In wake of student's death, District 150 board carries on

Oct 13, 2015

The District 150 opened its meeting with a moment of silence for Tommie Forest and for those affected by the incident.
Credit Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

In the wake of the weekend shooting that killed a Peoria High School freshman and wounded three others, Tuesday night's District 150 meeting opened with a somber tone.

Interim Superintedent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat provided an update from the crisis response team that did counseling and outreach at several public schools today, as students returned after the Columbus Day holiday. At Peoria High, Kherat said, 225 students sought counseling from the social workers brought in.

"We will continue to provide support throughout the week while working to return to our normal routines," Desmoulin-Kherat said.

Board vice president is resigning

The District 150 board vice president Rick Cloyd will not be seeking reelection. Cloyd quietly made the announcement after the board meeting last night.

Cloyd says he’s ready to retire but will continue to volunteer and serve on other non-profit boards. Cloyd previously served as District 150’s board president for one year. He was appointed to the board in 2011, after retiring from Caterpillar. Cloyd will continue to serve out his term that ends next summer. Filing for the position starts October 26 and lasts one week. The election to fill the position is in March.

District introduces new mobile app

Starting this week, District 150 is reaching out to parents and students through a new smart phone app. The “PSD 150” app gives parents and students school-specific information, like directories and lunch menus.

The District's new PSD 150 app launches this week.

The app also includes a “tip line” that can be set to anonymous for parents or students wishing to report bullying or suspicious activity.

The PSD 150 app is available in the app store but its official launch is Thursday during the Parent University event at Washington Gifted Middle School. District 150 parents wanting to learn more about the app can attend the free event that starts at 5pm.

Kherat presents strategic plan to address student behavior

More supports need to be in place to address and prevent behavioral issues in the classroom -- that was a recurring theme last night. Interim Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat addressed the public and her colleagues with a rough draft of her strategic plan to minimize disruptions and the need for disciplinary action.

Kherat says more attention needs to be paid to a student’s social and emotional wellbeing. The program would implement program managers, outside mental health services, after school support and health coverage. It’s estimated to cost about $645,000. Kherat says there may be grant dollars that could be put toward the program. She says she intends to have a final draft of the five-year plan ready by December.