USD #116 Ask Me – Q&A page


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  Names and contact information will not be published with the questions on the web site.


It is my understanding that USD 116 does not have a “gifted” student program. What, if anything, does the school offer for above average students? 21. July 2016

A:  Thank you for your question!  As you noted, Urbana School District #116 does not have a segregated gifted program, but rather a tradition of training and fostering the professional development of all our classroom teachers in differentiated instruction so that they can meet a wide range of learning styles and abilities. In addition to the comprehensive differentiated approach at our Early Childhood, all elementary schools, and middle school, Urbana High School offers dual credit courses, AP courses (and our students have the highest AP scores in the region).

It is really a philosophical choice that our district has made regarding concepts of inclusiveness, segregation and high expectations for all students.

If you ever have concerns that your children are not being challenged, please start by having a conversation with your child’s classroom teacher. If you feel that your concerns are not heard there, please talk to the building principal. We all strive to provide the most challenging and engaging education for all students.

I am confused about the start dates for 7-8 grade students in August. The 2016-17 printable calendar says Aug.18 for 1 – 6 and 9, Aug. 19 all HS in attendance, etc. I assume that this is a typo, and 7-8 grades start on Aug. 18, but a clarification would be appreciated. 6. June 2016

A:  Thanks for the question! This year Urbana Middle School will start the 6th graders in the same fashion as Urbana High School starts the 9th graders, all by themselves.  So, first day of school for the UMS 7th and 8th graders will be Friday, August 19th.  We will update the printable calendar to clarify the start date for the returning middle school students.  UMS will send out communications about the start dates to the parents prior to the start of school and the information will be communicated at Centralized Registration.

How many total students are in USD#116 INCLUDING early childhood preschool? 11. May 2016

A: Thanks for your question! Currently (as of today, May 11), USD #116 enrollment, including our early childhood school students, sits at 4,428 students. This includes our early childhood school, six elementary schools, middle school, and high school. As stated in the question below, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) does a good job keeping track of district enrollment figures and demographics at the Illinois School Report Card web site.

How many total students are in USD#116 (NOT including early childhood preschool)? 25. April 2016

A:  Thanks for your question!  Currently, USD #116 enrollment, minus our early childhood school students, sits at 4,093 students.  This includes our six elementary schools, middle school, and high school.  Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) does a good job keeping track of district enrollment figures and demographics at the Illinois School Report Card web site.

Would it be possible to arrange a tour of Washington school prior to its sale? Several alum will be in town this summer for UHS reunions and this would be a great trip down memory lane! 18. April 2016

A:  Thank you for your question about touring the former Washington School building. The public bid process will end on May 11, 2016.  If a winning bid is selected, we will close on the property no later than June 30, 2016, however closing may occur prior to that date. Unfortunately, once the transfer is complete, the property is out of District control.  We do have a general tour of Washington schedule for April 28th10:00 a.m.  We also encourage our alumni groups to contact Superintendent Donald Owen (217-384-3600) for tours of Urbana schools.  

Page 5 of 10 ; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10