Urbana schools debate renewing police officer contracts

URBANA — Urbana School District 116 is debating whether to keep police officers in its schools for another three years. Staff and students want them to stay, according to limited survey data and anecdotes from students, teachers and administrators. Taren Nance is the principal at Urbana High School. He says students trust the officer at […]

C-U administrators: Schools can be places of refuge, if done right

A woman and a man sit at a table in front of a sign that reads "News Brews & Beatz."

CHAMPAIGN — Schools should change to fit their students’ cultures, not the other way around. That was one theme at Illinois Public Media’s News, Brews and Beatz conversation on Monday night. “Like we all know, if you’re a person of color, you are constantly reprocessing what you’re saying to make sure it fits in,” said […]

Urbana school district sets five-day quarantine policy. Unit 4 sticks with ten.

Students and staff at Urbana public schools only need to isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID-19. District 116 made the change on Monday, after federal, state and local public health agencies all greenlighted the new quarantine guidance. District 116 Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum said students and staff who are still sick with a […]

Urbana schools debate installing AI-powered metal detectors

URBANA — Urbana High School students and staff may soon walk through AI-powered metal detectors to get to class. The District 116 Board of Education spent Tuesday night debating whether to install the new technology, called Evolv Express. Superintendent Jennifer Ivory-Tatum told the board that rising community violence has left staff drained. “They’re doing patrolling […]

Urbana schools take COVID-19 tests to classrooms

URBANA – In three Urbana elementary schools, most students take COVID-19 tests once a week. And they barely have to step out of their classrooms. The schools are part of a pilot program Urbana School District #116 started this fall. “It’s been working really well,” says district Chief Information Officer John Gutzmer. “We’ve been able […]

Emergency Shelter Program To Be Extended To Urbana School District

URBANA – Township and school officials in Urbana could soon be working together to bring more homeless families into an emergency shelter program. Under an intergovernmental agreement, homeless families with children in the Urbana school district could find short-term shelter through a program launched about six months ago by the Cunningham Township supervisor’s office. Cunningham […]

Urbana Schools Plan Return To In-Person Learning With COVID-19 Testing On-Site

URBANA – At least 1,300 students plan to return to Urbana classrooms later this month, according to data shared during an Urbana District 116 Board of Education study session Tuesday night. School officials say their safety plans will be bolstered by access to a rapid COVID antigen test — known as the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag […]

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 […]