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Hoopeston schools considers expanding behavioral system

Hoopeston Area Middle School tried something new at the beginning of the school year to promote positive conduct in its students.

Middle School Dean of Students Ann Penicook told Hoopeston Area School Board members Thursday night that although it takes three to five years for the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system to show full results, she has already seen a change for the better in the middle school students at Hoopeston.


6th-graders' computers branch out

DANVILLE – They use them to play games, download music and e-mail their friends.

Now sixth-graders at North Ridge and South View middle schools will use computers to research, write and tackle other educational endeavors.


UI students help revive foreign language program

CHAMPAIGN – "Mi barba tiene tres pelos. Tres pelos tiene mi barba. (My beard has three hairs)," sang Karen Trower, as she made exaggerated gestures, touching her chin and her hair, along with a group of second-grade students at Westview Elementary School.

"Si no tuviera tres pelos, pues no siera una barba. (If it didn't have three hairs, it wouldn't be a beard)," they sang.


The earlier the better on foreign languages

CHAMPAIGN – As an international flight attendant, Elizabeth Dickerson knows how useful speaking a second language can be. Many of her co-workers speak multiple languages.

Unfortunately, she doesn't. She's learned a few words and sometimes resorts to pantomime to communicate with passengers.


Teachers bringing study to the table

CHAMPAIGN – Foreign language teachers would like to see the Champaign school district restore an exploratory language course and add another year of language instruction at the middle school level.

Their long-term goals include initiatives at the high school level, such as adding heritage classes for students able to speak a second language but who need to improve their grammar and writing skills; and, ultimately, adding foreign language classes at the elementary level.


Now they're cookin'

DANVILLE – O'Leary's Pub owner Tim Farrell is eagerly awaiting the opening of a new, state-of-the-art kitchen, but it's not going into his restaurant.

The 900-square-foot facility is being built at Danville Area Community College's Bremer Conference Center. It will serve as not only the facility's kitchen but also as a hands-on laboratory for students taking food service classes.


Centennial principal leaving post for new administrative job

CHAMPAIGN – After 20 years at Centennial High School, Judy Wiegand is leaving the building for a new administrative position with the Champaign school district.

Wiegand, who is in her fifth year as principal at Centennial, will become director of secondary curriculum for the district after this school year ends.


Students get 'green' lesson from Frerichs

OAKWOOD – After viewing a documentary film about global warming, 88 students in Cammie Richter's eighth-grade social studies class at Oakwood Junior High School took their teacher's advice and wrote their local legislators – never thinking they might actually get a response.

Richter's class viewed former Vice President Al Gore's Academy Award-nominated documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," during a geography unit that included climate change.


Unexpected winter break ends for Champaign schools

CHAMPAIGN – Finally, back to the books.

Champaign students were in school today for the first time in a week.


Firm hired for Urbana school investigation

URBANA – The Urbana school board voted Thursday to hire Taylor Law Offices P.C. of Effingham to independently investigate "all matters relevant to Jon White's employment, the November 2006 school district investigation and the most recent allegations," according to a press release issued immediately after the school board's unanimous decision.

Thomas Paine Elementary School teacher Jon White of Normal is charged with three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.