K-4, special education students return to school in October

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools board taking a tiered approach toward allowing students back in the classrooms.

Monday, the district superintendent, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat provided an update to families wondering when their kids could transition to in-person learning.

K-1 can return Oct. 5, special education students return Oct. 12 and 2-4 students return Oct. 26.

The students will have face-to-face instruction for two days out of the week on an A/B schedule. Students will still be required to complete assignment on off days.

Middle school and high school students will continue online learning until further notice.

Dr. Kherat said an increase in positivity is expected with more people in the building. Aware of the risks, Kherat said she wants the district to open and stay open so they will take every precautionary measure possible.

Dr. Kherat mentioned collaborating with Shield Illinois, a COVID-19 surveillance structure created at the University of Illinois. The plan is is to keep staff and families safer by providing tests with a quick turnaround time for results.

The superintendent said the saliva test takes 5-7 hours. The tests are not free and would cost $20 each. A minimum of 5,000 tests has to be provided. The district is exploring options that’ll either lower or eliminate the cost.

Also Monday, Dr. Kherat announced a digital equity grant made it possible for the district to purchase WiFi hot-spots for five school buses. Those school buses can be parked in neighborhoods to assist Peoria Public Schools families who may not have internet access.

In addition, board members approved a new curriculum. It’s called Black History 365. The comprehensive curriculum will be provided all four years of high school. Board members said over the next several years, the district will phase in black history resources for middle and primary school. The district will purchase 150 books which will total $23,998.50 and 1050 copies of the E-book totaling $146,989.50.

Background provided by the school board shows the curriculum strives to ensure cultural norms are established, schema identified and personal growth made from the student to the community.

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COVID-19 IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS

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