Champaign school district considers evening academy

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign students who aren't doing well in high school might have an alternative to their daily class schedule beginning in January.

The district plans to create an alternative evening academy for students who might do better in a nontraditional setting. The Champaign school board will consider a proposal for the academy when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Students put on 1940s-style USO performance for special guests

CHAMPAIGN – A week ago, Army Spc. Gregory Regan was on patrol in Iraq, trying to keep the peace.

On Wednesday, the 20-year-old Homer man was sitting in his fatigues at Garden Hills Elementary School, listening to schoolchildren celebrate veterans.

Officials report marked rise in ag enrollment

CHAMPAIGN – Enrollment in Parkland College agriculture classes dropped to 75 students in 1985, and college officials worried about the future of the program.

But today, enrollment grows almost every year in classes teaching skills students need to be a success in the workplace. Bruce Henrikson, head of the college's agri-business program, said advisers and students realize that farming is a high-tech business and they need education after high school to become a success.

Expert on bees gives students tour of lab

URBANA – A group of Thomas Paine Elementary School fourth-graders were some busy bees on Tuesday morning.

They braved the cold, taking a yellow school bus down a bumpy gravel road to a little hive of a lab on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. There, they met University of Illinois Professor Gene E. Robinson, a leading researcher on bees and a guy who knows a drone from a queen – as do the kids.

Two-time 'Survivor' contestant urges students to help others

ATWOOD – Survival isn't easy, reality television star Rupert Boneham has learned, but overcoming obstacles is worth the work.

Boneham, who competed on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" in 2003 and in "Survivor: All-Stars" the next season, started a talk for Atwood-Hammond High School students with a deep-throated battle cry he used while on the show.

Facilities director gives plans for Urbana school upgrades

URBANA – Ota Dossett, facilities director for the Urbana school district, is seeing far into the future: new flooring, air conditioning, more Internet connectivity in several Urbana schools.

Dossett presented the financial and structural possibilities to the Urbana school board on Tuesday evening in a six-year draft plan for facility and ground improvements for the district.

Deterioration leads to weight limit on Leverett Road bridge

LEVERETT – A recent inspection on a bridge carrying Leverett Road over the Saline Branch Ditch found enough deterioration to impose a 15-ton weight limit.

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Williamsen said the limit will go into effect Thursday after signs are posted. The bridge is located between Leverett and U.S. 45.

Danville teacher creating child care curriculum

DANVILLE – As Danville High School's English department chairman, Greg Williams is used to helping develop curricula for writing and literature classes.

But recently he has been creating lesson plans to teach middle and high school students about the dangers of shaking a baby.

Champaign teacher: Communication key in progress reports

CHAMPAIGN – Your child started kindergarten this fall.

He or she will be getting that first report card this week, and you'll be sitting down for your first parent-teacher conference.

Students hosting soup lunch for disabled vets

DANVILLE – Some Edison Elementary School fourth-graders will serve up soup Monday to raise money for disabled veterans.

The public is invited to attend the burgoo lunch, which will be held at the Edison gymnasium, 2101 N. Vermilion St., from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.