Champaign schools plan ahead for space needs

CHAMPAIGN – Kristine Chalifoux, who has two children in Champaign schools, doesn't get the math.

"To me, it doesn't work," Chalifoux said of Champaign school officials' $66 million proposal to build two new elementary schools and replace a third.

A bridge to explaining troubled waters

Put a cutting board or something else flat in the bottom of your kitchen sink and turn on the faucet.

You should see a thin film of water in the rough circle that makes up the middle, a band of roiling, albeit miniature, rapids after that and finally a stretch where the puddle you've made flattens and flows with more or less even regularity.

New subdivisions will fuel population and enrollment boom, officials say

CHAMPAIGN – School officials say population trends and new development in Champaign and Savoy that emerged after demographer Robert Dentler completed his study justify two new schools.

Chief financial officer Gene Logas said Dentler's study, completed in 2004, projects 202 new elementary students for the Champaign district between now and 2008-09, when the new schools would be completed.

Educators, mentors honored

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the local black community honored their own Saturday at the 20th annual Black Women's Achievement Dinner.

Women honored include four educators – Parkland College President Zelema Harris, Urbana High School social worker Grace Mitchell, Urbana High School Dean Polly Washington, and Stratton School teacher Jeanette Osler, who founded the event.

Two campaigning to lead Champaign school board

CHAMPAIGN – There's a mini-election campaign going on in Champaign school board circles – members lobbying fellow members to gain support for their bid for the board presidency.

"It's a campaign among seven people, and there's a lot of persuading going on," said Margie Skirvin, the more experienced of the two candidates who want to replace Champaign dentist Scott Anderson as board president. Anderson will step down as president in March with a year left to serve on the board.

Alumnus gives gift of future UI scholarships

DANVILLE – For the second time this school year, a Danville High School graduate has designated almost a quarter-million dollars to help future graduates further their education.

Ronald G. Rigoni, a 1952 graduate of Danville High School and 1956 University of Illinois graduate, has given a bequest of $233,875 to fund scholarships for deserving Danville High students who will attend the UI. The benefit, which will begin after his death, has been arranged through a deferred gift arrangement with the UI Foundation.

Champaign school board president plans to step down

CHAMPAIGN – Scott Anderson will step down as president of the Champaign school board next month and won't run again when his term expires next year.

Anderson is expected to announce the decision at Monday's board meeting.

Family gives keepsakes to high school

CHAMPAIGN – Jennifer Van Ness said she started her Central High School education confidently, knowing family members had walked the same halls successfully.

"I feel special to be the fourth generation to go to the school," said Jennifer, a freshman. "My sister loved it here. I knew teachers, and I knew my way around. I felt confident, and that gave me a good start."

Schools looking to use Internet for record keeping

TOLONO – Sue Hansen distinctly remembers looking at computers and not wanting anything to do with them.

The Unity Junior High social studies teacher went to college before the computer age, and said that before this year, whenever she had the opportunity to work on the machines, she passed.

Champaign teens take part in dialogue

CHAMPAIGN – Veonia Gross knows all about discipline issues in Champaign schools: She's been there, and now she's back.

"I've been through most of the things we're talking about," said Veonia, a Central High School freshman who was one of a handful of students invited to participate in a school safety forum at Stratton School on Tuesday night.

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