Kenwood parents, students raising money for playground

CHAMPAIGN — With the help of a flock of plastic flamingos and a couple volunteers, the Kenwood Elementary PTA has raised $500 for a new playground at the remodeled school after it opens this fall.

With a $4.4 million renovation currently under way at Kenwood, Unit 4 wasn't able to set aside money to update the school's outside play features.

Bottenfield PTA comes through for playground

CHAMPAIGN — A $6.3 million expansion and renovation helped Bottenfield become the most desired elementary school for Unit 4 parents to send their children to, according to recent district data.

What all of that 1-cent sales tax money didn't cover, however, was the outdoor play space that was lost during the 2013-14 construction.

Cuts possible for VG schools in light of deficit

VILLA GROVE — The school board will look at more cuts in the 2015-16 budget based on findings in the amended 2014-15 budget presented this week.

The current budget was amended to show a deficit of $247,335. "It is not where we should be," said Superintendent Mary Ann Manos.

GCMS board to consider paying for search for next superintendent

GIBSON CITY — The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school board will consider Thursday whether to hire the Illinois Association of School Boards to conduct a search for a new superintendent.

State move will increase Fisher schools deficit

FISHER — When the school board amends its current fiscal year budget next month, it will find itself further in the hole than anticipated.

Music academy fundraiser Friday

URBANA — The Banks Bridgewater Lewis Fine Arts Academy, formerly known as the Mo' Betta Music After School Academy, will have its second annual fundraiser and concert at 6 p.m. Friday at the Urbana Civic Center.

South Side celebrates 90th birthday

Champaign's South Side Elementary celebrated its 90th birthday last weekend. We asked Principal Bill Taylor, who attended South Side from 1967 to '73, what the school will look like at age 100.

Nepal school's backers waiting for word after quake

URBANA — Just a day after Deborah Arch's daughter called her to share the happy news that construction of a new school in Nepal was finally finished, the first of two deadly earthquakes struck there.

Killeen focuses on budget discussions

URBANA — With a new president in place and budget discussions intensifying in Springfield, the University of Illinois hopes to have a budget-cutting blueprint ready by the end of May.

President Timothy Killeen, who officially took office on Monday, said a small working group is plotting different scenarios, depending on what cuts the final state budget might demand.

Urbana schools' health center holds summer sessions

URBANA — Urbana's school health center will stay open this summer to provide a variety of health services and school physicals for students.

But parents who plan to schedule those physicals are advised to get going.