Proposals aim at curtailing Westville's junior high truancy

WESTVILLE – Westville Junior High School Principal Greg Lewis introduced changes to the student handbook Wednesday to try to improve attendance at the school.

Lewis told Westville School Board members that the vast majority of Westville Junior High students regularly attend classes. However, there are a handful each year who miss a great deal of school – sometimes 30 to 40 days in a year –and the student handbook only addresses how much time students are given to make up missed assignments.

No word on fees, bus barn issues in Fisher

FISHER – Fisher school board members discussed school fees but did not raise them, although Superintendent Barb Thompson said an increase might be necessary down the road.

Kindergarten fees are $45, grades 1 through 12 will pay $57 and athletic fees are $25 per sport.

Students learn to handle food, responsibilities with care

DANVILLE – An area favorite summer eating spot will open this week as the Center for Children's Services hosts its annual Cafe on the Lawn.

Cafe on the Lawn is part of the GED/ GRADS (Getting Reluctant Adolescents to Drop back in Successfully) program. Beginning today, students and their supervising adult staff will serve up grilled foods under the tall trees of the center's front lawn at 702 N. Logan Ave.

Champaign educator not finished volunteering

CHAMPAIGN – It was the last day of school in Champaign, and normally John Kirkpatrick would have been handing out report cards and saying goodbye for the summer to his students.

Instead, he spent the day hanging drywall at an apartment building in New Orleans' Ninth Ward.

Committee to look at ways to improve graduation decorum

DANVILLE – When Teresa Ard watched her son receive his Danville High School diploma about three weeks ago, she felt more like she was at a rowdy hockey game than a graduation ceremony.

Throughout the 90-minute commencement ceremony at the David S. Palmer Arena, she said, people roamed the aisles, stood in their seats– blocking others' views – and talked and yelled over the speakers.

Sonar, dive teams locate man's body

SHELBYVILLE – An autopsy was scheduled for today on the body of a Champaign man who apparently drowned in Lake Shelbyville over the weekend.

Clifford Miller, 23, of Champaign, formerly of Arcola, was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. Sunday after search crews, using sonar, found his body in the Cove 5 area of the lake, Shelby County Coroner Brian Green said.

C-U Schools Foundation asks to expand

CHAMPAIGN – Last year, the C-U Schools Foundation gave $43,000 to Champaign and Urbana teachers to be used for, among other things, a music technology lab, library books and a special education newsletter.

It was a record amount for them to give away. But officials say they could be doing much more.

Truth be told: 'Rev' remains a vigilant county board watchdog

Lloyd Carter Jr. sees his responsibility as a public servant to watch out for the average person's interests.

A longtime electrician, the Champaign County Board member from north Urbana has been critical of cost overruns at the county's new $24 million nursing home. He regularly calls for more minority workers to be used on county projects.

Google partnership will help preserve UI collection

University of Illinois Library officials were excited earlier this year when they started a project to digitize nearly 6,000 volumes of the library's holdings and make the material available via the Web.

The UI library has worked on smaller digitization efforts since the mid-1990s. But the project with the Open Content Alliance – a coalition of educational institutions, high-tech firms and others that's making public-domain electronic books freely available through the Internet Archive, its parent organization – should be the largest single effort of the kind undertaken by the UI when it is done, probably by year's end.

Urbana board to address school improvement plan

URBANA – In addition to hearing from the C-U Schools Foundation, the Urbana school board will discuss a district improvement plan at its Tuesday business meeting.

The improvement plan came about because some populations of students failed to make adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.