Education and Schools | WGLT

Education and Schools

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
WGLT

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.

Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 school district is on track to end this fiscal year with a $12.8 million deficit. That's part of the tentative $192 million total budget for 2019-2020. 

Man stands in front of GLT logo.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Education researcher and Illinois State University professor Charles Bell said that the difference in school discipline given to white and black students can lead to a minority exodus from certain districts.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board approved a change to its finals policy Wednesday, expanding final exam exemptions to include high school juniors.

Director for Secondary Education Dan Lamboley said the previous policy allowed seniors with an “A” or “B” grade and no more than six absences to opt out of finals for that class.

“What we’re proposing to start in spring 2020 is any junior or senior with an ‘A’ average in a class on the last day of the semester would be exempt from that final assessment,” he said.

Claire speaks to the board
Mary Cullen / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board heard public comment Wednesday from a woman whose daughter was in Jonathan Hovey’s first grade class at Glenn Elementary this past school year.

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.

Dhruv Rebba
Hari Rebba / WGLT

Amateur radio, or ham radio, can be a fun hobby for some, but it can also open many doors for the future.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

After at least three years using bus-tracking capabilities, Unit 5 is looking into its next step.

Glenn exterior with Hovey's mugshot
Google Maps, McLean County sheriff's department

On Friday police arrested a longtime first-grade teacher at Glenn Elementary School in Unit 5 for allegedly molesting female students. Unit 5 pulled the teacher, Jonathan Hovey, from class back in April when the district learned of a new allegation.

Illinois State University plans to establish a new innovation institute with a $1 million gift it received from two alums.

Mark Brodl speaking at podium
Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan is hoping an expanded menu of minors will attract more college-bound students to the private university.

Starting in the fall, Wesleyan will offer six new minors: actuarial science, statistics, film studies, French and Francophone studies, Italian studies and religious diversity.

Provost and Dean of Faculty Mark Brodl said students and faculty all expressed interest in adding these new programs. He sees a dual benefit.

Kids do physical activity
Laura Beavers / The Baby Fold

Elementary schools are on the front line whenever a kid has a problem, and not just with homework. Complex family issues, health problems, lack of access to basic necessities—that all comes with them to school and can affect academic performance.

Staff / WGLT

The Unit 5 Finance Committee met Wednesday night for preliminary discussions on how to address the district’s growing education fund deficit.

Unit 5 Board Members in their meeting room
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Heartland Community College said high school students across central Illinois have saved $4.9 million in community college tuition and fees with dual credit courses through their high schools over the last five years. Sixteen high schools participate in the program with HCC.

Students look at a cadaver
Kristy McLemore

On any given Saturday morning, the average teen might be getting ready for work, heading to practice or a game, or maybe even sleeping in.

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.

Taylor Harper and Campbell Albaugh
Eric Stock / WGLT

If it seems like graduation is coming early this year, you are right.

Breanna Grow / WGLT

Four Unit 5 parents are alleging the district discriminates against black students and black job applicants.

Unit 5 school board members standing up
Breanna Grow / WGLT

Unit 5’s six returning school board members took oaths of office and elected board officers Wednesday night.

Middle school girl lays down and looks at primate through glass.
Bloom Community School

While middle school students across the country were engaging in monkey business for spring break, kids from Bloom Community School spent their vacation with the primates of the Louisville Zoo.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a variety of bills that would change the requirements to earn a teaching certificate.

 

Right now, to become a licensed teacher in Illinois, you have to pass at least three tests.

Unit 5 school board candidates
Mary Cullen / WGLT

With six of seven Unit 5 school board seats up for election this year, there are four current members guaranteed to remain seated.

Corey and Karrin
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Corey Ostling and Karrin Hawkins are Unit 5’s first-ever high school college and career counselors.

And after almost one full school year in their new roles, even their job titles are a work in progress.

District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

District 87 is forging ahead with its school calendar and plans to implement alternative learning days, despite possible changes from impending state legislation.

There's an old saying that the hardest animal to kill is a school mascot. But Illinois lawmakers are taking a look at possibly thinning the herd.

 

Illinois has some school districts operating with only elementary grades, some with only high school grades, some with fewer than a hundred children — a total of 852 school districts. That's more than any other state except California and Texas, both of which have more than twice our population.

Does it matter?

mark Jontry at a mic
Staff / WGLT

The state needs to rethink professional development for teachers and make it even easier to become a sub if it wants to reverse a worsening educator shortage, according to a new report.

Empty desks
djJohn / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Board of Education says it is switching to a new standardized test this month for third through eighth graders across the state.

Mark Daniel
Staff / WGLT

School districts increasingly use e-learning days to allow students to complete their schoolwork from home when the weather’s bad.

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