Dr. Owen, Superintendent of Urbana School District #116 and his Tiger Staff are looking to answer your questions about Urbana Schools, education in general, blogging as the superintendent, and the weather! Ask your question here! Answers will be posted below. If you have a questions that needs an individual response, please include your name and contact information (phone and/or email). Names and contact information will not be published with the questions on the web site.
A: Thank you for your question! In USD 116, we believe in educating all students through inclusive classroom environments. We believe that heterogeneous grouping of students within a regular education setting provides opportunities for each student to contribute positively to the learning environment. Within the classroom setting, teachers are expected to differentiate instructional methods and content in order to help each child succeed. With regards to the education of highly talented and gifted students, this might include, but is not limited to, clustering students with similar abilities on a task- or content-specific basis, varying instructional strategies to match the specific learning styles of the students, curriculum compacting and/or extension and enrichment activities.
All USD 116 teachers are supported to strengthen skills in differentiated instruction through ongoing professional development, professional learning communities, and opportunities for collegial collaboration.
A: Thanks for your question! There are several ways to contact USD 116 teachers. A list of the UMS teachers and administrators can be found on the UMS web site Staff list. This includes their email address, as well as grade level class and team. To leave a phone message for the teacher, please call the main office at 217-384-3685. You can find your student’s teachers listed for each class on the Gradebook page in Skyward Family Access.
A: Thank you for your question! The UHS Student Senate is hosting their 44th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 26 from 5pm to 7pm. This year’s dinner will be held at Urbana Middle School. UHS Student Senate is asking for volunteers to help out that day to serve food and participate in set-up and clean-up. They are also asking for monetary donations. While there is no charge for anyone to come eat with us on Thanksgiving, the students raise as much money as they can to purchase the food for the dinner. Any monetary donation gathered prior to the dinner goes to this year’s feast. Donations taken on that day will go towards next year’s dinner.
A: Thanks for your email and great question. Explaining what the ThoughtExchange process is going to look like is kind of tricky without actually being able to go into it, so I am sorry in advance if my description doesn’t help.
You will get an email asking you to participate. That will bring you to a survey of three open ended questions. Questions like, “what do you like about your school?” or “what concerns do you have about your school?” You answer those questions. Hopefully, we will have lots of people answering those questions.
After about two weeks, you will get another email. This time, you will see almost everyone’s answers to those three original questions. (Almost all answers because some answers will not be included if they are rude, disrespectful, or name students or teachers.) This time, you get to prioritize (or rate) the answers to the questions that you like the most by placing between one and five stars next to the answers you like. That will help us understand which topics are most important to people.
I am committed to making our schools the best possible places for learning. We will use the information from this engagement to set goals and take action to make our schools better.
I hope I answered your question, and I am glad you are already asking such great questions. Please share your ideas when you get the email.