PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public School leaders and guests attended the 2022 State of the School address at the Four Points Sheraton in downtown Peoria Wednesday morning.

“Our theme was doing our work differently for different results,” said Peoria Public School Superintendent, Dr. Sharon Desmoulin Kherat.

Kherat reflected on the 2022 school year and stated what new strategies are in store for students and staff this fall. Bouncing back from the pandemic, she said this year’s approach will focus on student wellness. Kherat said it was a big part of the decision for the modified calendar.

“We believe these breaks will increase the mental health and wellbeing for a positive culture,” said Dr. Kherat.

Another key point she highlighted during the address was how the district plans to tackle math and reading scores.

“We will focus on three main points. We will start with grade-level work, high expectations, and great instruction. In addition to that, we will be providing tutors, providing daily writing, identifying the struggling readers, and providing small groups,” said Kherat.

Another concern was the teacher shortage. Kherat said the district has hired a recruiter and is tackling the international market in an attempt to bring in new teachers.

“We will have sign-on bonuses, and then we will be matching salaries. If someone wanted to move from another district, and they were there for 20 years making $60,000 and our scale shows it’s $55,000 we will match that salary,” said Kherat.

Also, an $8 million investment will go into the Peoria Stadium located along War Memorial Drive. The money for the project was spearheaded by Representative Jehan Gordon Booth.

“We’re excited, there will be a new football turf there will be a multipurpose dome, so you can do indoor soccer,” said Kherat.

Leaders hope to complete the Peoria Stadium come 2024.