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Peoria Public Schools Approves ChanceLight Partnership to Bring Extra Support to K-4 Students

WCBU 210927 Peoria Public Schools Board.jpg
Mike Rundle
The Peoria Public Schools Board of Education meeting was held at Harrison Community Learning Center September 27.
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Peoria Public Schools has approved a contract with ChanceLight to provide alternative learning interventions for kindergarten through fourth grade students across District 150.

The contract worth $650,000 was approved by a 5-2 vote at the Board of Education meeting Monday night. Costs will be covered by ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds, and the program will allow for up to 50 K-4 students to engage in a curriculum focused on building basic academic and social skills.

Through the development of these highly personalized programs, Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat says that the overall goal of partnering with ChanceLight is to address “disruptions” in learning caused by COVID-19. As reported September 14 by WCBU, District 150 is seeing students enter primary school without the ability to identify shapes and colors, and some are not yet potty-trained.

“There’s some options for middle school, there are options for high school, we really don’t have an option for primary kids in terms of alternative options, yet it’s a growing area,” said Kherat.

Director of Social/Emotional Learning Derrick Booth has spearheaded the establishment of the partnership and says that issues of preparedness span the District and aren’t concentrated in any one ZIP code.

“It’s very diverse. It’s not isolated to Black kids, or white kids, or socioeconomic [status],” said Booth. “The process to select all 50 students will not be based on socioeconomic status or based on demographics, it’ll be based on student development needs and academic needs to get them the supports they need.”

The Board also approved the budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year at Monday night’s meeting.

Mike Rundle is a correspondent at WCBU. He joined the station in 2020.