Children invited to planetarium matinees

CHAMPAIGN — Children who won't have school on Monday because of Presidents Day are invited to two matinees at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College.

At 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, the planetarium will premiere the new full-dome program "Back to the Moon for Good," directed by Max Crow and narrated by actor Tim Allen.

Catlin grade school principal resigns for new job

CATLIN — Officials accepted the resignation of Catlin Grade School Principal Beau Fretueg, effective June 30.

Fretueg, who was a sixth-grade teacher in the district for five years and a principal for the last six, has accepted a position as superintendent of the Illini Central school district in Mason City.

Prospective UI students find out today if they're in

URBANA — For thousands of would-be Illini, today is Decision Day. With a capital D.

Come 4 p.m., high school seniors will bombard the University of Illinois website to find out whether they've been accepted to the state's flagship campus for fall 2015. Or not.

On Friday the 13th. Or "Black Friday," as one dad joked.

Go figure (school edition): Feb. 13, 2015

A numerical look at local headlines


Champaign-Urbana public school grads who'll be saluted as 2015's C-U Schools Foundation Distinguished Alumni: Eleanor Nelson Conrad (Champaign High's Class of 1942) and Charles Middleton (Urbana '63).

Grant to help train hundreds to recognize signs of mental illness

CHAMPAIGN — Nearly 600 Champaign community members will be trained and certified in first aid in the next two years, but not the physical kind.

A federal grant of $99,971 will allow the Unit 4 school district to train and equip local adults in mental health first aid, a program designed to help people recognize and respond to signs of mental illness in kids at a young age.

Showcase planned for Westville schools

WESTVILLE — School officials are planning a district showcase in April. The public, legislators and business representatives would be invited to tour the buildings and to see some of the programs taking place.

Champaign parks chief: much discussion, legal research ahead on Dodds Park

A full public discussion is scheduled for later this month on a proposal to build the new Champaign Central High School at Dodds Park east of Parkland College instead of at the current site on the city's far north side.

Champaign Park District board members on Wednesday night agreed unanimously to devote the board's study session on Feb. 25 to the issue.

Former school board member rejoins for a few weeks

DANVILLE — When Judd Peck stepped down from the Danville school board in 2011, he thought it would be for good.

But when former board colleagues asked him to do another stint — this one only 2-1/2 months long — he was happy to help out.

Role reversal

CHAMPAIGN — In Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill A Mockingbird," one of the major themes is not to judge others.

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it," Atticus Finch says.

School officials see advantages of building next to Parkland

CHAMPAIGN — No matter what her students' down-the-road goals are, Central High School's college and career counselor always tells them to spend some time at Parkland College.

The campus is relaxed, the programs are welcoming and the professors know how to work with high school students, Jennifer Stroud says.