Education and Family | WGLT

Education and Family

Dan Brady
Dan Brady / Courtesy

Republican lawmakers have been speaking out against new standards for teacher education being proposed by the Illinois State Board of Education.

An education bill with wide-ranging provisions is drawing mixed reaction from central Illinois school superintendents.

Sexual health education could soon be mandatory in Illinois public schools under reintroduced legislation from Democrats in the General Assembly.

Chapin Rose
Chapin Rose / Courtesy

UPDATED 11:16 a.m. | An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly on Monday.

Kristen Weikle
Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 school district said it is seeking guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education before deciding whether to require vaccinations for staff and students.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Harper Joyner is 6 1/2 years old. Her mom, Tameka Thompson, is co-chair of Bloomington-Normal ACT-SO, an NAACP youth enrichment program for high school students.

Dana Vollmer / WGLT

Nearly 100 low-income housing units in Bloomington will undergo lead abatement, financed by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Exterior of Unit 5 offices
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

Some Unit 5 and District 87 students going back to school in-person will have a different teacher than they’ve been learning with since August.

Children dig with shovels
Emily Bollinger / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal YMCA is breaking ground on a new facility it will share with Easterseals Central Illinois.

Sarah Nardi/WGLT

Unit 5 Superintendent Kristen Weikle announced Wednesday night a planned return to in-person learning, saying the district hopes to bring students back to the classroom beginning in October “assuming that the metrics are such that we’ll be able to do so.”

Heartland Head Start

Heartland Head Start has welcomed some children back into classrooms for the first time since mid-March.

Watterson Towers residence hall at ISU

Illinois State University admissions officials said pandemic-related fears of a precipitous decline in enrollment did not materialize, with total enrollment falling by less than 1% from the previous year.

Boxed lunches
Facebook/Unit 5

Many Bloomington-Normal kids will no longer get the free school meals they've been getting since the start of the pandemic.

Kristen Weikle
Staff / WGLT

Wednesday's Unit 5 school board meeting got off to an emotional start when some parents expressed their frustration with remote learning. 

Kindergarten Readiness Improves For Second Straight Year

Aug 24, 2020
Illinois State Board of Education

The number of Illinois children entering kindergarten who are fully prepared to start school grew for the second consecutive year in 2019, a possible indication that the state’s increased spending on early childhood education is paying off.

Kids running on playground

Child care programs for Bloomington-Normal students are filling up, with less than a week until the start of the fall semester.

Kids on their laptops
Jessica Hill / AP

Remote learning is not the same thing as online learning.

That’s one piece of advice for parents from Anna Smith, an assistant professor of teaching and learning at Illinois State University’s College of Education. She teaches education-and-technology courses.

Heather's learning pod
Heather Roberts / Courtesy

Overwhelmed. Flustered. Outraged. Exhausted. That’s how Marti Stevens of Bloomington has felt over the past few weeks on the back-to-school rollercoaster.

Laptop is handed off to parent
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Unit 5 says government trade restrictions will delay the arrival of Chromebooks and tablets it planned to distribute to elementary students to help with remote learning.

Brigette Beasley and Barry Reilly
Eric Stock / WGLT

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly told school board members Wednesday night he wants to see substantial progress in the region’s COVID-19 response and caseload before he would consider reopening schools for in-class instruction.

Exterior of Unit 5 offices
WGLT file photo

At Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Unit 5 officials appeared to brace for a barrage of public comment.

John Minchillo / AP

As teachers prepare for the start of remote learning this fall, those who teach American history and civics are deciding how they'll talk to students about the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—and the social justice movement that developed over the summer.

YWCA signage
Ashley Binkowski / WGLT

The Bloomington-Normal YMCA and YWCA of McLean County are two of the organizations that have developed plans to offer child care for families when schools resume virtual learning later this month. 

Picture of University High School
Staff / WGLT

The Illinois State University Lab Schools are following Unit 5 and District 87 in telling parents and families the fall term will start with online classes.

Samina Yousuf
OSF HealthCare

Parenting during the pandemic isn’t easy. But here’s a sliver of good news: You’ve got about the perfect amount of time left to get your kiddos comfortable with wearing a mask before they go to school.

Corn Crib
Eric Stock / WGLT

Unit 5 canceled Saturday's long-delayed high school graduation ceremonies at the Corn Crib, citing inclement weather.

School buses lined up
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Bloomington-Normal parents say they’re feeling anxious, guilty, and very uncertain as they begin to make decisions about whether to send their kids back to school or keep them home this fall.

Outside of Irving Elementary School in Bloomington
WGLT file photo

A Bloomington grade school teacher has produced a children's book that she feels will better serve a more diverse student population.

Students, faculty and alumni join a march
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Few rallies include performances by a brass ensemble. 

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.