Danville students get another chance to catch up to their peers

DANVILLE – The bad news came a couple of weeks ago, right before the class trip to Six Flags.

South View Middle School eighth-grader Tifani Miller learned she had failed math and social studies. That meant no trip and possibly no high school this fall.

"It was really disappointing," the 15-year-old Tilton girl said. "I was really excited for high school. I was held back in the second grade ... so all of my friends are there waiting for me."

Parents want to keep Stratton principal

CHAMPAIGN – Stratton Elementary School parents are fighting to keep their principal, who is a candidate for another job in the district.

Orlando Thomas, who was named principal of Stratton last summer, has applied for the Centennial High School principal job.

Obscure new rule forcing district to rebid projects

CHAMPAIGN – Work to add air conditioning at Garden Hills Elementary School, scheduled to take place this summer, will be delayed until the fall because of a new requirement in the bidding process for school districts.

The Champaign school district planned to add the air-conditioning and upgrade the electrical system, improve lighting at Garden Hills and Centennial High School, and replace Centennial's boiler. The district advertised for bids in the newspaper, as required by statute; prepared a request for proposals; received four bids; and selected Honeywell as the contractor.

Jobs teach students to stick with school

DANVILLE – A year ago, Briana Garza wanted to drop out of Danville High School.

That changed when she became involved in the school's Work Experience and Career Exploration Program this past year. The school-to-work transition program gave her real work experience and a paycheck – and a new attitude toward education.

Two Urbana schools to look at balanced calendar

URBANA – Staff members at two Urbana elementary schools will spend the next academic year figuring out if a balanced calendar could work in Urbana.

At the Tuesday night Urbana school board meeting, the board heard a presentation about balanced calendars at King and Thomas Paine elementary schools.

Discussion focuses on multilingual students

CHAMPAIGN – The three candidates for principal of Washington Elementary School spoke at a community forum Monday night about leading a school with many English-language learners, and about getting more parents involved at the school.

Sarah Clyne is a coordinator of English as a Second Language at the Richfield school district in suburban Minneapolis.

Urbana superintendent might get raise, new goals

URBANA – Schools Superintendent Preston Williams' job description may grow, along with his salary.

Board president Mark Netter said that at the Tuesday school board meeting – at 7:30 p.m. at the Burkhold- er Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U – the board will look at adding two goals to the superintendent position.

Unique culture informs choice of new principal

CHAMPAIGN – Washington Elementary School is demographically unique in the Champaign school district.

It has a largely black and Latino population. More than 80 percent of its students come from families below the poverty rate. The school offers bilingual education, and more than one-third of the children have limited English proficiency.

Students with, without disabilities team up on area projects

CHAMPAIGN – Students in a Central High School word processing class have been learning more than just computer skills in the last month or so.

Students with disabilities worked on teams with those without. They improved their social skills along with their typing skills. And they did work for four local organizations.

Students in math classes get down to business

CHAMPAIGN – Erin Holm plans to take advantage of the interest in healthy food, and escaping the long months of cold Illinois weather, with her smoothie bar, The Chambana Cabana.

This won't be just any smoothie bar. Her business plan says it will be a tropical-themed, health-conscious, money-making machine!