New teachers learn the ropes

DANVILLE – South View Middle School Principal Jason Bletzinger has 13 new teachers this year, so he decided to try something new to get them acquainted with the school.

He held a special orientation last Friday, just for those new to the building, so they could learn the procedures at South View, from how to submit a purchase order to attendance procedures, from handing discipline issues to the e-mail system.

Fisher district, union reach tentative agreement

FISHER – The Fisher school district and Fisher Education Association reached a tentative three-year contract settlement Wednesday night during its first meeting with a federal mediator.

Gene Vanderport, a representative from the Illinois Education Association working with the Fisher teachers' union, said the settlement was reached pretty quickly – after about two hours of negotiations.

PBL junior high working to improve test scores

PAXTON – Even though Paxton-Buckley-Loda Junior High School did not make adequate yearly progress for the second year in a row, administrators and teachers are working hard to ensure test scores rise and students are receiving the best possible education.

That is the message Paxton-Buckley-Loda Superintendent Cliff McClure had for junior high students' parents in a note sent home Wednesday after Paxton-Buckley-Loda's first day of school.

'I forgot my report card' won't fly now at local schools

When Marshall Jackson wants to check his four children's grades, attendance or even what they choose for lunch in the school cafeteria, he often won't have to go farther than his home computer.

That's because, starting this fall, Urbana school district parents will have online access to a slew of their children's school information.

Mahomet-Seymour union ratifies 3-year contract

MAHOMET – The Mahomet-Seymour Education Association ratified a three-year contract by a vote of 199-2 Wednesday afternoon, the day after an all-night bargaining session.

Linda Meachum, chief negotiator and fifth-grade teacher, called it a "good, solid contract."

Tentative contract in Mahomet-Seymour

MAHOMET – It took 12 hours and 15 minutes of all-night bargaining, but the Mahomet-Seymour school district and its education association have reached a tentative contract settlement.

The sides bargained until 5:45 a.m. today, and a federal mediator was present. The association's previous contract expired at midnight Tuesday.

DACC trustees give tentative nod to new budget

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees gave tentative approval Tuesday to a balanced 2007-08 budget.

The public can view the proposed $27.57 million budget at the college, 2000 E. Main St., until Sept. 25, when the board will hold a public hearing and vote on its adoption.

Oakwood, Jamaica teachers tentatively have deals

Teachers in Jamaica and Oakwood could be working under new contracts by next week or so.

Negotiators for the Oakwood school district and the teacher's union reached a tentative three-year deal on Tuesday evening, Superintendent Keven Forney said. Earlier in the day, he said the two sides were looking forward to settling so that "we can get our focus on the business of education."

State Teacher of Year shares his strategies

DANVILLE – As a new Effingham High School teacher, Joe Fatheree discovered he couldn't teach his students to write using only the methods he learned in college.

Some of them were 19 and reading at a second-grade level. They lacked the confidence and support to succeed.

School band gets a big booster

DANVILLE – Northeast Elementary Magnet School's band program has gotten a boost from a local social organization.

The GAO Grotto donated percussion equipment, including 20 bass, snare and tenor drums, two sets of bells, two sets of cymbals and a number of drumsticks, to the school.