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Peoria Public Schools Heading Into New Year With Reinvigorated Support Programs, Plans To Rename Schools

WCBU: 210809 Peoria Public Schools Board Screenshot.png
Peoria Public Schools

Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat is “ready to rock and roll” into the upcoming school year.

At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Dr. Kherat said that the District is in a good position regarding its COVID-19 return-to-school plan which includes a District-wide mask mandate. She also noted that the District would be abiding by IHSA mask protocol which only requires masks for indoor sporting events, and that another vendor is being lined up exclusively to test high school athletes.

“We learned a lot from last year and the things that we experimented with,” said Kherat. “I feel really good about where we are as a District.”

New Social-Emotional Learning Programs

The Board also passed three measures to provide greater social-emotional learning support for District 150 students. The approved contracts will feature services from Cannon ELITE, FamilyCore, and the Children’s Home.

The Cannon ELITE program is set to continue at Lincoln K-8 and Glen Oak Community Learning Center. According to the ELITE website, the program led by Carl Cannon, a Peoria High School graduate and military veteran, intends to show students “the power of respect and the value of an education.”

The agreement with Family Core is focused on addressing attendance issues among students at more than 10 schools across the District. The cost of this program is covered fully under Title I expenditures, and will include four more full time staff members than the previous school year.

The agreement with the Children’s Home is renewed from a previous contract, and allots “eight full-time behavioral health specialists” to provide services across the District. Services provided by the Children’s Home includes support for students and families along with group therapy for specific mental health needs.

Renaming of Schools

Near the close of the meeting, board member Lynne Costic indicated that the Building Committee had chosen the renaming of six more District 150 schools as a high priority for the upcoming year.

Costic stated that there will be a 90-day period beginning September 1 for the public to recommend updated names for Washington, Harrison, Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Lindbergh, and Lincoln schools. In February 2022, following town hall meetings and Committee deliberation, the list will be presented to the Board for consideration.

Costic says that the renaming of Thomas Jefferson Primary School to C.T. Vivian Primary School reinvigorated her drive to complete the renaming process.

“It was such an inspiring event,” said Costic. “The family [of C.T. Vivian] is ecstatic over the naming based on their father and the accomplishments that he has made.”

Board President Gregory Wilson echoed Costic’s statement, saying that the renaming was a historic day for everyone involved.

“It was a great day, a very important day,” said WIlson. “We were on the right side of history [that day].”

Those who would like to suggest new names for the six remaining schools should contact Lynne Costic or Vice President Martha Ross.

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