Welcome to Leal Elementary
Leal is one of the oldest schools in Urbana. The site was originally the Oregon Street School and housed the Urbana Schools from 1872 until 1892. The name was later changed to Leal School.
The entire operation of Leal School is founded on a school philosophy which asserts that the ability of a student to achieve determines the level of instruction to be utilized.
The development of social responsibility in each of our students is a top priority at Leal. The Leal Rights and Responsibilities were developed to provide a consistent basis for our effort toward our general goal: to make Leal School "a good place for children and adults." The Leal School expectations are: Respect Yourself, Respect Others and Respect Property.
February 7th, 2014
Dear Leal Parents,
Monday, February 10, 2014 is NAAPID, National African American Parent Involvement Day. This is a day specifically designated to encourage the involvement of all parents in their children’s schools. This year we would like to ask parents to help support a project some of our 3rd and 4th grade classes are engaged in, The MLK, Jr./Presidents Day Dream Project. This project, conceived by our speech and language teacher, Ken Paxton and classroom teachers Molly Headtke and Greg Ballweg, is a collaborative project that uses Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech as a means for students to explore their own dreams and hopes for the future and the heroes that inspire those dreams. Students have studied heroes and their characteristics, have been writing about them, and creating a variety of projects to express their dreams and hopes which will all become part of a multimedia presentation later in the month.
We would like to ask any parents who would like to help support this effort by coming into school on Monday, February 10, 2014 between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in Mrs. Headtke’s (Room 210) and between 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. in Mr. Ballweg’s (Room 207) to help the students in the two classes work on this project. We’d especially like parents to share with students their own heroes or people who inspired them as they have made their way through life. Nothing formal or written is required, just come in and talk to the students and/or help them with their projects or their preparation for the presentation which will eventually be recorded on video.
Everyone has had someone, or perhaps many people, who have inspired them or given them something to dream about. Help our students think about and reflect on what it means to be a hero and how to dream about accomplishing their goals. We know this is a little different approach to past NAAPID activities, but we hope that we can show some of our students that there are many people supporting their hopes and dreams.
We hope to see you that day.
Spencer J. Landsman Ken Paxton Molly Headtke Gregory Ballweg
February 6th, 2014
The University of Illinois College of Education ran a nice story about Leal 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Greg Ballweg. Mr. Ballweg started teaching at Leal in August of 2013. The story can be found here: Bilingual Urbana teacher credits College of Education for his ‘worldly’ growth.
December 3rd, 2013
Arrangements for Amanda Burton’s visitation and memorial service
Thursday, December 5, 2013.*
Service to follow
Windsor Road Christian Church (2501 W. Windsor Rd, Champaign)
Amanda’s obituary can be read here.
Donations towards Amanda’s funeral costs can be made at any Busey Bank. (Checks should be made out to the Amanda Burton Memorial Fund. Donations may be tax-deductible.)
A volunteer meal plan for the family has been set up. You can sign up via SignupGenius here.
If you have not read Mr. Landsman’s December 2 letters about Amanda, they can be found below.
Letter from Mr. Landsman regarding Amanda Burton*
Carta del Sr. Landsman sobre Amanda Burton*
*Please note - the date of Amanda’s service has stated in Mr. Landsman’s letter changed from Tuesday, December 3 to Thursday, December 5.
December 2nd, 2013
Hello! My name is Margaret Ross, and I am a Leal alumnus. I began Girl Scouts in first grade at Leal and I am now working on my Girl Scout Gold Award. As part of that effort, I have decided to begin a project called Books for Beginners. My hope is to help younger readers at Leal to become more interested in reading and better at it by taking home books weekly to read. My idea is to have bags full of books put together. The books and bags will come from a book drive that is occurring December 7th and 21st. Then sometime in the second semester I will bring the books into Leal. A few selected classrooms (K-3rd grade) will participate in my project. They will get a bag of books on a Wednesday and will keep it for a week. When they bring back the bag on Wednesday they will switch it out with another bag full of books. I will also have people come in to read, or be read to, by the students.
I need your help! I am holding my book drive on December 7th and the 21st. I will be accepting used books that are for beginning and intermediate readers. I will also be collecting large pieces of cloth that are usable to make book bags, and monetary donations. The money will make it possible to supplement any books or cloth that wasn’t donated. Questions call 217-722-1182 or email at
What: Book Drive, donate books, larger pieces of cloth, and monetary donations
When: December 7th and 21st, 9 am-12 noon
Where: Leal Elementary
Why: To help young students at Leal to become better readers
Please view my presentation at http://prezi.com/nouuh8nb-3rz/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
November 15th, 2013
Mrs. Clark vs. Mrs. Kirby. Leal vs. Robeson. Urbana vs. Champaign! They’ve even roped Urbana Middle School and Edison Middle School into their pajama war! The winners – all the foster kids in Champaign County who will have brand new pajamas this holiday season.
Mrs. Clark is spear-heading the annual donation drive for pajamas and has asked Miss Barbie Price, Family and Consumer Science at Urbana Middle School, to have her class get involved. The 8th graders will be making posters and advertisements in class to post around the school soliciting donations of new pajamas in any baby or child size. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2013
Leal families and friends are invited to the school’s annual Multicultural Arts Night on Friday, November 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
The night features international tables with various sights, sounds, and flavors; and locally-based artists performing Jewish cultural songs, India meets Brazil fusion, African harp, Latin American songs, and Neo-American roots music.
This event is sponsored by the Leal School PTA. For more information, please visit their web site at: http://www.lealschoolpta.com/.
November 9th, 2013
Some Leal students were in the audience for a special performance of Los Condenados Huastecos (the condemned hustaecos), a Chicago-based trio made up of Alex Chávez, Carlos García, and Juan Rivera. The group specializes in the son huasteco music of Mexico’s central gulf coast region. The trio was there to help the dual-language Leal students celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Read the rest of this entry »
October 31st, 2013
Leal Elementary School kicked off its CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) effort recently with several lively and well-attended events.
CATCH is an initiative developed in response to the increasing rates of obesity and health issues among children in the U.S. A number of schools in Champaign County already use CATCH, and several Urbana schools are in the process of adopting CATCH. The premise of CATCH is that our environment rewards many unhealthy behaviors (such as cheap super-sized fast food meals, and a variety of video games and cartoons available any time), which makes it easy to engage in these unhealthy behaviors. With CATCH, schools change the environment to make it easy and fun to make good nutrition and physical activity choices. CATCH helps schools create systematic and consistent health messages and practices in P.E. class, in the classroom, in the cafeteria, at home, and in the community.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 25th, 2013
Tiffany Clark’s 4th grade class held an Open House on Thursday, October 17 to showcase its local history project. In September, the students visited the Urbana Free Library Archives several times to conduct research. The students found the year that their house was built. Then, they proceeded to find news events from that year using microfilm, books, and texts. Of particular interest, were the photographs of Urbana from the early 20th century. The third component of the project was writing a short history of each student’s family. Tracy Pines, a Leal parent, worked with the students, teaching them about graphic design. Each student created a 3-D display model which showed the historical timeframe of the house and the history of the family.
This project was funded by the American History Teacher Collaborative.
October 23rd, 2013
Following programs such as Walk to School Day, the sponsoring organization likes to collect data from parents to help measure the impact of Walk to School Day activities on parent attitudes towards walking and bicycling. They have created a special electronic link for Leal parents to access the survey online. The survey can easily be translated into Spanish, by clicking the link, “Spanish Version/Version Espanola” at the top of the page.
The survey will close on Monday November 18th.
The data collected is shared with the National Center for Safe Routes to School and used to make decisions regarding the use of funds available for improving sidewalk, street, and intersection safety and Safe Routes to School activities.
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