Urbana School District Monthly
school buildings
March 2009

Superintendent WilliamsSuperintendent's Message

Dear Students, Families and Friends,

On April 7, 2009, Champaign County voters will go to the polls to elect municipal and school board leaders. They will also vote on the referendum for the 1% Sales Tax. Be sure you research this issue and take the time to vote on the question.

The referendum question is: “Shall Champaign County be authorized to impose a retailers’ occupation tax and a service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a “sales tax”) at a rate of one percent (1%) to be used exclusively for school facility purposes?” You will be asked to vote “yes” or “no.”

What is this tax? If passed, a 1% sales tax will be imposed on goods you purchase in Champaign County. Rent, mortgage, groceries, drugs, medical supplies, cars, trucks, ATVs, farm machinery and parts, mobile homes, boats and RVs, and resale items are exempt.

The Countywide Sales Tax will enable the Urbana School District to develop and implement a strategic short- and long-term maintenance plan. By law, this revenue can only be used for facilities improvements. The revenue can NOT be used for salaries, extra-curricular activities, or other programs.

Currently, with no major budget for repairs, the school district must operate in a boom-and-bust environment. Buildings must deteriorate almost beyond repair, and only then can the district ask voters for permission to borrow money, which then has to be repaid (through property taxes) with interest. If this referendum passes, District 116, with careful planning for the future, may never have to go to the voters to ask for a property tax referendum for school buildings.

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Black History Month a Time for Education, CelebrationYankee Ridge students raise their hands at a Black History Month assembly.

The month featured several teachable moments, performances, and celebrations. more

More news

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Culture, Community
At the third-annual African-American Cultural Festival held Feb. 26, people ate a soul-food dinner, enjoyed student entertainment and learned more about school and community services.

Computer Software Allows Better Student Progress Information for Parents, Teachers, and Students
Skyward Gradebook allows parents and students to see and track student academic progress online.

3rd Grade Hero Honored
Wiley 3rd grader Ruby Jenks received a certificate of valor for helping to save her family from a house fire.

Computer Network Moved
Computer speed and connectivity in the classrooms was improved recently when the District moved its computer network from Central Office to UMS.

UMS Students Compose Their Own Music
Students used GarageBand software to compose, perform, and record their own melody.

King Elementary School Develops “Walking School Bus”
King's “Walking School Bus” will have students walk to school in groups with adult supervision.

Health Beat: ADHD Medicines

Health Tips: Eating Healthy for Families

Announcements

March - May
Calendar

Mon., March 23 - Fri., March 27
Spring Break - NO SCHOOL

Mon., March 30
School Resumes

Fri., April 3
End of Third Quarter (46 student attendance days)

Thurs., April 9
Staff Development Day Activities – No School for Elementary Students, Early Dismissal UMS: 1:15 p.m. UHS: 12:34 p.m.

Fri., April 10
Spring Holiday – NO SCHOOL

Fri., May 15
Half-Day Inservice - Early Dismissal Elementary: 12:45 p.m.; UMS: 1:15 p.m. UHS: 12:34 p.m.

Mon., May 25
Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

Entire 08-09 calendar