Education and Schools | WGLT

Education and Schools

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.

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 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
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.

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.

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