The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded Peoria High School with the School Improvement Grant, effective for the 2011-2012 school year. ISBE notified Peoria Public Schools of the award on Friday, June 17, 2011. The $2 million grant is renewable each year, for three years and is the second SIG awarded to Peoria Public Schools. Manual High School has applied for its second year of funding under the grant.
“This grant represents a new era for a school that already has a rich history,” said Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. “By re-focusing on what we can do to strengthen the educational program at Peoria High, our students, staff and community will continue to add to the rich history of the school, while also serving as an educational beacon for all of the schools in our District, as well as the State of Illinois.”
“The staff at Peoria High School has already made a huge investment in the future of PHS,” added new School Principal Brett Elliott. “They helped build and solicit the ideas that we used to write the grant and will use to move Peoria High School forward and build the ‘Pride of the City’ as it relates to education, the school’s environment and everything in between. Staff, students and parents continue to show their support for PHS and I am excited to see this enthusiasm pick up throughout our community.”
Plans included within the grant involve additional professional development time for teachers, an extended transition program for incoming freshmen that will begin in early August, the development of common assessments by course, the addition of a student advisory period and much more.
“This has truly been a grass-roots effort,” said English Teacher Jeff Adkins-Dutro. “With the blessing and support of the administration and the CEC, Peoria High School teachers have been driving the grant process from beginning to end. Because the administration has had faith in us (teachers), to spearhead and implement a program of meaningful change and reform, we now have a team consisting of union members, building administrators, central administrators, and parents, shooting for one goal - increased student achievement. I think it's the team approach that impressed the state and, ultimately, convinced them to award us the full grant.”
Peoria High School has selected the Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) as the lead partner for the grant. CEC will provide an on-site staff person to guide and support the design, implementation, and monitoring of the model on a daily basis.