District 87 | WGLT

District 87

Kids run on playground
Elise Amendola / AP

McLean County school districts have a lot of decisions to make now that the state has released its guidelines for reopening. But one thing they agree on: Requiring kids to wear a mask all day every day at school is going to be a challenge.

Crews working on bucket lift
Eric Stock / WGLT

Many buildings in Bloomington-Normal have largely sat idle for months during the pandemic, but maintenance crews still have work to do and in some cases they've taken advantage of the time to work ahead.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 has assembled a task force of administrators, teachers and other district employees to help fine tune its e-learning program if schools remain closed in the fall because of the pandemic.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is looking to issue $15 million in working cash bonds to cushion the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In anticipation of the uncertainty, we are looking for make sure we have adequate funds in the bank to be able to cover our expenses,” said Colin Manahan, the district's chief financial and facilities officer.“We’re just concerned about cash flow. We are concerned about the ability to collect property tax revenue. We are concerned about being able to meet payroll expenses.”

Craig Lee
Courtesy / Craig Lee

With schools closed and gatherings prohibited, one District 87 teacher is taking advantage of being able to connect with students in a unique way.

Monica Estabrook
Courtesy

For Bloomington High School art teacher Monica Estabrook, losing the emotional connection she had with her students has been the most challenging aspect of the transition to online learning.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is contesting two property assessments that could impact the school system's share of tax revenue.

Bloomington-Normal elementary and middle school students are adapting to extended online classes
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Turns out kids do miss school. Well, most of them.

Boy on a laptop
Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Unit 5 and District 87 school districts are each expected to receive $1.6 million from the coronavirus rescue package signed into law last week.

Staff hand out meals
District 87 / Facebook

Unit 5 and District 87 students, parents, and teachers will shift into a new phase of remote learning this week that could be in place until the end of the school year.

Fairview Elementary
Eric Stock / WGLT

Administrators in District 87 and Unit 5 schools have developed plans to feed students who need meals while their schools are closed due to the state’s COVID-19 response.

Custodian cleans schools
Tony Dejak / AP

Bloomington-Normal students and teachers got their first taste of their new reality Monday as schools began what will be at least a two-week shutdown because of the coronavirus.

Guille Delgado working at desk
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87's new elementary school principal said she didn't seek a career in education. It found her.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

The state schools superintendent is telling school districts to prepare for digital learning days if the coronavirus prompts extended school closings.

UPDATED 1:40 p.m. | District 87 schools have seen a surge in absences due to students having the flu.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is adding a new administrative position to help students with crisis prevention and intervention as part of a major district reshuffling.

Barry Reilly speaking at podium
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said the Illinois State Board of Education made a political, knee jerk reaction when it banned isolated seclusion for disruptive students.

Students pose in their color t-shirts
District 87 / Facebook

On paper, Marcus Brown is a fifth-grader at Irving Elementary School in west Bloomington. But he has another title that’s way cooler: Leader of the Black House of Altruismo, the House of Givers.

High-fiving students
Cedar Ridge Promise Council / Facebook

The state’s latest batch of data shows fewer underperforming schools in Unit 5 and District 87, even as many are asked to serve more high-need students from low-income families.

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 officials believe the two-year trend of a shrinking property tax base will end this year, and that could lead to a slight drop in the tax rate.

Anyone who’s lived in Bloomington-Normal has probably wondered the same thing: Why are there two different school districts here, and why is one donut-holed inside the other?

District 87 headquarters
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 plans to use cash reserves to help fill a projected $2 million deficit. The school board approved the $65.6 million spending plan Wednesday night.

Helen Brandon
Jolie Sherman / WGLT

Next month the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year will be chosen from among the 10 finalists.

Jeff Geringer at Bent Elementary
Eric Stock / WGLT

Kayley Henderson had her first lesson in school safety long before she became a fourth-grade teacher at Bent Elementary in Bloomington. She was a senior at Normal Community High School in 2012 when another student brought a loaded gun into a classroom.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is looking to fill a vacancy on its school board following Mary Yount’s resignation.

District 87 offices
Eric Stock / WGLT

Rising costs and a projected drop in revenue are leaving District 87 schools with a projected $2 million deficit for the 2019-20 school year.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 is giving its paraprofessionals pay raises to get them closer to the $15 per hour they will get under the state's minimum wage law in 2025.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87's sustainability efforts are getting national attention.

crummy sidewalks
City of Bloomington

Students at Sheridan Elementary in Bloomington will soon have a safer route to school thanks to a $200,000 state grant that will fund new sidewalks.

District 87 sign outside Bloomington Junior High School.
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 plans to alter its budget to cover short-term expenses that the district expects to soon recoup and to provide additional cash flexibility.

Pages