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CHAMPAIGN – Nicole Causley's son went to school Wednesday. But he might not be at Central High School much longer, she says.
Causley and her sister, Natalie Freeman, say they will take their children out of the Champaign school district in protest of the decision to put armed police officers in the schools. They are asking other parents to do the same.
URBANA – Representatives from elementary schools around Urbana met Tuesday night with the Urbana school board to propose adding several hours of teacher development time to the calendar every year – and taking that time away from teaching students.
They suggest increasing the teacher development days from six half-day sessions – currently early dismissal days for students – to six full-day sessions, a measure that would need state as well as school board approval.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school Superintendent Arthur Culver says he usually isn't given to public displays of emotion.
But he was shouting Tuesday night as he spoke to the Champaign City Council about the need for a school resource officer program in Champaign middle and high schools.
URBANA – When Linda Darr slipped on a patch of ice and seriously injured her back in February, her recovery could have been one of the worst experiences of her life.
Instead, she said, "I am just so overwhelmed with how well I've been taken care of."
CHAMPAIGN – After two hours of public comment from a standing-room-only crowd of more than 200 people Monday night, the Champaign school board approved putting full-time police officers in its middle and high schools.
The school resource officer program will begin next fall, pending approval from the Champaign City Council at its meeting tonight.
URBANA – Jayner Bryant woke up every day for 27 years wondering where she'd get the drugs and alcohol that fueled her life.
After a year in jail and participation in a successful substance abuse program there, Bryant, 47, decided to turn her life around. She's now very close to earning her high school diploma at Urbana Adult Education, and that's just a start. Her next goal: to earn a degree at Parkland College on her way to becoming a counselor.
SAVOY – The preschoolers in Anita Rhodes' classroom at Savoy Head Start added a new book to their home libraries Thursday.
The children listened to volunteers read "Who Took The Farmer's Hat?," then they each received a copy of the book to take home, as part of WILL-TV's book mentor program. The program, in its second year, puts community volunteers in five Head Start classrooms – three in Savoy and two at Prairie School Head Start in Urbana – and books in the children's homes.
URBANA – Harmony Week at Urbana High School isn't about beautiful music or singing Kumbaya.
It's about openly and peacefully discussing topics on many teen-agers' minds: racism, sex, immigration, high school rules and homosexuality, to name a few.
CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board will again consider whether to put full-time police officers in the schools at a special meeting next week.
The board considered a proposal for school resource officers in the middle and high schools at its meeting last Monday, but didn't take a vote after community members expressed opposition to armed officers in the schools and board members raised questions about the cost and other safety measures being considered.
PAXTON – Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board members approved the resignation of the district's high school boys' basketball coach Wednesday night.
PBL Coach Mark Portwood resigned his coaching position, effective immediately. No word was given on the timing or nature of Portwood's resignation.