Tuscola parents express concerns over bullies, policies

TUSCOLA – A group of parents told the Tuscola school board and a room full of teachers that they believed bullying to be a major issue at all grade levels.

Parent Sandy Oye went to a local television station earlier in the week with concerns that her son had been bullied. She said she wanted to create awareness about the problem, not to bring negative attention to the district.

Parkland board approves tuition increases

CHAMPAIGN – In-district Parkland College students will be paying $5 more per credit hour, beginning this summer.

Those students will see their tuition increase to $84 per credit hour, under an increase approved by the college's board of trustees Wednesday night.

Danville school officials back graduation ticket requirement

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday threw their support behind a proposal aimed at improving decorum and security at the high school's graduation ceremony.

Under the proposal, people will be required to have a ticket to attend the ceremony. Graduates will be given six tickets apiece, but school officials said that doesn't mean that those with large families can't get more if they need them.

Westville schools to sell $2.8 million in bonds for renovations

WESTVILLE – School officials voted Wednesday to sell up to $2.8 million in bonds to pay for building renovations that should take place this summer.

Superintendent Jim Owens said that amount was chosen because it will provide enough money to perform some needed work, but it is not expected to raise residents' property tax rates.

Evaluation lists consent decree as high priority

CHAMPAIGN – The biggest challenge for Champaign school Superintendent Arthur Culver in the next year or so will be to see the district's consent decree come to a successful conclusion.

Trustees approve DACC culinary program

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College soon will have something that people in the local food service industry have been requesting for years – a basic culinary arts certificate program.

DACC trustees on Tuesday approved establishing a program designed to give students basic skills in food preparation and production skills and knowledge about nutrition, food safety and sanitation to prepare them for entry-level positions at restaurants and other food-service jobs. The program now goes to the Illinois Community College Board for approval.

GCMS student presents report on dangerous intersections

GIBSON CITY – Gibson City Council members promised to pursue warnings of dangerous intersections presented by Eric Sommer, a junior at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School.

Sommer, 17, is a student leader with the school's ongoing and award-winning Project Ignition teen safe driving program. He and project co-sponsor Mike McDevitt were present to show council members that students identified three intersections where trees and shrub growth were blocking drivers' views of stop signs.

School board approves Garden Hills youth initiative

CHAMPAIGN – A project to provide educational, vocational and recreational opportunities to children in the Garden Hills neighborhood, beginning this summer, conflicts with a plan to put air conditioning in Garden Hills Elementary School.

The Champaign school board enthusiastically supported the joint initiative of the school district, city of Champaign and the park district to provide youth programs in the Garden Hills area.

State cites Georgetown junior high

GEORGETOWN – School officials learned Monday that Mary Miller Junior High School had been recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education for its academic performance.

Mary Miller Junior High Principal Lisa Gocken said she recently learned that the school had received an Academic Improvement Award from the state board of education because of the students' performance on the standardized tests in 2007.

City, Unit 4, park district join forces for youth program

CHAMPAIGN – The city, school board and park district are planning an ambitious program, starting this summer, to provide both educational and recreational opportunities for youths in the Garden Hills neighborhood in northwest Champaign.

The one-year $218,000 pilot program represents an unprecedented attempt by the governmental agencies to address the needs of some 600 youths in Garden Hills, where city officials saw increasing incidents of large unruly gatherings of youths, fighting and violent crime last summer before intervention efforts began to have an effect.