koester, Galesburg Register-Mail, May 13

May 16, 2019
In today’s Leading News, Oswego-based CUSD 308 hears calls for a referendum re-try. Kankakee SD 111 considers a change to its conflict of interest policy. Also in the news, Dixon High School looks at changes a year after a shooting incident, while nationally, the discussion turns to “strategy” and “mindset” in response to school shooting incidents.

Shea Lazansky, Kendall County Now, May 15

David Giuliani, Daily Journal, Kankakee, May 15

Rachel Rodgers, Sauk Valley News, May 15

Carolyn Thompson and Michael Melia, AP/Chicago Tribune, May 10

Carolyn Thompson and Michael Melia, AP/Alton Telegraph, May 10

May 15, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a look at the pros and cons of offering private suites – for a price – at high school graduations. The ag program is growing at Okaw Valley CUSD 302. Oak Park-River Forest HSD 200 reconsiders a college collaboration based on honor code conflicts. Quincy SD 172 is developing a process for approving weighted classes. Also in the news, an Arcola CUSD 306 bus driver returns to visit students at school after an accident.

Amanda Marrazzo, Chicago Tribune, May 13

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 13

Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, May 4

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 14

Noelle McGee, The News-Gazette, Champaign, May 13

May 14, 2019
In today’s Leading News, Chester CUSD 139 approves a method to manage student cellphones during the school day. United THSD 30 offers an all-girls retreat discussing femininity, safety and health. Palatine CCSD 15 discusses communication systems with vendors and first responders. Elgin-based School District U-46 works with its community on resources and programs for homeless students. Also in the news, Streator THSD 40 students feel the heat in career education.

Chester school board seated;
members approve cellphone pouches for high schoolers
Don Berry, Randolph County Herald Tribune, May 9

UT Board passes amended budget, learns about all-girls retreat
Graham Ambrose, Quad Cities Dispatch-Argus, May 13

Vendor claims District 15 wasted money on Motorola two-way radio deal
Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 13

U-46 program aims to lift students, families out of homelessness
Madhu Krishnamurthy, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, May 13

Streator High School students get lesson at 2,000 degrees
Michael Urbanec, Ottawa Times, May 7

May 13, 2019
In today’s Leading News, it’s about time: Carlinville student state their case against Daylight Savings Time. Cell phones aren’t helping schools deal with fights. Read the story behind a working its way through the General Assembly that would allow schools to buy glucagon. Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233 responds to criticism over a blackface incident. Also in the news, esports are growing in popularity, but are they sports?

The Telegraph, Alton, May 8

Mike Koziatek, Belleville News-Democrat, May 6

Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, May 9

denies school unfairly disciplines black students 
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 6

Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, May 5

May 10, 2019
In today’s Leading News, art is everywhere: on football fields, in STEM classes that incorporate art and art classes that incorporate STEM, in the middle of the cafeteria where a custodian paints student portraits, and even, although recently restored, on the dark side of a drop ceiling.

QHS all-girl bass drum line 'made a name' for itself
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, May 6

Stevenson High School engineering students modify instrument
so third-grader with disability could play it
Todd Shields, Pioneer Press/Lincolnshire Review, April 22

Cobden High School students get hands-on lessons in art, STEM
with guitar-building class
Molly Parker, The Southern Illinoisan, Carbondale, May 5

Meet the Thomas Jefferson custodian who paints portraits for students
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, April 23

Aurora school's Depression-era mural, obscured for decades
by a drop ceiling, has been restored
Linda Girardi, The Beacon-News, Aurora, May 9

May 9, 2019
In today’s Leading News, with recent incidents in the Chicago suburbs, the Daily Southtown covers a report released last week by the Southern Poverty Law Center that indicates an increase in bias incidents among school-age students. Niles THSD 219 is expected to pay a settlement to teachers who taught class sizes above a contractual agreement. Ludlow CCSD 142 sets its school calendar, and Naperville CUSD 203 examines its budget. Also in the news, students subdued the gunman during the STEM School shooting tragedy in Highlands Range, Colorado.

Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, May 8

Phil Rockrohr, Pioneer Press/Skokie Review, May 8

Dave Hinton, Rantoul Press, May 7

Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, May 7

Kathleen Foody, P. Solomon Banda and Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press, Journal Gazette and Times Courier, Charleston/Mattoon, May 9

May 8, 2019
In today’s Leading News, ISBE is asking legislators to reconsider the property tax abatement clause in the school funding formula. School districts discuss a bill that would require schools teach about the diversity in society, including contributions of LGBT individuals. Elgin-based School District U-46 has finalized its contract agreement with teachers. The Elmhurst SD 205 board rejects a municipal plan for stormwater abatement. Also in the news, after 40 years of service, the career of Lyons Elem SD 103 school board member Joanne Schaeffer comes to a close.

Senators Rethink ISBE Property Tax Relief Plan
Dusty Rhodes, WUIS Education Desk, Springfield, May 7

LGBT book bill faces local opposition
Dawn Schabbing, Effingham Daily News, May 6

U46 school board OKs new teachers contract calling for 3.85% pay raises
and health insurance hikes
Rafael Guerrero, The Courier-News, Elgin, May 7

Outgoing Elmhurst District 205 Board rejects agreement with city
on stormwater plan
Graydon Megan, Pioneer Press, Elmhurst News, May 7

Over and out after four decades
Bob Skolnik, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, May 7

May 7, 2019
In today’s Leading News, the Belleville News-Democrat looks at issues around discipline. Updated: strikes end at CPS charter schools. A “virtual field trip” brings history to the classroom in Central A & M CUD 21. Upgrades are planned for a North Shore SD 112 junior high. Also in the news, transportation providers get rebates to replace older buses.

Recent criminal investigations reveal ways teachers can’t punish kids.
What can they do?
Lexi Cortes, Belleville News-Democrat, May 6

Teachers at last 2 charter schools reach agreement, ending strike
Sam Kelly, Chicago Sun-Times, May 6

D-Day 75th anniversary: Central A&M students participate
in worldwide 'electronic field trip' 
Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 2

$40 million makeover of Northwood Junior High School set
to begin this summer in Highland Park
Karen Berkowitz, Pioneer Press/Highland Park News, April 25

First Student gets rebate to help replace older buses
State Journal-Register, Springfield, May 2

May 6, 2019
In today’s Leading News, let’s do lunch. Some districts see an increase in school lunch prices, others undertake plans for facilities and quality improvement, and they’ll consider allergies, a key factor in the methods and means of service student lunches.

Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 24

Lyle R. Rolfe, Kendall County Now, April 26

Steve Sadin, Pioneer Press/Deerfield Review, April 1

Bob Susnjara, Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs, April 5

Valerie Wells, Decatur Herald and Review, May 3

May 3, 2019
In today’s Leading News, high school students consider options that don’t require a four-year degree, as some studies show that being workforce-ready starts way younger than high school. State police brief the Joppa-Maple Grove #38 board of education on a shooting incident last month. A new high school is set to open in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Also in the news, as new school board members get sworn in, the updated oath of office is getting attention.

Expensive degree and no guaranteed job:
More students are considering options outside of 4-year college
Kate Thayer, Tribune/The Pantagraph, Bloomington, April 27

Workforce-ready needs to start in preschool, study shows
Scott Hilyard, Peoria Journal Star/Pekin Daily Times, April 24

J-MG briefed on incident
Linda Kennedy, Metropolis Planet, May 2

New Englewood high school gears up for fall opening…
Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times, April 28

District 218 school board members sworn in with new oath —
the 'longest one required by Illinois law'
Gregory Tejeda, Daily Southtown, May 2

May 2, 2019
In today’s Leading News, a teachers’ strike is underway at three CPS charter schools, with concerns for student safety alongside issues of compensation, benefits and staffing. Oak Park-Rover Forest enacts a racialequity policy. Manteno CUSD 5 holds a community event to highlight the district’simprovement. Addressing a shortage of applicants for open teaching positions, Forrestville Valley CUSD 221 offers to educate its teachers’ children. Also in the news, WTTW looks at a poll in which respondents prioritize improving public schools in Illinois.

Juan Perez Jr., Chicago Tribune, May 2

Steve Schering, Pioneer Press/Oak Leaves, Oak Park, April 28

John Dykstra, Kankakee Daily Journal, April 27

Jeffrey Helfrich, Freeport Journal-Standard, April 26

Kristen Thometz, WTTW, Chicago, April 30

May 1, 2019
In today’s Leading News, the Land of Lincoln CEO program holds a trade show this afternoon. Students hold a walk-out from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in protest of the district’s response to an incident in which students wore blackface and posted to social media. Bus-tracking technology is coming to Waukegan SD 60. The Pike-Scott Ag in the Classroom program offers students lessons in safety, livestock management, and beekeeping. Also in the news, alternatives to existing assessments may be on the way for future teachers.

Students to host trade show on Wednesday
Jean Ann Miller, The Courier, Lincoln, April 28

Hundreds of Homewood-Flossmoor students walk out of class
to protest school response to blackface incident
Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, Chicago and suburbs, April 30

Waukegan District 60 parents will soon be able
to track their child's bus via cellphone
Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, April 22

Griggsville-Perry students learn about beekeeping, livestock, farm safety
Deborah Gertz Husar, Herald-Whig, Quincy, April 25

Illinois teacher shortage has some looking for assessment alternatives
Cassie Buchman, Peoria Journal-Star, April 28