URBANA – Fear of the first day of school isn't only for the young people facing the blackboard.
For new teachers, facing two dozen eager, evaluating faces can also be an exercise in anxiety. Do I have all my books and classroom plans? How do I record attendance? What happens if my student cuts his finger? What if they don't like me?
RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School teachers Monday voted to file an intent-to-strike vote, a move that starts the clock ticking and puts pressure on stalled contract negotiations.
"We're apprehensive, uneasy," said Michelle Strater, a spokeswoman for the Rantoul Township High School Teachers Association, which represents 63 teachers at the school.
So maybe Alex Zhai doesn't have a zillion-dollar shoe contract, a phalanx of "people" to keep his adoring, autograph-wanting fans at bay, or a sweet three-point shot.
But he could probably beat the shot clock figuring the arc of descent on a three-pointer for you.
Vashti McCollum, the Champaign woman who successfully carried a dispute with the Champaign school district all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, died Sunday evening at Carle Arbours in Savoy. She was 93.
A memorial service will be arranged, said her son, former Champaign Mayor Dan McCollum.
CHAMPAIGN – With the return to schools for most students just around the corner, Champaign police will use extra patrols to remind motorists to drive safely.
Some schools are already open, but most buildings in Champaign reopen Wednesday. Champaign police Sgt. Dave Griffet said radar trailers will be placed in school zones throughout the city. At the start of the official school year, officers will be posted at all schools each morning and again at most schools at closing times.
URBANA – The challenge: You're on the third floor on the west side of school and need to get to the physical education facilities downstairs and over on the east side of the long building.
Your mission, with no choice but to accept it: Leave class, grab books from your locker and make it to your next class.
CHAMPAIGN – It would have been easy not to expect much from a boy growing up in Charles Hogue's rough Joliet neighborhood, where alcoholism, drug abuse and violence by both residents and police were commonplace.
It would have been easy for Hogue not to expect much from himself, growing up the fifth of nine children in a poor family.
CHAMPAIGN – Armed with phone books and a list of community organizations to visit, three dozen Westview Elementary School teachers and staff set off Friday morning in the pouring rain for the Amazing Westview Race.
The event, based on the Amazing Race TV show, was to help build rapport among the teachers and staff and give them more information about organizations in town that have something to offer children and families. The race was part of a Westview Summer Institute on Thursday and Friday.
RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School officials and teachers made no progress on contract talks during a meeting Thursday with a mediator that lasted more than four hours.
Union leaders will meet with members at 11 a.m. Monday – the day before school starts – to talk about their options and find out what actions the teachers support, said Gene Vanderport, Illinois Education Association area representative.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district should try again during this school year to get the money to put additional seats in north Champaign, said Superintendent Arthur Culver.
He said although the timing of a spring 2007 referendum is not ideal, the district shouldn't wait because of the deadline imposed by the district's federal consent decree. The district was to have added two strands of elementary seats north of University Avenue by the 2005-06 school year.