Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

And now, the President of the United States ...

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at one lucky U.S. high school this spring chosen through the first “Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge.”

A virtual walk in the woods

Like everyone else, my kids and their friends are reveling in the warmer weather.

The last bits of snow are melting away, and we spent much of the weekend outside -- batting practice, basketball, hide and seek, any excuse to be outdoors. My daughter was even thrilled to find a pinecone on a walk at a woodsy rest area on our way to St. Louis.

Sick days, happy days

Here’s how you don’t want to start your work week.

I was doing my usual juggling routine on a recent Monday morning — up at 6:30, check email, throw in a load of laundry, shower, make school lunches before the kids wake up, etc. — when I heard my daughter yell, “Mommy! I need to throw up!”

I’ll gloss over the details, but suffice to say I had to stay home from work that day.

Stopping the 'R' word


You may have seen the billboard on South Neil Street: a smiling 2-year-old girl next to the slogan, "Spread the Word to End the Word."

The "R-word" in question is "retarded," used for years to describe people with mental disabilities but now considered derogatory by those in special education.

Students, parents and educators in Champaign County rallied Wednesday to stamp out use of the “R” word and champion the contributions of people with intellectual disabilities.

Local cable show for moms debuts this month

One thing I valued above all else as a first-time mom: advice from women who’d just gone through the same thing.

When my son was born, I relied heavily on a friend who had a 1-year-old boy. Her memories of those first bewildering days with a newborn were still fresh, and even though she was a decade younger than me she was a whole year smarter about babies.

Putting kids to the test

If you have a child in public school, don’t plan any surprise visits this week.

Schools are on ISAT lockdown.

Both Champaign and Urbana schools have “no visitor” policies this week. Classroom doors are kept shut and hallways quiet.

It’s an effort to keep children focused as they take the all-important Illinois Standards Achievement Tests.

Catholic preschool?

Champaign-Urbana families have scores of preschool options, from parent cooperatives to government-funded Head Start programs to private or church-affiliated schools.

Local Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist and other congregations have long supported preschools, but one religious denomination has been noticeably absent: Catholics.

Despite their longtime emphasis on parochial education, neither Catholic school in Champaign-Urbana has had a preschool. But that could change.