PEORIA, Ill. — The annual Illinois Report Card, which takes a look at progress in academics and student success across the state, was released Wednesday by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Principals are working hard. Our teachers are working hard and the new designation, I think, will feel good for our kids so I can’t wait to see the improvement for next year. I’m betting that we’ll have more buildings in the exemplary category.Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, Superintendent | Peoria Public Schools
Peoria Public Schools officials said they have prioritized student growth, which reflects on progress with two-thirds of all schools in District 150. Said schools saw growth in ELA or math in the last year.
As a result of those improvements, four schools in the district moved up a designation on the Illinois Report Card, including one school – Kellar Primary – receiving Exemplary status. Three other designation improvements also occurred, with Whittier Primary and Thomas Jefferson Primary moving to Commendable status and Calvin Coolidge Middle moving from Lowest Performing to Underperforming.
The report card also provides a detailed look at student success, school culture and climate, and financial investments.
None of the 27 schools in the district experienced a downgraded designation.
“We are committed to all students growing academically and growing in strength of character as a result of attending our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat.
Graduation rates gradually increased from 2018 to 2019 for five and six-year graduation rates, while four-year rates stayed at 71%.
A re-designed literacy framework was implemented at the K-5 level that is supported by new reading resources and bolstered by an influx of reading books to schools and classrooms. Through donations from the community, leaders said the addition of the books is eliminating any barriers to daily reading.
A select group of high school students is enrolled in the D2 Program, which will allow them to graduate high school with a diploma and an Associate’s Degree at no cost to the student.
This year, grant-funded programs totaling up to $7 million, such as the 21st Century program, Lights On, Peoria and the Full-Service Community grant, will target students in need of more support with meaningful learning experiences outside of the traditional school day.
“Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) is filling a variety of needs in Peoria Public Schools, including expanding technology, hiring teacher aides and helping to cushion the impact of negotiated salary raises for the district’s teachers,” said Desmoulin-Kherat.
Desmoulin-Kherat said the district invested EBF dollars into adding additional SEL supports at the elementary and middle schools, including aides and specialists in the field.
“As we continue to boldly address an outdated educational framework, we are exploring ways to re-imagine learning in our schools,” she said.
“Lowest Performing” schools include Manual High School, Peoria High School, Franklin Primary School, Glen Oak Community Learning Center, Lincoln School, Roosevelt Magnet School, and Trewyn Primary School.
Richwoods High School, Thomas Jefferson Primary School, Charter Oak Primary School and Washington Gifted School are among those designated as “Commendable.”
More numbers show 70.3% of students in the district come from low-income homes. Additionally, the dropout rate increased from 3% last year to 9% this year, while the state average is 4%.
Meanwhile in Bloomington SD 87, the graduation rate is at 81% of students. Additionally, 58.2% if the students come from low-income homes and the dropout rate increased from 1% last year to 5% this year.
The only “Lowest Performing” school in D87 is Sheridan Elementary School.
McLean County USD 5 saw an 88% graduation rate. Carlock Elementary School, Grove Elementary School, Prairieland Elementary School, and Towanda Elementary were considered “Exemplary.”
View the complete Illinois Report Card data at www.illinoisreportcard.com.
This story will be updated.