Education & Schools
Governor Quinn Receives First P-20 Council Report PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 14 February 2011 14:59

CHICAGO – February13, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today received the first set of recommendations from the Illinois P-20 Council. The council’s report was released to the Governor and the General Assembly, and it provides a number of suggestions aimed at improving student success in Illinois.

"Ensuring that all of our students receive the highest quality education and are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow is key to Illinois’ long-term economic growth,” said Governor Quinn. “I would like to thank the council members for their hard work, and I look forward to reviewing their proposal for further improvements to education in Illinois.”

The council’s report includes recommendations pertaining to all levels of the state education system. Its primary goal is to increase the proportion of Illinoisans with high-quality degrees and credentials from the current level of 41 percent to 60 percent of the working-age population by 2025.

Members of the P-20 Council include business leaders, teachers, parents, civic groups, and officials from universities, community colleges and schools. There are four legislative members on the council and six ex-officio members from state agencies. Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle serves as chair.

To read the council’s full report, please visit


Treasurer Fitzgerald Helps Schools Prepare for Kindergarten Round-Up PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 14 February 2011 08:40

DES MOINES, IA (02/10/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is providing free pencils to Kindergarten teachers across Iowa through the Prepare for Basics Program. Fitzgerald understands that Kindergarten Round-Up is an integral part for both children and parents which is why he is providing the materials free of charge. "Our schools have the right idea when it comes to putting the children and parents at ease," Fitzgerald said. "They know that inviting families to check out their school six months before the school year begins will help kindergarteners prepare for their big transition. We offer the pencils as a small gesture of support for our schools." In addition to the pencils, this free program will provide information about College Savings Iowa, the state-sponsored 529 plan created to help Iowa families save for future higher education expenses.

College Savings Iowa lets anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – invest for college. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,865 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011.* Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information about College Savings Iowa, visit or call 1-888-672-9116.

Elementary principals interested in taking part in the Prepare for the Basics program are recommended to register on-line by visiting and clicking on the financial literacy tab. To guarantee timely arrival, materials should be requested at least two weeks in advance. They will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax on the earnings, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Maximizing Potential – Maximizing Value: Rewarding U Now Scholarship at Rivermont PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 10:25

You deserve a break!  Rivermont Collegiate is excited to formally announce the creation of the Rewarding U Now Scholarship, a renewable academic merit scholarship for students entering grades 9-12 in the 2011-12 academic year.  All qualifying students will be awarded $2,000 toward Rivermont annual tuition, renewable every year they attend Rivermont in grades 9-12 and meet scholarship criteriaThis is a potential value of $8,000 over 4 years! Eligible students must be entering grades 9-12 at Rivermont Collegiate and have earned a current year (2010-11) GPA of 3.85 or higher.  Awards will be prorated for students who qualify for discounts or financial aid and may not be combined with other merit awards.  This opportunity is available to both current Rivermont students and new applicants.  We wish to take as many eligible applications as possible and there is no limit on the number of scholarships to be awarded!

Interested students must submit an official Rivermont application form and one-time application fee of $50, as well as an official transcript from their current school and an original 350-550 word essay.  Applicants will also be interviewed by a scholarship committee.  Application materials and essays must be submitted no later than Monday, March 28th at 4:00 p.m. Interviews with the scholarship committee will take place on Tuesday, April 5th.  Applications are now being accepted.  Essay topics and detailed instructions can be found at

This new opportunity is one of a number of options offered to keep a Rivermont education affordable.  Rivermont’s goal is that economic standing not be a factor in admission and/or accessibility to the Rivermont Experience.  About 51% of Rivermont families receive some form of tuition adjustment, including need-based tuition assistance, memorial and merit scholarships, sibling discounts, and reciprocal agreements with other local educational institutions.  These opportunities ensure that Rivermont remains proudly committed to ethnic, socio-economic, and religious diversity while also attracting the brightest, most talented and dedicated students.

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities’ only private, independent, nonsectarian college prep school for students in preschool through twelfth grade.  Intimate school environments like Rivermont help close achievement gaps between genders, encourage participation in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, provide meaningful interaction with teachers and advisors, and prevent students from taking refuge in anonymity.  100% of Rivermont graduates are accepted to 4-year colleges and universities and over 90% earn renewable college merit scholarships ($1.4 million in 2009).

What are you waiting for?  Explore Rivermont!  The Quad City community is invited to join us for the 2010-11 Academic Fair, to be held Thursday, February 10th at 6:00 p.m. Immerse yourself in knowledge as Rivermont students share a diverse assortment of projects, from Native American studies to genealogy, as well as performances of living biographies.  Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about our philosophy, values, and programs, as well as the Rewarding U Now Scholarship.  The public is invited to tour campus and see our students and faculty in action – get a real taste of the Rivermont Experience!

In addition, students and their parents are encouraged to learn more about Upper School (grades 9-12) at Rivermont by attending a special open house – Discover the Difference: Upper School at Rivermont, to be held on Tuesday, February 22nd from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Headmaster Rick St. Laurent and Upper School Faculty will discuss academic expectations, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, college counseling, athletics, and more!  Alumni will answer questions and share their Rivermont Experience and families will have the opportunity to tour Upper School classrooms and common areas.  Additional information about the Rewarding U Now Scholarship will also be provided.

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, the Rewarding U Now Scholarship, the Academic Fair, or the Discover the Difference: Upper School at Rivermont open house, contact Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Rock Island Region Field Office Ribbong Cutting to Feature Science Demos and Government Leaders PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brenda Buschbacher   
Monday, 07 February 2011 16:55
Where:        Rock Island Center for Math and Science, 2101 16th Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois 61201
When:         Thursday, February 10, 2011
Time:           10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
What:          The Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting of IMSA’s New Rock Island Region  Field Office located at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science.  IMSA joins forces with educators from the Rock Island Region of Illinois to help students prepare for highly skilled careers as they discover the joys of learning mathematics and science.

The Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting of IMSA’s new Rock Island Region Field Office located at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science, featuring Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley and IMSA President Dr. Glenn W. “Max” McGee, will be held on Thursday, February 10, 2011 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Rock Island Center for Math and Science.  Other officials in attendance will be Dr. RuthAnn Tobey-Brown, principal of Rock Island Center for Math and Science and Dr. Michael Oberhaus, superintendent of Rock Island/Milan School District #41.

In addition to a welcome and comments from state and local dignitaries, the event will also feature a live science demonstration by the IMSA Kids Institute® (KI) conducted by IMSA students.  During the States of Matter:  Does it Matter? science demonstration, 25 students from the Rock Island Center for Math and Science  will see how solids, liquids and gases can change with temperature and through chemical reactions.  In addition,  IMSA on Wheels will perform Science is Shocking for 3-5th graders.

Through its new Rock Island Region Field Office, IMSA joins forces with educators from the Rock Island Region of Illinois to deliver professional development in mathematics and science instruction that focuses on inquiry and discovery; provide after school, weekend and summer mathematics and science programs for children; and address local needs by building and sustaining relationships with the Rock Island Region and coordinating mathematics and science programs with local organizations.

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry. IMSA also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships. (

Harkin: Pell Grant Payment Schedules for Next School Year Will Increase Access to College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Thursday, 03 February 2011 08:01
Maximum Annual Award Maintained at $5,500

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded the Department of Education’s release of the new Pell Grant schedules as an important step towards improving access to college.  The schedules determine the Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2011-2012 Academic Year – July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 – for low-income college students.  The maximum Pell Grant award for this year will be $5,550.  As Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Harkin led the effort to fully fund the Pell Grant program in the Continuing Resolution that passed the Senate and was signed into law in December.  Additionally, as Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Harkin worked to eliminate billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies to banks and redirected that money to increase Pell Grants as part of the reconciliation package that was used to provide technical fixes to the health reform bill last March.

“In our efforts to attract and keep good jobs in America - and to stay competitive in the global economy - we must increase the number of students who attend college,” said Harkin.  “Currently, there are millions of bright, young people who want to attend school but simply can’t because of finances.  That is where the Pell Grant program provides much needed assistance and makes college more affordable for low-income students.  This is a small federal investment that repays itself many times over with a better paid tax base and a more educated work force.

“I am pleased that today the Department of Education has released its schedules so that schools and students can plan accordingly.  This is truly an important step in increasing access to college for all Americans.  Moving forward it is critical that we do all that we can in Congress continue to fund this program that is helping our economy and our future generations.”

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to over nine million low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education.  Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions.  Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution; the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.  To see the full Pell Grant schedule released today click here.

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