At this week’s State Board meeting, agency staff presented information on a new resource that will help educators better prepare for the requirements of No Child Left Behind. I have included an overview of this information in today’s message. I am looking forward to working with you during the next several months as we formally introduce the Illinois Assessment Frameworks. As always, your feedback will be most beneficial to us.
Also included in today’s message:
· State Board Hears District Presentations
· State Board Announces Important New Resource
· Fall Data Collection Update
· Special Needs Transportation
· RFP Issued
· Safe and Drug Free Prevention Resources
· Nutrition Grants
Board Approves Five-Year Renewal for
The Illinois State Board of Education today approved a
five-year renewal of the charter of the Prairie Crossing Charter School of
Grayslake to Begin
Prairie Crossing has an enrollment of 260 students and
has been in operation for four years.
It will operate for the 2003-04 school year under the final year of its
original 5-year charter. It is the
only charter school in
State Board Hears Presentation From Three Districts In Financial Difficulty
The number of
schools in financial difficulty continues to increase. To understand why this is
happening and to better predict its occurrence, the State Board has adopted a
new financial designation system based on the Financial Profile and has also
designated three staff as Regional Financial Consultants to work with districts
in financial difficulty on a daily basis. Because the Board members feel it is
also critical for them to hear directly from districts to understand the
specific financial issues facing them, we invited three such districts to
present at this week’s board meeting. Representatives from
State Board Announces Important New Resources for Educators
At its monthly meeting, the Illinois State Board of Education announced the completion of the Illinois Assessment Frameworks which will help educators better prepare students to meet the assessment requirements of No Child Left Behind beginning in the 2005-06 school year.
The Assessment Frameworks concentrate on math, reading, writing, science, and social science and are more focused than the State Goals for Learning. Teachers, curriculum developers, and state test designers will all be working from the same page to help ensure student success.
The Framework for each subject consists of Assessment
Objectives at each grade level, linked directly to the Illinois Learning
Standards and providing clear, concise statements of what students will be
expected to know and do on
The primary goal of the Assessment Frameworks is to help educators make good choices about what should be taught and the emphasis to place on specific skills and topics when they are planning lessons and making curricular changes that will best help students learn. Additionally, the Assessment Objectives specify what is considered “fair game” to be tested on the state assessments beginning in the 2005-06 school year and beyond so districts will have ample time to make any needed curriculum changes.
The new Assessment Frameworks are expected to be
available on-line within the next few weeks, and we will be communicating with
you soon regarding other ways we plan to help all
Fall Data Collection Update: Fall Housing & Immunization Go Electronic
The Fall Housing/Enrollment Report (87-03) and the
Immunization Survey (70-11) will be collected online via IWAS this year and will
be available on Sept. 30. The
Unfilled Positions Survey, which has been on IWAS the past two years, will be
available the first week in October.
Paper copies of these three data forms will not be
accepted this year. Questions
should be directed to the
The Teacher Salary Study and the Reduction in Force surveys will continue to be collected on paper forms which will be mailed in September.
Fall Housing/Enrollment Report
A viewable form of the survey will be available on IWAS the week of September 15. Users will be able to access the system on September 30.
Schools are required to report their enrollments as of September 30th and forward their completed form to the district superintendent by October 15. The district superintendent will review school documents and submit them to ISBE by October 29. District Superintendents also have the option of entering data for some, or all, of the schools in their districts.
Users will be able to access the Immunization system on
October 1. The due date for
submitting the Immunization School Survey is on or before
Public Schools: 1) the school level data must be submitted to the district-level IWAS administrator (usually the district superintendent); 2) the district superintendent (IWAS district-level administrator) must electronically approve and submit the data to ISBE.
Nonpublic Schools must submit by school level (school administrator, principals, etc.,) directly to ISBE.
Unfilled Positions Survey
The Unfilled Positions Survey will be available on IWAS
the first week in October. As in
years past, districts are to report the number of unfilled positions as of
Teacher Salary Study
Data forms (paper) for the 2003-04 school year were mailed out this week. They are due back to ISBE on
Reduction in Force Survey (86-28)
The data collection forms will be mailed out in paper format to school districts in mid-September to collect both the 2002 and 2003 district level data. These forms are due back to ISBE in late fall after all the 2002 and 2003 dismissals, recalls and re-employments are finished. Questions should be directed to Niann Chern at 217/782-3950.
USDE Memo Regarding Special Needs Transportation
Communication between local school districts and transportation providers is critical to addressing transportation issues for special needs students. The United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has issued a memorandum which encourages effective communication in this regard and we support their effort. The complete text of the memorandum can be accessed at http://www.isbe.net/funding/PDF/SpecialEdpdf/special_needs_transportation.pdf
A Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued by the State
Board of Education on
Schools That Work (HSTW) is the
nation’s first large-scale effort to engage state, district and school leaders
and teachers in partnerships with students, parents and the community to improve
the way high school students are prepared for work and further education. It provides a framework of
goals, key practices and key conditions for accelerating learning and setting
higher standards. Schools are
encouraged to eliminate the general track of studies and to strengthen their
courses in math, science and language arts.
The funding period for the grants is from
A webcast was recorded to assist respondents to the RFP in lieu of a bidder’s conference. It was designed to answer questions and provide specific information about requirements, fiscal information, proposal format and criteria for evaluation. The webcast may be accessed directly at http://www.isbe.net/webcast/cd_01.htm. The complete RFP and webcast may be accessed through the ISBE homepage at www.isbe.net. Click “Grants” on left and scroll to “RFP’s and Competitive Bids.”
For more information on this RFP, contact Dora Welker at 217/782-4620.
Safe And Drug-Free Prevention Resources For Schools
ISBE and Prevention First, Inc. (PFI), a nonprofit training and information organization, have entered into a partnership to inform schools about the wide variety of scientifically based prevention resources available to them through PFI.
Research shows that prevention efforts in schools work
to help children and teens avoid drugs, violence and other risky behaviors. PFI
PFI also houses a clearinghouse containing pamphlets, handouts, posters and myriad other items on drug use, gambling, anger management and more. The items are available by mail order.
Library services and clearinghouse materials are free to
all adults in
We are pleased to announce that
For 57 years, the National School Lunch Week has been celebrated in October to help raise awareness of, and garner support for, the role that school foodservice and nutrition programs play in education. This year’s theme, Wild about School Lunch, highlights the enthusiasm and energy of school lunch personnel in this endeavor.
Visit the American School Food Service Association’s Website at www.asfsa.org/meetingsandevents/nslw/for menus, proclamations, a toolkit, logos, activities and more to plan your NSLW celebration.
Grant Funds Available for Nutrition Program Start-up and Expansion
Share Our Strength has announced funding opportunities for current or potential program sponsors to increase the number of children participating in after- school and summer nutrition programs. Fund amounts of $15,000 will be awarded for start-up costs incurred in initiating and supporting sites, and expansion grants are available to increase program participation at existing sites. The grant applications are due September 30. Visit www.greatamericanbakesale.org for the grant application. Click on the “Childhood Hunger” button.
Newsclips may be accessed at http://www.isbe.net/news/2003/newsclips/091903.htm