Uni students find Japan defies their expectations

URBANA — Nothing reinforces what's taught in a high school Japanese class quite like a quick trip to Tokyo.

So Uni High teacher Mari Innami did just that — rounding up 19 of her students, plus a chaperone, and taking them on a December field trip of sorts to Japan's capital, as well as Naha, Okinawa.

Top of the morning, Dec. 14, 2016

Each week, 30-plus area students write for High School Confidential. Armstrong senior Holley Hambleton tipped us off to this:

Sticking to his word, Kurt Thornsbrough is going to have his hair dyed purple Monday.

Then it's off to the barbershop.

Central High renovation could take three years

CHAMPAIGN — The largest phase of construction in the renovation of Central High School could take between two-and-a-half and three years to complete, school district officials said Monday evening as they shared time estimates for projects at each of the six schools approved for upgrades after the passage of a $183.4 million referendum last month.

UI urged to act fast on protecting undocumented students

URBANA — Faculty members from all three University of Illinois campuses are urging the UI to move quickly to enforce policies protecting undocumented students before Donald Trump is sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

23-year DACC board member to retire in April

DANVILLE — Three people have filed to run for the Danville Area Community College board in the 2017 consolidated election, but a longtime trustee is not among them.

Richard Cheney said he will retire when his term ends in April.

Cheney, of Danville, said it's been an honor and privilege to serve on the board for 23 years.

Centennial staff to ESL students: 'We're going to help each other'

CHAMPAIGN — Just a few hours after the presidential race was called in the early morning of Nov. 9, Centennial High School teacher Sue Feldman sat in her car parked outside of work, in complete silence.

Weekend planner: Illuminating science

Everyone likes explosions and smoke, right? That's why the Holiday Magic Chemistry Show, put on by University of Illinois chemistry instructors each year, always draws a standing-room-only audience of all ages.

Danville school board set to vote on tax levy

DANVILLE — The Danville school board will vote next week on adopting a 2016 tax levy that looks very similar to last year's.

Under the proposal, the district would bring in about $18.91 million in property taxes, including bond and interest — an increase of about $244,063, less bond and interest.

Unit 4 may get some leeway on land near Interstate Drive

CHAMPAIGN — With the board's blessing Monday night, the Unit 4 school district will no longer be contractually required to put a high school on 40 acres of farmland it owns on Interstate Drive.

And that's a good thing, given the district's voter-approved plan to spend $87.1 million reinventing Central High School on its current site.

Just 1 Question: Girls Who Code at Central

A group of sophomore girls are shattering the glass ceiling at Central High School, one coder at a time.