Aside from all the media attention on the Central Highschool site, there has been little else abuzz.


The first 40 minutes of the May 12 BOE meeting was devoted to “Recognitions”; much of that time was spent honoring art work from children of most the schools. Art teachers introduced the students who then shook everyone’s hand. After that, service awards were handed out for teachers, wrapping up with National Board Certified teachers (one newly certified, one recertified).


For public comment, the owner of Domino’s Pizza stood up to thank the district for their patronage.


About the next 40 minutes were given to a presentation about ALICE crisis response procedures and to pitch ALICE response training. Total cost will be about $2000 for two people, I believe.


Some policy changes were then discussed, and then Mr. David Hohman gave a short update on PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career). He stressed the thought that we are going more computer centric and how we are working towards a 4:1 device/student ratio to support PBA (Performance Based Assessments).


The DLR Group presented next. Not seeing the presentation online at all, I asked for the URL and Unit 4 posted it here:



I am hoping the presentations from the April 28th BOE meeting will be made available soon.


Additionally, Stephanie Stuart has posted a few items out for the community:


During Board Comment, Jamar Brown talked about and showed a teaser for Javae Wright’s “Purposed Lives“. There is an awesome event coming up this weekend:

WHAT:  Javae’ Wright’s Purposed Life!  Motivational Concert

WHEN:  Saturday, May 17, 2014  ~  6:00pm

WHERE:  First Christian Church at the Oasis, 3601 Staley Road, Champaign






For more information, please click:  http://youtu.be/PfCHAZlgfCY

Please RSVP your attendance so there is enough food and seats:  www.innerseedmedia.com


Another event coming up is the Garden Hills Resource Day:

  • Community Resource & Spring Fling Fair at Garden Hills Park & Garden Hills Elementary School on Monday, May 19 from 5-7 p.m.
  • Featuring free pizza, live entertainment, games & face painting!
  • The event is free and open to the public.

Whirlwinds, bees and cornucopias

There is a lot going on in Unit 4 and I can only scratch the surface. For starters, Meg Dickinson at the News-Gazette has been doing an awesome job covering most of the highlights – the following is the NG aggregation of Meg’s articles:


You will see that we not only have 3 brand new board members, but a fascinating change in board officers as well; Bonnett is president, Brown is the VP, Saveley is the Secretary and Stuckey is the Parliamentarian. Next Monday’s regular board meeting (May 13th) will be interesting to say the least. 🙂

Among other interesting things to read, Meg also has a nice Sunday article about the “Newcomer Academy” (not to be confused with the Novak Academy). This is a basically an intermediate transitioning service to help those who are struggling with English. Apparently, we have a lot of foreign nationals (especially from DR Congo and Mexico) and this is the solution Unit 4 has arrived at to meet those needs head on.

Stephanie Stuart of Unit 4 has also been hard at work populating their facebook page with lots of little goodies:


In addition to highlighting several awesome events and achievements, she also canvasses several opportunities like the annual Garden Hill’s “Resource Day” and the PTA Council’s push for the Summer Reading program, both excellent outlets that reach out to help those in need.

There is also the Unit 4 newsletter which is surprisingly not now on the Unit 4 website. Dr. Wiegand covers the NAACP ACT-SO Awards, a special recognition for achievements of African-Americans excelling in our schools. Several students are heading to Florida with hopes to squash the competition in mid July.

In other news, taxes are going up while at the same time many employees are having to fork over more money for benefits and pensions. Don’t get me wrong, it is not my goal to throw a pity party for myself. Rather, we as a whole community need to be aware that there are those who are already hurting, and it looks like more people will be slipping below the various poverty lines. We have a ton of kids who are homeless and/or living in less-than-ideal situations. Hence stories about various initiatives to provide assistance to these groups are not only “nice” and “feel good”, but in my opinion they are essential, fundamental and critical for the health of us all. In fact, we need to do more. Get involved.

Why the weird thread subject? I just have lots of thoughts swirling around my head and hard to bring them into focus; not updating the blog that much means I have been missing a lot. 🙂

This Saturday, Resource Fair at BTW

Sheri Williamson has been hard at work working with the school district administration, school officials, volunteers and local service providers to help bring the Resource Fair to Unit 4 again. The school district has a nice flyer up on their page (also syndicated by Will Kyles):


Sheri is also passing out the Spanish version:

SP Resouce Day Flyer – September

Also, Sheri is working hard with others to form a Parent Advisory Committee. The first meeting will be Monday September 24th from 6:pm to 7:pm. And yes, that does overlap the U4 Board’s “Public Hearing on the Budget”, unfortunately. I will provide more information about this new Parent Advisory Committee shortly (I have a spanish flyer but still looking for the english one) – the details of the group are a little in flux, but there is a lot of cool discussions happening. Just to drop a teaser, this new group will also have some element of parent advocacy tied in as well.


Update: Here are the Parent Advisory flyers:

Parent Advisory Group

SP Parent Advisory (spanish)