DACC using national initiative to keep students on track

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College officials say nearly half of all undergraduate students in the country turn to community colleges for education and training, but too many of them leave without earning a degree or certificate or transferring to another school.

That's why they've joined Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count, a long-term national initiative aimed at helping community college students – particularly minority and low-income students and others who face the most significant barriers to success – meet their educational goals.

Decree plaintiffs: Info on Savoy school, Columbia relevant

CHAMPAIGN – Evidence relating to the closed Columbia Center and a planned school in Savoy is relevant to whether the Champaign school district has complied with its consent decree obligations, plaintiffs in the case say.

Attorneys representing the district's black families filed responses Monday to the district's request to bar evidence related to Columbia Center and the Savoy school at an Aug. 3 hearing to determine whether to extend the consent decree. Plaintiffs are seeking to extend the decree in three areas – special education, alternative education and the placement of additional seats in north Champaign.

Lincoln's Challenge Academy to reopen one month late

RANTOUL – Lincoln's Challenge Academy is expected to re-open later this summer – about a month later than usual.

Lawmakers passed a new state budget last Wednesday, eschewing a tax increase and harsh budget cuts. It means the Rantoul-based National Guard academy will remain open, which is good news for the cadets who have applied and the more than 140 employees whose contracts were not extended this summer.

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley schools facing $1 million loss

GIBSON CITY – State budget woes are catching up to the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district.

They are the cause for nearly half of the $1 million loss the district is projecting for the coming fiscal year.

Villa Grove schools meet AYP, but fall short of cash

VILLA GROVE – Due to missed payments in state funding and some unexpected expense increases, Villa Grove School district fell short of covering its expenses in the 2009 fiscal year.

Blue Ridge still undecided about pre-kindergarten transportation

FARMER CITY – Blue Ridge School Board members are still undecided about the issue of prekindergarten transportation.

Hall of fame proposed for Fisher High School athletes

FISHER – A group of citizens would like to create an athletic hall of fame for former Fisher High School athletes.

Bub Bayler and Norman Polk told the Fisher school board that they and five others have formed a committee to recognize Fisher graduates who excelled in athletics, distinguished themselves while they attended the school and have been out of school for at least five years.

Danville High's New Tech 'upper house' already a hit

DANVILLE – When it comes to school, Ashish Patel and Lynze Bray like:

a) Learning by doing hands-on projects and activities,

b) Using computers and the latest technology,

c) Working with their peers in groups, or

d) All of the above.

Gifford grade school to get $17,700 federal grant

GIFFORD – Gifford Grade School will again receive federal grant money.

Superintendent Art Shaw said the district will receive a Rural Education Assistance Program grant in the 2010 fiscal year. The money is designed to assist rural school districts in any area related to education.

Fate of memorial after Lincoln Hall renovation unknown

URBANA – Admirers of a little-used and virtually unknown courtyard, designed as a memorial to University of Illinois students who died in World War I, fear the site and an accompanying monument will be lost when the University of Illinois undertakes a $65 million reconstruction of Lincoln Hall.