Champaign school board member points to Savoy needs

CHAMPAIGN – While the school district looks at how to fulfill a consent decree mandate to add seats in north Champaign, it also must consider the growing population in Savoy, said school board member Scott Anderson.

He said the explosive growth in Savoy means that area is underserved by the school district.

Program puts excess inventory to good use

CHAMPAIGN – Schools are always in need of more notebooks, pens and highlighters. But towels, sheets, and pots and pans?

The Champaign and Urbana school districts make good use of those items too. There are always families in need, whether they are fleeing Hurricane Katrina, made homeless by a fire, or starting over because of domestic problems.

Possible Savoy school might be built in new location

SAVOY – If the Champaign school district builds a new school in Savoy, it could be at a different location than the one proposed last year as part of its building plans.

Developer Randy Peifer is considering offering 15 acres along First Street, south of Church Street, for a school.

Consent decree progress report filed with court

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district outlined successes in meeting the goals of its federal consent decree in a report filed Friday with the U.S. District Court.

And it pointed to existing plans that will help it fulfill its obligations, and new steps to speed up its progress.

PTA looking for answers at Champaign board meeting

CHAMPAIGN – Since last spring, the Champaign school board has been asking parents and teachers to talk about their concerns for their buildings.

They're sure to get plenty of comments, and questions, from the parents at South Side Elementary School. The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the school, at 712 S. Pine St., C. There will be a tour of the building at 6:30 p.m. The PTA is providing child care.

Rantoul teachers, board reach contract

RANTOUL – After a second mediation session that lasted almost five hours, Rantoul Township High School teachers and board members reached a tentative contract agreement Monday.

"I'm glad we're focusing back on education and keeping the kids in school," said Superintendent David Requa of the agreement on a two-year contract.

Program at school aims to pack punch against hunger

CHAMPAIGN – Teachers know the telltale signs of hunger – children who ask for snacks before 10 a.m., wolf down two bowls of cereal at breakfast or seem tired and inattentive in class.

Studies have shown nutrition directly affects school performance, and across the country educators can see a difference in kids who don't get enough to eat at home.

Teachers learn lesson on poverty

URBANA – For people who work in the Urbana school district, a book about the effects of poverty on children may be more popular than even "The Da Vinci Code."

The book, called "A Framework for Understanding Poverty," was written a decade ago by Ruby Payne, a former teacher and principal and now a worldwide speaker on child education. Her book, which defines class differences and gives methods for teaching impoverished children, has sold about a million copies.

District receives reprieve on filing deadline

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district has received a one-week extension to file a report with the U.S. District Court outlining its plan to meet the objectives of its federal consent decree in the next three years.

The report, which was to be submitted by Friday, is now due next Friday – Sept. 22.

Washington School teacher named Illinois' top educator

CHAMPAIGN – As an elementary school art teacher, Shauna Carey doesn't just teach children to draw. Her students have made their own paper and clay pottery. They've learned about architecture and the art of other cultures. She's incorporated photography and storytelling into her classes, and taught knitting.

But Carey also doesn't just teach children how to do art. She gives them "an understanding that art is an expression of people's lives, not just being good at drawing. Shauna brings a depth that is far beyond what people think of as elementary artwork," said Cyndy Lammert, whose children attended Washington Elementary School, where Carey teaches.