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CHAMPAIGN – David Bales said success sometimes comes slowly in fourth-grade reading class, but when it happens, it can be amazing.
"Some students get all the way through high school without discovering the joy of reading, but our class had a chance to experience that discovery," said Bales, a teacher at Westview School, where reading skills have become a priority.
CHAMPAIGN – Dori Walker's three Dr. Howard students will have moved on by the time a new school would be built there, but Walker is glad to hear the plans for the school.
"Dr. Howard is so old and so cramped," said Walker of Wednesday's facilities committee decision to put the school on its $68 million priority list. The list calls for the construction of three schools: one at the Dr. Howard site, one on the north side of the city and one in Savoy.
CHAMPAIGN – The numbers tell the tale.
This year so far, 29 Champaign students have been expelled from their home schools. That's almost two students a week since school started late in August. Last year, expulsions numbered 31 for the entire year.
CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign school district committee is calling for three new grade schools, including one in Savoy, in recommending a $68 million plan that voters would have to approve in March.
Facilities committee members spent three hours Wednesday listing priorities, arguing and horse-trading to come up with a compromise plan to address building needs of Champaign schools.
CHAMPAIGN – For eight Edison Middle School students, Legos are not just toy building blocks, they're also the means to discovering engineering robotics, computer programming and teamwork.
And they are the vehicle to a first prize at the regional FIRST Lego League Robotic Competition, held on the University of Illinois campus last Saturday.
CHAMPAIGN – Deputy Superintendent Dorland Norris topped her Monday night review of the district's report card with good news – Dr. Howard School made adequate yearly progress.
Norris said state education officials who rank results of the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests, given every spring, took a second look at scores of 4,000 students and reversed the results for the one Dr. Howard student who kept the school from making adequate yearly progress.
When parents and college-bound students look at their federal financial aid awards next year, they might find that Iraq, Katrina and Rita have swamped some of their college money.
The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have passed bills increasing some federal student aid but reducing overall aid through 2010.
CHAMPAIGN – A districtwide program to keep potential truants in school is working, say officials who will report the results at Monday's Champaign school board meeting.
Board members also will take a look at the district's 2005 report card results at the 7 p.m. meeting at the Mellon Building, 703 S. New St.
CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College hospitality students flambeed, sauteed and pureed their way to success Wednesday in the college's first ever timed culinary competition.
Hospitality program director Marshall Huffman said he's thought about holding a student cooking contest a la "Iron Chef" – a cable television program – for several years, but didn't have the kitchen space. But Parkland recently enlarged his kitchen, and Huffman decided to start the contest this year.
CHAMPAIGN – Voters say they value the quality of education in Champaign schools, and they support the educational goals of the district's consent decree.
But when pollsters started putting price tags on bond issues to improve district buildings to advance those educational goals, voters' support dropped quickly.