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 […]

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 […]

Urbana Schools To Continue Remote Learning For Most Students Until At Least January

URBANA – Most Urbana District 116 students will continue to learn remotely — at least until January when the third quarter of the school year is scheduled to begin. The district initially recommended elementary school students move toward a hybrid schedule, which included in-person instruction in the morning hours four days per week, and remote […]

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 […]

Central Illinois Schools Adopt Different Reopening Plans Amid Ongoing Pandemic

The Illinois State Board of Education is leaving it up to districts to decide how to reopen schools this fall. Some have chosen to continue remote learning, while others are bringing students back into classrooms amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  ISBE has strongly recommended that schools provide as much in-person instruction as possible. But state […]

Former Urbana Substitute Teacher Accused Of Abusing Students

URBANA – Police in Urbana say a former substitute teacher is accused of abusing several 10-year-old students at an elementary school. In a press release on Tuesday, police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Clarence Walker of Champaign. He is scheduled to be arraigned on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Wednesday. As of late […]

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 […]