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TUSCOLA – A representative from the U.S. Department of Education will be in Tuscola on Tuesday to present a Blue Ribbon Award to North Ward Elementary School – one of only 15 schools in the state to receive the honor.
Principal Ann Lamkey said she's thrilled the school is getting the recognition. But she said the success at North Ward is due to people, not programs.
HOMER – Landowners in the southeastern Champaign County area, already paying some of the highest property taxes in the county, could see their tax bills increase under a proposal before the Heritage school board.
According to county records, Longview had the highest property tax rate in Champaign County this year at $9.25 per $100 equalized assessed valuation, with $5.17 of that coming from the school district.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school district officials and representatives of its black students will tell a federal judge this week about the successes and the work yet to be done to meet the goals of the district's consent decree case.
Though they might not agree on all the issues, both sides say they hope the testimony in Thursday's court hearing will help the community understand the consent decree and what it means for students and teachers.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district has hired a manager to deal with information related to the district's consent decree case, to deal better with the volumes of statistics it must produce.
The move comes after the district discovered mistakes in data it submitted this summer in connection with the court decree.
CHAMPAIGN – When Lauren Taaffe's daughter Sophia reached kindergarten age, Taaffe chose to send her to Next Generation School, a private primary and middle school in Champaign.
"We liked the atmosphere of the school and the curriculum," Taaffe said. "It included so much – Spanish as well as reading, basic arithmetic skills, learning how to learn. We really liked the comprehensive curriculum – music, art, PE, the whole package."
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district has not sufficiently shown how it will meet the goals of its federal consent decree, say the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case.
Instead, in a Sept. 22 report filed with the federal district court, the district provided a narrative of "many previously attempted and sometimes failed strategies or new strategies with inadequate monitoring provisions," and restated broad goals, they say. The plaintiffs particularly took issue with the failure to set out interim steps to reach the district's goals and measure its progress.
CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College officials say they're worried that area residents might be bilked by two young men posing as Parkland students.
"They're going door-to-door soliciting money for Parkland, saying they're trying to raise the other half of the money they need to study abroad," said Public Safety Director Von Young. "They're two white, college-age males who are well groomed, and one might be carrying a backpack," Young said. "They have nothing identifying them as Parkland students. They're not selling anything. They're just going from door to door begging.
CHAMPAIGN – Bottenfield Elementary School had been open just five years when Marianne Kellerhals sent her first child off to kindergarten there.
She sent two more children through the elementary school; was an active PTA member; volunteered as a tutor for 11 years; saw six grandchildren attend the school; and started this week helping kindergarten students with reading. In all, she's been involved with the school for more than half of its existence.
URBANA – Children of above-average intelligence and talent may get a boost in Urbana.
In an Urbana school board study session set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Burkholder Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U, the district will present a plan for including more gifted education in the schools.
PAXTON – There aren't a lot of Japanese children in Paxton. But lots of children in Paxton are learning about Japan.
That's because today Peggy Chandler, a fourth-grade teacher at Paxton-Buckley-Loda's Eastlawn Elementary School, will be going to Japan for nearly three weeks at the invitation of the Japanese government.