Safe-driving initiative making a difference at Centennial

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial High School students who were wearing their seat belts as they left school one day last week were rewarded for their safe habits with an ice scraper.

The school's Operation Cool program was doing a prize giveaway to remind students to be safe behind the wheel.

UI part of multimillion-dollar effort to alleviate childhood hunger

URBANA – The USDA has awarded $5.5 million to fund research to alleviate childhood hunger, with the University of Illinois playing a large role.

Classroom could teach lessons on giving spirit

VILLA GROVE – Barb Cler thinks her fourth-graders are a special bunch of students, but even she is a little surprised by their generous and caring hearts this holiday season.

This year, instead of the traditional gift exchange at the class Christmas party, the kids decided to pool their monetary donations to give presents, money and hope to a local family.

Fisher school board approves tax levy

FISHER – The Fisher school board approved its 2010 tax levy of $3,288,000, $84,000 more than last year.

The amount reflects the $45,000 abatement of property taxes that will instead be covered by the county sales tax. The assessed property value increased in the district by about $1.5 million this past year.

Unit7 tax levy up by $72,000

TOLONO – School officials approved a tax levy increase of 4 percent Wednesday, which will generate approximately $72,000 in new funds for the coming year.

"We have to make sure we ask for all we can to be sure we have what we need to run the district," Superintendent Andrew Larson said.

Parents unhappy with plan to cut music, PE at Heritage

BROADLANDS – Parents of students at the Heritage School District are not happy with a plan to cut music and physical education programs at the elementary school.

School board members have expressed support for the cuts that would save the district $90,000 annually, though no vote on the matter has yet been scheduled.

How Danville Catholic schools are preparing for changes

The transition to the Schlarman Academy concept began with the 2010-2011 school year.

Before the school year, a 16-member Schlarman Academy board of trustees was selected, approved by the Pastors' Board and seated.

Catholic schools in Danville told of plans to close Holy Family

DANVILLE – Faculty and staff of Danville's two Catholic grade schools were told Friday morning that preschool through eighth grade classes will be held next school year at the building now housing St. Paul's.

The Holy Family School building will close.

Danville school is first to be recognized for healthy changes

DANVILLE – Evidently, you don't have to trick kids into eating vegetables. Just put them in a muffin.

Yes, a muffin made with vegetables.

And the kids enjoy eating them, according to Northeast Elementary Magnet School Principal Cheryl McIntire.

Schools' weather calls help keep parents informed

CHAMPAIGN – With the winds howling and snow blowing Sunday, the same question popped up among families across town.

Will we have a snow day tomorrow?

Champaign parents may have learned the answer that evening via radio, television or Internet, but they also received a friendly phone call or e-mail – or both – from the school district.