Education and Family

The Dunlap school board surprised many students, parents, and teachers last week when it approved a full return to school this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of a hybrid "condensed" option that would have sent students home to learn remotely in the afternoons.

The Dunlap School Board rejected a condensed schedule that would have limited in-person learning in favor of a more "face-to-face" approach.

Breanna Grow / WCBU

This is the second of two stories exploring how the Peoria Riverfront Museum has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. This story was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. For more stories about the effect of COVID-19 on museums, please visit the Prairie State Museums Project at

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Peoria Public School District 150 will use a hybrid plan to reopen schools this fall during the COVID-19 pandemic. But for other districts in the Tri-County area, hybrid learning may not be the best option.

“It just depends on the district, the students and families they serve, and then they’re using all that information to make the best decisions they can,” said Beth Crider, Peoria County regional superintendent of schools.

Catholic school students in central Illinois will have the option of returning to the classrooms this fall.

The Diocese of Peoria, which includes the Bloomington-Normal area, announced Friday that all 42 of its primary and secondary schools will open for the 2020-21 academic year.

Students and parents can choose to enroll in five days a week of in-school instruction, or five days a week of online learning. A hybrid alternative is not included in the Office of Catholic Schools’ Diocesan Plan.

Illinois Central College

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape the ability of people to gather in a single physical space, colleges and universities have modified methods of instruction.

Joe Deacon / WCBU

Gov. JB Pritzker joined Peoria School District 150 Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat in touting the efforts of the Summer Youth Employment Program in helping young people from high-poverty areas gain key skills.

“This is not just a job but it’s also an education to help them get on the right path to become contributing members of society,” Desmoulin-Kherat said during a news conference at Manual High School.  

The Peoria Public Schools board spent more than two hours Wednesday night discussing refinements to its fall Return to School plan.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

This coming school year, districts will be expected to provide information on LGBTQ figures in history before students graduate eighth grade.

Dunlap CUSD 323 via YouTube

Dunlap students will be returning for full weeks of school this fall.

Jeff Smudde / WGLT

Activists have added school resource officers to the larger conversation of police reform in the United States. Some call for the removal of police from schools. Others are looking at ways to change officer roles.

But those leading school safety in Peoria Public Schools say they've had decades to get it right.

Peoria School Board Approves Return To School Roadmap

Jun 23, 2020

The Peoria Public Schools Board has approved a Return to School plan for this fall after COVID-19 forced schools to move online in March.

Peoria Public Library / Facebook

The Peoria Public Library is slowly revving back up services, after COVID-19 guidance forced buildings to close to the public.

Dana Vollmer / WCBU, Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Public Schools is helping students and recent graduates find summer jobs with the help of COVID-19 related grant dollars.

The Peoria Public Schools board voted down a policy which would have required certain administrators to live within District 150's boundaries.

Dunlap School District 323

The Dunlap School District's new offices should be completed by this fall.

Tim Shelley / WCBU

WTVP is partnering with the Peoria County Regional Office of Education to launch a new channel dedicated to remote learning.

Peoria Playhouse Children's Museum

There won't be any summer camp in Peoria — at least for the first half of the season.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

There are more questions than answers when it comes to students returning to classrooms this August.

Seth Goddard / Flickr / CC-by 2.0

More community pools have announced they will not reopen for the 2020 season.

Creative Commons

Mom doesn't usually have to make dinner on Mother's Day. But what about this year--when most restaurants aren't seating diners due to Covid-19?

Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Public Library is beginning curbside pickup of books and other items starting Wednesday.

Rainbow Resource Center warehouse via Facebook

The COVID-19 outbreak that's closed schools and kept children at home nationwide has brought new business to a Stark County company that's one of the country's biggest providers of homeschooling supplies.

AP Photo / Kiichiro Sat

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) employees are calling for protections as they take on cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A man in his 70s who lived at the Generations at Peoria nursing home has died. It's the fifth COVID-19 death in a nursing home reported in the Tri-County area since the pandemic began.

Peoria Public Schools continues to adapt to the new reality of distance learning.

Richwoods High School Principal Brett Elliott is heading north for a new superintendent's job.

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

Four Peoria-area nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now considered COVID-19 outbreak sites.

Peoria Public Schools is working hard to keep students engaged during distance learning.

Look. It's My Book! / Facebook

A Peoria nonprofit wants to make sure students have access to free reading materials during the coronavirus shutdown.