Nearly 1,300 Champaign Unit 4 Schools Staff Members Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

CHAMPAIGN – Earlier this month, 1,291 teachers and other staff members at Champaign Unit 4 Schools received their first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This week, they return for a second dose. Dozens of staff members and some members of the community filed in and out of Centennial High School on Monday. They […]

New Champaign Unit 4 Schools Leader Moving From Springfield

CHAMPAIGN – The next superintendent of Champaign Unit 4 Schools is moving from Springfield. On Thursday night, the Board of Education announced its selection of Shelia Boozer. Boozer is 23-year veteran of education.  She is currently the Director of Teaching and Learning and Technology in Springfield District 186. Boozer earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from […]

Champaign, Urbana Schools Donate Thanksgiving Meals To Families In Need

  CHAMPAIGN – During a typical school year, Laura Dees says families in need rely on food drives held at school buildings in the Champaign Unit 4 School District. Dees, director of food services for Unit 4, says that wasn’t a possibility this year because schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  But Dees […]

217 Today — Nov. 25, 2020

Wednesday November 25, 2020 Today’s headlines: One in four people hospitalized in Illinois are COVID-19 patients –even as the rate of COVID diagnosis has slowed down in the last two weeks. Champaign Unit 4 Schools distributed nearly 500 Thanksgiving meals to families this week. Hospitals in central Illinois are exploring ways to increase capacity to care for an increasing number […]

New Restrictions Begin In Champaign-Urbana Due To Rising COVID-19 Rates

CHAMPAIGN – From schools to restaurants to hospitals, restrictions are once again underway around Champaign County as COVID-19 cases rise. Friday will be the last day for in-person classes at Champaign Unit 4 Schools and Urbana School District 116. Both districts are switching to remote instruction only, starting Monday. At a Thursday news conference, Champaign-Urbana […]

Champaign Unit 4 Plans To Bring Middle, High Schoolers Back To Classrooms In January

CHAMPAIGN – During a Board of Education meeting Monday night, Champaign Unit 4 Schools officials discussed bringing middle and high school students back into classrooms beginning in January. The plan as presented by Unit 4 administrators includes two schedules. Under either scenario, all students would learn virtually on Mondays, and in the mornings for the […]

Champaign Unit 4 Elementary Students Can Return To In-Person Instruction

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Unit 4 elementary school students will have the option to return to some in-person instruction at the end of this month.  Unit 4 officials unveiled plans this week to bring students back into classrooms for shortened school days. The first day of in-person instruction is scheduled for Oct. 27.  Parents can still […]

Student Arrest Records A ‘Disturbing Mess’ At Illinois School Districts

Twenty-one Champaign Unit 4 students were arrested during the 2013-14 school year — 19 of them were Black — according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. During the 2015-16 school year, 17 students were arrested — of which 15 were Black. But the federal government thinks there were no arrests.  That’s […]

Working Parents And Closed Schools: The Childcare Struggle During COVID-19

Sierra is in a bind. She and her husband have two children — ages three and nine years old — and they live in Urbana.  Sierra’s 9-year-old son is attending school remotely this fall, because the local school district has deemed it unsafe to reopen for in-person instruction. While she and her husband placed their […]

New Limits On Free Meals For Kids Concern Illinois School Officials

CHAMPAIGN – Some Illinois school officials are upset that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not extended waivers that would allow districts to continue serving free meals to all students under 18 years of age.  In a typical school year, students must meet specific criteria to qualify for the USDA-operated National School Lunch Program. Families […]

Unit 4 Superintendent Says Fall Classes Will Stay Online For 1st Quarter

CHAMPAIGN – In a change of direction, the Champaign Unit 4 school district has announced that fall classes will be held on a remote basis only, through at least mid-October, as a continuing precaution against spreading COVID-19. Unit 4 Superintendent Susan Zola said in a statement released Wednesday evening that the district will use Distance […]

Champaign Unit 4 Offers WiFi Hotspots, Chromebooks As District Continues Remote Learning

Garden Hills Elementary School in north Champaign

Champaign Unit 4 Schools Superintendent Susan Zola wrote in a message to families last Friday that the district will continue to ensure students have access to meals and learning materials while at home. The message came shortly after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade schools statewide would remain closed through the end […]

Champaign Unit 4 Schools Distribute 1,000 Chromebooks To Students

The Champaign and Urbana school districts are distributing Chromebooks to students who need the devices. Champaign schools have so far distributed about 1,000 Chromebooks to district families, according to Unit 4 spokesperson, John Lyday.  Courtney Harmon, an Urbana District 116 parent, picked up a Chromebook for her six-year-old son last week. Her son attends Yankee […]