Trio names new supercomputer after NCSA pioneer

CHAMPAIGN – If you're going to name something after Larry Smarr, why not a supercomputer?

Smarr – best known in Champaign-Urbana as the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications – returned to town this week for a ceremony dedicating a supercomputer in his honor.

Champaign students have new high school alternative

CHAMPAIGN – A brand-new school is being built from the ground up on North Randolph Street. Not the bricks-and-mortar kind of building, but a program with a new way of helping students learn.

The Champaign school district's Academic Alternative Academy is preparing to open for high school students who want a nontraditional setting. Its 60 students will begin registration next week, and they'll be moving from Centennial and Central high schools to the small brick building, formerly used by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, at 815 N. Randolph St.

Final vacant administrative position filled in Danville schools

DANVILLE – After a surprise resignation this summer, the Danville school district now has its entire administrative team in place.

School board members on Wednesday tapped Christopher Rice as assistant principal for East Park Elementary School.

Teen confesses to vandalizing Farmer City Cemetery

FARMER CITY – A 13-year-old boy has confessed to vandalizing a cemetery here, police said.

A Farmer City press release Wednesday said the boy may have had accomplices in knocking over 38 tombstones at the historic Farmer City Cemetery, which has graves predating the Civil War.

Mansfield teacher to share experiences in Asia with students

MANSFIELD – Meghan James, sixth-grade teacher at Mansfield Elementary, experienced a trip of a lifetime to Asia this summer and plans to share it all with her students this fall.

Janes and 23 other educators traveled to South Korea and Japan for three weeks. They toured temples and museums, witnessed government protests, observed in Korean and Japanese schools, rode crowded subways and even tasted a McDonald's Oreo McFlurry – Japanese style.

Record attendance seen at migrant school in Rantoul

RANTOUL – School officials reported record attendance at this Rantoul Township High School's migrant school.

More than 200 young people attended classes this summer, according to Migrant Elementary School Principal Todd Wilson and Migrant Middle School and High School Principal Scott Amerio. It's by far the highest enrollment for the program.

Truancy-reduction effort to begin Sept. 23 in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Some Champaign parents could answer their doors this fall and find the superintendent, a school board member or a teacher standing outside.

They will be there to remind parents and their children how important it is to attend school every day.

Roof repairs under way at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High

GEORGETOWN – A leaky section of the Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School gymnasium roof appears to be fixed, Superintendent Kevin Tate told the school board Monday, and two other sections should be fixed in the near future.

Tate said the problems occur around the heating and cooling units on the school roof. The older units were replaced 13 years ago with smaller, more efficient units. Because of the size difference, Tate said, foam rubber pads were put around the bases of the units. Those pads have deteriorated over time, he said.

Champaign library hosting Home School Fair on Aug. 16

CHAMPAIGN – Parents who home-school their children can meet each other and learn where to find help at a "Home School Fair" this weekend at the Champaign Public Library.

The free event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the library, 200 W. Green St., C.

Grading system changes up for vote at Danville High School

DANVILLE – Danville High School could try out two new grading procedures.

School board members will vote Wednesday on whether to pilot a 10-point grading scale and a four-point grade-point average format for the 2008-09 school year. It will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville.