Education Matters: Collinsville students were out for blood

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School seventh-graders admire the dome from inside the Old Capitol in Springfield.
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School seventh-graders admire the dome from inside the Old Capitol in Springfield. Provided photo

Students at Collinsville High School gave more than 175 units of blood during a drive at the school last week, surpassing the goal of 152 units.

The Clinical Health Occupations classes and Health Occupations Students Association worked with the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to promote and execute the drive, which will supply blood and blood products to area hospitals.

The Mississippi Valley’s Alissa Fuhrmann said in a statement released by the district that the students were eager to sign up.

“We really needed these units coming off of the summer and Labor Day Holiday when donations drop by 20 percent,” Fuhrmann said.

STEM contest could take students to Kennedy

Register now for the Conrad Challenge, a multi-phase contest for students aged 13 to 18 to use science, technology, engineering and math to develop solutions for global stability. There are four categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Energy & Environment, Cyber Technology & Security, and Health & Nutrition. The final contest — the Innovation Summit — will be held at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. The entry round ends Dec. 1; go to for more information.

Catholic school goes to the Capitol

The seventh grade at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Waterloo took a field trip to the state capitol on Sept. 22. They met with Illinois State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, who told them how the court works within the political process. They also toured the State Capitol.

Halloween run

The Sixth Annual Halloween 5K will be at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Father McGivney Catholic High School’s new campus at 7190 Bourse Road in Glen Carbon. The annual fun run is put on by the Bob Emig Foundation, partnered with Father McGivney.

In addition to the run, there will be pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating and more, including food, drinks, music and a raffle. Register by Oct. 11 at for $20 by Oct. 11 and $25 after that date; or call David Michael at 618-855-9010 or

Talented? Show it

Scholarships and other awards are up for grabs at the Sixth Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, open to students throughout the greater metro area. The contest is open to all high school students who attend school within 50 miles of the St. Louis Arch. Acts can include up to six people. Previous years’ finalists have included singers and dancers as well as an aerialist, whistler, jugglers and baton twirlers. Register by Nov. 20 at

Go to PARRC Place

Confused about the statewide testing scores? The Illinois State Board of Education has a website, called PARCC Place, meant to help school districts and families find the resources and support they need to understand the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam.

“The PARCC exam scores are unlike any state assessment results we’ve seen in the past, and these toolkits can serve as a guide to help administrators and educators explain the test’s higher expectations and how they will support students’ learning,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith.

The website uses frequently asked questions, talking points, fact sheets and more to outline what the results look like and what they mean for students and schools.

SEA grant goes to Illinois

Illinois is one of eight states that received a $42 million grant from the State Educational Agency. The five-year award will support increasing the number of high-quality public school options, including charter schools.

The SEA grant is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program, which provides funding for public charter schools through seven separate programs.

Friends of Scouting raise more than half a million

The Lewis & Clark Council Boy Scouts of America has raised $525,000 through the annual Friends of Scouting Campaign. The overall Council budget is $2.7 million.

Grant will help track student progress

A $7 million grant will help track students as they move from pre-kindergarten through college; with the expectation that the data will help decide where to invest time and resources to most effectively improve student performance. It’s part of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, created in response to Public Act 96-0107, and it is a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education.

“The ability to collect and track data over the course of a child’s academic career and combine this information with data on teachers, school finances, higher education, employment, and so on is an incredibly valuable tool in our effort to provide each student a competitive and high-quality education,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith.

Five areas will be the initial focus, ISBE says: early childhood, high school to college success, community college feedback, career pathways and college/career certificate completion.