Putting faces to the names

Seven Champaign schools will have new leaders in the principal's office as school starts this fall.

Some came from schools in northern Illinois, Peoria and Marshall. Others were already in administrative positions in the district. One is a graduate of the Champaign school system.

Champaign schools' support staff union ratifies new contract

CHAMPAIGN – The 400 or so staff of Champaign schools are one step closer to starting the school year with a new contract.

On Saturday morning, the Champaign Education Services Personnel Union voted by a 3-1 margin to ratify a new three-year contract, union president Tom Grimsey said.

Boosters to ask for permission to put up lights at soccer field

CHAMPAIGN – Central High School's boys' junior varsity soccer team never plays a full game at home. Later in the season, they sometimes don't get to play their scheduled games at all.

Their field, next to Franklin Middle School, has no lights. The players get out of their last hour of class to start the games by 4 p.m. The varsity team plays first, and then the junior varsity plays two 20-minute halves, rather than the regulation 30 minutes.

Mahomet-Seymour union votes to file notice of intent to strike

MAHOMET – Members of the Mahomet-Seymour Education Association voted "overwhelmingly" Friday afternoon to file an intent-to-strike notice with the school board, according to James Heinold, a member of the negotiating team.

The next step, Heinold said, is a scheduled meeting between the teachers' and board's negotiating teams with a federal mediator on Aug. 21.

Two school board members offer draft of long-range plan

CHAMPAIGN – Two Champaign school board members have developed a draft proposal of how the district should make a long-range building plan.

It outlines who might be on the planning committees, some issues to be considered and a rough timeline. It also calls for regular community forums to discuss the plan.

Catlin to seek loan in lieu of state aid

CATLIN – School officials said Thursday they would attempt to take the governor up on his offer to provide interest-free loans to school districts that will not receive their state aid payments on time.

Districts usually receive two general state aid payments each month. The Catlin school district is scheduled to receive $175,000 in state aid next week, and another $175,000 two weeks after that.

Rantoul student going high-tech in senior year

RANTOUL – Brenna Ervin is pumped about the coming school year.

The senior at Rantoul Township High School plans to take part in High Tech Edge, a program that immerses area students in a yearlong high-tech project.

Danville board to vote on pay raise for substitutes

DANVILLE – Substitute teachers in the Danville School District could get a boost in pay.

School board members will vote Wednesday on whether to increase substitutes' daily pay rate to $85.

A lesson on the new Urbana school leaders

When students enter Urbana schools this fall, chances are they'll see plenty of new faces — and not just classmates. Four Urbana elementaries have new principals, and three top administrators are new to their positions. Here, News-Gazette staff writer Amy Reiter offers the basics on the new administrators and where they work:

Champaign schools scheduling registration

CHAMPAIGN – Registration for most Champaign school students begins next week.

All students must show proof of residency. In addition, students entering kindergarten, fifth and ninth grades must have a school physical and up-to-date immunizations.