COVID-19 Leaves Blind Students Even Further Behind

Amber McKeag says her son Darrin received little braille instruction before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Illinois. Now, she says, he doesn’t receive any.  McKeag and her family live in a rural part of Mercer County, on the Iowa-Illinois border. Her son, Darrin, who is about to turn 10, suffers from Bardet-Biedl syndrome. As a result, […]

Illinois School Closures Spotlight Opportunity Gap For Poor Students

About half of Gladys Marquez’s students can’t access the internet at home. Marquez teaches English language learners at Dwight Eisenhower High School in Blue Island on Chicago’s south side. The school serves predominantly students of color from low-income backgrounds.  Marquez says her students are fortunate to attend a school district that provides an iPad to […]

News Around Illinois – March 30, 2020

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Governor Vows To Increase Testing As COVID-19 Cases Surge CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will soon more than double the number of COVID-19 tests it can administer each day as the number of cases in the state surged. Public health officials announced 1,105 new cases, including 18 deaths on Sunday. Overall, Illinois has […]

Illinois State Board Of Education Orders Schools To Begin Remote Learning

Champaign Central High School

The Illinois State Board of Education announced late last week that remote learning days will start for students across the state Tuesday, March 31 and will continue until in-person classes resume.  These days are counted as school days and do not need to be made up at the end of year.  Districts are instructed to […]

Cafeteria Workers, School Staff On The Front Lines Delivering Food To Illinois Students

Dawnal Mahan is an essential employee. She manages the cafeteria inside Chatham Elementary School, a kindergarten through fourth grade school in the small town located south of Springfield.  While most teachers aren’t in the building, Mahan is still going to work each school day to prepare pre-packaged meals for students — including breakfast and lunch. […]

What Caregivers Can Do With Kids Home From School Due To Coronavirus Closings

Elementary and secondary schools in Illinois are closed through at least March 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus. The Illinois State Board of Education says those days won’t count toward student instruction. Caregivers and parents can still provide educational instruction to children at home, however. Numerous online […]

News Around Illinois – March 10, 2020

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Lawmakers Pushing For Privacy Protections From Smart Speakers SPRINGFIELD – A pair of Illinois lawmakers want privacy protections for data from smart appliances and virtual home assistants. State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) says the information collected by those devices deserves the same protection as everything else in a home.  The legislation would require police to get a […]

News Around Illinois – February 20, 2020

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Women Will Share Empowering Stories In Champaign This Weekend URBANA – “That’s What She Said” will take the stage at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign this Saturday night with a series of performances by women from the local community. The speakers will share personal stories in a monologue format in what will be the group’s sixth […]

News Around Illinois – December 9, 2019

Survey Collects Travelers’ Opinions On Illinois Highways SPRINGFIELD – Illinois officials want travelers’ opinions on the state’s transportation systems. An online survey that opened this week and runs through Dec. 31  asks travelers to weigh in on everything from cleanliness of Illinois roads to other drivers’ behavior. The Illinois Department of Transportation says the annual […]