Lincoln expert tells of military, political prowess

There's no exaggeration in calling Abraham Lincoln the commander-in-chief, in the fullest sense of the term, during the Civil War.

Lincoln was the one who enunciated a clear national goal for the conflict and, through trial and error, the strategy to achieve it both politically and, to an extent unusual among presidents, militarily.

$500,000 South View plan OK'd

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposed restructuring plan for South View Middle School, which comes with a price tag of about $500,000 the first year.

Board members also approved spending $200,000 of that amount on what officials call the key piece of the program, which aims to boost student achievement: hiring a professional educational consulting firm to improve the language arts curriculum and instruction.

Alderman Wright tapped as next Garfield principal

DANVILLE – DeMarko Wright is moving from administrative intern to top administrator of Garfield Elementary School.

Danville School Board members on Wednesday chose Wright to replace Principal Barbara Garner, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 33 years in education.

Bement superintendent retiring after 20 years of service

BEMENT – Darrell Stevens said he has seen a lot of changes during his 20 years as Bement school superintendent.

Declining enrollment, increased state requirements for testing, curriculum improvements and increased costs provided constant challenges for the small-town school district.

Threat at Tuscola school does not affect attendance

TUSCOLA – Students attended Tuscola Community High School mostly as usual this morning after authorities investigated a threat written in the boys' bathroom.

Superintendent Joe Burgess said school officials found the threat at about 6:30 Tuesday night. They cleared the building and called in Tuscola police, state police and University of Illinois police search dogs.

Danville schools find new bleachers on eBay

DANVILLE – When former Danville resident Brenda Ramsey was surfing eBay's "slightly unusual" category a few weeks ago, she wasn't looking for a good deal for her old high school.

But that's exactly what she found, Danville schools officials said.

Champaign board OKs alternative academy

CHAMPAIGN – Students who aren't doing well in Champaign's high schools will have a new option in the fall.

The Champaign school board approved an academic alternative academy at its meeting Monday night.

Rantoul schools prepare for influx of migrants

RANTOUL – An additional 300 to 500 migrant families could be spending this summer living, working and going to school in Rantoul.

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent David Requa told the high school board on Monday that representatives from area seed corn companies have told him that they are bringing in more migrants than ever before to work in the fields around northern Champaign County.

Danville school board might hire reading help

DANVILLE – Danville school officials hope to partner with a consulting firm to help improve South View Middle School's reading curriculum – and boost student achievement.

Under a proposed restructuring plan for the school, the district would hire Evans Newton Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., to conduct a thorough study of its language arts and reading programs and textbooks and evaluate how well they match Illinois learning standards and the Illinois Standards Achievement Test. The firm would use the study to develop a plan to fill in any learning gaps and improve other areas. It also would work with teachers and other staff to improve instruction and monitor student progress.

Georgetown board OKs open-lunch incentive proposal

GEORGETOWN – School officials said Monday that keeping Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School students in the building at lunchtime is working well, but students may get to leave campus on a limited basis next year as part of an incentive program.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm High had an open campus at lunchtime until the start of the 2007-08 school year, when the rules were changed to keep all students at school during lunchtime as a way to better monitor students and to try to reduce the number of students who were late to afternoon classes or skipped them.