Peoria Public Schools focusing on college readiness

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PEORIA, Ill. — Monday, Peoria Public Schools approved contracts with BARR Center, Inc., Manual High School, Peoria High School, and Richwoods High School. BARR stands for Building Assets, Reducing Risks.

This is a new framework PPS will use to prepare students for college. All BARR services include training, on-site and virtual coaching, membership, resources, and data support will be provided at no cost to the district.

BARR Center has been awarded a five-year $13,000,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create and facilitate a Network of School Improvement (NSI). The network will include 30 high schools. All the schools will work together to improve college readiness.

Dr. Sandy Wilson with Peoria Public Schools gave a presentation about BARR at the Monday night board meeting. Wilson said the main focus will be freshmen and incorporating BARR services into Peoria high schools will keep them on the right track ensuring graduation.

BARR schools have seen some great success so we’re hoping to see some of that same success. They have seen improved college readiness for target populations, they’ve seen lower failure rates and they’ve seen increased attendance for young black men, latino and low income students.

Dr. Sandy Wilson, Peoria Public Schools

The district will begin working with the BARR Center in the Spring.

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