Education and Schools | WGLT

Education and Schools

First Student bus
Ryan Denham / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board is sticking with its sometimes-frustrating bus service for one more year. The board Wednesday approved retaining First Student in a short contract.

architects rendering of the Trail East five story building
Town of Normal

A new on-campus makerspace and startup incubator in Uptown Normal will be Illinois State University’s contributions to a newly funded Illinois Innovation Network, officials said Wednesday.

Bone Student Center
Eric Stock / WGLT

Illinois State University is looking to address what educators say is a severe shortage of early intervention specialists for infants and toddlers who are blind or deaf.

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.

Larry Dietz speaks
Eric Stock / WGLT

Gov. JB Pritzker visited Illinois State University on Thursday to announce the long-awaited Fine Arts Complex renovation is finally going to happen.

Hovey Hall entrance
Illinois State University / Illinois State University

Illinois State University has named professors in technology and mathematics as its new distinguished professors.

Kristin Kendrick-Weickle smiling and talking
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board approved Kristen Kendrick-Weickle as the new superintendent Monday evening. It was not unanimous.

Picture of University High School
Staff / WGLT

The question whether an eighth-grade student at Illinois State University’s Thomas Metcalf lab school sexually harassed a female classmate by asking her for a semi-nude photo is the central issue of a lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents in McLean County court.

Beth and Sarah
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Every so often on WGLT's The Leadoff podcast, we'll bring you the story of an unsung community servant who's making Bloomington-Normal a better place. It's a feature we call More of That, Please. Subscribe to The Leadoff on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also suggest local people we should feature.

Sheila Diaz, left, and Robin Landry
Ryan Denham / WGLT

On a day off from his 70-hour work week, David Cruz met with a tutor who helps him with language skills he hopes will bring him closer to his dream of a better job and U.S. citizenship.

Students talk in class
Jolie Sherman / WGLT

This spring, students from Normal Community High School will sit in the seats of senators.

Hovey Hall entrance
Illinois State University / Illinois State University

Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees has ratified a six-month extension of its agreement with Connect Transit to cover free bus access for students, faculty and staff.

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.

Eric Stock / WGLT

Representatives from First Student made their pitch to Unit 5 officials Wednesday as the school board continues to mull over transportation options for next school year.

Exterior of NCHS
Staff / WGLT

Unit 5 is facing pushback from its high school teachers over the rollout of a new grading system that educators say is confusing parents and students and not delivering on its promise to individualize learning.

Brady and Dave
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A lot of people don’t figure out what they want to do professionally until college—or later. Brady Veal of Bloomington knew when was 8.

Creating Space For Women, People Of Color in STEM

Nov 1, 2019
Illinois State University

After commonly being the only woman and person of color in STEM circles, Candice Halbert decided to make a change.

Heartland building exterior
Staff / WGLT

Enrollment declined at Illinois community colleges again this fall, driven in part by a strong economy and low unemployment.

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.

Panelists at ISU event
Ryan Denham / WGLT

There are lots of good reasons to become a teacher. It’s rewarding. Kids need you. And because of a teacher shortage, the state needs you too.

But Shamaine Bertrand has an even better reason: Teachers are powerful.

Teachers posed together
Blue Ridge Federation Community Support / Facebook

Blue Ridge teachers Union President Don Anton said Tuesday he believes a tentative three-year contract agreement with the district is a good deal for members.

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?

Teachers posed together
Blue Ridge Federation Community Support / Facebook

The union for teachers and other employees at the Blue Ridge school district in central Illinois has filed paperwork, announcing plans to go on strike Oct. 28. But the union president says talks on a new contract are making progress.

Daniel and Hitchins
Eric Stock / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board has developed a schedule to announce its new superintendent by the end of January. The confidential search will open Monday and close Nov. 29.

Tri-Valley Middle School To Receive National Honor

Sep 26, 2019
Tri-Valley Middle School in Downs
Village of Downs website

Tri-Valley Middle School was named one of 25 Illinois elementary, middle, and high schools to receive a 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools award.

First Student bus
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Unit 5’s school board president said Wednesday the district should consider exploring other transportation options starting next year amid concerns about its current busing company, First Student.

Tammy Yates was excited to come to Macomb seven years ago. Yates and her partner Chad Hunziker opened Chubby's, a restaurant on West Adams Street, just a few blocks from the Western Illinois University campus.

Heartland Community College
Audrey Stickrod / Heartland Community College

A task force recommends Heartland Community College keep its tax rates stable and maintain strong cash reserves to ensure long-term financial stability.

Curt Richardson

A new law aims to create a safer school environment for students.

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.