Leal Elementary School | 312 W. Oregon Urbana, IL 61801 | Phone: (217) 384-3618 | Fax: (217) 384-3622 BACK TO URBANA 116 DISTRICT WEBSITE »

Welcome to Leal Elementary

Leal Elementary School students

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.


School News

Leal Science Night 2014

March 21st, 2014

Leal Elementary will host their annual Science Night on Friday, April 4, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

Students and their families will have hands-on science and engineering fun with a number of different interaction stations through-out the first floor of the school.  Visitors will experience plant and wildlife science, physics, chemistry, nano-science, crop sciences, mechanical engineering, Lego robots, and much more!!!  The always-popular egg-drop challenge will be held (*please note, egg drop contest entries MUST be constructed at home this year), and there will be a 2nd grade bridge building contest (schedule provided at Science Night).

Leal Science Night is sponsored by Title I, Leal Parent-Teacher Association, and the University of Illinois Physics Department.

Leal Science Night 2014 flyer

Noche de Ciencias 2014 en Leal folleto

5th graders take 1st place in Rube Goldberg competition

March 17th, 2014

Mrs. Carol Smith’s 5th grade class took 1st place in the district Rube Goldberg competition held on Friday, March 14 during UI’s Engineering Open House (EOH2014).  This is an annual event that her class participates in.

Mrs. Smith said the PacMan themed Rube won 1st in the local competition held a few weeks prior, which gave them the opportunity to compete against nine other schools in Central Illinois in the district competition.  The event was held at the Illini Union on the UI campus during the EOH2014 weekend.  23 students from her class participated and she said that everyone helped to make the win possible.

Congratulations again to the team!

NAAPID Project Request

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.

Yours truly,

Spencer J. Landsman              Ken Paxton                 Molly Headtke           Gregory Ballweg

UI College of Education story about Greg 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.

Visitation and Service for Amanda Burton

December 3rd, 2013

Arrangements for Amanda Burton’s visitation and memorial service

Thursday, December 5, 2013.*
Visitation: 4-6pm
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.

Book Drive – Books for Beginners

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 rossmargaret15@gmail.com

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


It’s a Pajama War (again!)

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 »

Leal’s Multicultural Arts Night, November 15

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/.


Dia de los Muertos at Leal

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 »


Leal CATCH kick-off events a success

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 »

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