Summer of upgrades planned by Urbana schools

URBANA – Buildings around the Urbana school district could see major improvements during the summer.

Prairie Elementary School students could return to a building with new, energy-efficient lighting in the hallways, new flag poles, new exterior security cameras and new flooring replacing some old asbestos flooring in the building.

Franklin assistant principal moves up

CHAMPAIGN – An administrator at Franklin Middle School will take over as principal there for the next school year.

The Champaign school board at its meeting Monday night approved Angela Smith as the next principal. She'll replace Carol Stack, who is retiring after this school year.

No Child Left Behind will be discussed at public forum

CHAMPAIGN – Area educators will talk about what they can do to improve the No Child Left Behind legislation at a public forum this week.

The forum, "No Child Left Behind: What Changes Are Needed?", will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Champaign County Farm Bureau, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, C.

6th-graders' computers branch out

DANVILLE – They use them to play games, download music and e-mail their friends.

Now sixth-graders at North Ridge and South View middle schools will use computers to research, write and tackle other educational endeavors.

The Chief controversy: A timeline

An overview of the Chief Illiniwek controversy:

UI students help revive foreign language program

CHAMPAIGN – "Mi barba tiene tres pelos. Tres pelos tiene mi barba. (My beard has three hairs)," sang Karen Trower, as she made exaggerated gestures, touching her chin and her hair, along with a group of second-grade students at Westview Elementary School.

"Si no tuviera tres pelos, pues no siera una barba. (If it didn't have three hairs, it wouldn't be a beard)," they sang.

The earlier the better on foreign languages

CHAMPAIGN – As an international flight attendant, Elizabeth Dickerson knows how useful speaking a second language can be. Many of her co-workers speak multiple languages.

Unfortunately, she doesn't. She's learned a few words and sometimes resorts to pantomime to communicate with passengers.

Teachers bringing study to the table

CHAMPAIGN – Foreign language teachers would like to see the Champaign school district restore an exploratory language course and add another year of language instruction at the middle school level.

Their long-term goals include initiatives at the high school level, such as adding heritage classes for students able to speak a second language but who need to improve their grammar and writing skills; and, ultimately, adding foreign language classes at the elementary level.

Accidents pile up after newest layer of snow

The fresh snow that blanketed Central Illinois early Saturday, accompanied by winds, had area police and highway crews scrambling.

"There are a lot of cars in the ditches," Master Sgt. Kevin Riddle of the state police post at Pesotum said Saturday. "They find themselves on a dry stretch and think it's okay to get back up to speed and then they come to a spot where there's snow blowing across and they can't get slowed back down."

Now they're cookin'

DANVILLE – O'Leary's Pub owner Tim Farrell is eagerly awaiting the opening of a new, state-of-the-art kitchen, but it's not going into his restaurant.

The 900-square-foot facility is being built at Danville Area Community College's Bremer Conference Center. It will serve as not only the facility's kitchen but also as a hands-on laboratory for students taking food service classes.

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