CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school board members ended a public hearing on a proposed charter school Monday evening with many unanswered questions about how the school would operate.
The hearing became contentious following emotional testimony from parents who said their children were not learning in the Champaign schools, and who felt the decision whether to go forward with a charter school came down to money.
GEORGETOWN – School board members approved a $2.42 million tax levy for the upcoming year on Monday.
The new levy reflects a $37,600 increase from the previous $2.38 million levy.
CHAMPAIGN – As students filed into Jackie Baxter's seventh-grade science classroom at Jefferson Middle School earlier this month, Baxter greeted them by telling them how responsible they were for bringing their books, as instructed.
Baxter praised those who raised their hands and waited to be called on for their patience. As the class quieted down and the students began working, she continued talking, telling them how focused and hard-working they were the day before.
DANVILLE – A local radio station will present its 13th annual series replaying school holiday programs on Sunday.
WITY-AM 980 records elementary, junior and senior high school choral and instrumental presentations. The replays of the programs join the station's tradition of airing Christmas music nearly 24 hours a day through Christmas.
CHAMPAIGN – Teaching and performing have many parallels for Jaime Roundtree. All eyes are on him as he tries to make connections with his students or his audience.
Roundtree is a fifth-grade teacher at Champaign's South Side Elementary School, and he is also a hip-hop artist with a number of recordings to his credit. He was devoted to making music, and working as a substitute teacher in Chicago for the extra income, when he found he loved teaching as well.
CHAMPAIGN – It's not often that students are asked to destroy their UFOs.
But the command came frequently in a game-design computer class, part of Parkland College's fourth annual Tour IT career information program for high school students.
URBANA – Annual testing is a key to the federal No Child Left Behind education plan that ties schools' status – and future funding – to performance on those tests.
The law imposes increasingly serious sanctions against schools that fail to make "adequate yearly progress" annually. But states set the standards.
They compete for top faculty and students, but two major public research universities have partnered on a bid for a $500 million biofuels and biosciences project with British fuel company BP.
The University of Illinois has joined with the University of California at Berkeley to try to land the BP Energy Biosciences Institute.
BEMENT – School administrators say they can't make targeted plans to help students learn if they don't know results of achievement tests they took last spring.
State school officials now say scores for the Illinois Standards Achievement Tests – the foundation for most school improvement plans and for work plans for individual students – won't be released until January at the earliest.
CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois students showed off their ideas Thursday evening of what a new school campus in Champaign might look like.
School officials and community members heard about ideas for a Great Campus in north Champaign that would include Stratton Elementary School, the Early Childhood Center and Columbia Center.