Urbana board to decide if past talks need to stay confidential

URBANA – When the Urbana school board meets on Tuesday evening, at least part of the talking will be about what the board can't talk about.

At the 7:30 p.m. business meeting, the board will review minutes of past closed sessions to determine whether the discussions still need confidentiality. Types of issues that allow a closed meeting – where no public or reporters are allowed to attend – are discussions of individual staff members' performances or situations where the district has or expects litigation either against the district or on its behalf.

Parkland trustees will decide on status of interim president

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College Interim President Tom Ramage will learn Wednesday whether that "interim" in his title will stay or go.

Trustees will likely take action on the status of Ramage when they meet at 7 p.m. at Parkland's Ag Tech Center.

Earlier start to school year in Champaign on board's agenda

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign high school students will be taking semester exams next Thursday and Friday. But that doesn't mean most of them were hard at work studying during their winter break.

"Over break, you hang out with friends and sleep all day and don't really study," said Centennial High School junior Amber Adams. "You don't really want to think about school that much. Then you come back and, 'Oh, I forgot what we're doing.' A lot of material gets lost."

Vision Committee forming working groups

SAVOY – A couple dozen community members have been recommended to do the bulk of the work in planning for programs and buildings for the future of the Champaign school district.

The district's Vision Committee, which is overseeing the planning process, narrowed down a list of recommended names when it met in Savoy on Thursday night.

Catlin board studies co-op classes with Jamaica

CATLIN – Doubtful that state money will be available for the construction of a new, three-district high school any time soon, Catlin school officials said Thursday they are exploring the possibility of combining junior high and high school classes with the neighboring Jamaica district.

"I think it's something we need to investigate," said Catlin School Board President Jeff Fauver.

Hands-on learning for government interns

DANVILLE – This semester, Miles Ashton will trade in his Danville High School ID badge for one from an Illinois Appellate Court office.

The 18-year-old, who completed his graduation credits in December, is heading to Springfield on Sunday for a legal internship through the Illinois Governmental Internship Program.

M-S board reviews, updates school policy manual

MAHOMET – Mahomet-Seymour school board members met with Anna Lovern, director of the Illinois Association of School Boards Policy Services, to begin work on a new board policy manual Tuesday.

When the work is completed, the manual will be smaller and easier to navigate. Tuesday's information gathering session will be followed with editing sessions until a final version is approved.

Champaign students feeding minds, stomachs

CHAMPAIGN – Here's a quick quiz: Does the word "annihilate" mean destroy, stagger, marvel or rumple?

It's not too hard to pick out the correct answer: destroy.

Urbana board discusses district priorities

URBANA – The Urbana school board has plenty of ideas on how to make the district better.

All it needs is the money – lots of it – to implement those ideas.

Vision panel will explore funding options

SAVOY – A countywide sales tax is one way the Champaign school district – and others in the county – could pay for school repairs and construction.

The idea is one the Champaign school district's planning committee will hear about as possible options to pay for school improvements when it meets Thursday evening.