Last week marked the beginning of the school year for a number of area districts, but it also meant the start of a new year for one of Jacksonville’s most unique educational institutions.
The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired has been a staple in the Jacksonville community since its founding more than 150 years ago in 1849 as part of the city’s early quest to be known as an educational hub of America’s beckoning western frontier.
Now that the month of August is wrapping up, students from across the state are back on the ISVI campus, attending classes that specifically accommodate and assist with their varying visual impairments. ISVI Superintendent Serena Preston joined WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” program Friday to talk about how things are shaping up on campus. In terms of enrollment, Preston says the number of students attending ISVI is not unlike most other school years.
Preston says ISVI is unique in the fact that not all of its students regularly attend classes on campus and many of them utilize the school’s various outreach programs
Unlike public school districts across Illinois, many of whom have been impacted by the state’s budget woes over the past several years, and even some by the new school funding formula that was recently introduced, ISVI receives funding through appropriations from the state budget. Despite stalemates in past years, Illinois does indeed have a state budget this year, meaning that the school has received their maintenance budget and it’s not believed it will not be negatively impacted.