Back To School For District 150

Peoria Public Schools Superintendent Grenita Lathan is ready for the start of a new school year.

"I'm excited. I can't wait for 7:30 and 8:30 Monday morning."

A full day of classes greets students for the first day of school Monday. Middle schools and high schools will be in session from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., while primary schools will meet from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

"This year we're really going to focus on trying to care and support our staff members," Lathan tells 1470 & 100.3 WMBD. "I think it's important for people to understand they're not in this alone."

Lathan expressed an example of that focus during Thursday's All-Staff Assembly at Bradley's Renaissance Coliseum.

Lathan told her 2,500 employees while she was shocked at the news of actor/comedian Robin Williams' suicide, it was also a "wake-up call."

"I'm saying to you as your leader," Lathan told the audience, "some of you may be suffering, some of you may be hurting. Some of our students may be suffering and hurting and some of our parents."

"I'm asking you, if you're one of those hurt people who may be suffering or hurting, reach out to someone," continued Lathan. "Tap into our Employee Assistance Program. If you're not comfortable with that, send me an e-mail, reach out to me. I will do what I can to make that connection to get you the help you need. We are all connected and we are all responsible for each other."

As for the classroom, Lathan has some advice for parents and students.

"Parents, get involved," Lathan says. "Show up at the schools, participate in events. E-mail the teachers, contact the teachers. Let them know they are partners together."

"Students, show up, be prepared, ask questions and get involved. Listen to your teachers and ask for help when you need it."

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