Preparing students to successfully manage post-high-school academics sometimes requires more than four years of math, science and language arts. Students – particularly students whose parents and other family members did not attend college – encounter unique and daunting challenges in preparing for the global economy.
Only four days of school remain for students this school year. Following the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, students will return on Tuesday and complete the school year on Friday, May 29th with a one-hour early release for primary and middle school students. Most high school students will finish finals prior to Friday's regular dismissal time. The last day for teachers is scheduled for Monday, June 1st. The District only used two emergency days this school year. Those days were made up on the original calendar on March 2, 2015 (Count Pulaski Day) and May 29, 2015, now the last school day of the year. Are you looking for activities for your children this summer to keep them busy? Look for the "Food, Friends and Fun" graphic below in this issue of Remarkable Times to find summer events and food service sites this summer!
Some of our schools, primarily our high schools, have recently received several phone calls reporting concerns that Fine Arts programs are being cut. No conversations or actions have been taken around cutting Fine Arts programs in District 150. What has occurred is a normal staffing process that the District has completed for at least four years; a process that typically leads to fewer teachers receiving Reduction in Force notices while also reducing unnecessary spending.
The partnership between Trewyn K-8 and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) has been so successful that the international service organization is working to replicate it in other countries. As part of this effort, HSS International Coordinator, Saumitra Gokhale traveled to Peoria May 19th to visit Trewyn K-8 School. Gokhale conducts seminars and workshops throughout the world, including Japan, Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Venezuela, UK, Columbia and Guatemala, which inspire youth to proactively contribute to the society and the community in which they live.
Richwoods High School recently received recognition from the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) for the school's speech team. In a letter dated May 12th, the IHSA notified Principal Cindy Clark that the team's 3.49 cumulative grade point average during the 2014-2015 season qualified them for the IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award. Congratulations Richwoods!
In its observance of Law Day, the Peoria County Bar Association sponsored an essay contest focusing on the 800-year-old Magna Carta. Mrs. Fleming’s English and Language Arts classes at Washington Gifted Middle School submitted essays exploring how and why the Magna Carta or “Great Charter of Liberties” influenced American law throughout U.S. history and in contemporary times, as well as why King John did not support the document.
The sixth grade class at Lincoln K-8 School held a remembrance ceremony for former classmate Trever Chick on Friday, May 22 in the school’s courtyard. A plaque with Trevor’s name and picture, along with a bench, birdbath and some new trees have been donated from the special memorial fund established by the Peoria Public Schools District 150 Foundation. The community donated $4601 to assist with burial expenses. Approximately $300 in funds following burial expenses was used to purchase items for the memorial at Lincoln K-8 School. The Trever Chick Memorial Fund was created last spring following a vehicle-pedestrian accident that claimed the fifth grade student’s life. He was on his way to school when the accident occurred on May 5, 2014. During the remembrance ceremony, Trevor’s family and classmates participated, along with the Lincoln K-8 School Choir.
A group of 8th graders from Von Steuben Middle School attended the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus' Civic Engagement Day in Springfield on Friday, May 15th. The students were asked to bring an issue that concerned them and their community and communicate that issue to other 8th graders across the state and to their legislators. Student presentations from all over Illinois were given in the State Capitol Building and students had a unique opportunity to meet and speak with State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth. The students had a great time and were able to learn about civic engagement in a fun and exciting environment. Thank you to State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth for sponsoring this event for Von Steuben students.
On May 5th, Von Steuben's 7th grade Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students visited Western Illinois University. A presentation of the various programs at Western was given to students along with a variety of promotional materials. The students were taken on a guided tour by a current student of the university. Several students showed a great interest in attending Western. This is Von Steuben’s first year of AVID implementation. Next year AVID will extend to 8th grade. 6th and 7th grade students are currently interviewing for next year’s AVID classes.
The performing arts students at Mark Bills Middle School, an IB World School, traveled to Illinois State University (ISU) as a culminating unit activity to see a production of Selkie: Between Land and Sea. This is a drama performance about the myth of Selkie that originates from Scotland. Prior to the fieldtrip, students researched the history and origination of the myths that surrounded Selkie. This was also an opportunity for our students to see what they can be involved in when they get to college and pursue higher education. Upon returning to Mark Bills, students wrote a thorough reflection and tied it back in to their research so there was a clear understanding encompassing all of the elements of a theater production.
Excitement is in the air at Mark Bills, an IB World School. The Parent Teacher Committee (PTC) noticed a need for an updated sound system in the gym where school community, community presentations, the Talent Show and other various gatherings occur. So, they were able to fund a brand new fully featured sound system to be installed! Mark Bills students and staff are so grateful for their purchase and excited to use it at the upcoming events that will be held in the gym.
At Mark Bills Middle School, an IB World School, 5th graders in Ms. Kemerling’s science class have gathered research to create an individual ocean diorama that describes a specific level within the ocean. The dioramas were presented and described to other classes. Near Shore included hardened clay, while seaweed represented by green construction paper, squids, sea anomalies, and snorkelers were all present in students’ displays. The Intertidal Zone was represented by sand, sea stars, crabs, birds as well as other biotic and abiotic factors within the ocean ecosystem. Yes, these 5th graders were able to describe their zone with an in-depth level of knowledge representing the IB Learner Profile. The Bottom Ocean Zone was represented by abiotic shells, and various creatures that create their own light to help navigate movement, catch prey and avoid predators. Way to go Mark Bills 5th Graders!
Trewyn K-8 School students enjoy the Peoria Symphony Orchestra Musical Discoveries concerts, held at the WTVP studio in Peoria. The Musical Discovery series is one of the PSO Educational programs designed for children. Hosted by PSO Maestro George Stelluto, each program explores a different orchestral instrument or family. The presentation includes narration and demonstration of an instrument followed by a hands-on time for the audience to try out the instrument in the “Instrument Petting Zoo.”
With the end of the school year approaching, Trewyn K-8 "Singing Ambassadors" made a surprise visit to the 5th and 8th grade classroom at Peoria Christian Middle School to thank those students for supporting the Trewyn Kindergarten and Chef Tiger Cooking Club -- and a myriad of other needs and activities throughout the year!
Each year Rolling Acres Middle School hosts several events to assist in the transition process for future fifth graders. This past week, the fifth grade team set their eyes on the 2015-2016 school year, as they welcomed fourth graders from Northmoor Primary School. Over the course of an hour-long Transition Day event, the fourth graders learned of ways they can become involved and meet new people. During the event, students listened to the band and orchestra play, watched the cheerleaders perform cheers, took a tour of the school, and took part in a question and answer session with building principal, Mr. Barber. Later in the evening, Rolling Acres hosted a Parent Orientation, where the fifth grade teachers informed their future families about classes, schedules, dress code, extra curricular activities, PBIS incentives, etc. It is an honor to welcome future families to Rolling Acres, where it is always a great day to be a Cougar!
It’s that time of year again. The Kellar Garden is taking shape and is ready to grow! The community garden is a Kellar Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) project, one championed by parent Dan Adler. He and many other parents worked countless hours to develop ideas with teachers and students. “Garden work is a great opportunity for team building, fulfilling service hours, and bonding between parents and children,” Adler said. “I’m very excited that the school and the surrounding community have rallied around the effort.” At Kellar’s first garden club meeting of the 2015 year, the three main elements that took place, which are incorporated at each club meeting, were having a snack from a garden, a research activity (independent garden learning), and a garden activity (hands in the dirt, so to speak). The garden activity club members participating in the club kick-off meeting included dirt, seeds, and a planting container. Thus far, Kellar classes have decided to plant and grow blackberries, carrots, cucumbers, grapes, pumpkins, raspberries, strawberries, and sunflowers. The PTO and Kellar Garden Club will maintain the garden by watering, weeding, and monitoring the general care.
On May 7 and 8, students at Von Steuben Middle School performed a hilarious tongue-in-cheek retelling of classic Grimm fairy tales. Madison Smith portrayed the working mother who notices her daughter, played by Dezyre Thompson, absorbing some not-so-great lessons from the fairy tales she has been reading. As a result, mom sits her down and tells her new, more modern and empowering versions of some of the classics.
The Mark Bills Dance Team hosted the 3rd Annual IB Talent(ed) Show in an effort to raise funds for next years performances. At Mark Bills, an IB World School, students, parents, and teachers came together to put on a memorable show. Students performed acts that included freestyle dance, ballet, lip syncing, and even an ocarina player. The audience was engaged throughout the entire show. Five local community members judged the performances with a rubric that was tallied. At the end of the show, awards were presented for the top three teams that scored the highest. All participants were recognized and loved the audiences input. If you were in the audience thank you for coming to support students’ talent and if you weren’t, maybe you will be able to come next year.
Roosevelt Magnet School students presented a multi-media trip through the decades last week for its Fine Arts Night. Vocal, orchestra, band and dance students performed popular and iconic musical numbers including Hard Rock Blues, Folk Song Hand Jive, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Steam Heat, Rhythm Nation, Uptown Funk, Blowin’ in the Wind, and Jailhouse Rock. Even the smallest Rough Riders contributed by performing a dance to selections from the Broadway musical Annie.
Thomas Jefferson School presented their annual Fine Arts Program on Thursday, May 14 to a packed audience. Students in Grades K-4 performed #All About Me Song Celebrations promoting positive self concepts. The 5th-6th Grade Band, Orchestra, Choir, and Music Club also performed and K-6 Grade art projects and Art Club creations were on display.
This week students at Kellar Primary School celebrated a year of outstanding learning by participating in spirit week. Monday students chose their favorite hats to wear, Tuesday they realized their future was so bright they had to wear shades, Wednesday students got crazy and came to school dressed in their best mismatched outfits, Thursday everyone showed their loyalty to their favorite sports teams by wearing various attire, and Friday students donned Kellar shirts to show their school spirit. The variety of outfits and accessories worn by the Kellar students was quite a spectacular sight to see. Creativity was on display all week long!
The administrators, teachers and staff at Roosevelt Magnet School took the opportunity to thank all of the wonderful people who take the time out of their work days to work with Roosevelt students. All volunteers were invited to join staff for breakfast on Friday, May 22nd at 7:30 a.m. Participants had an opportunity to enjoy a light breakfast and conversation with staff members. Mrs.Brown, the Roosevelt Principal, thanked all volunteers for their time and commitment to children. Volunteers who attended include parents of teachers and students, Reading Buddies from CEFCU, and Readers form the Rotary Club of Peoria North.
The Girls on the Run Club from Kellar Primary School participated in the year-end 5K in Springfield on Saturday, May 16th. The race was held at Lincoln Land College. The GOTR club, led by coach and parent Marcy Swain, has been meeting all spring after school. While the club's focus is running and training for the 5K, the girls also are led in discussions about health and fitness. This spring, the Kellar GOTR club's lessons were focused on being a positive person and being a positive influence to those around you. There were 15 students that participated.
Sodexo’s Feeding Our Future® program kicks off in June. 21 million kids in America rely on free meals at school, while only three million receive a free summer meal when school is out. Feeding Our Future ensures that children in need continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer. Last summer, we served our four-millionth meal with partners across the country. This summer we plan to provide at least 400,000 free nutritious meals to kids across the country. The program owes its success to the longstanding partnerships between Sodexo, our clients and vendor partners, and local hunger-relief organizations. To learn more about Sodexo’s innovative approach to fighting hunger or how you can get involved, please visit www.HelpStopHunger.org.
This summer, Peoria Public Schools and its food service provider, Sodexo, have teamed up to offer 14 summer food sites that offer free meals to any child 18 years old and younger at both District 150 buildings and community partner sites. In addition, children in the community will be fed a free nutritious breakfast and/or lunch at 30 other site, both district campus sites and community partner sites, for different summer camps. While most of those camps and activities are open to any students 18 years and younger in the community, the student must be pre-registered for the camp or activity. For the most up-to-date information and a full list of summer activities, visit our Summer Activities website!
Richwoods High School Volleyball will host a 2015 co-ed summer volleyball camp in early June for 5th-9th grade students. The camp will be held June 8th-11th during two different sections. The first will take place 8:30-10:30 for older students to review basic skills and introduce advanced skills. A separate section will be held for younger players to introduce the game of volleyball and the basic skills needed to be successful on the court. The cost of the camp is $55.00 / player.
The University of Illinois Extension is teaming up with several local agencies to offer middle school students the opportunity to delve in to STEM careers this summer.
If you missed this week's information meeting on the Peoria Promise program, a second meeting will be held Tuesday, May 26, from 6 to 7 p.m., in the Arbor Hall Auditorium on the Illinois Central College (ICC) north campus, 5407 N. University. Students, parents, guardians, school counselors and professionals may attend.
OSF HealthCare, includes OSF Healthcare System consisting of eight hospitals and medical centers, one long-term care facility, and two colleges of nursing. Additionally, OSF Medical Group is a primary care physician network consisting of more than 600 primary care, specialist physicians, and advanced practice providers.