A Publication of WTVP

Something remarkable is happening in the Peoria Public Schools. There is an atmosphere of expectation, real momentum and achievement.

In partnership with our community, we are growing a world-class district that aligns curriculum with the highest standards, focuses on differentiated instruction, adds more choices and options, uses new systems to attract and retain qualified staff, develops personal education plans for each student, implements system-wide assessment and evaluation systems and develops a universal structure of support to ensure each student’s success.

To make a world-class district grow, a strong foundation must be in place. The administration and Board of Education are building that foundation, with the help of the Pacific Institute, one brick at a time by transforming the district into a constructive culture. As the foundation continues to become more solid, Peoria Public Schools continue to see more success.

Strong attendance plans, the Truancy Assessment Center and the support of the community, parents and students have all helped student attendance increase. Even with an increase in enrollment this past year, unexcused and excused absences of the 14,895 enrolled students dropped by almost 15,000 compared to one year ago. Other achievements within the district include reaching the highest graduation rate in 18 years, the lowest mobility rate in 17 years and a dropout rate that is lower than the
state average.

To continue on this path of success, administrators and teachers have implemented student benchmarking—a critical key to academic success. Benchmarking, a measurement of group and individual performance against an established standard at defined points throughout the year, is the most significant tool used in education to measure progress toward success. It is part of the Comprehensive System of Student Support (CSSS) and allows teachers to identify problems, intervene and provide the instruction needed to better ensure success for each student. In addition to using academic data, the CSSS looks at behavior and attendance data to problem-solve and identify quickly needed interventions. Peoria Public Schools cannot carry out their value of expectations of excellence without taking the lead in early identification of needs and building solutions which will allow each individual to succeed.

Benchmarking shows the commitment Peoria Public Schools has to every student. One of our many innovative facilities and programs which shows that commitment is the alternative school program currently known as Transition to Success. This fall, the 5th through 8th graders currently at Manual High School will move to a new building donated by the federal government. The old Social Security building is now the Knoxville Center for Student Success, which will become home to students who have experienced academic challenges. The center is yet another example of how Peoria Public Schools is working to identify and address students’ needs at an early stage to allow a better opportunity for them to succeed. The innovative center will not only house educational opportunities for students, but also community providers such as a Children’s Home counselor, Respite Care and the Truancy Assessment Center. By having these resources available and supporting students early on through preventative measures, they will be more likely to succeed and more easily transition into mainstream classrooms.

Students at Manual High School will see exciting changes coming this fall. Administrators are still exploring opportunities to allow school and program choice options, such as the possibility of a Math, Science and Technology Academy, and more new facilities are on their way to serve our students. There are opportunities for schools, parents and volunteers to participate in the Pacific Institute. Stop by and take a look at what is going on inside our schools. Better yet, get involved with Peoria Public Schools, where remarkable happens every day! IBI