Education & Schools
Governor Quinn Launches New Education Initiative to Support Economic Growth PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Nafia Khan   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 15:22

Public-Private Partnership with Business and Education Communities to Focus on STEM Learning and Provide Students with College and Career Readiness


BLOOMINGTON – February 9, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined business and education leaders to launch the Illinois Pathways Initiative, an innovative public-private partnership between Illinois’ public education institutions and the business community to foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning. Funded through the state’s secured Race to the Top funds, Illinois Pathways will help prepare students for college and careers in new and growing fields. As part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to reform and improve education in Illinois, this initiative will provide for strong collaboration in Illinois’ business and education communities to prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“We have a mission in Illinois to ensure that at least 60 percent of adults have either a college degree or a career certificate by 2025,” Governor Quinn said. “Through this initiative, our state agencies will partner with the education community and our business leaders to better support students and prepare them to graduate and get a good job in the 21st century economy.”

Illinois Pathways is a STEM initiative that will help students pursue their academic and career interests through STEM Learning Exchanges. The Learning Exchanges work to increase student enrollment in STEM programs by forming public-private statewide networks in specific career areas. Networks will include PreK-12 and higher education institutions working together with employers, industry associations, labor organizations and other education partners.

During his State of the State address last week, Governor Quinn laid out a proposal to prepare students for jobs in the 21st century by implementing more reforms and investing in early childhood education, college scholarships and 21st century classrooms. The Governor will also work with Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon to achieve the goal of ensuring at least 60 percent of adults in Illinois have a college degree, an associate’s degree or a career certificate by 2025.

“Across Illinois, we can find individual examples of school-to-work success. We need to build a statewide system of school-to-work success,” said Lt. Governor Simon, the Governor's point person on education reform. “STEM Learning Exchanges can get us there by instilling a love of science and technology in middle school and keeping lessons relevant and connected to the job market as students become working age.”

The STEM Learning Exchanges will focus on educating and training students in nine key career fields, including:

  • Health Science
  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Finance
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Research and Development
  • Energy

“We need to reach students early; tap their innate energy, curiosity and love of learning and show them the real world relevance of what they’re learning in the classroom,” said Rick Stephens, a senior vice president of Human Resources and Administration for The Boeing Company and chairman of the Illinois Business Roundtable. “Illinois Pathways is one way to help more students find their way from the classroom to the labs, drafting tables and board rooms of more Illinois businesses in the future.”

The STEM Learning Exchanges will feature strong collaboration between PreK-12 schools, colleges and professionals in each of the nine STEM fields. The STEM Learning Exchanges will provide targeted resources that provide students with internships and other work-based learning opportunities. The Exchanges connect students with adult mentors and offer a clear path from school to work.

An interagency team, consisting of representatives from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, will set priorities and identify the first public-private STEM Learning Exchanges to launch in fall of 2012. The initiative is funded through $3.2 million in federal Race to the Top education funds.

Governor Quinn and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon made the announcement today at an Illinois Pathways conference hosted by State Farm and the Illinois Business Roundtable, a business association consisting of 63 chief executive officers of Illinois' leading businesses.

For more information about Illinois Pathways, visit:


Olivia Storjohann named to Fall Dean's List at William Woods University PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Mary Ann Beahon   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:35

FULTON, MO (02/09/2012)(readMedia)-- Olivia Storjohann of Eldridge, Iowa, has been named to the Dean's List at William Woods University for academic accomplishments during the 2011 fall term.

To be named to the Dean's List, a student must be full-time and have achieved a minimum 3.6 semester and cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

William Woods University is an independent, professions-oriented, liberal arts-based institution serving the educational needs of both men and women. William Woods has an enrollment of about 3,800 students, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines in both campus and outreach settings.

The 180-acre main campus is located in the mid-Missouri community of Fulton. Since its founding in 1870, the mission of William Woods has been to provide a quality education while ensuring the development of the individual.

Distinguished Finalist Honor Bestowed on QC Youth Volunteers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:50

A school fitness and nutrition program.  A campaign to make personal care kits for families in transition out of homeless shelters.  25 handmade quilts to be sent to Ethiopian women recovering from surgery.  Packaging over 25,000 meals to feed needy children.  What do these things have in common?  They are all initiatives organized by Iowa students!

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards have named Kayla De Weerd, 14, of Hull, IA and Hannah Jorgensen, 13, of Adair, IA as State Honorees for outstanding acts of volunteerism.  Kayla, who piloted a nutrition and physical activity program at her school, and Hannah, who organized a campaign to make personal care kits for families transitioning from homeless shelters, will each receive $1,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.  In Washington, Kayla and Hannah will join the top two honorees from each state, ten of which will be named National Honorees.

The Quad Cities is home to two Distinguished Finalists in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!  Pavane Gorrepati, a senior at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf, and Julianne Delessio, a junior at Pleasant Valley High School, are among four students recognized as Distinguished Finalists for their impressive community service activities.

Pavane Gorrepati, 18, of Davenport, created a nonprofit organization called Warning about Warming (WaW) to educate young people about environmental issues.  Her work has included speaking at rallies and conferences, traveling to India to teach students about sustainable practices, and persuading the Rivermont Collegiate Board of Trustees to initiate a “no-idling” policy for parents dropping off and picking up students.

Julianne Delessio, 17, of Bettendorf, brings the joy of dance to those who otherwise could not participate due to illness, disability, or financial restraints with her program Dance for Me.  Julianne has provided workshops for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, children with cancer, and children from low-income families.  She is currently developing a dance workshop for children with Down syndrome.

The Quad Cities is extremely proud to be home to these outstanding young women!  “Through their selfless acts of service, these award recipients have greatly improved the lives of others,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld.  “We hope their stories and their dedication inspire other young people to do the same.”  The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States’ largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service.  More than 5,000 Local Honorees were reviewed by a judging panel, which selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists based on personal initiative, creativity, effort, and impact.

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Brittany Marietta, Director of Admission, at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For additional information on The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, visit


Grant Helps Provide Stability and Room for Growth PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Whitney Smith-Bringolf   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:31
In the spring of 2011, the Scott County Regional Authority awarded the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) a grant in the amount of $44,240. This grant was provided for the two-year maintenance contract/license renewal of the Fortinet Firewall used at the Mississippi Bend AEA. The renewal of the maintenance and license agreement is a small, but important piece of a larger project.

In 1995, the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (AEA) led its partner districts and schools to form a wide area network (WAN) in order to consolidate services, facilitate communication between districts, and benefit from economies of scale. Today, data lines for the districts and schools aggregate at the AEA, which provides a connection to the Internet and firewall, DNS, filtering, traffic shaping, monitoring and data archiving services. The Mississippi Bend AEA provides services to districts and schools in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties; a client-base of approximately 50,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff.

The WAN has become an integral part of education throughout the districts served by the AEA. Students and staff rely upon this valuable resource daily and therefore need a stable environment in which to learn, teach and communicate. Along with the increased demand for bandwidth has come increased use of the WAN outside traditional school hours. Parent portals, online learning resources, electronic grade books, one-to-one computer initiatives and other network intensive resources, require access to more bandwidth, and have also caused a shift in the operating model of the WAN. The previous acceptance of service from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, five days a week has now become an expectation of continuous 24 hour a day service with decreased frequency and duration of any unavoidable outages. This grant will help provide a firewall that should reduce down time where students and staff lose access to the WAN and Internet to minutes rather than hours.

The districts and schools count on the AEA Information Technology (IT) Department to maintain a network that can grow as their demands grow with as few interruptions of service as possible. This grant will not only help provide the stable, responsive network districts need today, but will also support future growth as they expand their one-to-one laptop initiatives and increase online learning opportunities.


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The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency is one of nine AEAs across the state of Iowa created by the 1974 Iowa Legislature. It provides educational services, media services and special education services to approximately 50,000 students in twenty-two public school districts and twenty-two approved non-public schools in Cedar, Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties.


The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender identity, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, socioeconomic status, or disability in its educational programs, services or employment practices. Inquiries concerning this statement should be addressed to Dr. Edward Gronlund, Equity Coordinator, at 563-344-6315.


Iowa’s First Statewide K-12 Virtual Public School, Iowa Connections Academy, to Host Free Information Sessions for Families in Davenport on Feb. 8th and Feb. 29th PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Allison Bazen   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:30

—Local families invited to learn about innovative public school option that delivers a high quality, individualized education to students online—

Anita, IA (Feb. 7, 2012)— Iowa Connections Academy, a new statewide K-12 virtual public school, will host a free information session in Davenport for families interested in learning more about its tuition-free online public school program and customized approach to learning.

Iowa Connections Academy has begun enrollment as part of the state’s open enrollment period for the 2012–13 academic year - interested families should be aware of the March 1, 2012 deadline.

The Davenport  Information Sessions will take place:

Wednesday, February 8 and February 29  -  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm 
Hampton Inn and Suites
5290 Utica Ridge Road, Davenport

Families unable to attend the in-person session are invited to attend a real-time online session with a Connections Academy representative. More information below and at

Iowa Connections Academy combines the expertise and accountability of public education and the flexibility of online classes and learning at home. As a public school, there are no fees to attend. Hallmarks of the program include Iowa-licensed teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum and unique technology tools to help students succeed. Social growth will be encouraged through electives, clubs and community events.

Learning outside of the traditional classroom can be a great fit for all types of students including those who are ahead or behind in the classroom, those who require a flexible schedule, as well as those who live in rural settings. Homebound and previously home-schooled students can also thrive in Connections Academy’s program.

At the in-person and online information sessions families can meet and talk to a representative of Iowa Connections Academy, explore the program and curriculum, and learn more about the enrollment process. For more information, visit


Friday, February 10, 12:00 pm

Monday, February 13, 7:00 pm

Friday, February 17, 12:00 pm

Tuesday, February 21, 7:00 pm

Friday, February 24, 12:00 pm

Monday, February 27, 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 29, 12:00 pm


About Connections Academy
Connections Academy is a leading, fully accredited provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Through tuition-free public schools, and full-time and part-time private school programs, Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. In the 2011-2012 school year, Connections Academy will serve students in 22 states via 23 virtual public schools. It serves students worldwide through the online private school, National Connections Academy. Connections Academy offers grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. Connections Academy is a division of Connections Education LLC. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit Connections Academy and its parent company, Connections Education, are part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO)


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