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With just a few days of school left before the winter break and preparations for the holidays in full swing, teachers are likely to see more empty seats in their classrooms.
The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the times when the Champaign school district struggles most with keeping kids in class.
TOLONO – Although the Unit 7 school board has not yet decided if it should add three sports to the programs offered at Unity Junior High, the school is applying for membership in the Junior High Okaw Conference (JHOC).
In May, the Okaw Valley Conference added both nonconference Unity High School and current Little Okaw Valley Conference member Tuscola High School for the start of the 2007-2008 season. Unity and Tuscola worked together for about 10 months in their effort to join the league that also includes Argenta-Oreana, Central A&M, Clinton, Decatur St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Meridian, Monticello, Shelbyville, Sullivan and Warrensburg-Latham.
DANVILLE – Some Danville students are getting a new computer, but it's not from Santa.
It's from the Danville school district.
RANTOUL – Members of the Rantoul Township High School board Monday took a first official look at a policy spelling out how their facilities should be used by the public.
They are expected to approve the policy at the January meeting after looking at some lingering issues, chiefly the amount organizations that use the playing fields and the school's Cafetorium would have to pay for custodial services.
CHAMPAIGN – An increase in some student fees may be necessary to balance the 2007-08 budget for the Champaign school district.
Gene Logas, the district's chief financial officer, gave the school board a preliminary budget projection for next year, and he recommended increasing several fees.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school board members ended a public hearing on a proposed charter school Monday evening with many unanswered questions about how the school would operate.
The hearing became contentious following emotional testimony from parents who said their children were not learning in the Champaign schools, and who felt the decision whether to go forward with a charter school came down to money.
GEORGETOWN – School board members approved a $2.42 million tax levy for the upcoming year on Monday.
The new levy reflects a $37,600 increase from the previous $2.38 million levy.
CHAMPAIGN – As students filed into Jackie Baxter's seventh-grade science classroom at Jefferson Middle School earlier this month, Baxter greeted them by telling them how responsible they were for bringing their books, as instructed.
Baxter praised those who raised their hands and waited to be called on for their patience. As the class quieted down and the students began working, she continued talking, telling them how focused and hard-working they were the day before.
DANVILLE – A local radio station will present its 13th annual series replaying school holiday programs on Sunday.
WITY-AM 980 records elementary, junior and senior high school choral and instrumental presentations. The replays of the programs join the station's tradition of airing Christmas music nearly 24 hours a day through Christmas.
CHAMPAIGN – Teaching and performing have many parallels for Jaime Roundtree. All eyes are on him as he tries to make connections with his students or his audience.
Roundtree is a fifth-grade teacher at Champaign's South Side Elementary School, and he is also a hip-hop artist with a number of recordings to his credit. He was devoted to making music, and working as a substitute teacher in Chicago for the extra income, when he found he loved teaching as well.