Regional chief called on to solve Mahomet board impasse

MAHOMET – Richard Broudy's resignation has split the Mahomet-Seymour school board right down the middle – over his replacement – and the clock is ticking.

Regional Superintendent Judy Pacey said school officials contacted her about breaking the impasse and picking a new board member herself if the board fails to pick Broudy's replacement by the April 12 deadline.

Principal leaving Champaign district

CHAMPAIGN – A popular Champaign principal will be leaving the district this summer.

Barb Daly, principal of Bottenfield Elementary School, has accepted the position of assistant superintendent at the Champaign/Ford County Regional Office of Education. She'll start her new job in July.

Champaign school board candidates offer their ideas at forum

CHAMPAIGN – One of the first issues new Champaign school board members will face is how to add classrooms in north Champaign and formulate a building referendum to go before voters next spring.

Candidates for the school board discussed how they would proceed at a forum Tuesday night at the Urban League of Champaign County. The forum was sponsored by the Coalition for Action on Racial Equity and Excellence in Education.

Proposal calls for enlarging Urbana schools' athletics site

URBANA – Architect Vic Isaksen on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to add more outdoor space to the crowded Urbana High School and Urbana Middle School athletics complex.

That proposal, made by Isaksen and members of the district's land use committee, calls for putting artificial turf in the high school athletic stadium. It carries a price tag of about $800,000.

Danville group to honor teachers with help from Van Dyke

DANVILLE – The Danville Community Public School Foundation will honor four teachers, showcase the musical talents of five show choirs and unveil a new initiative with the help of legendary performer and Danville High School alumnus Dick Van Dyke.

All of that will take place at an event called "An Evening of Singing and Dancing." It will be held April 13 at the high school auditorium.

Students live black heroes' history

URBANA – Ask just about anyone for the names of heroes in the black community and you might get Martin Luther King or Oprah Winfrey or Willie Mays.

But who knows anything about Benjamin Banneker or Phillis Wheatley or Dr. Ben Carson? Phyllis Peete's fifth-graders at Thomas Paine School, that's who, and they shared their knowledge at the Urbana school Friday, living their heroes' histories.

Local school districts conduct annual layoffs

URBANA – In what's become an annual late-March ritual in many school districts, Urbana school board members Tuesday voted not to re-employ 27 teachers and 53 aides and other noncertified personnel.

For most, the layoffs are temporary, made to comply with state reduction-in-force laws that require districts to give personnel they may not have the money to rehire 30 days' notice before the end of the school year. But most districts RIF – an acronym for reduction in force – 60 days before the end of school.

Parkland makes plans for growth

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College and the owners of the former K's Merchandise Mart are working out final details for the college to buy the building on North Mattis Avenue.

When the deal is done, Parkland plans to remodel the unoccupied part of the building as new quarters for components of its health professions department, including a special room that will house a $150,000, computer-operated human model that reacts like it's alive, used for training at some medical schools.

Danville High School's library club provides computer training

DANVILLE – Linda Cumbow thought a mouse was a rodent that ran on the floor, but Danville High School student Kalipb Wiggins taught her differently.

"It's the little thingy on the screen," Wiggins told the 90 or so senior citizens at CRIS Senior Services on Wednesday.

DACC trustees OK tuition increase

DANVILLE – The cost of attending Danville Area Community College will increase starting this summer.

Trustees on Tuesday approved a $7-per-credit-hour tuition increase, bringing the college's combined tuition and fees to $78 per credit hour.