Peoria, IL (May 2, 2012)— District 150 is moving forward in a positive way with the best interest of our children in mind. This was the message District 150 Superintendant Grenita Lathan delivered today at the 2nd Annual State of the Schools Address hosted by the Peoria Are Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Lathan explained some of exciting changes that are underway and on the horizon for the district attended to nearly 300 people in attendance. One such change includes revamping the Reading Buddies program and enlisting volunteers to work with their ‘buddies’each week to help enhance students’ reading skills. “We are also establishing an after-school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program for students at selected middle schools; we are partnering with the American Heart Association on a Teaching Gardens project at Harrison School; and partnering with Heartland Bank to provide a web-based Financial Literacy Course for high school students.” At Manual Academy we are adopting a seven-period school day in order to provide students with the opportunity to take additional courses and the district is developing a Peer Assistance Review Program in collaboration with the Peoria Federation of Teachers 780. Dr. Lathan also touted the importance of physical fitness for students saying the district has plans to begin a new program called the Superintendent’s Run/Walk Challenge as a way to get students more active.
When it comes to the district’s finances, Dr. Lathan said while in FY11 District 150 was in the black for the first time in many years, we continue to scrutinize our budget expenditures. “We presented a budget last fall that included a deficit of less than $2 million and vowed to close that gap by the end of the fiscal year. Even though the State did not appropriate about $2.25 million in general state aid, and even though property values are declining, we are on target to finish with a deficit smaller than that $2 million.”
Roberta Parks, President of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, said State of the Schools has become an annual event designed to keep the business community informed on what’s happening at Peoria Public Schools. “This event is not just for parents of students in D150 or people who live in the District, it’s for the entire Greater Peoria business community to learn about what’s happening with the largest school system in our region. The business community realizes we need a strong school system that produces a qualified workforce to support our regional businesses. All businesses in our region are impacted by our area school districts – they are educating our future employees. This is an opportunity to learn firsthand of changes happening at Peoria Public Schools.”
This event is sponsored by Commerce Bank and District 150 Principal’s Attendance is sponsored by Farnsworth Group.
Text from Dr. Lathan’s speech will be available atwww.heartlandpartnership.org later today.